A Sweet Ride goes wire-to-wire for Plainridge win
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After experiencing broken equipment in his first start of the year last week in a free-for-all event at Scarborough Downs, A Sweet Ride bounced back with a gutsy gate-to-wire effort in the $10,000 conditioned pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 17).
A Sweet Ride (Jimmy Whittemore Jr.) left hard to take the front and got there with no problem. While Whittemore laid-out flat in the bike grabbing leather, the leader tripped the timers in :27.2 and :55.2, dictating from a loose two-length advantage.
Sinners Prayer (D.T. Sumner), who had been getting the trip in second to this point, pulled pocket up the backside to challenge the leader. But when he did, Shinobu Hanover (Greg Merton) snuck up the rail and into the void and was now on A Sweet Ride’s back. Coming off the turn, A Sweet Ride held Sinners Prayer at bay on the outside and had Shinobu Hanover locked in tight behind him and it remained like that all the way down the stretch.
With only a few hundred feet to the wire, Shinobu Hanover found daylight at the pylons and flew alongside the leader. But A Sweet Ride had enough left in the tank to tough out the victory in 1:52.4.
It was the first win of the year for A Sweet Ride ($10.20), the 45th of his career and it pushed his lifetime earnings to $469,032. The 8-year-old gelded son of Dontgetinmyway is owned by Philip Scott McKenzie and is trained by Jamie Gerard.
There were major payouts coming and going on the card today at The Ridge. In the first race, Feel My Pain (Jim Hardy) was overlooked by the betting public but won by six-lengths in 1:55.1 and paid $23.20. The win also triggered a healthy 4-7-3 trifecta payout of $2,198.00. And in the last race, Wheelaway (Steve Nason) came flying late on the outside to win by a nose in 1:54 at 40-1 and paid $82.80. The 2-4-5 trifecta combination sent the fans who had it home happy with a $1,169.80 payout.
Steve Nason, Jimmy Whittemore and Ron Cushing all had driving doubles on the afternoon and trainer Jamie Gerard scored two victories for his stable as well.
Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (April 18) with post time at 4 p.m. (Plainridge)