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Firstup Wins Plainridge Distaff Open

Published: October 11, 2021 8:58 pm ET

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A multiple winner in Massachusetts already this year, pacing mare Firstup captured her first $25,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 11).

Driver Shawn Gray sent Firstup to the lead in the short field of six while the heavily favoured Therewasthisgirl — who came in with a five-race winning streak — was taken back to last at the start. With Thats Incredible sitting in the pocket, Firstup proceeded to set fractions of :26.3, :56.1 and 1:24.1. By the time they reached that third station, Therewasthisgirl was pacing forward first-over and made her way to third in the last turn. When the girls straightened for home, Monti popped Thats Incredible out of the hole and tried to advance, but Firstup would have none of it and was the best to the line, pacing home under minor Gray urging to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51.4.

In capturing her eighth win of the year, Firstup pushed her earnings to $87,729 for owner Jesmeral Stable. Sheena Cohen trains the $7.60 winner.

The $20,000 secondary pacing feature turned in the fastest mile of the day when King Spencer went gate-to-wire in a lifetime-best win, timed in 1:50.4 to claim his second-straight victory at "The Ridge". King Spencer is a four-year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou who is owned by Linwood Higgins and trained by James Dunn. Shawn Thayer drove the $3.40 winner.

Gray ended with two driving wins for the afternoon as did Thayer, and both James Dunn and Domenico Cecere each had two training wins. However the leading driver of the meet had the biggest day of all.

Bruce Ranger, who had 157 driving wins at Plainridge Park at the start of the day, added four more wins to his already impressive total on Monday, including a natural hat trick in Race 1 through 3. Ranger scored with Colby Jack (1:56, $2.80), Miki U So Fine (1:51.4, $5.40) and Dancing Lew (1:53.1, $3.80) who all took new lifetime marks, and completed his grand slam with Four Leaf Lindy (1:55, $3.40). Now boasting 161 wins, Ranger is 39 ahead of the second place Shawn Gray (122) and 65 ahead of the third place Drew Monti (96). Ranger also has earned $1.57 million in purses so far during the meet.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 14) with post time at 2 p.m. (EDT).

(Plainridge Park)

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