Massachusetts Championships Contested On Tuesday

Rooster Bennett
Published: October 24, 2023 07:38 pm EDT

Eight $150,000 divisions made up of the best two- and three-year-old trotters and pacers bred in the state went postward in the $1.2 million finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park on a perfect fall Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 24) and the day produced champions, records and streaks.

Rooster Bennett (pictured above), Dame and Inter Mischief, who all won their respective divisions of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes last year at two, reclaimed their titles at three, two stakes records were tied and driver Yannick Gingras drove the winners of four out of the eight finals. 

The day kicked off with the two-year-old pacing fillies lining up in a non-betting event where Every Mans Dream (Always B Miki-Lindys Nightmare) won in convincing fashion.

Valentine Rose (Matty Athearn) took the early lead but relented to Every Mans Dream (Yannick Gingras) at the quarter. From there, Gingras rated a very even mile going a :57 half and 1:25.1 three-quarters. With the field already just trying to keep pace, Every Mans Dream rounded the last turn and hit the stretch where she pulled away by 7-1/2 lengths under Gingras wraps to win in 1:53.3.

Ron Burke trains the Lindy Farms of Connecticut-bred filly, who earned her seventh consecutive win. Every Mans Dream pushed her earnings to $245,450 this year for her owners Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon.

In the two-year-old filly trot, Dawn Of Lindy (Walner-Moni From Heaven) overcame a break last week to claim victory with the mile of her life.  

Yannick Gingras floated Dawn Of Lindy off the gate and was sitting fourth on the outside when the leading International Gift (Scott Zeron) made a break as they went past the quarter. Dawn Of Lindy then took over the top and commanded the mile from there. Again setting very even fractions, Gingras had Dawn Of Lindy leading by a gapped advantage at the top of the stretch and hit the line in front by 5-1/4 lengths in 1:57.1, which was a new lifetime mark. 

Dawn Of Lindy ($4.60) inflated her bank to $150,906 on the strength of the win for her trainer Paul Kelley, who co-owns the winner with Matt Lamont, Thomas Pontone and Neil Goldstein. Moni Maker Stable bred Dawn Of Lindy. 

Next came the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings and as expected at 1-9, Keep Asking (Chapter Seven-Sensibility) had a dominating win in stakes record time. 

Scott Zeron smoked Keep Asking to the point in :28.1 and then cut quarters of :58.2 and 1:27.2 before hitting the last turn. Keep Asking then closed out the trip with a :28.2 final panel under pressure from a fast-closing International Law (Yannick Gingras) to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4, tying the stakes record. 

Picking up his fourth straight win in the MASS, Keep Asking ($2.10) earned a clean sweep in this series for owners W Donovan, Joe Sbrocco, Jim Winske and George Ducharme, who also trains the winner. Donovan, Sbrocco and Winske bred Keep Asking, who now has earned $283,813 this year.

The last group of two-year-olds was the pacing colts and geldings and Rocknroll Lou (Sweet Lou-Beautful Lady) sealed the deal in a narrow finish.

Poverty Sucks (Nick Graffam) strung out Rocknroll Lou (Yannick Gingras) and Bang Ah Uey (Jim Hardy) three-deep in a :27.2 quarter. Rocknroll Lou went to the front and Bang Ah Uey ducked in third. Positions remained unchanged from there until the last turn where Bang Ah Uey tipped out and came at Rocknroll Lou. As they paced down the lane, Bang Ah Uey was making up substantial ground and by deep stretch was only a length off. However Rocknroll Lou was not to be denied as he held firmly to his one-length lead and won in 1:54.1.

Rocknroll Lou ($2.10) pushed his earnings to $160,946 for owners Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon on the strength of the win. Ron Burke trains the gelding, who was bred by Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro. 

The sophomore set led off with the trotting fillies and Milliondollarwall (Walner-Moms Millionaire) won on the strength of a sharp stretch drive. 

Way Off Broadway (Troy Beyer) was on top quickly before Poppy Wow (Ivan Davies) made a break and scattered the field. When all settled down, Way Off Broadway had a gapped advantage over A Pop Superstar (Ron Cushing) and Milliondollarwall (Bruce Ranger) at the :56.3 half. Way Off Broadway continued in front while Milliondollarwall was gaining momentum and moved into second around the fading A Pop Superstar. At the top of the stretch, Way Off Broadway looked to have the race in hand, but Ranger rousted Milliondollarwall and she responded with enthusiasm to win by a length in 1:54.4. 

Milliondollarwall ($7.60) improved her earnings to $196,125 lifetime for owner/breeder Moni Maker Stable. Domenico Cecere trains the winner. 

The glamour division, colt and gelding pacers, was up next and Rooster Bennett (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) became the first two-time MASS champion of the day after a powerful showing in his win.

Gingras was on top immediately with Rooster Bennett from post one and the field fell into post position order behind him from there. After stopping the timer in :27.3, :56.1 and 1:23.1, Rooster Bennett was running away with the race. At the top of the stretch, he opened up a four-length advantage and bolted home easily by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:51.4, which was a new lifetime mark and only one-fifth of a second off the stakes record. 

Rooster Bennett ($2.20) pushed his lifetime earnings to $343,481 for owners/breeders Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi. Nancy Longobardi was also the winning trainer. 

The second two-time MASS champion was crowned one race later when Dame (Dudes The Man-Seat By The Window) earned a hard-fought victory in the pacing filly division. 

Jim Hardy pushed Dame to the front but was immediately engaged by Azariya (Yannick Gingras), who did take the lead at the brisk :26.3 quarter. But Hardy pulled Dame and she went right back to the front. All challengers were rebuffed between there and three-quarters where Dame found another gear and pulled away by five at the top of the stretch. The filly then made her way home with a three-length win in hand timed in 1:52.2, which tied Dame’s lifetime mark and also tied the stakes record for her second consecutive start. 

Besides being a two-time MASS champion, Dame ($2.20) is also a two-time 2023 Sire Stakes champion as she also won the New York Sire Stakes final back in September. Dame has now run off six straight victories and inflated her lifetime earnings to $486,407 for her owner/breeder Stephen Richard. 

The final group of three-year-olds was the trotting colts and geldings where Inter Mischief (International Moni-Blinded By Lindy) became the third to claim his second Massachusetts Sire Stakes crown. 

Kevin Switzer Jr. grabbed the lead with Inter Mischief as Yo Lucky Moni (Jimmy Whittemore) sat second and International Man (Yannick Gingras) got away third. These positions remained unchanged through quarters of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:26. As they moved through the last turn, International Man was on the move second in the breeze and making up ground on the leader. As they straightened out for home, International Man got close, but could not catch Inter Mischief, who got home with a length to spare in 1:54.3. 

Inter Mischief's ($8.40) earnings went to $291,021 for owners Frank Chic and Jamie Sullivan, who also trains the winner. K R Breeding bred Inter Mischief.

(With files from Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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