$250k Spirit of Massachusetts back at Plainridge
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After a one-year hiatus, Grand Circuit racing will return to New England when Plainridge Park hosts the second edition of the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot for 3-year-old and older trotters. And new for 2019 will be the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace for 3-year-old and older fillies and mares.
Both races will be contested on Sunday (July 28) and are presented by Plainridge Park Casino and the Harness Horseman’s Association of New England (HHANE).
With the final sustaining payments having been made on Friday (March 15), the list of eligibles for the 2019 edition of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot is complete and includes a total of 24 trotters comprised of 23 horses and geldings and one mare.
Among the group of possible entrants are two Hambletonian winners, six millionaires, the world’s record holder for the gait and a roster of top notch trotting talent that could headline at any track in North America.
Horses that are likely to start include 2016 Hambletonian winner, trotting Triple Crown winner and Dan Patch Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder (Muscle Hill-Spellbound Hanover 1:51.2, $3,140,880), 2015 Hambletonian winner and Dan Patch Trotter of the Year Pinkman (Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster 1:51, $2,795,539) and the fastest trotter in the history of the sport Homicide Hunter (Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer 1:48.4, $1,730,177).
The first edition of this stake was held in 2017 when JL Cruze (Crazed-Topcat Hall 1:49.4, $1,354,202) and Andrew McCarthy toured the Plainridge Park oval in a track record time of 1:51.2 to upset the field at 60-1. Although JL Cruze is not nominated to this year’s race, his track record still stands and it will be in the cross-hairs of this stellar field in July.
The inaugural $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace has drawn 24 mares and could prove to be a powerhouse race considering the horses that are eligible.
The field is led by the 2018 Dan Patch Older Pacing Mare of the Year Shartin N (Tintin In America-Bagdarin 1:48.2, $1,635,728), the 2018 Dan Patch 3-year-old pacing filly award recipient Kissin In The Sand (Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate 1:47.4, $1,096,945), the 2017 Dan Patch 2-year-old pacing filly award recipient Youaremycandygirl (American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane 1:48.2, $1,469,938) and Bettor Joy N (Bettors Delight-Joyfulbelle 1:50.4, $226,917).
The track record for older pacing mares at Plainridge Park is held by Shesjustadelight N who scorched the five-eighths mile oval in 1:51 back in 2016. Clearly there is sufficient firepower within this group of side-wheeling lasses to lower that mark in the first edition of this exciting new stake.--By Tim Bojarski/Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
A complete list of all 24 eligibles to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot can be found by clicking here.
A complete list of all 24 eligibles to the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace can be found by clicking here.