Western Stepp shows her mettle in Plainridge distaff feature
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Western Stepp was one of the toughest resident mares at Plainridge Park last year winning 26% of her starts. This year she's already two-out-of-three after taking the $12,000 Winners-Over pace for fillies and mares on Thursday afternoon (May 9).
After being on the engine for the last three weeks, Western Stepp (Mitchell Cushing) found herself in the caboose watching Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) dictate the fractions. That one took to group to the quarter in :27.1 and the half in :57.2. It was at that station Roll With Ann (Nick Graffam) got into the mix on the outside with Western Stepp following second-over in that tier.
Try as she did up the backside, Roll With Ann could not get closer than a length of the leader and by the three-quarter pole, Western Step had to tip three-deep around her with Spilling The Beans (Mike Stevenson) going four-wide as well. Now three across the track at the head of the stretch, Shesjustadelight N, Western Stepp and Spilling The Beans fought hard all the way down the stretch before Western Stepp simply out-fought her rivals to win by a neck at the wire in 1:54.3.
It was the third win in a row and 30th of her career for Western Step ($8.60) who is owned by Diane Dunn and trained by James Dunn.
Cushing added two more wins during the card to finish the day with a driving hat trick.
The fastest mile of the session was registered in the co-featured $12,000 conditioned pace for 5-year-olds and under when Notabadgame (Drew Campbell) pulled first-over from fifth past the three-eighths pole and motored to the lead by three-quarters. At that point Sometimes Always (Nick Graffam) came at him and drew alongside at the head of the lane. Three pylons into the straight Sometimes Always took the lead, but Notabadgame came back under methodical urging from Campbell to win by a length in 1:53.4.
It was the third win of the year for Notabadgame ($6.40) who is owned and trained by Jackie Greene.
There were some huge payoffs at Plainridge on Thursday for the betting faithful.
In the ninth race the 20-cent Wicked-Hi 5 had a carryover pool in excess of $7,700 and one lucky punter scored the winning combination of 8-4-1-6-2 and collected $9,246.38 for the two-dime investment.
Then in the 11th race the longest shot on the board, Funny Lena (Nick Graffam), finished second at 59-1 prompting a 1-9-6 trifecta combination that returned $10,328.80 for a $2 ticket.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 10) with post time at 4 p.m.