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Only Passing Thru Passes Them All

Published: July 26, 2018 10:17 pm ET

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The skies opened up and the rain came down after the first race, but the sloppy track conditions did not deter Only Passing Thru from putting in a strong performance and winning the $14,000 Winners-Over trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon.

Only Passing Thru (Patrizio Ancora) got away third to Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) and the heavily favoured Muscles Jared (Shawn Gray) who took turns leading the field past the quarter. When the dust had settled there, Muscles Jared was in command and looked strong in the position. He went down to the half in :55.4 and felt the pressure begin to build from there.

Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) came first up with Zorgwijk Nova (Drew Campbell) right behind. Only Passing Thru was now shuffled back to sixth and locked in at the rail at the three quarters in 1:24.4. Around the last turn Muscles Jared looked to be in control, but Ancora was finally able to pull Only Passing Thru from fifth and they both got to work. With six lengths to make up, Only Passing Thru fanned into the middle of the track and dug in hard. He drew even with Muscles Jared and Jericho mid-stretch and then out-dueled them to the wire to win by a head in 1:55.

It was the third win of the year for Only Passing Thru ($16.80) and owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolf. Domenico Cecere trains the winner.

Massachusetts breeder/owner Ray Campbell, Jr. and his trainer George Ducharme brought some of their state-bred stable to Plainridge on Thursday and watched them put in some impressive performances with both of them doing their best work of the year.

Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) put in a devastating performance going gate to wire in 1:54.2, winning by six open lengths over the off-track and registering the fastest trotting mile of the day and taking a new seasonal mark. Wings Of Royalty, who was the three-year-old Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) trotting champion in 2015, now has 22 wins in 75 lifetime starts and $701,169 in earnings.

And one of their young trotting stars, three-year-old filly Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) sat a perfect pocket trip behind Prayers Do Matter (Drew Campbell) before popping out of the pocket and out-trotting the leader to the wire in 1:56, which was a new lifetime mark. Ithinkthatsmine is gearing up for the MASS in October and is doing well at it as she has hit the board eight of nine starts this year.

Both winners were driven by Shawn Gray, who led all drivers on the day with a total of four wins on the card.

Massachusetts harness racing has undergone a renaissance since the slot enhanced purses came to Plainridge Park in 2015, and today was clear evidence of the growth of the sport in the Commonwealth. 64 out of the 94 horses that raced on Thursday’s card were either Massachusetts bred or owned and they accounted for nine of the 12 winners.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday with post time at 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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