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Artful Way Wins Plainridge Open

Published: April 16, 2018 8:53 pm ET

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Even the deluge of rain couldn't dampen the excitement of opening day at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon as Artful Way found his way to the winner's circle after taking the $15,000 Open Pace over a very sloppy track.

Artful Way (Shawn Gray) left sharply for the lead while Lindy Beach (Greg Merton) slid in behind him second and sat there for almost the whole mile. Gray cut quarters of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:25.4 with a leisurely two-length lead all the while.

But as the race progressed into the stretch, Merton pulled Lindy Beach and started closing the gap on the leader. Although Gray was now getting after Artful Way in a spirited manner, his lead continued to diminish. But Artful Way got to the wire before Lindy Beach got to him and won in 1:52.4.

It was the fourth win of the year for Artful Way ($2.20) and owner the Kellogg Racing Stables LLC. The winner is trained by Jackie Greene.

In the $12,000 undercard pace, Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) turned a pocket journey behind J J S Jet (Drew Campbell) into a one and one-half length victory in 1:55.1.

Rooster Rabbit ($6.00) who is coming off a career year, captured his second win of 2018 for owners Charles Franklin and Adam Friedland and trainer Craig Mosher.

Last year's leading driver at Plainridge put himself into an early lead already this year. Greg Merton won three races on the card and headed all drivers for the day.

Jackie Greene was the best among conditioners, scoring a natural hat trick in races eight, nine and ten.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday with post time set for 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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