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Rooster Rabbit Upsets; Merton Dominant

Published: October 9, 2017 8:16 pm ET

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As heavy weather blew into the Commonwealth, the horses seemed to dismiss the sloppy-going and Rooster Rabbit was the epitome of that, winning the $14,000 Plainridge Special pace at 'The Ridge' on Monday afternoon in a career-best effort.

Hes Marvelous (Nick Graffam) took an uncontested lead and flew the widely-gapped field to the quarter in :26 over the water-logged oval. Going past the stands and into turn three, Beautiful Lady (Greg Merton) pulled first-over from third approaching the :54.4 half and prompted Graffam to pop the plugs on the leader as a result. Her opening allowed Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) to slide up a closer fifth along the pylons.

When Hes Marvelous hit three-quarters in 1:22, Beautiful Lady dropped anchor and SB Mikes Hot Beach (Shawn Gray) pulled out from second, allowing Rooster Rabbit to get one step closer into third. As Hes Marvelous and SB Mikes Hot Beach were matching strides at the top of the lane, Eaton pulled Rooster Rabbit three-deep into the middle of the stretch and started driving hard. He’s Marvelous tagged-out along the pylons and SB Mikes Hot Beach and Rooster Rabbit hit the wire together with Rooster Rabbit getting a nose advantage in 1:51.3.

With five wins and $45,827 to his credit already in 2017, now Rooster Rabbit ($23.80) also has a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 to go along with them. The five-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Charles Franklin and Brenna Gill and is trained by Dan Gill.

In the $10,000 co-featured condition pace, Lindy Beach (Greg Merton) followed third-over in a live outer-flow at the half before tipping three-deep at the three-quarters to pace away to a three-length victory in 1:53.1.

Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Frank Baldassare own Lindy Beach ($2.60) who now has won five out of seven starts this year. The four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is trained by Frank Antonacci.

Greg Merton won more six races during the day and pushed his win total to 198 for the year. With over seven weeks left in the meet, Merton has already eclipsed his track record numbers for wins and purses in 2016 (167-$809,012) and has set new standards for both categories. Besides the 198 wins, Merton has also earned $1.15 million in purses to this point.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday with post time at 2:30 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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