Gray finds Plainridge winner’s circle in 6 straight races
September 10, 2020
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It was better than a hat trick or a grand slam; it was “Graymazing”.
That’s the only way you could describe what Shawn Gray did at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon. He won six consecutive races in which he drove, much to the delight of those who backed him at the windows. After finishing third in the first race, Gray won races three through seven and then race nine. He did not have a ride in race eight. Gray’s win total also accounted for over half of the races won during the 11-race card.
Among Gray’s six-pack was a victory in the featured $12,000 winnerd-over distaff pace with Firstup.
Firstup got away fourth in a :26.3 first panel but was on the point by the half. But she was not alone. Pasultimatedelite N (Drew Campbell) was pacing strong right beside her, pushing the issue in a 1:22 third quarter. Just past that station Gray asked the mare for more and the mare responded. Firstup opened up a four-length lead with an eighth of a mile to go and kicked away to a wrapped-up 7 1/2-length advantage at the wire in 1:50.3. The time was a new career mark.
It was the second straight win for Firstup ($4.60) at Plainridge Park for owner Jesmeral Stable. Sheena Mcelhiney trains the mare.
Gray also won with Weekend Getaway (1:51.1, $3.80), Suzie Blue Chip (1:54.4, $2.60), Gottalovemyshadow (1:51.1, $4.20), Brenda’s Got It (1:53, $6) and Mary Goodnight (1:53, $3.80).
Gray’s sulky superiority gave him an outrageous .889 universal driver rating for the day and vaulted him into the lead for driving honors for the meet. Gray now has 42 wins, one ahead of Drew Monti and six in front of Bruce Ranger and Mitchell Cushing who are tied for third. Gray is also currently seventh in North America for UDR among all drivers with between 300 and 499 starts. (Standardbred Owners of Mass.)