After competing against Hannelore Hanover, Crazy Wow and Marion Marauder in the Breeders Crown last month, Mambo Lindy returned home to Plainridge Park for his first start in 19 days and won the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot in commanding style on Thursday afternoon.
The strategy was simple for driver Greg Merton; go to the front and win the race. After floating out fifth over the rain-soaked track until everyone seated, Mambo Lindy then brushed for the lead and had it by the quarter in :28.3. From there it was pretty much a training mile. Sitting chilly in the bike, Merton guided his horse to the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4 before letting loose on the lines and letting Mambo Lindy do it on his own.
Mambo Lindy visibly accelerated around the last turn and put some space between himself and most of the field. With only Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) still in the conversation, Merton didn’t raise a line or move a muscle because Mambo Lindy was on cruise control and rolled to a measured length victory in 1:54.3, with a last quarter in quick :27.4 over the sloppy track.
It was the 10th win in 17 starts this year for the heavily favored Mambo Lindy ($2.10) who now has $114,375 on his card for owners Greathorse of Massachusetts. Frank Antonacci trains the 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover.
In the $12,000 conditioned undercard trot, it was bombs-away as 30-1 Neverdie (Chris Long) came barreling down the lane from sixth at the head of the stretch to overtake fellow 36-1 longshot Annie OK (Truman Gale) at the wire to win by a length in 1:56.3, blowing up the tote board.
Owned by Mike Graham and Mike Cushing (who also trains him), the sixth win of 2017 for Neverdie was memorable for the betting public. He paid $65.20 to win and triggered a 4-9-3-all Superfecta that paid $17,321.20.
Greg Merton scored three more wins on Thursday pushing his meet total to 225.