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Valentine’s Day At Plainridge Park?

Published: June 1, 2017 9:43 pm ET

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After four unsuccessful attempts to defeat the predominantly-male Open trotters, Mistress Valentine led from gate to wire and imposed her girl power on them Thursday in the $15,000 handicap trot at Plainridge Park.

Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) left strong from post six and gained the front easily after the field was released from the gate. With no early pressure, she cut comfortable fractions of :27.2 and :56.4 as the group swung by the half. At that station, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) pulled from third and strutted his best stuff. He motored up alongside the leader and the pair trotted in unison through the third panel and tripped that timer in 1:25.4.

Halfway around the last turn, One Swan For All weakened and Mistress Valentine took that opportunity to put distance between herself and the rest of the field. The mare opened up a three-length lead by the top of the stretch and looked strong heading down the lane. With Eaton rocking easily in the bike, Mistress Valentine won by as many as she wanted in 1:55 – a season’s best.

It was the third win of the year for Mistress Valentine ($16.00) and it pushed her 2017 income to $27,155 for owners Bob McHugh and Mark Eaton, who also trains the mare.

In the co-featured $9,000 conditioned trotting event, Dagget (Mark Athearn) got away tenth before pulling past the quarter to methodically advance on the outside for the remainder of the race. Athearn tipped his horse four-wide at the top of the lane and barreled down the stretch, making up about five lengths in the process to win by a head in 1:56.1.

As if that isn’t story enough, Dagget went off at 85-1 and returned $172.40 for the win. It triggered a 9-5 Exacta that paid $1,744.80 and a 9-5-10 Trifecta that returned $28,033.40.

Dagget is owned by William Phipps and is trained by Gretchen Athearn.
Kevin Switzer Jr. had a driving grand slam on the card, winning with Jupiter Rising ($18.80, 1:58.4), Bold Fresh ($5.60, 1:57), Destination Moon N ($2.20, 1:54.2) and Ill Have Another ($5.40, 1:58.2).

Trainer Scott Rollins also sent two of his students to the winner’s enclosure for pictures.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday, June 2 at 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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