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'Smooth' Score In Plainridge Top Trot

Published: May 14, 2021 9:18 pm ET

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After getting away in an impossible position, Smooth Aceleration regrouped at the half and proved to be the best of the bunch this day in the $20,000 winners-over trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon.

Starting from post seven, Smooth Aceleration (Matty Athearn) got away seventh by 8-1/2 lengths as the favoured Explosive Ridge (Bruce Ranger) led the field to the quarter in :28.1 and the half in :56.4. At that point an outer flow led by Lucky Weekend (Drew Monti) approached the leader with Smooth Aceleration now second-over in the breeze.

The outside horses continued to gain ground and coming out of the final bend, the top three fanned wide from the pylons: Explosive Ridge, Lucky Weekend and Smooth Aceleration. Heading down the lane with less than a length separating the trio, Explosive Ridge was trying to fend off Lucky Weekend’s push but way wide, Smooth Aceleration lived up to his name and sped by them both in the center of the track, winning by one-quarter of a length in 1:55.1.

Disregarded by the betting public at 13-1, Smooth Aceleration ($29.00) scored his second win of the year for owner William Phipps and trainer Gretchen Athearn.

The dynamic duo of Athearn and Athearn teamed up two races later to make it a double with --- Make It A Double ($14.60), who was also overlooked at the windows and yet took a seasonal mark of 1:55.3 after being parked out from the three-eighth’s pole to the wire, where he won by 2-1/4 lengths. Phipps co-owns with Gretchen Athearn.

There were two undercard divisions of $12,500 conditioned races for six-year-old and younger trotters that also produced solid payoffs.

Gracie Under Fire (Shawn Gray) came first over at the half and tracked down Dixie Slippers (Wally Watson) in the lane to win by 1/4 length in 1:57.4, which was a new seasonal mark.

Gracie Under Fire ($11.20) is owned by Robin Crochere and Leighton Property and is trained by David Crochere, who had a conditioning double on Friday.

In the other division, Prairie Romeo (Jim Hardy) sat second behind Valentin (Wally Watson) to the top of the stretch where he pulled and trotted away to a 3-1/4 length win and a new lifetime mark of 1:56.2.

Prairie Romeo ($11.40) is owned by David Zuckerman and is trained by Jolene Andrews, who also had a training double on the card.

Hardy won two more races and registered two more lifetime marks with RFLs M London (1:57.2, $2.80) and Sylvia Trench (1:55.1, $30.80) giving himself the hat trick for the day.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 17) with post time at 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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