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Team Sweep Of Plainridge Features

Published: May 24, 2021 8:50 pm ET

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Driver Greg Merton, trainer Amanda Kelley and the Scheigert Stable proved to be a potent combination at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon as they scored wins in the top two pacing features of the day.

The Saratoga-based connections sent out Lake Charles ($8.00) from post one in the $25,000 Open Handicap pace and tripped-out behind the red hot Duplicated N (Bruce Ranger) who left from post nine in :25.4. After levelling off the pace in a :55.1 half, Duplicated N took pressure from Sports Obsession (Drew Monti) who came first-over and pushed a :27.3 third panel.

That battle lasted until the top of the stretch where Sports Obsession faded and Lake Charles popped the deuce. Under Merton’s guidance, Lake Charles paced by Duplicated N and then held off late charges from Ocean Colony (Drew Campbell) and Mansome (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) to win by one-quarter of a length in a season’s best 1:51.4.

It was the second win in as many starts for the four-year-old altered son of Well Said-Bodacious Hanover who pushed his lifetime earnings to $186,650 on the strength of that win.

Then in the $13,000 secondary feature for claimers tagged at $15-$20,000, the winning group watched as Cigars And Port ($4.20) left from post six and took complete control of the race by the three-eighths pole. After getting to the half in a tepid :56, Merton stepped up the pace as Cigars And Port drew heat from Zampara (Drew Campbell) who paced stride for stride with the leader in a :27.2 third quarter. At that station Cigars And Port pulled away by two lengths and heading down the lane, extended that advantage to 4-3/4 lengths to win in 1:51.3, which was a new lifetime mark.

Cigars And Port, who was the New York Sire Stakes two-year-old pacing male champion in 2019, extended his winning streak to four after Monday’s win and saw his lifetime earnings inflate to $240,373.

Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 27) with post time at 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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