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Ranger Wins Five At Plainridge

Published: August 26, 2021 8:54 pm ET

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Driver Bruce Ranger continued his domination at the current Plainridge Park meet after posting five winners on the Thursday afternoon card including a visit to the winner’s circle after the $25,000 Open Handicap pace with The Moonshadow N.

Ranger made it quick and simple with The Moonshadow N after leaving from post five and then never relenting the lead. After getting to the half in :55.1, The Moonshadow N was being stalked by Rollinlikethunder (Drew Monti) at the pegs and by The Bird Dance N (Ron Cushing) from the outside. Ranger held both at bay to three-quarters and then opened up a two-length advantage as they headed into the stretch. When they straightened out for home, one last challenge came from a fast-closing Mansome (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) who was covering ground fast. But The Moonshadow N was game and held on by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.1.

It was the fourth straight win at Plainridge Park for The Moonshadow N ($7.20) who has now made $56,732 in 2021 for owners Melissa Beckwith, Stephen Demeter, Joseph Jannuzzelli and Mark Harder. Melissa Beckwith also trains the horse.

Ranger also won both halves of the $9.60 Daily Double with Winning Design (1:55.2, $4.20) and Workin Them Angels (1:53, $3.40), who has now strung four straight wins. Then later in the card he won with Nagle (1:52.2, $8.00) and Hudson Phil ($2.80), who took a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4 on the strength of a 3-1/2 length runaway win. The time was only one fifth of a second off the track record for older pacing geldings. Nagle and Hudson Phil gave Jackie Greene a training double.

Ranger also had two seconds and a third Thursday giving him a sparkling .646 universal driver rating for the afternoon.

For the current Plainridge meet, Ranger already has 130 wins and $1,092,846 in earnings. He achieved two major personal milestones earlier this year after surpassing 9,500 lifetime wins and $40 million in earnings.

The co-featured $20,000 Winners-Over pace saw another lifetime mark taken when Cigars And Port (Wally Watson) tripped-out behind Lachie McGuire N (Bruce Ranger) until the seven-eighths where he tipped three-deep and chased down the leader and Starznheaven (Drew Monti) in the lane to win by one-quarter of a length in 1:50.4, which was the gelding's personal best.

It was the second win in a row and eighth of the year for Cigars And Port ($9.60) who is owned by Susan Muldoon and the Fox Ridge Stable. Lisa Watson trains the winner.

Watson and Watson had a tag-team double after they also won with Tailhook (1:53, $11.20) who also took a lifetime mark for his efforts.

Joe Nelson was the third trainer to have two wins on Thursday.

Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 27) with post time at 4 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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