Two horses took two different paths to victory in the day’s featured races at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 16).
In the $14,000 "Plainridge Special," SB Mikes Hot Beach (Heath Campbell) led every step of the way and held off late challenges by Quick Shot (Eddie Davis Jr.) and Cherokee Hiflyzane (Ron Cushing) to win by a length in 1:52.1, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner.
Since being claimed on August 28, SB Mike’s Hot Beach ($5.40) has had a win, three seconds and a third in six starts for owner William Mc Elvain Jr. and trainer James Dunn.
Then in the $10,000 conditioned pacing event, Grand Theft (David Ingraham) got away seventh in the field of nine before pulling second over at the half and then tip three-deep around the last turn to out-muscle Pick Six (Mark Beckwith) and Silver Bullet (Steve Nason) down the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:53.2, which was also a new seasonal mark.
Grand Theft slipped by the betting public at 49-1 and blew up the tote board with a $100.40 payoff. It was the second win of the year for the 5-year-old gelded son of Art Major who is owned by Kristie Leigh Farm Inc., Joseph Betro, Stephen Giagni and Stephen Demeter. Grand Theft is trained by Elisha Lafreniere.
Greg Merton won five more races on Monday, pushing his win total for the meet to 208. Jim Hardy had a double and that moved him to 98 wins for the year and in second place in the driver’s race. The top three trainers of the meet each had one win on the card: Monique Cohen now has 56 wins, Jim Hardy 47 wins and Elisha Lafreniere 45 wins.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 17) at 2:30 p.m.--By Tim Bojarski/Plainridge