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Gray Joins $20 Million Club

Published: April 29, 2021 8:48 pm ET

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Shawn Gray reached a major career milestone on Thursday when he surpassed the $20 million career earnings mark after he won the seventh race at Plainridge Park with Marcus Seelster (1:54, $4.40). The $5,500 winner’s share of the $11,000 purse pushed Gray’s lifetime total to $20,002,755.

Gray came into today’s races needing $17,370 to reach that plateau and once "The Maine Event" got rolling, it was clear that he would easily hit the mark during the afternoon.

Marcus Seelster was only one of four wins on Gray's Grand Slam day as he also scored with Cornerd Beach (1:56, $25.60), Firstup (1:54.2, $2.60) and Levi At Play (1:55.3, $4.00).

A native of Waterville, Maine and currently based at Saratoga Raceway, Gray has been driving since 1993 when he got his first pari-mutuel win with Timer Choice at Presque Isle, Maine. He has since been a regular on the New England circuit for his entire life, but has also been a major force in New York State.

Gray is currently the leading dash winning driver at Plainridge Park and sits second at Saratoga Raceway. A perennial high percentage reinsman, Gray boasts a .397 Universal Driver Rating so far this year, putting him eighth among all drivers in North America with under 300 starts in 2021.

Gray's single best career earnings year was 2018 when he bankrolled $2.397 million. His best season for wins was 2012 when he captured 356 victories and his highest percentage performance came in 2011 when he posted a UDR of .440.

For his career, Gray has 21,681 starts with 4,580 wins, 3,507 seconds and 3,058 thirds, putting him in the money 51% of the time during his career. It also gives him a lifetime UDR of .348.

There was a major upset in the day’s featured $15,000 pace for six-year-old and under pacing mares. Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) was dismissed at 29-1 from post seven but that didn’t deter the mare one bit as she tracked third-over in the outer flow at three-quarters before tipping three-deep around the last turn. With no urging at all from Hardy, Sweet Sue gobbled up ground down the stretch and pulled away to a two-length victory in 1:54.4.

It was the first win in only two starts this year for Sweet Sue ($61.40) who is owned by David Thibault, Christine Thibault, Roberts Withers and Julia Withers. Jolene Andrews trains the winner.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 30) at 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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