Hudson Phil is one of a select few to break the 1:50 barrier at Plainridge Park after his 1:49.4 victory earlier this year, however, his recent outings have not allowed him a visit to the winner's circle. That all changed on Thursday (Nov. 18) after he tripped out and snared the $22,500 Winners-Over pacing feature.
Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) got away third as stablemate Artful Way (Drew Campbell) took the lead at the quarter in :26.4. With Thinkbig Dreambig (Bruce Ranger) sandwiched in second, the top three positions remained unchanged until the final turn. That's where Thinkbig Dreambig pulled on Artful Way and Hudson Phil fanned three-wide around him. With a cavalry charge now poised for the stretch run, all three horses had a shot for the top payout. But Hudson Phil showed he had the best leg in deep stretch and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2.
Hudson Phil ($19.20) has more than a half-million dollars in lifetime earnings. Owned by Kellogg Racing Stables, the six-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding is trained by Jackie Greene.
The $20,000 upper-level conditioned pacing co-feature saw Plainridge newcomer Always A Miki (Drew Monti) make his first start for his new connections a winning one after leading at every station heading into the stretch. That's where he swelled up and paced away to a convincing 3-1/2-length victory in 1:52.1.
Always A Miki ($2.80) was privately purchased on November 2 by Joe Trice and he paid instant dividends for his new owner. The win pushed the three-year-old son of Always B Miki and Beach Gal's lifetime earnings to $408,982 on the strength of nine career victories. Jimmy Nickerson trains the colt.
Monti and Nickerson also won with Tisadream N (1:52, $4.40) earlier in the card, giving each two wins for the afternoon.
Driver Bruce Ranger also won two races on Thursday.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday with post time at 1 p.m.
(With files from Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)