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Ranger Surpasses Money Milestone

Published: August 17, 2021 4:42 pm ET

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When Bruce Ranger won the sixth race at Plainridge Park with Beach Watch on Monday (August 16), he surpassed the career milestone of $40 million U.S. in driving earnings.

The win came in typical Ranger fashion with a gate-to-wire victory by open lengths, tying the horse’s lifetime mark.

A native of Portland, Maine, the 61-year-old Ranger started his driving career in 1979 at the Skowhegan Fair, where he scored his first victory. From there, his career took him to other tracks in Maine, Massachusetts and Florida, where he was a perennial star and all-time dash leader at Pompano Park.

In 2015, Ranger decided to call it a career and became a starting judge in his home state. But after being out of the sulky for three years, Ranger felt physically refreshed from the time off and got the itch to go from riding in the starting gate, to getting back behind it. He returned to action at Scarborough Downs during the Maine Sire Stake finals in the fall of 2018.

Since climbing back into the bike, Ranger has been a regular at Plainridge Park and has taken his spot near or at the top of the leaderboard for the last three years. At the current Plainridge meet, Ranger is the leading dash driver with 117 wins and $995,771 in earnings. Over the three years he’s raced there since his comeback, Ranger has had 1,148 starts with 231 wins, 170 seconds and 143 thirds with $2,058,389 in earnings and a Universal Driver Rating of .332.

Ranger’s overall career numbers are also outstanding. He surpassed 9,500 wins earlier this year and now has 9,580 to date. That puts him 21st on the North American all-time driving wins list and 17th among active reinsmen. He also has 7,523 seconds and 6.088 thirds with a total current bank of $40,002,908.

Ranger has won in excess of $1 million in a single season 17 times, including 13 straight from 1998 to 2010, and just missed doing it in four other years. His best single season came in 2004 when he won 569 races and $2.4 million in purses. And despite all the starts, Ranger has always been a very high percentage driver and has a career UDR of .337.

Beside the many driving crowns Ranger has won over the years, he has also been honoured with placement in the United States Harness Writers Association’s New England and Florida Chapter's Hall of Fame.

(With files from Plainridge Park)

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