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Six Pack For Merton

Published: May 29, 2017 9:59 pm ET

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Greg Merton schooled his peers at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon when he won six races and finished second once out of nine drives, giving him an unbelievable .728 UDR for the afternoon.

Merton scored with Shanghai Warrior ($7.20, 1:53.1), Memory Game ($3.00, 1:52.1), Talldarknhandsome ($6.00, 1:52.3), Biggie ($3.20, 1:53), Elm Grove Inarush ($9.60, 1:51.2) and Myhoneytellsall ($7.20, 1:54).

Merton is currently the leading driver at the Plainridge meet with 51 wins, 16 more than his nearest competitor, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. Merton was the dash driving champion at Plainridge last year and also the first to eclipse $1 million in earnings in the track’s history.

Merton’s fifth win of the day was with of Elm Grove Inarush who beat the boys in the $12,000 ‘Old Ironsides’ conditioned pacing feature.

A Sweet Ride (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) took a quick lead and Elm Grove Inarush immediately tucked in second and ended up getting a sweet ride behind him the rest of the mile. Without any challengers whatsoever, Switzer carved out fractions of :26.1, :54 and 1:22.3 and looked like he was poised to bring home a winner.

But just before the seven-eighths pole, Merton tugged the right line and Elm Grove Inarush switched into glide. She paced right by A Sweet Ride and opened up a two-length lead before fending off challenges from the late closing Quick Shot (Jim Hardy) and Cherokee Hiflyzane (Eddie Davis, Jr.) to win in 1:51.2. The time was a new lifetime for the mare.

It was the third win of the year for Elm Grove Inarush and it raised her 2017 earnings to $33,330 for owners Martin Valentic and John Bednarski, Jr. The six-year-old daughter of Coasttocoast Yankee is trained by Elisha Lafreniere.

Lafreniere ended up having a training double on the card but was outdone in the win category by fellow conditioner Jackie Greene who had three wins.

Live racing resumes on Tuesday afternoon at Plainridge Park with the first post set for 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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