Briefly, the second longest shot on the board, took control late in the mile to win the $25,000 Bert Beckwith Memorial Pace at Plainridge Racecourse on Monday afternoon (Sept. 3). The time was 1:53.4.
Driven by Mike Eaton, the 14-1 shot took full advantage of a two-hole trip and eased past pacesetting Gracie Gracie (John Beckwith) halfway down the stretch. Hurricane Emily (Jim Hardy) rallied for the place spot, while Gracie Gracie held the show position.
The time was a lifetime mark for Briefly, who is owned by the Upland Farmand trained by Don Guidette, Jr.
The Beckwith Pace capped an eventful day at Plainridge, which started just past 12 noon when the veteran harness racing journalist Jean Emerson became the first woman to join the track's Wall of Fame.
Shortly thereafter, nine of the Wall members took to the track in the annual Legends Driving Championship; however, with Ted Wing a late scratch, Mark Beckwith pinch hit, with the caveat that his points would not count in the competition. When the dust cleared in the three-race competition it was Peter Blood on top, topping runner-up Greg Bowden to grab the winner's share of the $8,000 purse.
The theme of Beckwith Day 2012 was a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions of women to New England harness racing. Right from the get go those abilities were on display.
In the opening race of the card, trainers Dawn Anderson, Jennifer Allen and Lynn Silva took the first three spots, combining for a $4,600 trifecta that should have been a hunch players delight on the special day.
When Diane Hellen's Budlightning won the second race, she and Anderson had provided the largest crowd in years with a $129 Daily Double.
Later in the program the veteran trainer-driver Bonnie Rush drove BJ Rory to an upset victory in the Bucky Day Memorial, establishing a lifetime mark for the Massachusetts bred trotter.
Other notable winners on the card included Ed Nowak's Native Speed, who won the Stan Bergstein Memorial Pace; Pocketful Of Power, who set a new lifetime mark while winning the Joe Hartmann Memorial Pace; and The Lindy Reserve, who overcame much traffic difficulty to win the Ron Pasquantonio Memorial Trot. (Plainridge)