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Mass-eligible Ry's Red Rocket scores at Plainridge

September 04, 2020

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Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old Ry’s Red Rocket (Sunshine Beach-Mo Molly Blue Chip) will be a formidable foe in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes that start later this month after she tuned up with a commanding win in the $15,000 feature pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 3).
Matty “Ice” Athearn left with Ry’s Red Rocket and dictated the entire race. After hitting the half in a pedestrian :57.1 with nobody arguing the point, Always About Paul (Jim Hardy) made a first-over move and attempted to challenge the leader. He did prompt a :28.1 third quarter but never got closer than a length away. After rounding the final bend, Ry’s Red Rocket kicked away to a four-length lead and cruised home under a casual line drive to win in 1:54.1.
It was the fourth win of the year for Ry’s Red Rocket ($4.00) who is owned by Linwood Higgins and trained by Gretchen Athearn.
Matty and Gretchen Athearn completed a driver/trainer double after scoring the first lifetime win with Roll With Fire (1:57.2, $5.20).
In the first of two $12,000 conditioned secondary features -- one for fillies and mares and one for colts and geldings -- Mary Goodnight (Shawn Gray) was locked in fifth on the pylons at the top of the lane when the one-path parted like the Red Sea, allowing Gray room to drive his mare into contention and then catch the front running American Arrow (Mitchell Cushing) at the wire by a head in 1:53.
It was the second win in the last three starts for Mary Goodnight ($20.40) and owner Joey Mcwhinnie. Scott Rollins does the training.   
Then in the male split, Sea Isle City (Shawn Gray) sat the pocket behind Ok Kudo (Jay Randall) until they spiralled off the last turn where Gray pulled right line and flew right by the leader on his way to a 1:51.1 lifetime best victory.
Sea Isle City ($11.60) captured his third win of the year for owners William Ethier and Barbara Ethier and trainer Jamie Gerard.
Shawn Gray completed his day with a driving hat trick after winning also with Beast Mode (1:52.4, $10.20)
Driver Mitchell Cushing had a double on Thursday as well.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Sept. 4) at 2 p.m. Friday’s card features the $15,000 Nauset Light for 2-year-old pacers and the $15,000 Wood End Light for 2-year-old trotters. These races are annually a primer for the Massachusetts Sire Stake and 11 of the 16 starters on Friday are MASS eligible. The state-bred series starts at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Sept. 27).--By Tim Bojarski/Massachusetts Standardbred Owners Association
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