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Western Stepp steps to Plainridge score

June 20, 2018

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Western Stepp has been one of the tougher distaff performers at Plainridge Park this year, winning two out of her last four here while finishing second as many times, all in top class competition. However Monday afternoon she was in a league of her own as she simply routed her foes in the $14,000 winners-over handicap for fillies and mares on the Ridge's speedy five-eighths mile oval.
The race was over when the gate released the ladies because Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) was on top in a flash. From that point on she maintained a gapped advantage over the scratch-shortened field while stopping the clock incrementally at :26.2, :56 and 1:23.1.

Western Stepp had easily opened up a six-length lead on her own coming off the far turn and Campbell gave her a line-tap to let her know she was still in a race. She perked her ears, switched her gears and paced strongly into the lane. Campbell glanced over his left shoulder, saw no threat in sight and wrapped up the winner while sitting chilly, crossing the wire in 1:51.3.

The time was a new lifetime mark for Western Stepp, eclipsing the 1:52.1 clocking she set just last week.

Western Stepp ($6) now has five wins and $39,285 made in 2018 for owner/trainer James Dunn.

The first division of the "2008 Celts" $10,000 claiming series for fillies and mares was contested on Monday and Empty Gesture (Shawn Gray) took an early lead that she would never relinquish en route to winning in 1:53.1. It was the second straight win and a new seasonal mark for Empty Gesture ($3.20) who is owned by William Emmons and trained by Jeff Lieberman.

Drew Campbell had a driving triple on the card while Shawn Gray directed two home himself. (Standardbred Owners of Mass.)

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