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Rooster Bennett, Dame, Inter Mischief are repeat champions
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
Eight $150,000 events made up of the best 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers bred in the Bay State went postward in the $1.2 million finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park on a perfect fall Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 24), and the day produced champions, records and streaks. Rooster Bennett, Dame and Inter Mischief, who all won their respective divisions of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes last year at 2, reclaimed their titles at 3; two stakes records were tied; and driver Yannick Gingras drove the winners of four out of the eight finals.
The day kicked off with the 2-year-old pacing fillies lining up in a non-betting event, which Every Mans Dream (Always B Miki-Lindy’s Nightmare) won in convincing fashion.
Valentine Rose (Matty Athearn) took the early lead but relented to Every Mans Dream (Yannick Gingras) at the quarter. From there, Gingras rated an even mile, going a :57 half and 1:25.1 three-quarters. With the field already just trying to keep pace, Every Mans Dream rounded the last turn and hit the stretch, where she pulled away by 7-1/2 lengths under Gingras wraps to win in 1:53.3.
It was the seventh consecutive win for Every Mans Dream, who pushed her earnings to $245,450 this year for her owners Thomas and Scott Dillon. Ron Burke trains the Lindy Farms of Connecticut-bred filly.
In the 2-year-old filly trot, Dawn Of Lindy (Walner-Moni From Heaven) rebounded from a break last week to claim victory with the mile of her life.
Yannick Gingras floated Dawn Of Lindy off the gate and was sitting fourth on the outside when the leading International Gift (Scott Zeron) made a break as they went past the quarter. Dawn Of Lindy then took over the top and commanded the mile from there. Again setting very even fractions, Gingras had Dawn Of Lindy leading by a gapped advantage at the top of the stretch and hit the line in front by 5-1/4 lengths in 1:57.1, which was a new lifetime mark.
Dawn Of Lindy ($4.60) inflated her bank to $150,906 on the strength of the win for her trainer Paul Kelley, who co-owns the winner with Matt Lamont, Thomas Pontone and Neil Goldstein. Moni Maker Stable bred Dawn Of Lindy.
Next came the 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, and, as expected at 1-9, Keep Asking (Chapter Seven-Sensibility) had a dominating win in stakes record time.
Scott Zeron smoked Keep Asking to the point in :28.1 and then cut quarters of :58.2 and 1:27.2 before hitting the last turn. Keep Asking then closed out the trip with a :28.2 final panel under pressure from a fast-closing International Law (Yannick Gingras) to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4, tying the stake srecord.
It was the fourth straight win in the MASS for Keep Asking ($2.10), who is owned by Bill Donovan, Joe Sbrocco, Jim Winske and trainer George Ducharme. Donovan, Sbrocco and Winske bred Keep Asking, who now has earned $283,813 this year.
The last group of 2-year-olds were the pacing colts and geldings, and Rocknroll Lou (Sweet Lou-Beautful Lady) sealed the deal in a narrow finish.
Poverty Sucks (Nick Graffam) strung out Rocknroll Lou (Yannick Gingras) and Bang Ah Uey (Jim Hardy) three-deep in a :27.2 quarter. Rocknroll Lou went to the front and Bang Ah Uey ducked in third. Positions remained unchanged from there until the last turn, where Bang Ah Uey tipped out and came at Rocknroll Lou. As they paced down the lane, Bang Ah Uey was making up substantial ground and by deep stretch was only a length off. However Rocknroll Lou was not to be denied as he held firmly to his one-length lead and won in 1:54.1.
Rocknroll Lou ($2.10) pushed his earnings to $160,946 for owners Thomas and Scott Dillon on the strength of the win. Ron Burke trains the gelding, who was bred by Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro.
The sophomore set led off with the trotting fillies, and Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) won on the strength of a sharp stretch drive.
Way Off Broadway (Troy Beyer) was on top quickly before Poppy Wow (Ivan Davies) made a break and scattered the field. When all settled down, Way Off Broadway had a gapped advantage over A Pop Superstar (Ron Cushing) and Milliondollarwall (Bruce Ranger) at the :56.3 half. Way Off Broadway continued in front while Milliondollarwall was gaining momentum and moved into second around the fading A Pop Superstar. At the top of the stretch, Way Off Broadway looked to have the race in hand, but Ranger rousted Milliondollarwall and she responded with enthusiasm to win by a length in 1:54.4.
Milliondollarwall ($7.60) went to $196,125 lifetime for owner-breeder Moni Maker Stable. Domenico Cecere trains the winner.
The glamour division, colt and gelding pacers, were up next ,and Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) became the first two-time Massachusetts champion of the day after a powerful showing in his win.
Gingras was on top immediately with Rooster Bennett from post one and the field fell into post position order behind him from there. After stopping the timers in :27.3, :56.1 and 1:23.1, Rooster Bennett was running away with the race. At the top of the stretch, he opened up a four-length advantage and bolted home easily by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:51.4, which was a new lifetime mark and only one-fifth of a second off the stakes record.
Rooster Bennett ($2.20) pushed his lifetime earnings to $343,481 for owners-breeders Nancy and Domenic Longobardi. Nancy Longobardi was also the winning trainer.
The second two-time Massachusetts champion was crowned one race later when Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) earned a hard-fought victory in the pacing filly division.
Jim Hardy pushed Dame to the front but was immediately engaged by Azariya (Yannick Gingras), who did take the lead at the brisk :26.3 quarter. But Hardy pulled Dame and she went right back to the front. All challengers were rebuffed between there and three-quarters, where Dame found another gear and pulled away by five at the top of the stretch. The filly then made her way home with an in-hand, three-length win in 1:52.2, which tied Dame’s lifetime mark and also tied the stakes record for her second consecutive start.
Besides being a two-time Massachusetts champion, Dame ($2.20) is also a two-time 2023 sire stakes champion as she also won the New York Sire Stakes final back in September. Dame has now run off six straight victories and inflated her lifetime earnings to $486,407 for her owner-breeder, Stephen Richard.
The final group of 3-year-olds were the trotting colts and geldings, where Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy) became the third to claim his second Massachusetts Sire Stake crown.
Kevin Switzer Jr. grabbed the lead with Inter Mischief as Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) sat second and International Man (Yannick Gingras) got away third. These positions remained unchanged through quarters of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:26. As they moved through the last turn, International Man was on the move second in the breeze and making up ground on the leader. As they straightened out for home, International Man got close, but could not catch Inter Mischief, who got home with a length to spare in 1:54.3.
Inter Mischief ($8.40) earnings went to $291,021 for owners Frank Chick and Jamie Sullivan, who also trains the winner. K R Breeding bred Inter Mischief.
MASS points and earnings after week three
Dame ties record, Gingras grand slams in Mass Stakes
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The third leg of the $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds was held at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 17) and the races produced a laundry list of headlines including streaking winners and personal and stake records.
There was only one single class contested for $75,000 as the other three went split divisions for $40,000 each due to the number of entries.
The most impressive performance of the day was put on by Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) who won her $40,000 division for pacing mares. It was her third straight Mass stake win and puts her in the driver’s seat to become a repeat champion.
Jim Hardy put Dame right on the point in the non-betting event and dominated the entire race. As she set fractions of :26.4, :56 and 1:24, Dame extended her lead at every station. At the top of the stretch, Dame had opened up four lengths and as she paced under wraps to the line, extended it to five while winning in 1:52.2.
The time was a new lifetime mark for Dame and it also tied the Massachusetts Sire Stake record for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
Dame is owned and bred by Stephen Richard and is trained by Jolene Andrews.
The lone $75,000 race was for pacing colts and geldings and Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) won his third straight to also remain unbeaten in the Mass stakes this year, making his own strong statement to become a two-time champion. The win was also the first of four for Yannick Gingras during the afternoon as he had a stellar outing in the bike.
Rooster Bennett went right to the front in the second non-betting event and was challenged by So Rock N Roll (Kevin Switzer Jr.) for most of the final half. The two paced in close proximity all the way down the stretch, but Rooster Bennett was the best and won in 1:53.3.
Rooster Bennett is trained by Nancy Longobardi who partnered with Dominic Longobardi, bred and own the gelding.
Two of Gingras’ next three winners were behind Domenico Cecere-trained trotters, starting with the first $40,000 filly division. Cecere finished the day with three winners coming from his stable.
In the first, The Wise One (Muscle Hill-Grandma’s Moni) won her second Mass stake after following Way Off Broadway (Steve Smith) from third through the first three-quarters of the race. At that station, Pembroke Moni (Scott Zeron) tipped from second and The Wise One followed into the last turn. At the top of the stretch, the top three were almost even across the track with The Wise One having the best foot home to win by one-half length in 1:55.4.
The Wise One ($2.80) is owned and bred by Moni Maker Stable.
Cecere also won the other $40,000 filly trot with Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) with Bruce Ranger in the bike. Milliondollarwall also came first-over from third and tracked down the leading Lauren’s Hoopla (Scott Zeron) to win by 1-½ lengths in 1:55.2.
Milliondollarwall ($3.80) was also owned and bred by Moni Maker Stable.
Then Gingras won with Cecere’s International Man (International Moni-Birthright) in a $40,000 division for male trotters. International Man followed Walter’s Keepsake (Nick Graffam) the entire mile as Inter Mischief (Kevin Switzer Jr.) applied the outside pressure. Heading to the line, International Man was raging with trot but had no room at the pylons. Finally just before the wire, Gingras found a crack and drove his colt right through it to win by a nose over Walter’s Keepsake in 1:56.1.
International Man ($3.00) is owned and bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut.
The second $40,000 colt and gelding trot was won by Bravado (Trixton-Bourbon N Grits) who sat third behind Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) until he hit the backstretch when he rolled up the outside and continued to gain ground into the final turn. When they straightened for home, Bravado closed out his :28.1 final quarter with a 1-¾ length win in 1:56.2.
Bravado ($7.20) is trained by George Ducharme for owners Ray Campbell Jr. and Al Ross. It was Ross who bred the winner.
Gingras fourth win came in the second $40,000 split for pacing fillies behind the Ron Burke-trained Azariya (Lazarus N-Lainey Deo), who led every step of the way. Azariya set fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3 before turning for home and stretching out to a 1-½ length, lifetime best win in 1:53.
Azariya ($4.20) is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, his driver Gingras and Frank Canzone. Deo Volente Farm bred the winning filly.
The $1.2 million finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 24) when eight divisions worth $150,000 each will go postward. Horsemen are reminded there will be a detention barn for the finals and all horses must be checked into the stable area at Plainridge Park no later than 8 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 23).
Two stay perfect in Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The third leg for 2-year-old eligibles of the $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes were held on Monday (Oct. 16) at Plainridge Park and the roster of undefeated freshman participants was whittled down to two when the action concluded.
In the $75,000 pacing filly division which was the first of two non-betting events, Every Man’s Dream (Always B Miki-Lindy’s Nightmare) made it three in a row for her connections and she dominated her group once again.
Yannick Gingras took Every Man’s Dream off the gate to third and waited until the field settled. He then brushed and crushed the lead before the half and the rest was history. Every Man’s Dream was already pulling away at three-quarters and by the top of the stretch, had opened up four lengths on the field. Even as Gingras had her wrapped up, Every Man’s Dream pulled away in the lane to an 8-¼ length win in 1:53.4.
It was the seventh lifetime win for Every Man’s Dream who is owned by Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon and trained by Ron Burke. The Dillon duo also bred their winner.
The other remaining unbeaten is Keep Asking (Chapter Seven-Sensibility) who took a $40,000 split of the trotting colts and geldings division.
Keep Asking (Scott Zeron) sat second behind International Law (Yannick Gingras) through quarters of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:29.2 and then around the last turn into the stretch. At that point, Zeron tipped Keep Asking off the pylons to make his bid and at that moment, International Law made a break, leaving Keep Asking to coast to an easy 5-¼ length win in 1:57.4, making it three straight in this series.
Keep Asking ($2.40) notched his fifth win in his last six starts for the ownership and breeding group of W Donovan, Joe Sbrocco, Jim Winske and the George Ducharme Stable. George Ducharme trains Keep Asking.
The other $40,000 male trotter split was won by Foreign Moni (International Moni-Dancing Coed) who didn’t disappoint as the heavy favorite.
Jay Randall had the lead with Foreign Moni as soon as the gate opened and dominated the field from there. After getting to three-quarters in a very measured 1:30.3, Foreign Moni scooted home under no duress whatsoever and won by 2-½ lengths in 1:59.4.
It was also the fifth win in the last six starts for Foreign Moni ($2.10) who is owned and bred by his trainer George Ducharme in partnership with Jim Winske.
The $75,000 division for trotting fillies was an event filled race that saw untimely breaks lead to International View (International Moni-Snowblind Lindy) getting her first Mass Stake victory with the upset.
International View (Jim Hardy) got away fourth as the heavy post time favorite, Dawn Of Lindy (Yannick Gingras) made a break off the gate. While that was happening, International Gift (Scott Zeron) grabbed the front and sped away to a three length lead at the :28.4 first quarter. Positions remained unchanged to the five-eighths where the front-running International Gift made a break too, leaving The Great CB (Steve Smith) to take over the lead. At three-quarters, Hardy was rolling in the breeze with International View and they engaged The Great CB stride for stride around the last turn. When they straightened for home, International View got the edge and ended up on top by 1-¼ lengths at the line in 1:58.1, which was a new lifetime mark.
International View ($32.20) is owned by Stephen Richard and trained by Jolene Andrews. International View was bred by K R Breeding.
Hardy and Andrews also teamed up to win the other non-betting event of the day, the $75,000 2-year-old colts and geldings pace with Bang Ah Uey (Western Maverick-Caila Fra), who tripped-out to his first lifetime victory.
Rocknroll Lou (Yannick Gingras), who won his first two legs of this group, went right to the front and was tracked every step of the way by the pocket-sitting Bang Ah Uey. Rocknroll Lou went :28, :56.2 and 1:25 as his shadow, Bang Ah Uey, laid in wait. At the top of the stretch, Hardy made a right with Bang Ah Uey, drew alongside Rocknroll Lou and then looked him in the eye and went right on by to take his lifetime mark of 1:53.3.
Bang Ah Uey is owned by David Thibault, Paul Vacca and his driver Hardy. The trio also bred the gelding along with Ed Nowak Jr.
On Tuesday (Oct. 17), the Massachusetts Sire Stakes 3-year-olds will make their last preliminary starts with their third legs going postward. Then next week, the leaders from both age groups will compete in the $1.2 million finals that will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 24). Horsemen are reminded there will be a detention barn for the finals and all horses must be checked into the stable area at Plainridge Park no later than 8 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 23).
Rocknroll Lou breaks three records in Mass Stakes at Plainridge
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
Week two of 2-year-olds competing in the $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park got underway on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 3) and history was made in three different categories by Rocknroll Lou (Sweet Lou-Beautiful Lady) after a very impressive effort in the $75,000 division for male pacers.
Yannick Gingras got away third with Rocknroll Lou, but pulled early at three-eighths to take the lead from Poverty Sucks (Nick Graffam) in front of the stands. When he crossed over, he was already on top by three lengths as Gingras had him revved up and rolling onto the backstretch. Rocknroll Lou paced his third quarter in :27.2 and it was clear he was on a mission. When he turned for home, Rocknroll Lou was under Gingras-wraps and tripped the timer in 1:53.1.
The clocking was a new lifetime mark for Rocknroll Lou, but it also broke the Plainridge Park track record and the Massachusetts Sire Stake record for a 2-year-old pacing gelding, and it also saw him become the fastest 2-year-old pacing gelding ever bred in the state of Massachusetts.
It was the second straight MaSS win for Rocknroll Lou ($2.10) who is owned by Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon and trained by Ron Burke. Rocknroll Lou was bred by Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro.
Burke, Gingras and Team Dillon also dominated the $75,000 pacing filly division with Every Mans Dream (Always B Miki-Lindy’s Nightmare) who was another runaway winner for her connections in an early non-betting event.
Gingras floated Every Mans Dream on the outside fifth, while Beantown Ace (Nick Graffam) and Who’s Perfect (Heath Campbell) shuffled for the front. Once that dust had settled, Every Mans Dream switched gears and bolted to the lead and full control at the :57 half. Gingras grabbed leather in the third quarter as only the pocket-sitting Beantown Ace was close. But when he hit the last turn, he gave his filly her head and Every Mans Dream flew home :27.3 and won by six lengths in 1:53.3.
It was the second straight MaSS win and the sixth win of the year for Every Mans Dream.
The filly trotters also went one division for $75,000 and Gingras completed his stake triple with Dawn Of Lindy (Walner-Moni From Heaven) who got a second MaSS win and matched her lifetime mark in the process.
Dawn Of Lindy left from post seven and dropped in fourth as Pembroke Breeze (Heath Campbell) made her way to the half in :59.2. With no one pulling right lines, Gingras made the first move and flushed The Great CB (Steve Smith) from the pocket, giving himself cover trotting up the backside. The Great CB cleared and Dawn Of Lindy pulled alongside at three-quarters. The two trotters tangled in close proximity around the far turn and into mid-stretch where Dawn Of Lindy started to pull away and eventually won by 2-¼ lengths in 1:57.3.
Dawn Of Lindy ($4.00) is owned by the Paul Kelley Racing Stable, Matt Lamont, Thomas Pontone and Neil Goldstein. Paul Kelley trains the winning filly bred by Moni Maker Stable.
Gingras added a win in an overnight event, giving him a grand slam for the day.
The male trotters went in two $40,000 divisions and were both won by George Ducharme trainees, steered by Nick Graffam.
First, Chasing Crystals (Six Pack-Crystalline) came first-over on the front-running Pembroke Will (Heath Campbell) and was closely followed by Intl Blockade (Bruce Ranger). Chasing Crystals took the lead at the top of the stretch but had to fight off Intl Blockade all the way to the wire where he won by a neck in 1:59.3 to take his first lifetime win.
Chasing Crystals ($33.00) is owned and bred by Ray Campbell Jr.
The second division was won by Keep Asking (Chapter Seven-Sensibility) who left, made a short break at the quarter, and then regained his composure once he got to the front. Keep Asking was then well rated by Graffam with back to back :29.2 quarters before they opened it up coming home with a :28 closing sprint that gave him a 2-¾ length win in 1:56.4.
Keep Asking ($2.80) won his second straight MaSS race for owners/breeders W Donovan, Joe Sbrocco, Jim Winske and the George Ducharme Stable.
The Massachusetts Sire Stake will be off next week and reconvene on Monday (Oct. 16) with the third leg for eligible 2-year-olds. The 3-year-olds will follow on Tuesday (Oct. 17).
Dame, Wallop, big winners in Mass Stakes at Plainridge
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The second session of 3-year-olds went behind the gate in the $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 2) and the close competition produced five new lifetime marks, only two winning favorites and seven different trainers each winning one division over the lightning fast track. Six of the seven divisions were split, more specifically for male trotters and fillies of both gaits and each went for $40,000.
The only group that went one $75,000 division were the “glamour boy” sophomore pacers where Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) crowed loudest again. Yannick Gingras bided his time in second with Rooster Bennett while Good Will Lindy (Mitchell Cushing) set a :25.3 quarter. But as the leader began stopping at the half, Gingras pulled Rooster Bennett and took control at that station. Now established on the point, Rooster Bennett rationed out the speed to three-quarters and finished strong in the lane, holding off a game So Rock N Roll (Kevin Switzer Jr.) to win by 1-¾ lengths in 1:53.
It was the second straight MaSS win for Rooster Bennett ($2.60) who is owned and bred by his trainer Nancy Longobardi, in partnership with Domenic Longobardi.
The fastest mile of the stake card was turned in by the pacing filly Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) who is also two for two in the MaSS this year. Jim Hardy sent Dame to the front in the non-betting event that took place before the first race and never looked back. After setting panels of :28, :57.2 and 1:25.2, Dame scooted home in a swift :27.1 to stop the clock at 1:52.3, giving her a new lifetime mark. The time was also just one-fifth of a second off the stake record.
Dame is owned by and bred by Stephen Richard and trained by Jolene Andrews.
The second group of filly pacers went an equally impressive mile as South St Dottie (Western Maverick-No Shadows) turned in a career mile. Nick Graffam took the lead from post one with South St Dottie and got to the half in :56.3 when the heat really came. Azariya (Yannick Gingras) and Danceforthemoney (Shawn Gray) were in the outer flow heading to three-quarters and closing ground in the last turn. Danceforthemoney was right on South St Dottie’s wheel at the top of the stretch and paced alongside her all the way to the wire. But she came up a neck short as South St Dottie hung on to win in 1:53.3 to establish a new lifetime mark.
South St Dottie ($8.60) is owned and bred by Jan Donaway and is trained by Mike Graffam.
The first group of male trotters was bested by Yo Lucky Moni (International Moni-Unbelindyble) who got his victory on the strength of a career best effort. Jimmy Whittemore also cut the mile with Yo Lucky Moni who took a two length lead to the :58.4 half. International Man (Yannick Gingras) got into the action on the outside up the backstretch and got to within one-half length of Yo Lucky Moni at the top of the stretch. But as they headed down the lane, Yo Lucky Moni would not be denied and won by a length in 1:54.4.
Yo Lucky Moni ($20.80) is owned by Verlin Yoder and trained by Marissa Chadbourne. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the winner.
In the second split for male trotters, Wallop (Walner-Love N Lindy) garnered his second straight MaSS win and fifth straight overall. Yannick Gingras sent Wallop to the front and got to the half in an easy :59.1 before Walter’s Keepsake (Nick Graffam) moved first-over from third to apply some pressure. Wallop maintained control, but the pesky Walter’s Keepsake wouldn’t go away. The two trotters battled all the way to the line where Wallop won by a neck in 1:57.1.
Wallop ($2.60) is owned by Thestable Wallop Group and is trained by Melissa Beckwith. Wallop was bred by K R Breeding.
The winners of both filly trots also took lifetime marks.
Laurens Hoopla (E L Titan-Tattoo You) took the lead past the quarter and was in full flight to the half in :57. She was a loose leader heading up the backstretch and into the last turn where the heavy favorite The Wise One (Yannick Gingras) had made her way from fourth to second and was only a length away from the leader. However that was as close as she would get as Laurens Hoopla was very strong in the lane and won by 1-½ lengths in a lifetime best 1:54.4.
Laurens Hoopla ($25.00) is owned and bred by Ray Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme.
The second group had a runaway winner in Poppy Wow (Crazy Wow-Tori Hall) who got a perfect rating from Ivan Davies. After backing down the second quarter to :30, Davies tapped the gas and Poppy Wow opened up four lengths at three-quarters. From there, she swelled up and trotted home all alone on top by seven lengths in 1:55.4, which was a new lifetime mark.
Poppy Wow ($17.40) is owned by Shirley Michaud along with Earl and Kathy Beaman, who also bred the winner.
Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 3) at 2 p.m. when the second leg of the $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes goes behind the gate featuring the state’s best bred 2-year-olds.
Burke, Ducharme double-up in Massachusetts Sire Stakes
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
Plainville, MA — The second day of the $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes held at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Sept. 26) featured 2-year-old performers of both gaits and genders and dominant winners prevailed in most of the events. The fillies went one $75,000 race each on the trot and pace while the colts and geldings had split divisions for both gaits that were valued at $40,000 apiece.
Ron Burke brought a pair to Plainridge and both were decisive winners. He started the day winning the $75,000 division for pacing fillies with Every Man’s Desire (Always B Miki-Lindy’s Nightmare) in one of the two non-betting events. Yannick Gingras got away second with Every Man’s Desire and followed Beantown Ace (Scott Zeron) through quarters of :28.4, :58 and 1:27.2. When the race entered the last turn, Every Man’s Desire exited the pocket and paced past Beantown Ace before they even hit the stretch. When Every Man’s Desire turned for home, she sprinted away to a 2-¾ length win in 1:55.1.
It was the fifth win of the year for Every Man’s Desire, who is owned by Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the winner.
Dillon and Dillon also owned Burke’s second victor, Rocknroll Lou (Sweet Lou-Beautiful Lady) who himself was a runaway winner in a $40,000 division for pacing males. Gingras went right to the front with Rocknroll Lou and controlled the race from there. With no solid threat from behind, Rocknroll Lou cruised on top by as many as four lengths and got to three-quarters in a tepid 1:28.2. Gingras hit the gas at the point and Rocknroll Lou flew home in :27.1 to win by four in 1:55.4, getting his first lifetime win.
Rocknroll Lou ($2.20) was bred by Lester Gelardi and Anthony Passafaro.
The other $40,000 colt and gelding pace was won by Poker Sy (Captaintreacherous-Hidden Land), who also got his first lifetime victory. Jason Bartlett had an easy time taking the lead and then rated Poker Sy perfectly. After slowing the half to 1:00.1, Poker Sy scooted home in :57.2 to win by 10-½ lengths in his first lifetime win. Poker Sy ($2.10) is owned and bred by Jesmeral Stable and is trained by Christie Collins.
George Ducharme did his best work in the trots and captured both $40,000 divisions for colts and geldings.
The first win came with Keep Asking (Chapter Seven-Sensibility) who simply dominated his group in another non-betting event. Scott Zeron set a modest :59.2 half on the point and then opened up four lengths at three-quarters. Dashing around the turn, Keep Asking kept going and opened up a seven length gap at the line, winning in 1:59.
Keep Asking got his third win of the year for owners W Donovan, Joe Sbrocco, Jim Winske and the George Ducharme Stable. Sbrocco, Winske and Ducharme also bred Keep Asking.
Ducharme’s second score was Foreign Moni (International Moni-Dancing Coed) who won by an even greater margin. Jay Randall sat chilly on top by a length with Foreign Moni through very even fractions of :30.1, 1:01 and 1:30.4 as International Law (Yannick Gingras) pushed the third panel after recovering from an earlier break. The pair spun around the last turn and then headed down the lane side by side until International Law made another break, leaving Foreign Moni home free by 9-½ lengths in 1:59.
Foreign Moni ($8.40) won his fourth in a row for the breeding and ownership team of Ducharne and Winske.
The other $75,000 division was for filly trotters and Dawn Of Lindy (Walner-Moni From Heaven) won in a hard-fought victory. Gingras got away third with Dawn Of Lindy while The Great CB (Jeff Gregory) and International Gift (Scott Zeron) traded leads to the quarter. After International Gift finally settled on the front, she led a single file field to three-quarters where Dawn Of Lindy pulled from third and started towards the top. As they headed down the lane, International Gift was still on top, but Dawn Of Lindy was closing on the outside while the Great CB was motoring up the pylons. As the wire drew closer, so did the trotters and they hit the line with only a head separating all three, leaving the photo to show Dawn Of Lindy getting the nod for her first lifetime win timed in 1:57.3.
Dawn Of Lindy ($11.00) is owned by her trainer Paul Kelley along with Matt Lamonte, Thomas Pontone and Neil Goldstein. This was the third stake victory of the day for Gingras, but he added two overnight wins giving him a five bagger for the afternoon.
The Massachusetts Sire Stakes will reconvene at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 2) at 2 p.m. when the second leg of 3-year-olds will go postward.
Hats off to Gingras, Zeron in Mass Stakes at Plainridge
(All photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The $3 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes got underway at Plainridge Park on Monday (September 25) and visiting drivers Yannick Gingras and Scott Zeron both had hat tricks, driving three winners apiece out of the eight MASS divisions that went postward. And it’s noteworthy that those divisional winners were sent behind the gate by eight different trainers.
All races for both genders went in two divisions Monday due to the number of entries and each carried a purse of $40,000. The day-long rain had the track listed as “wet-fast” and it turned out some very impressive performances.
Gingras won both divisions for male pacers starting with last year’s 2-year-old champion Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl), who put in a very strong performance going gate to wire. Gingras had Rooster Bennett on top by two lengths almost the entire mile and defeated the pocket-sitting So Rock n Roll (Kevin Switzer Jr.) by one-half length in 1:54. Rooster Bennett ($2.10) is owned and bred by Nancy Longobardi and Dominick Longobardi. Nancy Longobardi also trains the winner
Gingras added wins with the pacing colt Colt Bennett and filly trotter The Wise One. Gingras also had an overnight win to give him a grand slam for the afternoon.
3-year-old pacing colts and geldings
Name – Colt Bennett (Rock N Roll World-Unbleachable)
Owner – Nancy Longobardi
Trainer – David Crochere
Breeder – Steve O’Toole
Time – 1:55.2
Mutuel – $11.40
3-year-old trotting fillies
Name – The Wise One (Muscle Hill-Grandma’s Moni)
Owner – Moni Maker Stable
Trainer – Domenico Cecere
Breeder – Moni Maker Stable
Time – 1:57.1
Mutuel – $2.10
Scott Zeron’s three wins were topped by a big effort from pacing filly Azariya (Lazarus N-Lainey Deo) who drafted along third behind My Sweet Kate (Matty Athearn) until the top of the stretch. There, Zeron tipped her three-wise and tracked down the leader and then fought off Seafood Beauty (Jay Randall) in deep stretch to win by a neck in a lifetime best 1:53.2. Azariya ($13.00) is owned and trained by Duane Marfisi. Deo Volente Farm bred Azariya.
Zeron’s other two wins came behind the trotting geldings Walter’s Keepsake and Wallop.
3-year-old trotting colts and geldings
Name – Walter’s Keepsake (Walner-Alabama Keepsake)
Owner – Al Ross
Trainer – George Ducharme
Breeder – Al Ross
Time – 1:56.4
Mutuel – NB
3-year-old trotting colts and geldings
Name – Wallop (Walner-Love N Lindy)
Owner – Thestable Wallop Group
Trainer – Melissa Beckwith
Breeder – K R Breeding
Time – 1:58.2
Mutuel – $5.40
Another defending 2-year-old Massachusetts champion well on her way to another crown is Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) who simply dominated her sister pacing fillies. Jim Hardy put Dame on the point and she did the rest after that. As she set fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:26, Dame also extended her lead from one length at the quarter to three lengths at the top of the stretch. Then, Dame bolted home easily to win by 5-½ in 1:53.1, which was only one-fifth off her lifetime mark.
Dame ($2.10) is trained by Jolene Andrews for owner/breeder Stephen Richard.
Another solid win with lifetime mark came from Way Off Broadway (E L Titan-Black Broadway) who also dominated her division of trotting fillies. Troy Beyer sent Way Off Broadway to an easy lead and then rationed out her speed from there going quarters in :28, :57.3 and 1:26.4 with Laurens Hoopla (Scott Zeron) following right on her back. At the top of the stretch, Way Off Broadway opened up a two length advantage and won handily in 1:55.3, taking a new personal best.
Way Off Broadway ($15.20) is owned and bred by Mike Eaton and Bob McHugh. Eaton also trains the winner.
Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Sept. 26) at 2 p.m. when the 2-year-olds will line up for their first swing at the 2023 Massachusetts Sire Stakes. Also, there will be a $10,419 carryover in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in race six.
Massachusetts Sire Stakes start Monday
(Photo of Keep Asking courtesy of Fotowon)
The Massachusetts Sire Stakes will kick off its four week run at Plainridge Park on Monday (Sept. 25) and for the first time in its history, total purses have hit the $3 million mark. Another milestone that was achieved this year was the largest amount of eligible horses that entered the first weekend. A total of 74 horses will compete over the first two days, making it the most populated draw in the 25 years the series has been held at Plainridge.
There will be eight 3-year-old divisions going on Monday for a total of $320,000 and six 2-year-old groups will start on Tuesday (Sept. 26) for a combined $310,000. Post time for both days is 2 p.m.
Walpole, Massachusetts native trainer George Ducharme has entered a total of 11 horses over the two days including the 2-year-old trotting colt Keep Asking (Chapter Seven- Sensibility), who is a two-time winner on the New York Sire Stake circuit this year, took a new mark of 1:54 at Vernon Downs and has already earned $148,813 in purses. That 1:54 win at Vernon equalled the track record for 2-year-old trotting colts set by Crazy Wow in 2014. Ducharme also has the promising 2-year-old trotting gelding Foreign Moni (International Moni-Dancing Coed) who is a three time winner this year coming into the series.
Another Plainridge regular trainer who is well represented is Domenico Cecere who will start five in week one led by the 3-year-old trotting filly The Wise One (Muscle Hill-Grandma’s Moni), who is a five time winner this year, has a mark of 1:54.1 at Mohegan Sun Pocono and has made multiple stake starts in New Jersey that have helped her amass $103,125 in earnings to date. Cecere will also be starting another three time winner in 2023, the 3-year-old trotting filly Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire).
Ron Burke is bringing a formidable 2-year-old tandem to Plainridge this year. The pacing filly Every Man’s Desire (Always B Miki-Lindy’s Nightmare) has been outstanding in Kentucky stakes action all summer, winning four out of seven starts and never finishing off the board. In her last start, Every Man’s Desire just took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2 in the $50,000 Golden Rod series final on September 19. Burke also has the pacing colt Rocknroll Lou (Sweet Lou-Beautiful Lady) who has been competing successfully in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, cashing in on three out of four starts.
Erv Miller’s 2-year-old trotting gelding International Law (International Moni-Love N Lindy) won three consecutive Kentucky stake outings before making two consecutive breaks including one in that series $100,000 final. That said, he has earned $45,000 and taken a mark of 1:54 in the process and has stake experience not many of his competitors have coming into this week.
Marc Tardif has entered his dynamic duo of 3-year-old pacing geldings, Luke McGook (Rock N Roll World-Madonna Hanover) and So Rock N Roll (Western Maverick-So So Sweet) who have both been dominating in the Maine Sire Stakes all summer long. Luke McGook has won eight out of 10 starts with two seconds while earning $67,837 and So Rock N Roll has won five out of 10 starts with four seconds and one third, banking $54,606.
Some notable 3-year-old horses to watch on Monday are pacing filly Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) who was the Massachusetts champion last year at two and just won the $225,000 3-year-old final of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers on September 9. Dame has won $157,955 this year and has taken a new mark of 1:53 at Scioto Downs over the summer.
Another returning 2-year-old champion looking to defend her title is Pembroke Moni (International Moni-Possessed By Lindy) who won the Landmark Stake at Historic Track in Goshen in July before hitting the Pennsylvania Sire Stake circuit where she drew five checks in five starts. She matched her lifetime best effort of 1:57.3 at Saratoga this year and is a top candidate to dominate her division.
Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) was the 2-year-old Massachusetts male pacing champion and has backed up his initial work with a solid 3-year-old campaign. He was a multiple check-getter in the NYSS Excel series before running off three consecutive overnight wins that netted him a new lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at his home track, Plainridge Park.
The pacing colt, Colt Bennett (Rock N Roll World-Unbleachable) has been an ATM on the Maine Sire Stake circuit this year, quietly amassing $55,022 on the strength of hitting the board every start but with only two wins. However it’s important to note that those two wins came over Luke McGook and So Rock N Roll.
The trotting gelding Yo Lucky Moni (International Moni-Unbelindyble) is another horse that spent his summer in Kentucky stakes and although he hit the board in multiple starts, didn’t get his first win until September 9 when victorious in an overnight event at Tioga downs in 1:56.4. That said he has since started and finished second at Plainridge and is ready for this start.
The pacing filly South St. Dottie (Western Maverick-No Shadows) has won eight of her last 10 starts and all in Maine Sire Stakes. She has put away $66,285 as a result of those starts and could be a major player this year.
Here is a look at the complete Massachusetts sire Stake schedule for 2023:
Monday (Sept. 25)
3-year-old First Leg
Tuesday (Sept. 26)
2-year-old First Leg
Monday (Oct. 2)
3-year-old Second Leg
Tuesday (Oct. 3)
2-year-old Second Leg
Monday (Oct. 16)
2-year-old Third Leg
Tuesday (Oct. 17)
3-year-old Third Leg
Tuesday (Oct. 24)
2 and 3-year-old Finals
Mass-bred Inter Mischief favored in $100,000 Bunker Hill Trot
The second Grand Circuit event at Plainridge Park this year is the $100,000 Bunker Hill Trot for 3-year-olds in 2023 and it will be held on Monday (May 15). Inter Mischief is the early choice in the race and he is no stranger to racing in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts-bred Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy) is the record-setting Massachusetts Sire Stake 2-year-old trotting colt champion who comes into this race as the richest freshman from last year that is starting in this seven horse field.
After finishing second in the $50,000 PASS consolation at Harrah’s Philly in September, Inter Mischief shipped to Plainridge and won two out of the three preliminary legs of the MASS. His second win was timed in 1:55.4 and that set the stake and track record for a 2-year-old trotting colt and was also a lifetime mark for himself. In the $125,000 final, Inter Mischief was a convincing winner who pulled away to a 2-1/2 length win over an off track. Overall his seven starts last year earned him $151,895 in purses.
Inter Mischief won his sophomore debut in an overnight at Harrah’s Philly and lowered his lifetime mark to 1:54.1 in the process. He comes into this race razor sharp and is intimately familiar with the surface at Plainridge. Kevin Switzer Jr., who drove Inter Mischief to all of his wins last year, will be back in the bike for this event leaving from post four for trainer Jamie Sullivan.
Khaosan Road (International Moni-Jewels In The Sand) will also be highly regarded in this stake. After being very lightly raced at two, Khaosan Road made his first start this year in the $137,775 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway and was a gate to wire winner in a personal best time of 1:57.4. That was his second consecutive win going back to last year as he won his final outing of 2022. With his best efforts also his most recent performances, Khaosan Road will certainly get support at the windows. Trainer Ake Svanstedt has Scott Zeron in the bike and they will start from post five.
Svanstedt will be looking to remain perfect in the Bunker Hill Trot after he trained last year’s winner Jonas KS, who set the stake and track record for 3-year-old trotting colts with a dominating 1:53 romp for driver Kevin Switzer Jr.
Herodotus (Bar Hopping-Regal Woman) was heavily staked at two, having competed in the PASS, Peter Haughton Memorial and the International Stallion Stakes. But he only grabbed minor spoils there while his two wins came in overnight events. This year he started with two consecutive overnight wins at the Meadowlands and Mohegan Sun Pocono while taking a new lifetime mark of 1:53.3. Herodotus looks at the top of his game and starts from post seven for his Hall of Fame team of driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke.
Spitfire Oversees (International Moni-Legal Lady) has a similar resume to Herodotus. Two overnight wins at two, amid a solid stake schedule that concluded with a start in the $600,000 Breeders Crown where he was beaten only five lengths. This year he makes his seasonal debut here, off one qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park where he won by a length in 1:55.3. Spitfire Oversees drew post six and Anthony Macdonald will steer for local leading trainer Melissa Beckwith.
Nominations dues for Massachusetts Sire Stakes yearlings
Breeders and owners of Massachusetts Sire Stake eligible harness racing yearlings should note that nominations for foals of 2022 from a resident mare registered with the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts, Inc. are due by Monday (May 15). Yearling registration requires a copy of the U.S.T.A registration certificate and the fee of $25.00. Late registration will be accepted from Tuesday (May 16) until Saturday (Dec. 31) and requires a copy of the U.S.T.A registration certificate, the May 15 fee of $25.00 plus a $500.00 late fee.
The required form can be downloaded at sominc.net. Please complete it, make checks payable to the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts, Inc. and mail them to: Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts, Inc. PO Box 1682 Plainville, MA 02762
Connections of these horses should also note that all eligible yearlings must be registered with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources as well before Saturday (Dec. 31). That form can also be found at sominc.net or at mass.gov/agr.
Plainridge Park’s $3.27 million stakes slate is richest in state history
The continuously improving harness racing program in Massachusetts will hit another milestone this year after Plainridge Park management announced they will add two new stakes to the already stellar schedule.
The added purse from those events will push the total estimated value of the 2023 stakes to $3.27 million, making it the most lucrative offering of stakes prizes in the history of harness racing in New England.
Plainridge Park kicks off its live racing season on Monday (April 10) and the stake action begins only three weeks later.
First up is the $100,000 (est.) Paul Revere Open Pace for 3-year-olds which will be held on Thursday (May 4) and is the first major test of the year for sophomore pacers. Nominations along with $300 are due Wednesday (Feb. 15) with a $300 sustaining payment due on Wednesday (March 15). A $200 starting fee is due upon declaration.
Next is the $100,000 (est.) Battle Of Bunker Hill Open Trot on Monday (May 15). The inaugural running last year produced a new track record of 1:53 for 3-year-old trotting colts set by Jonas K S and that effort set the bar high for this year’s edition. Nominations along with $300 are due Wednesday (Feb. 15) with a $300 sustaining payment due on Wednesday (March 15). A $200 starting fee is due upon declaration.
Then on Sunday (July 23), it’s the biggest day of the summer with the renewal of the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace. Both of these races have rewritten track records several times since their inception and have enticed some of the best Open class competitors from across North America to compete in Massachusetts.
In the five years the Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot has been run, JL Cruze, Manchego and Alrajah One IT have all re-written track trotting records with Manchego also setting a world record in 2020. These performances have helped this event become a trotting classic in quick fashion.
For this year’s edition, nominations along with $1,000 are due Wednesday (Feb. 15) with a $1,500 sustaining payment due on Wednesday (March 15). A $2,500 starting fee is due upon declaration and there is an option for a supplemental entry with a $20,000 declaration fee.
The Clara Barton Distaff Pace has been run four times, yet only two mares have won the race: Shartin N and Lyons Sentinel. And just like their trotting rivals, Shartin N rewrote the pacing record book twice while Lyons Sentinel matched the record in her initial victory.
This year’s nominations along with $500 are due Wednesday (Feb. 15) with a $1,000 sustaining payment due on Wednesday (March 15). A $1,500 starting fee is due upon declaration and there is an option for a supplemental entry with a $7,500 declaration fee and $1,500 entry fee.
The $2.56 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes will reconvene in September and follow the same format of three preliminary legs and a final. Last year’s series was historic as it was the first time ever that the championship races went for a total combined purse of $1 million. The state-bred stake schedule is as follows:
Monday (Sept. 25)
3-year-old first leg
Tuesday (Sept. 26)
2-year-old first leg
Monday (Oct. 2)
3-year-old second leg
Tuesday (Oct. 3)
2-year-old second leg
Monday (Oct. 16)
2-year-old third leg
Tuesday (Oct. 17)
3-year-old third leg
Tuesday (Oct. 24)
2 and 3-year-old finals
Connections of Massachusetts Sire Stake eligible 2- and 3-year-old horses who intend to race in the series this year should take note that continuation payments for both ($100 for 2-year-olds and $150 for 3-year-olds) are due by Wednesday (Feb. 15) and the subsequent sustaining payment ($200 for 2-year-olds and $300 for 3-year-olds) is due by Saturday (April 15).
The two new stakes on the Plainridge Park calendar this year will make their debut on Monday (Oct. 9), which is the off-week for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes. It’s a great spot for these events as it gives Mass-stake contestants an opportunity to earn during that off-week from the series, should their connections wish to do so.
The $40,000 (est.) Reynolds Stake is for 3-year-old pacers and will be contested by gender. “The Tar Heel” is the colt and gelding division and “The Leta Long” is for fillies. Nominations for both the Tar Heel and Leta Long along with $300 are due Wednesday (Feb. 15) with a $300 sustaining payment due on Wednesday (March 15). A $500 starting fee is due upon declaration.
The $40,000 (est.) Colonial Trot for 3-year-old trotters is the companion stake to the Reynolds and will also be contested by gender with the filly division going as the Colonial Oaks. Nominations along with $300 are due Wednesday (Feb. 15) with a $300 sustaining payment due on Wednesday (March 15). A $200 starting fee is due upon declaration.
The 2023 Plainridge Park meet runs for 108 days through Thursday (Nov. 30).
Massachusetts Stakes continuation payments due February 15
The connections of Massachusetts Sire Stake eligible 2 and 3-year-old horses who intend to race in the series in 2023 should take note that continuation payments for both are due no later than Wednesday, February 15. The form you need to complete and send with your payment can be found on the SOMINC website (sominc.net) by clicking the “Forms” link at the top of the homepage.
The next important date to mark down for Mass-eligible horses is Monday, May 15, which is the deadline to register your 2023 yearlings. That form is also available on the website along with the new 2023 SOMINC membership form.
Gingras grand slams in Massachusetts Sire Stakes
It was Million Dollar Monday (Oct 24) at Plainridge Park as eight fields of finalists vied for $125,000 each to determine this year’s Massachusetts Sire Stakes champions. Rain and off-going greeted the horses but outstanding performances were still put forth as the uber-competitive Massachusetts breeding program produced winners for eight different trainers representing eight different ownership groups.
The one common denominator to the day was the performance of Yannick Gingras who for the second year in a row dominated the finals, winning four races to register a championship grand slam.
The following is a synopsis of the day’s events and a closer look at the winners.
2-year-old Colt and Gelding Trotting Champion
Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy)
Owner-Frank Chic and Jamie Lee Sullivan
Driver-Kevin Switzer Jr.
Breeder-K R Breeding
Te Amo Lindy (Yannick Gingras) took early control in a speedy :27.4 while Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) drafted in second. Positions remained unchanged to the half where Kevin Switzer Jr. pulled Inter Mischief from third and powered to the lead by the three-quarters in 1:27.4. From there Inter Mischief was in full command and trotted under wraps to the wire on top by 2-½ lengths in 1:56.3.
2-year-old Filly Trotting Champion
Pembroke Moni (International Moni-Possessed By Lindy)
Breeder-Lindy Farms of Connecticut
The Wise One (Bruce Ranger) got off to a fast start from post eight and took the early lead. But Scott Zeron came quickly with Pembroke Moni and took the front by the :29 quarter. Pembroke Moni continued on the front to the half where Milliondollarwall (Yannick Gingras) was charging on the outside. Milliondollarwall grabbed the front and trotted a strong :28.4 third quarter and took her lead to the top of the stretch. There, Pembroke Moni came back out on the attack, took the front and held off a fast closing The Wise One to win by a length in 1:57.3.
2-year-old Filly Pacing Champion
Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window)
Breeder- Stephen Richard
Dame was sent right for the lead by Jimmy Hardy and took it from Seafood Beauty (Jay Randall) as they passed the quarter in a swift :27. From there Dame led by an open length through quarters of :56.4 and 1:25.3 and extended her lead to two at the top of the stretch. Heading to the line, Dame was on cruise despite a valiant late effort from Yes I’m Hungry (Yannick Gingras) and won by 1-½ lengths in 1:54.3.
2-year-old Colt and Gelding Pacing Champion
Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl)
Owner-Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi
Breeder-Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi
Good Will Lindy (Shawn Gray) and Rooster Bennett (Yannick Gingras) argued for the front off the gate with the latter getting the lead by the quarter in :26.4. As a torrential downpour was in progress, Rooster Bennett continued to the half in :56 on top by three lengths as Good Will Lindy started to lose touch. At that point Kevin Switzer Jr. tipped Luke McGook from third and started to close the gap. Luke McGook caught up with Rooster Bennett around the last turn and the pair squared off down the lane. But Rooster Bennett swelled up and pulled away and won by 2-½ lengths in 1:54.3.
3-year-old Filly Trotting Champion
Dancin On The Wall (Walner-Lovely Lindy)
Owner-K R Breeding
Breeder-K R Breeding
Yannick Gingras left with Dancin On The Wall from post seven and settled in third as Just Liv Broadway (Luke Hanners) took the field to the quarter in :28. Positions remained unchanged to the half when Gingras went on the offensive with Dancin On The Wall and was moving up the outside towards the leader. The two trotters engaged up the backside with a :28.2 third panel, continued around the last turn and into the stretch where Dancin On The Wall got the advantage and the win by one-half length in 1:56.1.
3-year-old Colt and Gelding Pacing Champion
Striking Impact (Always B Miki-Aunt Caroline)
Owner-Fox Racing, Nickerson Racing and Drew Monti
Breeder-Lindy Farms of Connecticut
It was a three horse charge for the lead that eventually saw Striking Impact (Yannick Gingras) take command in :26.2. But control was soon turned over to Treacherous Tom (Bruce Ranger) in front of the stands who kept the pace brisk with a :55.2 half. Motoring up the backside, Treacherous Tom took a three length lead on Striking Impact, who himself broke away from the field by four lengths. As they entered the stretch, Treacherous Tom was still in control but Gingras tipped Striking Impact and drove him hard all the way to the wire where he caught the favorite and won by one-half length in 1:53.1 to become a two-time Massachusetts Sire Stake champion.
3-year-old Colt and Gelding Trotting Champion
Bill Bauer (E L Titan-Miss Flaggy Meadow)
Owner-Paul Kelly, Joseph Palillo and Ellen Palillo
Breeder-East Pond Stable
Moni’s Heaven Cent (Jay Randall), Strongerwithlindy (Steve Smith) and Bill Bauer (Yannick Gingras) got away one-two-three in the field of seven and remained that way to the half in :58.1. Gingras tipped Bill Bauer from third heading into the backstretch and drew alongside Moni’s Heaven Cent and the match race was on. The pair went stride for stride around the last turn and into the stretch and despite Moni’s Heaven Cent’s best effort, Bill Bauer muscled to the lead by three-quarters of a length to take the victory in a lifetime best 1:56 to become the second two-time Massachusetts Sire Stake Champion of the afternoon.
3-year-old Filly Pacing Champion
Dudes Sweet Bet (Dude’s The Man-Sweet Bettor)
Owner-Salvatore Vullo, Chris Lems and James De Armond
Breeder-Triple C Stables and Chris Lems
John Macdonald left with Dudes Sweet Bet and took the lead from the pylon-starting Wolverina (Nick Graffam). But Graffam was out and rolling almost immediately before the :27.1 quarter and had to work hard to gain control in front of the stands. Positions settled for the half until Shakeitoffscarlet (Kevin Switzer Jr.) came roaring first-over and pushed Wolverina to a :27.4 third quarter. That challenge lasted until the top of the stretch when Shakeitoffscarlet faded and Dudes Sweet Bet popped the deuce and ran down Wolverina at the wire to win by two lengths in 1:54.3.
Fields set for $1 million Massachusetts stakes finals Monday
The fields are set for the $1 million finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) that will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 24). Eight divisions valued at $125,000 each will go to post starting at 2 p.m. and the fields appear to be very competitive in these events.
The 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters kick off the action led by two horses that have been battling for three weeks.
Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy) has won two out of three MASS starts and comes into the final as the top point-getter. In his last start he took a new lifetime mark of 1:55.4 while also breaking the Plainridge track and MASS stake record for 2-year-old trotting colts. He will leave from post four for Kevin Switzer Jr.
Yo Lucky Moni (International Moni-Unbelindyble) was the horse who beat Inter Mischief in his lone loss, but that was after Inter Mischief was parked the entire mile. Yo Lucky Moni brought a lot of stake experience with him to Massachusetts after racing in the Kentucky series at Oak Grove over the summer. Yo Lucky Moni starts alongside Inter Mischief in post five for Jimmy Whittemore.
The 2-year-old filly trotting division could prove to be one of the tougher races to handicap because there is a lot of talent throughout the field.
Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) comes in a perfect three-for-three in the MASS and all three wins could be considered well in hand. But the eliminations for this group went split divisions in short fields so nine horses in this race could be a factor here. Milliondollarwall will be driven by Yannick Gingras from post four.
Laurens Hoopla (E L Titan-Tatto You) has won two straight in the MASS after making a break in week one. She took a lifetime mark of 1:56.2 her second start and was game on the front last week. She starts from post seven for Nick Graffam.
Pembroke Moni (International Moni-Possessed By Lindy) won her first MASS start in a lifetime best 1:58 and then was second twice behind Laurens Hoopla in close finishes. The filly drew post three for Scott Zeron.
The 2-year-old pacing fillies has a solid favorite but two horses could certainly upset.
Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) may have been a bit short her first MASS start after being off a month after the New York Sire Stake finals. She has since won back to back starts in a convincing manner that included a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2 last week. Dame will be driven by Jimmy Hardy from post three.
Seafood Beauty (American Ideal-Seafood Annie) has tripped-out behind Dame the last two weeks but was unable to catch her in the stretch. However she is probably still the main threat and has post four for Jay Randall.
Yes I’m Hungry (Stay Hungry-Yes you Can) was the filly who beat Dame the first week, but has since made a break and had broken equipment and did not finish in her last two. If all goes well for her here, she could be the upset pick from post two for Yannick Gingras.
Another tough group is the 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings with three horses very close is ability squaring off.
Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) won two straight MASS races before falling one length short last week. He is the top point and money earner in this group and will again get a lot of public support with Yannick Gingras up from post five.
Luke McGook (Rock ‘N Roll World-Madonna Hanover) beat Rooster Bennett last week and took a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1 doing it. He also has seven wins in the Maine Sire Stakes this year and must be respected from post two with Kevin Switzer Jr.
So Rock N’ Roll (Western Maverick-So So Sweet) also has one MASS win and just finished one-half length behind his stablemate Luke McGook last week after cutting the mile. Off those strong performances, he must be considered from post three for Drew Monti.
The sophomore set kicks off with 3-year-old trotting fillies and it has another somewhat open field.
Dancin On The Wall (Walner-Lovely Lindy) will probably be the public’s choice despite drawing post seven and only winning one of three starts in the stake. After breaking in week one, Dancin On The Wall won handily in 1:56.1, but then finished second last week after a very tough mile in very inclement weather. Yannick Gingras is back at the lines.
Moni Heist (Walner-Nothing But Moni) beat her stablemate Dancin On The Wall last week with a big come from behind brush through a rainstorm and off going. Although the filly shows some breaks, she could be dangerous if she stays on task from post four for Scott Zeron.
The 3-year-old pacing colt and gelding division has been dominated by one horse who comes in undefeated.
Besides going three for three in the MASS, Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate Is Well Said) is also nine out of 11 overall this year and couldn’t be in better form coming into this race. Bruce Ranger steers again from post six.
Use Yah Blinkah (Western Maverick-Calla Fra) won four straight in Maine stakes before finishing second three times to Treacherous Tom here in the MASS. He has always been in play and should be again from post two with Jimmy Hardy.
Striking Impact (Always B Miki-Aunt Caroline) is the defending 2-year-old champion of this division but has been third three times to the aforementioned pair this year. He’s in the conversation from post four for Yannick Gingras.
The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings also have a defending champion who is looking to repeat.
Bill Bauer (E L Titan-Miss Flaggy Meadow) won the MASS final last year and comes into this race on a two win streak with a 1:56.1 lifetime mark taken just last week. However the trotter does show three recent breaks on the form. Looking to become a two-time champion, Bill Bauer will start from post one with Yannick Gingras aboard.
Moni’s Heaven Cent (Muscle Hill-Moni From Heaven) has finished second twice in the MASS behind Bill Bauer and looks to be the main competition if the competition makes a mistake. Jay Randall will steer from post five.
Strongerwithlindy (Walner-Strong Legacy) hasn’t missed the board in the MASS and overall, has done his best work this year over a five-eighth’s mile track. Steve Smith will be in the mix despite post six.
Finally the 3-year-old pacing fillies looks like it could come down to two horses who have stood out this year.
Wolverina (Cheyenne Hollywood-Terri I Fra) just won the $81,172 Maine final which was the filly’s 11th win in a row and 12th win overall this year. She won both of her MASS starts including one in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.2 and is the richest horse of any division coming into these MASS finals. She drew post one with Nick Graffam aboard and is definitely the horse to beat.
The horse with the best shot to beat her is Dude’s Sweet Bet (Dude’s The Man-Sweet Bettor) who also won two MASS legs and also took a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1 in one of them. However, the one time she raced Wolverina this year she finished third. John Macdonald and they will start from post five.
SOMINC and Plainridge Park offer $5,000 Survivor contest Monday
The $2.56 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes wrap up at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 24) when eight $125,000 finals will make up the first “Million Dollar Monday” in the history of the stake.
Aside from the big money and action on the track, the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and Plainridge Park have teamed up to bring the same opportunity to win big money into the grandstand for the attending fans by offering a free Survivor Handicapping Contest with $5,000 in cash up for grabs to the winner.
The object of the contest is to select one winner in each of the live races held on October 24 at Plainridge Park. Horses considered winners will be based on the official race results. In the case of a late scratch or a declared non-starter, the post time favorite will automatically be assigned in place of that horse. Entrants who fail to select a winning horse as the card progresses will be eliminated. The participant who lasts the longest will receive the prize. If there is a tie between two or more contestants, the money will be split equally among them.
Entry blanks along with free program pages will be available at the track on Monday. Entries must be submitted 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the first race which has a post time of 2 p.m. The contest is free to enter for anyone 18-years of age and over and only one entry per person will be accepted. Contestants must be present to win and provide a valid I.D. to collect any prize. Complete rules will be available at the track.
“We wanted to give our loyal customers a chance to win some serious money on one of our biggest race days of the year and with the holidays fast approaching, this is a great opportunity for them to to use their handicapping skills to win big with no cost to them,” said Steve O’Toole, General Manager of Live Racing at Plainridge Park. “Plainridge Park and the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts (who oversees the Massachusetts Sire Stake program) are committed to promoting Standardbred racing in the state and hope that our regulars bring their friends for a chance to win the $5,000, but also to see the finest trotters and pacers bred in the state compete in these finals.”
Treacherous Tom remains unbeaten in Mass Sire Stakes
(Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The third leg for 3-year-old eligibles of the $2.56 million Massachusetts Sire Stake were held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 17) with $260,000 in purses up for grabs with four divisions valued at $65,000 each.
Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate) remained unbeaten in the stake this year after taking his third straight win in the pacing colts and geldings division in a non-betting event held before the first race.
Bruce Ranger put Treacherous Tom in his favorite spot – on the point – and got things his own way from there. With no pressure from behind, he skated through quarters of :26.3, :56.3 and 1:25 before turning for home and pacing away to a 3-½ length win in 1:53.2.
It was the fourth win in a row and ninth overall for the year from only 11 starts for Treacherous Tom, who is owned by Tom and Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson. Fashion Farms bred the winner.
The male trotters were up next and Bill Bauer (E L Titan-Miss Flaggy Meadow) is moving towards becoming a two-time MASS champion after a convincing win.
Moni’s Heaven Cent (Jay Randall) took the early lead and parked Bill Bauer (Yannick Gingras) to the quarter in :28.2 before Gingras was able to get the trotter clear. Once he crossed over and settled in, the race was Bill Bauer’s to win. Moni’s Heaven Cent tracked Bill Bauer from the quarter to the top of the final turn before he tipped and put forth a solid brush against the leader. But Bill Bauer responded and trotted away by 3-¼ length win in a new lifetime mark of 1:56.1.
It was the second straight win for Bill Bauer ($2.10) who is owned by his trainer Paul Kelley, in partnership with Joseph Palillo and Ellen Palillo. Bill Bauer was bred by East Pond Stable.
The filly trot was won by Moni Heist (Walner-Nothing But Moni) who took full advantage of a lot of early action to score late.
It was a four horse dash for the lead that ended up a two horse battle between Dancin On The Wall (Yannick Gingras) and the parked-out Just Liv Broadway (Luke Hanners). These two got to the quarter in :27.4 and continued to spar past the half and up the backside while Moni Heist (Scott Zeron) was far back seventh. Nearing three-quarters, Wonderwall Lindy (Jay Randall) tipped three deep around the fading Just Liv Broadway and engaged Dancin On The Wall . At the same time, Moni Heist tipped three deep around the entire pack. At the top of the stretch Moni Heist was rolling and went right past Wonderwall Lindy and then caught the very game Dancin On The Wall by one length to win in 1:59 in the pouring rain.
It was the first MASS stake win of the year for Moni Heist ($15.00) who was bred and is owned by Moni Maker Stable. Domenico Cecere trains the winner.
As the inclement weather continued, the fourth group to line up were the pacing fillies and Dude’s Sweet Bet (Dude’s The Man-Sweet Bettor) bounced back from a third place finish last week to claim her second win in this series.
Dude’s Sweet Bet (John Macdonald) got away second behind Believe It’s Lindy (Bruce Ranger) while Halleysbigcomet (Drew Campbell) was parked out to the quarter in :27.4. With nowhere to go but up, Campbell pushed on with Halleysbigcomet and got alongside Believe It’s Lindy going to three-quarters as Dude’s Sweet Bet continued to draft at the pylons. Shakeitoffscarlet (Kevin Switzer Jr.) joined the fray at the top of the stretch and a wall of horses, three across, began the trek down the lane leaving Dudes Sweet Bet still looking for racing room. That finally came when the pylon path came clear and Macdonald shot through with Dudes Sweet Bet who finished off the job by winning by 1-¼ lengths in 1:56.1.
Dude’s Sweet Bet ($2.80) is owned by Sal Vullo, James De Armond and Chris Lems, who bred the horse along with Triple C Stables.
The top point-getters from all the preliminary legs will move forward in eight $125,000 Massachusetts Sire Stakes finals during the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts “Million Dollar Monday”, October 24. Post time for that card is 2 p.m.
Records fall in Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge
(Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson)
With perfect fall weather and a lightning fast track greeting the contestants at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 16), stake and track records along with lifetime marks were the order of the day as the third leg of the $2.56 Massachusetts Sire Stakes for 2-year-old eligibles were held.
The trotting fillies were split into two $32,500 races while the remaining three divisions each went one for $65,000 each.
The first filly trot went to Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) who claimed her third straight Mass stake win.
Get The Picture (Jay Randall) left from pylon position and set fractions of :29, :58.3 and 1:27.4 while Milliondollarwall (Yannick Gingras) sat in the pocket waiting to pounce, and that happened at the top of the far turn. Milliondollarwall engaged Get The Picture at the top of the stretch and had a time getting separation from the gutsy Get The Picture after the move. But in deep stretch, Milliondollarwall finally got the advantage and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.2.
It was the fourth win in only five lifetime starts for the heavily favored Milliondollarwall ($2.10) who is owned and was bred by Moni Maker Stable. Domenico Cecere trains the winner.
The second group of trotting girls were bested by Laurens Hoopla (E L Titan-Tattoo You) who won her second consecutive Mass stake.
Nick Graffam went right for the lead from post four with Laurens Hoopla as Pembroke Moni (Yannick Gingras), who also left, dropped into the garden spot. When the race reached the half in :56.3 the top two had gapped from the field with only the Wise One (Bruce Ranger) staying close. Positions remained unchanged until the seven-eighths where Gingras pulled Pembroke Moni and tried to overtake Laurens Hoopla. Although she got closer with every stride, Pembroke Moni could not get by Laurens Hoopla who hit the line on top by a neck in 1:56.3.
Laurens Hoopla ($4.60) was bred and is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and is trained by George Ducharme.
Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy) had a big day winning the trot for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings and broke several records in the process.
Inter Mischief (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took the early lead but yielded it to Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) past the speedy :27.4 quarter. It was there that the favored Te Amo Lindy (Yannick Gingras) made a break and that changed the complexion of the race. Yo Lucky Moni then backed off the half to :58.4 and headed up the backstretch, seemingly in complete control. However in the far turn, Switzer tipped Inter Mischief and got his colt in gear. He got up alongside Yo Lucky Moni and the two trotted together all the way to the wire with Inter Mischief getting the advantage by three-quarters of a length to win in 1:55.4.
The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and it also broke the Mass stake and Plainridge track records for 2-year-old trotting colts.
It was the second stakes win for Inter Mischief ($4.80) and owners Frank Chic and Jamie Lee Sullivan, who also trains the record setter. Inter Mischief was bred by K R Breeding.
The pacing fillies had a field of eight go to post and Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) exerted her muscle to take her second straight victory.
Jimmy Hardy pushed Dame off the gate but Seafood Beauty (Jay Randall) who had pylon position played hardball and would not release the leaver. It wasn’t until past the :27 quarter that Dame took control and crossed over. Once on the point, Dame went to the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:25.3 as Seafood Beauty tried to stay close. But close was not good enough as Dame paced away to a 2-½ length lead down the stretch and won in a new lifetime best 1:54.2.
Dame ($3.00) was bred and is owned by Stephen Richard. Jolene Andrews trains the winner.
Finally it was a full field of nine pacing colts and geldings that lined up with Luke McGook getting up late for a win and a new mark.
Kevin Switzer Jr. put Luke McGook on the point after a battle with Good Will Lindy (Shawn Gray) and then took the field to the quarter in :27.1. However his stablemate So Rock N’ Roll (Drew Monti) was out and rolling early and took the lead from him in front of the grandstand.
As they headed into the second half, Rooster Bennett (Yannick Gingras) moved first-over from fourth and got within close proximity of So Rock N’ Roll. These two went at it around the last turn while Luke McGook drafted behind, waiting for an opening. That came halfway down the stretch when the pylon lane opened up as So Rock ‘M Roll was fighting off Rooster Bennett. Switzer guided Luke McGook through the gap and shot to the front by one-half length at the light and won in 1:54.1.
The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and also tied the Plainridge track record for 2-year-old pacing geldings.
It was the eighth win of the year for Luke McGook ($9.80) who is owned by Leighton Properties and trained by Marc Tardif. Erica Saucier bred the winner.
Switzer was the leading driver on Sunday winning three races during the afternoon.
Mass stake fillies win overnights at Plainridge Park
With the Massachusetts Sire Stakes on hiatus this week, several eligible horses were in overnight events to stay sharp when the big money is back on the table next Sunday (Oct. 16). Two of those entrants were 3-year-old pacing fillies who both scored impressive victories while taking new lifetime marks in the process.
In the $13,500 condition for 5-year-old and under female pacers, Shakeitoffscarlet (Kevin Switzer Jr.) went right for the lead, set solid fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before turning for home and holding off the tripped-out Always Beachy (Bruce Ranger) to win by a neck in a career best 1:54.4.
Shakeitoffscarlet ($3.80) is owned by KDK Standardbreds and is trained by Elisha Lafreniere.
Then later in the $11,000 condition for 4-year-olds and under, Halleysbigcomet (Drew Campbell) also used a front-end performance to beat five opposing fillies. Halleysbigcomet easily cut the half in :56.3 with Little Judith (Kevin Switzer Jr.) in pursuit, before picking up the pace and extending her lead to three at the head of the stretch. Heading for home Campbell let the filly go and she paced away to a 6-½ length victory in 1:54.1, lowering her lifetime mark by three full seconds.
Halleysbigcomet ($3.40) is owned by Kevin Gee and Robert Kopack and is trained by Randy Bickmore.
Massachusetts Sire Stake leader board at break week
The $2.56 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes will be off this weekend after conducting the first two legs of the series in successive weeks. However eligible horses will reconvene for the third preliminary leg at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 16) when 2-year-old action resumes and Monday (Oct. 17) when the 3-year-olds will again line up. The eight $125,000 finals will be held on “Million Dollar Monday” (Oct. 24) at Plainridge Park.
After two weeks of action there are four undefeated horses.
The 2-year-old trotting filly Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) has won convincingly in her two stakes starts while extending her overall winning streak to four races, making her undefeated lifetime. Milliondollarwall is a sister to $1.4 million earner Snow White out of Mom’s Millionaire, who has produced a list of other stake winners that also includes $500,000 winner That’s All Moni. Moni Maker Stable bred and owns the Domenico Cecere-trained filly that was driven to both stake victories by Yannick Gingras.
Another unbeaten freshman in this series is the pacing gelding Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) who too is riding a four race win streak for trainer George Ducharme. Gingras has twice teamed the Nancy and Domenic Longobardi bred and owned Rooster Bennett, who is a brother to $500,000 stake winner So Awesome, out of proven stake producer Teddy Ballgirl.
The 3-year-old two-time winners include the pacing filly Wolverina (Cheyenne Hollywood-Terri I Fra) who is currently boasting a 10-race winning streak. In her most recent win she beat a full field of nine starters while taking a new lifetime mark of 1:53.2 and pushing her season purse total to $113,032. Mike Graffam bred and owns the Nick Graffam driven Wolverina in partnership with William Arnold.
Second year pacing gelding Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate Is Well Said) is also two-for-two in the stake but should come as no surprise because he has been a win machine all year. So far he has claimed eight victories from 10 starts, all at Plainridge Park, with Bruce Ranger in the bike for trainer Joe Nelson. Bred by Fashion Farms, Treacherous Tom has earned $102,205 to this point this year for owners Tom and Scott Dillon.
After the first 20 races contested in the 2022 Massachusetts Sire Stakes, Yannick Gingras is again the leading driver with nine wins with the leading trainers George Ducharme and Domenico Cecere, tied at the top with three wins apiece.
Milliondollarwall, Rooster Bennett undefeated in MASS
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The $2.5 Million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes returned to Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 3) and featured the second round of 2-year-old contests with a total purse of $260,000 up for grabs. There were a total of six races held with the colt trotters and filly pacers going one division for $65,000 each and the colt pacers and filly trotters split into two divisions valued at $32,500 each.
Starting with the trotting fillies, Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) remained undefeated lifetime after scoring her fourth win in four starts while claiming her second MASS victory.
Yannick Gingras gave Milliondollarwall the perfect pocket trip behind Get The Picture (Jay Randall) who led until the top of the stretch while setting even fractions. That’s where Milliondollarwall made her move to the outside and trotted right by Get The Picture en route to a four length win in 1:57.1.
Milliondollarwall ($2.10) was bred and is owned by Moni Maker Stable and is trained by Domenico Cecere.
The other division of female trotters went to Laurens Hoopla (E L Titan-Tattoo You) who more than made up for her miscue last week.
Nick Graffam sat third with Laurens Hoopla while the heavily favored Pembroke Moni (Gingras) got to the half in :58.4. Laurens Hoopla came first-over at that station for the outside grind that saw her draw alongside the leader heading into the stretch. After matching strides to the wire, Laurens Hoopla got the advantage over Pembroke Moni and won by one-half length in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark and only one-fifth of a second off the stake record.
Laurens Hoopla ($9.80) was bred and is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and is trained by George Ducharme.
The pacing colts and geldings fastest division went to Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) who also got his second MASS win and extended his personal win streak to four.
Luke McGook (Kevin Switzer Jr.) bolted to the front with Rooster Bennett (Yannick Gingras) on his back through quarters of :27.3, :58.1 and 1:27.3. Gingras tipped Rooster Bennett in the last turn and drew even with Luke McGook and from there the pair paced furiously to the wire where Rooster Bennett was able to forge forward by a head and win in 1:56.2.
Bred and owned by Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi, the George Ducharme-trained Rooster Bennett returned $2.20.
The second division of this group also had a great stretch duel where So Rock N’ Roll (Western Maverick-So So Sweet) came up big late to claim the win.
So Rock N’ Roll (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took the lead off the gate but Your Brother (Bruce Ranger) made a move past the quarter and gained the front before the half. So Rock N’ Roll then sat in the pocket behind the leader to three-quarters where the pair broke away from the field. When they straightened out for home, Switzer tipped out and unleashed So Rock N’ Roll who then methodically paced right by Your Brother under a line drive to win by one length in 1:57.1, which was a new lifetime mark.
So Rock N’ Roll ($2.20) is trained by Marc Tardif for owner Leighton Property. Leslie Leighton is the winning breeder.
The best of the male trotters this week was Yo Lucky Moni (International Moni-Unbelindyble) who sat behind a speed duel and pounced late for the win.
Te Amo Lindy (Gingras) took the lead but Inter Mischief (Kevin Switzer Jr.) who got away third, pulled quickly and was next to the leader at the quarter pole in :28.1. However, he was unable to gain the lead and Te Amo Lindy rimmed Inter Mischief to the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:27.1 while Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) drafted right behind them. In the last turn Inter Mischief finally tired, giving Yo Lucky Moni the out he needed. While still two lengths behind Te Amo Lindy at the head of the stretch, Whittemore got after Yo Lucky Moni who then got in gear and really started to trot. He flew down the lane and caught Te Amo Lindy by a neck at the line and won in 1:56.1.
Yo Lucky Moni ($8.00) is owned by Verlin Yoder and is trained by Marrissa Chadbourne. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the winner.
Finally in the filly pacing division, Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) bested her peers as the only gate to wire stake winner of the day.
Jimmy Hardy pushed Dame hard for the front and out-fought Seafood Beauty (Jay Randall) for that privilege. Dame crossed over just past the :28 quarter and then laid down the law from there. After getting no legitimate challenge for the next half mile, Dame opened up a two-length advantage by three-quarters that she kept all the way to the line where she won in 1:55.1.
Dame ($6.60) was bred and is owned by Stephen Richard and is trained by Jolene Andrews.
Wolverina, Treacherous Tom continue to roll in Mass stakes
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The second division of 3-year-old eligibles of the $2.5 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes convened at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 2) with four races going for $65,000 each and some winning horses came to play.
In the pacing filly division, Wolverina (Cheyenne Hollywood-Terri I Fra) won her second straight MASS engagement of 2022 by taking advantage of a perfect drive.
Nick Graffam tucked Wolverina second in behind Dude’s Sweet Bet (John Macdonald) who set a pace of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.3 with the field of nine stretched out by 13 lengths. Wolverina continued to follow Dude’s Sweet Bet until midway through the last turn when Graffam tipped along with Shakeitoffscarlet (Kevin Switzer Jr.) and both engaged Dude’s Sweet Bet. The three fillies were almost even across the track all the way down to the wire where Wolverina got the clear advantage by one-half length and won in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.2.
It was the 10th straight win for Wolverina ($6.40) who hasn’t tasted defeat in 3-½ months going back to June 19. Wolverina was bred and is owned by her trainer Mike Graffam, in partnership with William Arnold.
Another streaking horse is Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate Is Well Said) who easily handled the boys in the male pacing division.
Treacherous Tom (Bruce Ranger) went right to the front and took total control of the race. He set solid fractions of :27, :56 and 1:25 while the remainder of the field tried to keep pace. Heading for home, Treacherous Tom stretched out to an easy 2-½ length lead and cruised to victory over Use Yah Blinkah (Jim Hardy) and Striking Impact (Drew Monti) in 1:53.2.
It was the third straight win and eighth of the year in only 10 starts for Treacherous Tom ($2.20) who is owned by Tom and Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson. Fashion Farms bred the winner.
Both trotting winners were piloted by Yannick Gingras who is again the leading driver in this year’s series.
In the trotting filly division, Gingras piloted Dancin On The Wall (Walner-Lovely Lindy) to victory in a solid bounce-back after she made an uncharacteristic break last week.
Tennessee Lindy (Nick Graffam) led at the quarter in :28.1 when Dancin On The Wall made a brush for the front. She got there in easy fashion and then dominated the rest of the way. With no threats coming from behind, Dancin On The Wall hit three-quarters in 1:26.4, rounded the last turn and simply trotted away from the field by three lengths in 1:56.1.
Dancin On The Wall ($2.40) got her third win of the year for breeder/owner K R Breeding. Domenico Cecere trains the winner.
Gingras followed that up with a win behind last year’s 2-year-old male trotting champion Bill Bauer (E L Titan-Miss Flaggy Meadow) who took his first step towards defending his title today.
Moni’s Heaven Sent (Jay Randall) sat on the lead early, but Bill Bauer took the lead in front of the stands and crossed over to the pylons by the half and from there, he won in hand. After passing three-quarters on top by 1-½ lengths, he rounded the turn and trotted home by the same margin in 1:56.3 under a line drive from Gingras.
Bill Bauer ($2.80) got his second win of the year for his trainer Paul Kelley, who co-owns the trotter with Joe Palillo and Ellen Palillo. East Pond Stable was the breeder.
Gingras wins four Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge
(Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The 2-year-olds took center stage in the $2.5 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 26) and four of the five winners were piloted by Hall of Fame driver Yannick Gingras.
There were 11 trotting fillies who entered on Monday so they were split into two $32,500 races. All other divisions went one race for $65,000 each.
Gingras swept both trotting filly contests starting with Milliondollarwall (Walner-Mom’s Millionaire) who took a quick lead and maintained a gapped advantage throughout. With Backstitch (Frank Affrunti) working hard to stay close in second, Milliondollarwall tripped the timer in :30, 1:00.1 and 1:29.3 before taking a three length lead into the stretch and pulled away to a five length victory in 1:59.3.
Milliondollarwall ($2.10) was bred and is owned by Moni Maker Stable and is trained by Domenico Cecere.
In the other split, Gingras got away second with Pembroke Moni (International Moni-Possessed By Lindy) behind The Wise One (Bruce Ranger) who got to the quarter in quick :28.4. Despite the fraction, Gingras was out a moving right past that station and took control in front of the stands. Dictating the second half, Pembroke Moni got a :30.1 breather in the third quarter and then sped away from everybody, coming home in :28.4 to win by 4-¼ lengths in a new lifetime best 1:58 flat.
Pembroke Moni ($2.20) is owned by William Varney and is trained by Mark Ford. Lindy Farms of Connecticut was the winning breeder.
Then Gingras took the pacing colt division with Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) who sat in the pocket behind Good Will Lindy (Shawn Gray) to the half in 1:02 before moving to the outside at the five-eighths. Rooster Bennett took the lead on the outside at three-quarters but Good Will Lindy fought back to regain a head advantage in the last turn. When they hit the stretch the two were even for about five strides when Rooster Bennett swelled up and paced away by two lengths and won in 1:59.1.
Rooster Bennett ($2.10) was bred and is owned by Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi and is trained by George Ducharme.
Gingras completed his stake grand slam with Yes Im Hungry (Stay Hungry-Yes You Can) who worked hard to best the field of seven pacing fillies. Four horses left with Dame (Jim Hardy) grabbing a tenuous lead with Seafood Beauty (Jay Randall) parked out second to the quarter in a fast :27.2. Seafood Beauty then took the lead and paced without a challenge until the three-quarters. That’s where Yes Im Hungry, who had been pacing up the rim since the five-eighths, finally caught the leader. Initially Seafood Beauty turned back the challenge in the turn, but Yes Im Hungry regrouped at the top of the stretch and then pulled away to a 1-¼ length win in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark in her first career win.
Yes Im Hungry ($4.60) is owned by Alagna Racing and Pryde Stables and is trained by Tony Alagna. Holland Racing Stable bred Yes Im Hungry.
The final MASS division was for trotting colts and a full field of nine went postward with Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy) coming out on top. Inter Mischief (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took the lead from RLF’s Jasper (Nick Graffam) just past the :28.2 first quarter and settled in for the duration. After getting to the half in :58.2, Inter Mischief was approached by Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) just past the five-eighths and the two hooked up in a battle after opening up a six length separation from the rest of the field. Yo Lucky Moni took the lead at three-quarters and then Inter Mischief took it back as they entered the stretch. Inter Mischief then got a length advantage and held it to the wire to win in 1:57 and take a new lifetime mark.
Owned by Frank Chick and Jamie Lee Sullivan, who also trains the colt, Inter Mischief ($4.20) was bred by K R Breeding.
Massachusetts Sire Stakes kick off with 3-year-olds at Plainridge
(Photos courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The $2.5 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes kicked off its 2022 season with sophomore trotters and pacers of both genders going postward in five divisions at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 25).
With 13 horses entered, the pacing fillies were split into two $32,500 divisions while all other divisions went one race for $65,000 each.
The first filly pace went to Wolverina (Cheyenne Hollywood-Terri I Fra) who led at every station for driver Nick Graffam and closed it out with a brisk :27.4 final panel to win by 1-¼ lengths ahead of Believe Its Lindy (Bruce Ranger) and Shakeitoffscarlet (Kevin Switzer Jr.) in 1:53.4. The time was a new lifetime mark by a full second.
It was the ninth straight win this year for Wolverina ($3.20) who is co-owned by Willaim Arnold and Mike Graffam, who also bred and trains the filly.
The second division was won by Dudes Sweet Bet (Dude’s The Man-Sweet Bettor) who left sharply for John Macdonald from post seven, took the lead and extended it at each station through the mile. Down the lane she stretched her advantage to 5-½ lengths and stopped the timer in 1:53.1, tying her lifetime best.
Dudes Sweet Bet ($2.80) is owned by Sal Vullo, Chris Lems and James De Armond and is trained by Jessica Okusko. Triple C Stable and Chris Lems bred the winning filly.
The glamour division pace had a full field of eight go postward with the red hot Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate Is Well Said) finding the winner’s circle once again for driver Bruce Ranger. Treacherous Tom took the lead and while Use Yah Blinkah (Jim Hardy) tracked closely from second, set fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.3, but from there it was no contest. Treacherous Tom rounded the final bend and paced home uncontested by 5-½ lengths in 1:52.4.
It was the seventh win in only nine starts this year for Treacherous Tom ($2.80) and owners Tom and Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the razor sharp gelding bred by Fashion Farms.
Moving to the trot, Stamped By Lindy (Muscle Hill-Born Lindy) beat his male rivals with a good effort in a close finish. Yannick Gingras cut the mile with Stamped By Lindy with fractions of :28.4, :59.1 and 1:28.1 and took a two length lead into the home stretch, but good late work by Strongerwithlindy (Steve Smith) put the pressure on the leader late. However despite the strong challenge, Stamped By Lindy still finished the job and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:57 flat.
The Paul Kelley trained Stamped By Lindy ($4.40) is owned by Terrance Smith and Neil Goldstein. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the winner.
Finally in the trotting fillies division, Just Liv Broadway (E L Titan-Black Broadway) got her first ever stake win in impressive style. Just Liv Broadway (Luke Hanners) left against the prohibitive 1-9 post time favorite Dancin On The Wall (Yannick Gingras) and took a clear lead after Dancin On The Wall made a break before the eighth pole. From there Just Liv Broadway got things her own way with only Wonderwall Lindy (Jay Randall) trotting close behind. After they got to three-quarters in 1:27.1, Wonderwall Lindy pulled on the attack, but Just Liv Broadway responded and opened up 2-¼ lengths at the wire and won in 1:56.2.
It was the seventh win of the year for Just Liv Broadway ($19.00) who is owned and bred by Michael E. Eaton and Bob McHugh. Mike Eaton trains the winner.
Mass Sire Stakes, All-Time Massachusetts and Plainridge Records
Seafood Beauty a runaway winner in Mass stake prep at Plainridge
The third $15,000 Nauset Light preview race for 2-year-old pacers was held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept.19) and the Massachusetts-bred Seafood Beauty (American Ideal-Seafood Annie) was a runaway winner as she prepares for the upcoming $2.5 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes.
Jay Randall left with Seafood Beauty and wrangled the lead away from fellow Mass-bred Wicked Scorchah (Jim Hardy) before the :28.1 half. Once on the point, Seafood Beauty got to the half in :57.4 with Hey Junior (Ron Cushing) on the outside, who continued to push the pace to 1:25.4 at three-quarters. Around the far turn, Seafood Beauty began to pull away from the pack and cruised home to victory by 5-1/4 lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.2.
After returning from a midsummer respite following success in the New York Sire Stakes program, Seafood Beauty ($3.20) has now won two consecutive races for owner Seafood Delight Stable and trainer Nick Vamvilis.
Seafood Beauty will be competing in the 2-year-old pacing filly division of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes which begin at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Sept. 24).
Wood End Light is Mass stake preview Thursday at Plainridge
Thursday afternoon’s (Sept. 15) card at Plainridge Park will see a large number of Massachusetts-bred trotters go postward and will provide an early look at some of the horses that will be competing in the $2.5 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes that begin at The Ridge on Sunday (Sept. 25).
The $15,000 Wood End Light in the fourth race is for 2-year-old trotters and features a field of eight — five of which were bred in Massachusetts.
Longtime Massachusetts breeders Ray Campbell Jr. and Al Ross have a total of three entries in the race and all are trained by Walpole, Massachusetts native George Ducharme, who has been competing in this series for decades.
Bravado (Trixton-Grits N Grits) is a brother to the Massachusetts-bred 2013 Hambletonian Champion Royalty For Life (1:51.3, $1,620,166). He has three lifetime starts and finished second twice while making a break in the third. He too won a qualifying race at Vernon Downs in 2:02 by 5-1/2 lengths but has yet to breakthrough in a pari-mutuel event.
Get The Picture (Trixton-Royalty Free) is a sister to the Massachusetts-bred and two time Massachusetts Sire Stake champion Hashtagmadeyalook (1:52.3, $403,126) and Massachusetts Sire Stake champion Crystalline (1:55.2, $167,626). She has only made one unsuccessful lifetime start to date but comes into this race off a sharp third place finish in a qualifier at Vernon, timed in 1:59.4.
RFL’s Jasper (Royalty For Life-Just Like This) has seen the most action of the three with six starts, three of which came in the Ontario Sire Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He just got beat in a maiden race at Plainrdige two weeks ago after cutting the mile in 1:58.2 to finish second by only a neck.
The early favorite in the race is The Wise One (Muscle Hill-Grandma’s Moni) who is owned and was bred by the Moni Maker Stable and is trained by Domenico Cecere. This filly made her first lifetime start at Plainridge last week and was beaten only 2-3/4 lengths in 1:58.3. She did win a qualifying race the week prior in 1:59.1 by 6-3/4 lengths to take that lifetime mark.
Finally, an as of yet unproven starter is the filly Poppy Wow (Crazy Wow-Tori Hall) who has three state-bred brothers. Pirate (1:55.1, $116,727), Tobasco (1:55.4, $187,348) and Raybarnz (1:53.3, $149,345) have all competed in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes and continue to race at Plainridge as aged horses. Poppy Wow has only made two qualifying starts for trainer/driver Ivan Davies and completed both outings smoothly and looks to keep improving for owner/breeders Earl and Kathy Beaman.
There are also three Massachusetts-bred and stake eligible 3-year-old trotters making their final tune-up appearances on Thursday in three overnight races on the program.
In the first race, Moms Cash (Cash Hall-Ksenia) is a sister to Massachusetts Sire Stake champion Do What You Dream (1:57.2, $131,484) and two time Massachusetts Sire Stake champion Simple Kaos (1:54.3, $255,480). Unraced at two and one of only two fillies in this race, Moms Cash just went the race of her life last week, winning in 1:59.3 in her fourth lifetime start after being race timed in 1:58 and change in three consecutive previous outings. Wally Watson will drive the Lisa Watson trained Moms Cash for owner Joel Wheeler. Michelle Larson bred the filly.
The other filly in that race is Shesaworkout (Whataworkout-Final Time) who also was unraced at two and has four lifetime starts, however she has yet to win a race. Her best clocking of 1:59 came in a maiden race that saw her finish 3-1/2 lengths behind both Moms Cash and RFL’s Jasper. Trainer Joe Flynn, who bred her along with Ed Flynn, looks for his filly to continue to build on her work and has Mike Stevenson in the bike once again.
In the third race, Wonderwall Lindy (Walner-Lindy’sleadinglady) is another George Ducharme pupil that was a major factor in the MASS last year scoring two wins and two seconds in the series. She was beaten only a neck in the final by stablemate Tennessee Lindy and was actually the highest money earning 2-year-old trotting filly in the Massachusetts stakes in 2022 ($77,500). She has only two starts so far this year and was just race times in 1:55.3 at Vernon Downs in a qualifier last week. The partnership of Winske, Winske, Michaels and Cluff have this one pointed towards another successful run in the MASS and it starts here with regular driver Jay Randall aboard. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the filly.
Then in the sixth race, Grits N Trix (Trixton-Bourbon N Grits) only had two starts at two with only $375 in earnings to show, but has a very different story to tell this year. Also a sister to Royalty For Life and a full sister to Bravado, Grits N Trix is currently riding a four race win streak and could very well run it to five in here. With a sharp 1:56.1 lifetime mark taken at Vernon Downs on August 5, Grits N Trix will be the wild card in the 3-year-old trotting filly division this year that early on, looks to be one of the most competitive of the eight overall divisions. She comes from the Ducharme, Campbell and Ross tree and is poised to make a run this year.
The $2.5 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes begin on Sunday (Sept. 25) and run through Monday (Oct. 24) when all eight finals will be held. There are 83 2-year-old and 76 3-year-old trotters and pacers eligible this year and the connections of all 159 horses have the following dates circled on their calendars.
Sunday (Sept. 25)
3-year-old first leg
Monday (Sept. 26)
2-year-old first leg
Sunday (Oct. 2)
3-year-old second leg
Monday (Oct. 3)
2-year-old second leg
Sunday (Oct. 16)
2-year-old third leg
Monday (Oct. 17)
3-year-old third leg
Monday (Oct. 24)
2 & 3-year-old finals
The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources
launches new Standardbred breeders website
The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources (MDAR) has just launched a new Standardbred breeding program website that outlines the Standardbred broodmare policy with the intent to make the process less confusing. The site also includes all the necessary updated forms related to the program.
You can access that site and all its related information by clicking this link. There is also a permanent link on our “Resources” page.
The MDAR’s mission is to promote, develop and encourage the breeding of Standardbreds in the commonwealth through the Massachusetts Breeding Program and accompanying Massachusetts Sire Stake program.
Mass-bred pacer Treacherous Tom remains undefeated in 2022
Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old pacer Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate Is Well Said) remains undefeated in 2022 after winning his fifth consecutive start at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Aug. 16) in a $12,500 conditioned race. Bruce Ranger guided Treacherous Tom to the 1:53.3 victory from gate-to-wire for owners Tom and Scott Dillon and trainer Joe Nelson. Treacherous Tom will be competing in the rich Massachusetts Sire Stakes, which start at Plainridge Park on Sept. 25. Fashion Farms bred the promising pacer.
Mass-bred trotting fillies impressive at Plainridge Park
With the lazy, hazy days of summer firmly in place, fall is not too far off and that means the Massachusetts Sire Stakes will be here before long. At Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 5) a pair of Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old trotting fillies who are eligible to the lucrative state sponsored series, each scored impressive victories during the afternoon and both are quickly improving in advance of those stakes.
Dancin On The Wall (Walner-Lovely Lindy) shipped back to Plainridge Park after successive stake engagements in the Zweig at Vernon Downs and the Geers at the Meadowlands — where she was raced timed back-to-back in 1:53.3 — and won a $8,500 non-winners event for 5-year-old and under trotters while taking a new lifetime mark.
Driver Bruce Ranger went right to the front with Dancin On The Wall and cut fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2 while also lengthening the lead at each split. When they turned for home, Dancin On The Wall simply annihilated the field by pulling away to an 11-1/2 length victory in a new career best of 1:54.4.
Ranger also drove Origin Story (Walner-Highscore Kemp) who went a very similar trip in a second non-winners event for 5-year-olds and under that went for $11,500. Origin Story took the lead off the gate and went :28.2, :58 and 1:28 over what was at that point a rain-soaked track. After racing around the final turn, Origin Story turned for home and pulled away to a three length victory in 1:57.1 to extend her current winning streak to four in a row.
Dancin On The Wall and Origin Story are both trained by Domenico Cecere and are owned by K R Breeding, who bred both fillies.
The Massachusetts Sire Stakes begin on Sunday (Sept. 25) and run through Monday (Oct. 24) when all eight finals will be held. There are 83 2-year-old and 76 3-year-old trotters and pacers eligible this year and the connections of all 159 horses have the following dates circled on their calendars.
Sunday (Sept. 25)
3-year-old first leg
Monday (Sept. 26)
2-year-old first leg
Sunday (Oct. 2)
3-year-old second leg
Monday (Oct. 3)
2-year-old second leg
Sunday (Oct. 16)
2-year-old third leg
Monday (Oct. 17)
3-year-old third leg
Monday (Oct. 24)
2 & 3-year-old finals
Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts partner in donating
$10,000 to the Standardbred Transition Alliance
When Plainridge Park hosts the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot on Sunday (July 24), the fourth race has been named “The Standardbred Transition Alliance Pace” in an effort to draw attention to the mission and important work this organization does on behalf of retired Standardbreds. And to show how much the racing community in Massachusetts cares about making sure every retired Standardbred finds a home and career after racing, they are making a collaborative donation to lead by example in this nationwide effort.
Plainridge Park, the Harness Horseman’s Association of New England, the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and the New England Amateur Harness Drivers Club have partnered to make a direct donation of $10,000 to the Standardbred Transition Alliance.
“Everyone who races Standardbreds in Massachusetts understands the importance of the health and well-being of our horses and they all expend a lot of time and money to keep them sound and fit while they race. But it’s equally important to make sure these animals have a safe and secure future once they retire from the track. So the four main groups who represent all our horsemen and women want to make this donation on behalf of everyone racing here to show the collective concern for our equine athletes as they transition into their next phase of life,” said Steve O’Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park.
There will also be the opportunity for all visiting horsemen and women and fans on to help retired race horses on Sunday by making their own donation to the STA at the track. All monies collected will go directly to the organization and everyone who contributes will be entered into a free random drawing for a 2022 Hambletonian package that includes two admissions, VIP Tent tickets, programs and hats, all donated by the Hambletonian Society. The Hambletonian will be held at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday (Aug. 6).
The STA is a non-profit organization with federal 501(c)(3) status whose mission is to accredit, inspect and award grants to approved organizations that acquire, rehabilitate, train and re-home Standardbreds. Funding is generated across the spectrum of the Standardbred industry, including regulatory agencies, horsemen’s groups, tracks, sales companies, farms, and individuals who participate as trainers, drivers, owners, and breeders.
Massachusetts-bred Incommunicado 5-2 favorite
in $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot
Svanstedt brings a formidable pair to Plainridge Park – Photo by Tom Melanson
One is a $1 million earning international star and the other is very much a home-grown champion. But both Ake Svanstedt trainees Alrajah One IT and Incommunicado will be starting in the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (July 24).
The Italian bred Alrajah One IT earned $1.17 million as a13-time winner in Europe with four Group I victories that include the Italian Derby and the Gran Premio d’Europa. He has also raced in Sweden twice in the Hugo Åberg’s Memorial at Jägersro and the Jubilee Cup at Solvalla, where he finished fourth. Other top three stake finishes came in the Gran Premio Duomo and the Lotteria, where he finished second to Face Time Bourbon last October.
Owner Scuderia My Horse Inc. shipped him to the United States in December of 2021 and he has been with the Svanstedt stable ever since. After not racing in the six months since landing in the U.S., Alrajah One IT made two qualifying starts at the Meadowlands that sort of flew under the radar. But it was his first race a week later that turned a lot of heads.
Alrajah One IT won the $147,000 Crawford Farms Open for older male trotters by 2-1/2 lengths over Lovedbythemasses, equaling the stakes record of 1:50.4 at The Meadowlands. In that start Alrajah One IT sat sixth to the half before following cover as his stablemate Ecurie D DK set tough fractions of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:24.4. Then coming down the lane Alrajah One IT swelled up and trotted home in :25.3 to win in 1:50.4 by 2-1/2 lengths for Dexter Dunn.
“In the Crawford he was better than I expected, he came home so fast. Over the last three weeks he’s been real good and on his schedule getting ready. I hope he has a chance to win this race because he’s a horse that’s going to race off a helmet. He’s trained really well coming in to this race,” said Svanstedt.
Unlike his stablemate Alrajah One IT, Incommunicado does not hold international intrigue, but what he does have is home field advantage. Incommunicado is a Massachusetts-bred star that was the 2- and 3-year-old male trotting champion in the Massachusetts Sire Stake, going a perfect seven-for-seven in that series.
Having dual eligibility in New York, at two he finished third in the New York Sire Stake final. Later he went on to the Massachusetts Sire Stakes and won two eliminations and the final by 17-1/4 lengths at Plainridge Park. Then at three, Incommunicado won the Dexter Cup at Freehold and finished third in the Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs. He returned to Massachusetts in September for the Sire Stakes and ran the table again, winning three eliminations and the final by 11-1/2 lengths.
This year he has reset his lifetime mark twice, the latest a 1:51.1, four length romp at the Meadowlands. The following week he drew the rail in the $432,000 Hambletonian Maturity but was interfered with by the starting gate and never got the chance to compete as a result.
Incommunicado comes into the Spirit of Massachusetts most likely in the best form of his life and knowing this surface so well, should give him a definite edge as he vies for the prize.
“Incommunicado has won a lot at Plainridge because he likes tracks shorter than a mile. He’s come on as an older horse but he will need a good trip in here and if we get a check I’ll be happy. There are some good horses in this race. Lovedbythemasses is a very good horse so it won’t be easy to beat him. It’s a very good race.” said Svanstedt.
Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts to give away
children’s books on Spirit Trot Day (July 25)
The Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts will be set up outside the grandstand with information about breeding Standardbreds in Massachusetts as part of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot Day festivities being held on Monday (July 25). They will also be giving away 75 copies of the recently published children’s book “Love To Race”, which tells a story through the eyes of retired Standardbred race horse Derek Bromac N. These books will be signed by author Amber Sawyer and given to the first 75 kids (12 and under) who come to their table and ask for one. Children must be accompanied by an adult in order to request a free book.
Massachusetts breds putting in good early season work
Massachusetts bred 2 and 3-year-old trotters and pacers who are eligible to the $2.4 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes later this year have already gotten underway and are winning at tracks across the northeast and the list starts with a pair of 3-year-old trotters who made a lot of news at two, and are ready to do the same again in their sophomore campaigns.
Branded By Lindy (Chapter Seven-The Lindy Label) became the all-time fastest 2-year-old trotting colt ever bred in Massachusetts on the strength of his 1:52 mile at the Red Mile last fall. He also had eight wins in 11 starts and earned $230,650 for his efforts. He won six out of seven Kentucky series stakes and finished third in the $600,000 Breeders Crown. This year he won his qualifier at The Meadowlands on Saturday (May 28) in 1:52.1, which was just 1/5th of a second off his lifetime mark and then won handily in his 3-year-old debut at Vernon Downs in a New York Sire Stake timed in 1:54.2. In his only other start this year he finished second as the heavy favorite in the $187,500 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon.
Branded By Lindy spent three weeks at number one in Ken Warkentin’s Road To The Hambletonian ranking and currently sits at number three.
Raised By Lindy (Walner-Birthright) also etched her name in the history books at two, becoming the all-time fastest 2-year-old trotting filly ever bred in Massachusetts after winning in 1:51.3 at Lexington last year. A multiple stakes winner, Raised By Lindy finished second by a nose to Joviality S in the $600,000 Breeders Crown and pushed her earnings to $295,243 as a result. In 2022 the filly had a winning qualifier at the Meadowlands in 1:53.4 and followed that up with an overnight win in the Open at Vernon against aged trotters where she won by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1. In her most recent start at the Meadowlands on Saturday (June 25) she finished a fast-closing fourth to Molotov Cocktail timed in 1:52.3 with a last quarter in :26.2 and did beat King Of The North (who finished sixth) who is currently ranked seventh in Warkentin’s Hambo summary.
Raised By Lindy is Hambletonian Oaks eligible and is positioned to be a major player in that stake as well.
All four of last year’s Massachusetts Sire Stake champions have also come back strong this year and are working their way towards repeating in the MASS series that starts on Sunday (Sept. 25).
3-year-old pacing gelding Striking Impact (Always B Miki-Aunt Caroline) has won four races out of eight starts all of which were taken at Plainridge Park. He took a new lifetime mark of 1:52.2 on May 5 and is showing the kind of form that won him the $100,000 final last year.
3-year-old trotting colt Bill Bauer (E L Titan-Miss Flaggy Meadow) has already seen stake action after competing in the $100,000 Bunker Hill Trot at Plainridge and $15,000 New York Sire Stakes Excelsior at Tioga, but unfortunately made a break in each event. That being said he also took a new lifetime mark of 1:56.3 in a 3-1/4 length overnight romp at Harrah’s Philly.
3-year-old pacing filly Pembroke Legacy (Baron Biltmore-Pembroke Oasis) has come back as good as she was last year and has already won two of three 2022 starts that include two Maine Sire Stakes at Bangor Raceway. She has not yet improved her best speed mark but has been competing solely over half mile tracks so far this year.
3-year-old trotting filly Tennessee Lindy (Muscle Hill-Nashville Lindy) just started back in June but has already taken a new mark of 1:57 flat at Plainridge in her second outing. However her first stakes action is still in the offing.
Here are some other Mass-breds who are already stake winners this year.
3-year-old pacing colt Galactic Storm (American Ideal- Betit To Getit) has won a $15,000 NYSS Excelsior in a lifetime best time of 1:54.1 at Vernon Downs after finishing second the week before in that same series at Saratoga Raceway, timed in 1:53.4.
3-year-old pacing colt -Deal With It Roman (Western Maverick-Deal With Life) who has won three out of four starts including two Maine Sire Stakes at Bangor Raceway, has also taken a new lifetime mark of 1:58.3 over the half at Cumberland Raceway.
3-year-old pacing filly Dude’s Sweet Bet (Dude’s The Man-Sweet Bettor) has also won two starts in 2022 including one $15,000 NYSS Excelsior plus she has also finished second and third in that series. She took a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1 at Vernon Downs, scoring a 7-1/4 length romp in an overnight.
Recent Mass-bred overnight winners include:
2-year-old pacing colts
Rockaroundsam (Rock N’ Roll World-Swingnsway Sammy K) 2:04.1 at Cumberland Raceway
2-year-old trotting colts
Outlawofthevalley (Pembroke Slugger-Fox Valley Demon) 2:11.4 at Cumberland Raceway
3-year-old pacing colts
Daughtry (Western Maverick-Unknown Artist) 1:59.1 at Bangor Raceway
Ranaldi (Western Maverick-Fire Can Fly) 1:58.4 at Bangor Raceway
Treacherous Tom (Captaintreacherous-Kate Is Well Said) 1:55.1 at Plainridge Park
Use Yah Blinkah (Western Maverick-Caila Fra) 1:59.1 at Bangor Raceway
3-year-old pacing fillies
Adela (Heston Blue Chip-Real Armor) 1:59 at Cumberland Raceway
Seafood Sapphire (American Ideal-Seafood Annie) 1:55.3 at Plainridge Park
3-year-old trotting colts
Stamped By Lindy (Muscle Hill-Born Lindy) 1:58 at Harrah’s Philadelphia
Warriorofthevalley (Pembroke Slugger-Fox Valley Shannon) 2:03.2 at Cumberland Raceway
3-year-old trotting fillies
Origin Story (Walner-Highscore Kemp) 1:54.4 at Plainridge Park
Just Liv Broadway (E L Titan-Black Broadway) 1:55.4 at Plainridge Park
Pembroke Faye (Pembroke Slugger-Pembroke Maiden) 2:10.4 at Bangor Raceway
Finally Mass-breds who have recently won qualifiers include:
2-year-old pacing colts
Luke McGook (Rock N’ Roll World-Madonna Hanover) 2:04 at Cumberland Raceway
Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) 1:59.1 at Vernon Downs
2-year-old pacing fillies
Dame (Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window) 1:57.1 at Scioto Downs
Katelyn’s Angel (Western Maverick-Avacal Bliss) 2:02.4 at Cumberland Raceway
Polyester (Dude’s The Man-Love You Bye) 1:57.4 at Vernon Downs
Seafood Beauty (American Ideal-Seafood Annie) 1:58.3 at Plainridge Park
2-year-old trotting colts
Bravado (Trixton-Bourbon ‘N Grits) 2:02 at Vernon Downs
Inter Mischief (International Moni-BLinded By Lindy) 2:00.4 at Harrah’s Philadelphia
RFL’s Jasper (Royalty For Life-Just Like This) 2:01.3 at Vernon Downs
Te Amo Lindy (Muscle Hill-Lovely Lindy) 1:59.1 at the Meadowlands
Yo Lucky Moni (International Moni-Unbelindyble) 2:00.3 Hoosier Park
2-year-old trotting fillies
Backstitch (Muscle Mass-Dancing Coed) 2:00.3 at Vernon Downs
Get The Picture (Trixton-Royalty Free) 2:02.3 at Vernon Downs
Laurens Hoopla (E L Titan-Tatoo You) 2:02 at Vernon Downs
3-year-old pacing colts
Storm Artist (Gaelic Thunder-Art N Sassy) 2:00.3 at Cumberland Raceway
3-year-old trotting fillies
Grits N Trix (Trixton-Bourbon ‘N Grits) 1:57.1 at Vernon Downs
Shesaworkout (Whataworkout-Final Time) 2:02.2 at Vernon Downs
Massachusetts champion Bill Bauer has home field advantage in
Battle of Bunker Hill trot
(Bill Bauer shown here winning the $100,000 final of the Massachusetts Sire Stake in 2021. Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson)
The inaugural edition of the $100,000 Battle of Bunker Hill trot for 3-year-old trotters will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 16) when the Grand Circuit returns to Massachusetts for the second of three 2022 engagements. One of the starters in this first time stake is Massachusetts-bred Bill Bauer (EL Titan-Miss Flaggy Meadow) who will be making his seasonal debut. However his last start last year was a win in the $100,000 Massachusetts Sire Stake final at Plainridge that made him the 2-year-old male trotting champion.
Bill Bauer is owned by another Massachusetts native, his trainer Paul Kelley, along with Joseph Palillo III and Ellen Palillo. Kelley is no stranger to top trotting stock. He guided the career of Obrigado to multiple stake wins and over $1.9 million in earnings. Kelley liked what he saw from Bill Bauer last year and says he looks for more improvement moving forward.
“Earlier last year in the Excelsiors in New York I was lucky because I had Wally Hennessy driving him and he gave the horse the chance to gain experience and confidence. Plus I knew that his best chance of making money last year was going to be at Plainridge based on the purses they race for versus the Excelsior.” said Kelley. “So we just tried to educate him through the summer and get to Plainridge and hopefully he would have his game together by then. There were a few bumps along the way but when we got to the final, things worked out for us for sure.”
Having those foundation miles under his belt, Kelley felt it was time to let Bill Bauer out a notch when he got to Massachusetts and they left with him in three consecutive stake starts.
“The first leg he cut the mile and just got caught at the wire and finished second by a neck. The second start he had the lead but ended up taking a trip. He pulled in the stretch, threw his head and made a break. In the final he had post six but with the persistent rain and sloppy track, that was the place to be. He cut the mile again, Drew (Monti, his driver) kept him in the two path where the footing was good and he won by eight lengths and took a mark of 1:57.4,” said Kelley.
The MASS final was Bill Bauer’s last start of the year and also his last as a colt. Kelley gelded him a week later and now looks forward to more improvement from the horse.
“I just knew he’d be a better horse as a gelding. I like turning horses out a lot and in groups and if he were to stay a colt that was a problem. He had a great off-season. He grew, he filled out real well and he trained down very well.”
Bill Bauer has two qualifiers at Harrah’s Philadelphia to this point this year and Kelley was impressed with both outings and feels he’s ready to race well in his first start of the year in this stake.
“I know there are some decent colts coming up there for the Bunker Hill and I was a little on the fence on whether or not to enter. But I figured he’s been up to Plainridge, he knows the track and got over it very well last year so I thought I’d take the shot. It’s early May and there are sires stakes going on in New Jersey and Pennsylvania so horses have other commitments too, so you don’t know where people will throw in. We’re looking forward to it,” Kelley concluded.
After this start, Bill Bauer will again compete in the New York Sire Stakes over the summer and make his return to Plainridge Park this fall to defend his title in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes starting in September.
There will be five horses going postward in the $100,000 Battle of Bunker Hill Trot which is carded as race five. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.
Mullinax becomes the fastest pacer ever bred in Massachusetts
(Mullinax shown here winning a leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stake in 2021. Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson)
On the strength of his lifetime best winning effort of 1:49.1 at The Meadowlands on Saturday night (April 9), Mullinax (American Ideal-Up Front Kellie Jo) became the fastest Standardbred of any age, gait or gender bred in Massachusetts.
Tim Tetrick was locked in fifth at the rail with Mullinax at the top of the lane before finding open road along the pylons and bolting home in :26.2 to win by one length to establish the new record.
Mullinax was foaled at the Longobardi Farm in Norfolk, Mass., in 2018 and became a Massachusetts Sire Stake champion at two while setting a track and stakes record for a 2-year-old pacing colt (1:53.4). He then repeated as champion at three, sweeping all three legs and the final while setting another stakes record for a 3-year-old pacing colt (1:51.3).
Now four, Mullinax has 34 lifetime starts with 12 wins, seven seconds and five thirds with earnings of $356,724. Bred by his namesake, the late Ed Mullinax and his trainer Mark Ford, the fastest horse ever to come out of the state of Massachusetts is owned by William Varney of Bangor, Maine.