More records broken in MASS finals
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More records were broken as the best state-bred Standardbreds convened one more time for the $720,000 finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon. Forty-six horses competed in eight $90,000 divisions and generated some impressive miles as a result.
The best performance of the day was undoubtedly put forth by Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) in the 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings division. After chasing fast fractions set by Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) driver Steve Smith pulled the pocket at the top of the stretch and cruised right by to win by two-lengths in 1:53.3.
The time was a new lifetime mark for Big Man Ev as well as a new stake and track record, both of which were just set by him on Oct. 2.
It was the ninth win of the year for Big Man Ev ($2.60) who now has earned $142,300 in 2017. Julie Miller trains the winner who is owned by the Andy Miller Racing Stable Inc., the Lindy Racing Stable and Harvey Eisman. The Lindy Racing Stable bred Big Man Ev.
Trainer George Ducharme had his stable ready to roll and three of his students got straight A’s and large checks for their efforts in Monday’s finals with driver Chris Lems in tow.
In the 2-year-old trot for colts and geldings, Hashtagmadeyalook (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) made it two wins in a row going gate to wire in 1:57 after seating Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) and keeping his closest competitor at bay the whole mile, eventually winning by two lengths.
Hashtagmadeyalook ($4) who set the stake and track record for his age, sex and gait in the last leg boosted his earnings to $77,550 for owner and breeder Ray Campbell
Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) won her fourth straight MASS outing this year, leading the entire way in the 2-year-old trotting fillies division to win in 1:58.2 by a length over stablemate Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet), who tracked her the entire mile.
Bag O Chips ($NB), who reset the stake and track record twice during the preliminary legs, now boasts $93,100 on her card this year for owner Ray Campbell. The Linwood Farm of Pennsylvania bred Bag O Chips.
And Ducharme’s third victory of the day came with Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) in the 3-year-old trotting fillies division. After making a break before the start, Onangelwings regained her composure and had a five-length lead by the quarter and eventually ran away with a wrapped-up fourth-length victory in 1:58.4, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner.
Onangelwings ($NB) now has four wins in five 2017 starts and has banked $90,160 as a result. George Ducharme, Al Ross and Paul Fontaine both bred and own the winner.
In the 2-year-old pacing fillies division, stake and track record holder Delco Dusty (Jereme’s Jet-Gypsy’s Good Girl) lived up to her billing, winning easily in 1:55. After getting away third behind the heavily favored Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) who led to three-quarters in 1:25.2, Delco Dusty tipped three-deep off the last turn and flew home to win by two.
It was the third win of the year for Delco Dusty ($6.00), all three of which were in MASS events. The Heidi Rohr-trained filly has now put $82,803 in the account of her owner Jesse De Long, who also bred the winner.
The 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding final went to I’m A Clown (I’m Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) who left from post eight and got parked out to the quarter in :28.2 before clearing to lead the rest of the way en route to a two-length win in 1:57.1.
Driven by Shawn Gray for trainer Kevin Switzer, I’m A Clown ($7.60) has now earned $69,837 for owner Nelson Malin, who bred the winner with KDK Standardbreds.
Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy’s Bandita) is now a perfect four-for-four in MASS action this year after pulling at the half and destroying the field coming home, winning in a nine-length, 1:54.2 romp in the 3-year-old final for pacing colts and geldings.
Bred and owned by the Lindy Farms, Lindy The Kid ($NB) has now earned $94,175 under the tutelage of trainer Frank Antonacci. Greg Merton drove the winner.
And in the 3-year-old pacing fillies final, Tanzanite Love (I’m Gorgeous-Love Rocks) trailed the runaway Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) by eight lengths at the quarter before getting in gear past the half and opening up a four-length lead on the front end at the wire, winning in 1:55.3.
It was the second win in a row and third win of the season for Tanzanite Love ($NB) who was driven to victory by Mike Stevenson for trainer Robert Marston. The winner has now earned $77,734 for owner, the Denmar Stable of Florida. KDK Standardbreds was the breeder of Tanzanite Love.
Five stake and four track records were either tied or broken (two of them twice) during competition in the MASS this year and this is attributed to the renewed interest and investment in breeding Standardbreds in the state of Massachusetts on the success of the Race Horse Development Fund. And as a result, dignitaries from both sides of the fence are excited about where the program is headed.
"I think what we have seen in the Sire Stakes this year is absolutely fantastic, especially for those that have stuck with the program and continued breeding mares through thick and thin" said Steve O’Toole, director of racing at Plainridge Park. "The breeders association has done a great job over the years keeping the program going and I am pleased to see their efforts rewarded with the resurrection of the Massachusetts Breeding program and Sire Stake races."
"The Race Horse Development Fund has resulted in a renewed interest in breeding horses in Massachusetts" said Bob McHugh, president of the Harness Horse Association of New England. "The number of Massachusetts bred horses increased from 44 in 2014 to 111 in 2017 and the continued upward trend will ensure that many more Mass-bred horses will be racing well into the future."