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Wings Of Royalty splashes to Plainridge win

May 04, 2019
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It was another dark and damp day at Plainridge Park but the conditions were no hindrance for Wings Of Royalty who used a strong stretch drive to defeat a solid field of eight foes and take the $16,000 Open Handicap trot on Friday afternoon.  
 
Yonkers visitor Joey Bats (John Beckwith) left post eight and settled in the lead past the quarter in :27. With the field settled in single file behind him, he took a :29.1 second panel liberty and looked to be in good shape as the group headed into the backstretch. At this point, Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) was sixth. 
 
Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) pulled first-up from fourth and started an outer flow that also included Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) and Wings Of Royalty. Jericho pressured Joey Bats around the far turn and into the head of the stretch where the leader finally gave way. But Jerichowas not home free as Namesmuscle tipped three-deep and Wings Of Royalty went four-high in pursuit. Those three then battled to be best for half the stretch until Wings Of Royalty burst by under a line drive from Gray to gain a length advantage in 1:55.2, which was his fastest win time of 2019. 
 
It was the second consecutive win at Plainridge for Wings Of Royalty ($3.80) who was bred in Massachusetts by his owner Ray Campbell Jr. John Di Stefano does the training. 
 
In the $12,000 mid-level conditioned trot, Make It a Double (Mark Athearn) took over a quarter-mile to get the lead but when he did, he opened up a two-length advantage that he held until the stretch where he extended it to three and won in 1:56.2. 
 
It was also the second win in two Plainridge starts for Make It A Double ($7.00) who is owned by William Phipps and trained by Gretchen Athearn. 
 
Shawn Gray ended the day with three driving wins while John Di Stefano matched that total on the training side.
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