Wings Of Royalty stays undefeated at Plainridge
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Three starts, three wins and Massachusetts native son Wings Of Royalty remains peerless at Plainridge Park this year. His latest conquest came on Friday afternoon (May 10) when he won the $16,000 Open Handicap trot in handy fashion.
Driver Shawn Gray floated Wings Of Royalty off the gate and settled in third briefly as Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) cut the quarter in :27.3. But Gray pulled out there and rolled to the front as the race passed in front of the stands. He cruised to the half unassaulted in :56.4 but then saw Only Passing Thru (Nick Graffam) to his flank as they hit the three-quarter pole.
The race rounded the last bend and at the head of the stretch Wings Of Royalty was trotting between Only Passing Thru and Nows The Moment and both of them were drawing closer. But the race got to the wire before they got to him and Wings Of Royalty maintained his dominance, winning in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark.
It was the fourth win in nine starts this year for Wings Of Royalty ($3.20) who was bred in Massachusetts by his owner Ray Campbell Jr. John Di Stefano does the training.
Wings Of Royalty is eligible to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot that will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). 24 outstanding aged-trotters have been nominated to this Grand Circuit event that makes its return to New England's premier harness racing venue this summer.
In the $12,000 conditioned trotting co-feature, Make It A Double (Matt Athearn) lived up to his name by winning his second consecutive race despite being parked out the whole mile to do it.
After Lindy The Great (Patricio Ancora) took the lead, Make It a Double rolled up alongside and pushed the issue at every station. The two tripped the timers in :28, :56.4 and 1:25.2 before hitting the lane and dueling for another eighth of a mile. With both drivers vigorously urging their horses it wasn't until deep stretch when "Matty Ice" got Make It a Double to the front and won by one-half length in 1:54.4, which was also a new seasonal mark.
Make It A Double ($5.80) is owned by William Phipps and is trained by Gretchen Athearn.
Drew Campbell led all drivers for wins on Friday, making three trips to the winner's enclosure.