The Massachusetts Sire Stakes was back in town at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 17) for the third leg for two-year-old trotters and pacers of both sexes that went postward in four $60,000 divisions.
Trainer George Ducharme’s stable was on point as three of his entered trainees won three consecutive divisions of the state-sponsored series, two in record-breaking fashion.
The biggest effort came from trotting filly Wonderwall Lindy (Walner-Lindysleadinglady), who was best of a full field of nine trotting fillies and won after a very patient drive.
Jay Randall settled Wonderwall Lindy in third as Grateful Express (Drew Campbell) and Dancin On The Wall (Yannick Gingras) traded leads to the half. As the race proceeded past the three-quarters, Grateful Express left the pocket to try and catch the leading Dancin On The Wall but when he did, Wonderwall Lindy tipped three-deep around him and was in full stride in the stretch. There she out-muscled everyone to the wire and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.1.
The time was a new lifetime mark for Wonderwall Lindy and it also set a new Massachusetts Sire Stakes record and Plainridge Park track record for two-year-old trotting fillies.
Wonderwall Lindy earned her second MASS win and third win of the year overall for owners Jim Winske, David Winske, Stephen Michaels and Keith Cluff.
Another record performance came from trotting colt Wallet (Walner-Touch Of Moni), who took the lead at the quarter and controlled the race from there. Nick Graffam guided Wallet to an unchallenged 1:29.3 three-quarters before heading into the last turn. That's where the tripped-out pocket-sitter Bill Bauer (Drew Monti) moved to the outside to make a rush, but instead he made an untimely break that took him out of contention. That allowed Wallet to trot home all alone on top by 9-1/2 lengths at the line in 1:57.2.
The winning time was a new lifetime mark for Wallet and also set a new Plainridge Park track record for a two-year-old trotting colt.
Wallet ($2.40) is now three-for-three in MASS action for owners George Ducharme Stable, Jim Winske, David Winske and Stephen Michaels. Moni Maker Stable-bred Wallet.
Ducharme’s stakes hat trick was completed when So Flo (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) got back to her winning ways in the pacing filly division to register her second MASS victory.
After taking an early lead, So Flo (Frank Affrunti) was overtaken at the three-eighths by Dudes Sweet Bet (Shawn Gray), who then led to three-quarters. At that station, Affrunti pulled So Flo out and started a match race with the leader. Dudes Sweet Bet was driving along the pylons while So Flo was charging on the rim. The two fillies traded strides all the way to the wire where So Flo got a neck advantage and the win in 1:55.
So Flo ($14.80) claimed her second MASS win for owners Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi, who also bred the filly.
The one division Ducharme was not in was the pacing colts and that was won by Takechargebluechip (Roll With Joe-Caroline Hanover), who took his second straight win in the MASS after going gate-to-wire in easy fashion.
Bruce Ranger set fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:26.3 while Striking Impact (Drew Monti) tracked him from second. At the head of the lane, Monti tipped Striking Impact to take his best shot but Takechargebluechip was solid and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4.
Takechargebluechip ($2.80) is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, who also bred the gelding, along with JFE Enterprises and Donald Robinson. He is trained by Melissa Beckwith.
The Massachusetts Sire Stakes continues on Monday (Oct. 18) with four fields of three-year-old trotters and pacers of both sexes competing for a total of $240,000. Two of the races are non-betting and will be contested at 1:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. The regular pari-mutuel card that features two more divisions has its first post set at 2 p.m.
The $800,000 (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stake finals will be held the following week at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 25) starting at 2 p.m.
(With files from Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)