After watching several in the field take their best shots early, Shesjustadelight N made her move and took control late en route to winning the $15,000 fillies and mares winners-over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon over a rain-soaked track.
The front end was a hot piece of property, as the leaders changed hands fast and furiously. Empty Gesture (Chris Long) took an early lead before Watts Was I Drinkn (Jim Hardy) grabbed it from her at the quarter. But as soon as she hit the pylons, Show Runner (Greg Merton) was out and rolling and made the front as they passed under the wire for the first time. But positions were still up for grabs as the restless group of girls produced another attempting the front past the half.
Shesjustadelight N (Mitchell Cushing) was out and rolling into the second turn with Seventimesavirgin (Nick Graffam) following her. Shesjustadelight N got to Show Runner’s wheels at the five-eighths and stayed there until the three-quarter pole, when Show Runner started to tire. Around the final bend, Shesjustadelight N cleared the front and Seventimesavirgin tipped out for the stretch drive. But Shesjustadelight N had a one-length advantage and Cushing made sure it stayed that way, as he rocked her down to the wire to win in 1:51.4, which was a new seasonal mark for the mare.
It was the third win in only 14 starts this year for Shesjustadelight N ($3.80), who now has $51,600 on her card for owners Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer.
Cushing had a big day at Plainridge, winning four races on the card. Besides Shesjustadelight N, Cushing also scored with Zoe Blue Chip (1:54.2, $17.60), Le Gambe (1:55.4, $4.40) and Freetime (1:54.2, $4.40).
Not to be overlooked, Jim Hardy also had a driving hat trick which included two horses that he also trains.
The sixth-race Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta was finally hit. A 20-cent ticket on the straight combination of 6-9-2-5-8 returned $11,892.06.
The $1.3 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes will once again be contested at Plainridge Park starting in October. There will be three weeks of $25,000 (est.) preliminary legs starting on Oct. 1, with the $85,000 (est.) finals to be held on Oct. 30. For more information on the state-bred series, visit the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts website. (Standardbred Owners Of Mass.)