Pulling first-up early into fast fractions paid big dividends for Always A Miki who won the $20,000 Winners Over feature pace at
Coming in with a four-race win streak, Higherthananeagle A (Bruce Ranger) left like he meant it and took the single file field to the half in a snappy :54.4. Always A Miki (Luke Hanners) was already out and rolling from third at that point and he went right by the leader by the time they were past the five-eighths pole. Always A Miki crossed over and was pacing strong with stablemate Rollinlikethunder (Jay Randall) approaching to join the action. At the top of the stretch Always A Miki still had a length to the good and maintained that advantage all the way to the wire to win in 1:51.1 with four horses abreast behind him vying for second.
With the victory, Always A Miki ($4.60) pushed his earnings to $70,975 this year for owner Joe Trice and trainer Jimmy Nickerson.
Hanners also won the $17,500 Winners-Over Handicap with Real Peace who tripped-out to a late score.
Real Peace drafted third while Mansome (Bruce Ranger) and Sundown Kid (Matty Athearn) traded leads to the :26.1 quarter. With Points North (Brett Beckwith) parked out, Sundown Kid then took the race to the half in :54.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.2 where Hanners tipped Real Peace and drew alongside Sundown Kid at the top of the stretch. Heading down the lane Real Peace out-paced Sundown Kid to the wire to win by a neck in 1:51.3.
It was the sixth win of the year for Real Peace ($8.20) and it increased his earnings to $92,230 for owners Burke Racing, Scott Dillon and Weaver Bruscemi. Joe Nelson trains the winner.
There were also two $15,000 upper level conditioned races on the card and they were both won by the trainer/driver team of Melissa Beckwith and Bruce Ranger.
First General Ward led every step of the way en route to his fifth win in his last eight starts and seventh win of the year overall in 1:52.2. General Ward ($17.60) is owned by Nancy Longobardi.
Then Jimmy Connor B turned a first-over move at the half into his second win of the year with a 1:51.1 season's best victory. Jimmy Connor B ($5.80) is owned by Triple D Stables, M G Stable, Toby Rekoon and Frank Canzone.
Driver Drew Campbell also had a big day at The Ridge, scoring a hat trick during the course of the afternoon.
Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Aug.30) at 4 p.m. but please note, starting on Thursday (Sept. 1) post time for every live race card moves to 2 p.m. for September and October.
(Standardbred Owners of