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Hilaria Prevails In Plainridge Feature

Published: August 22, 2019 8:29 pm ET

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She got away worst but got home first. After a furious stretch drive, Hilaria won the $12,000 fillies and mares Winners-Over Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon.

Western Stepp (Drew Campbell), Twist Of Fate (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) and Bye Bye Felicia (Jim Hardy) battled hard off the gate for the lead and went three-deep around the first turn until Bye Bye Felicia took command past the quarter in a swift :26.3. As the race went by the stands to the half, an early four-horse outer flow began led by Neon Sky N (Nick Graffam) and trailed by Hilaria (Mike Stevenson). Now with three in and four out, the race motored up the backstretch with Neon Sky N fading before three-quarters causing the trailing horses to bunch, and allowing Bye Bye Felicia to open up a three-length lead.

Halfway through the final bend Hilaria, who was still sitting last and about six-lengths away from the leader, was tipped four-wide by Stevenson and began to pass the competition. By the time they hit the top of the stretch Hilaria was second, however Bye Bye Felicia still had a five-length lead and appeared to be wrapped-up. Stevenson continued to urge his mare and she continued to make up ground. Hardy heard hooves approaching and started to push Bye Bye Felicia mid-stretch but it was too little, too late. Hilaria flew by her at the wire to win by a neck in 1:51.4, which was a new lifetime mark.

It was the fourth win in a row and tenth of the season for Hilaria ($8.00) who is also the winningest horse at the 2019 Plainridge Park meet. The six-year-old Massachusetts-bred daughter of Cheyenne Hollywood-Poster Hanover is owned and trained by Ralph Anderson, who also bred her with Steve Farrell.

Several horsemen had productive days at the track on Thursday. Drew Campbell led all drivers with three wins on the card while Nick Graffam, Kevin Switzer, Jr. and Joe Di Stefano all doubled up. Trainers Mike Graffam, Chris Lefebvre and John Di Stefano each had two conditioning wins.

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

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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