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Ducharme Talks MASS Finals Starters

Published: October 22, 2021 3:49 pm ET

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The $2.24 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes wrap up their 2021 season at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 25) when eight races valued at $100,000 each will be contested and one local trainer will have a major presence once again.

George Ducharme is a native of Walpole, Massachusetts who started his career at Foxboro Park. Aside from winning the $1 million Hambletonian with Royalty For Life in 2013 and racing regularly on the Grand Circuit, Ducharme has continued to compete in Massachusetts on a regular basis and has been a major participant in that sire stake program for years.

This year Ducharme has 10 starters competing in six of the eight divisions including some eye-catching first-year performers who appear to have a bright future.

Wallet (Walner-Touch Of Moni) is a two-year-old trotting colt that is three-for-three in MASS action this year. This lightly-raced colt who is from the first crop of Walner has improved dramatically over the past three weeks, taking three consecutive lifetime marks and setting a new track record of 1:57.2 for his age, sex and gait.

“Wallet has turned into the horse I always thought he could be as he had a lot of trouble at first. A lot of his problems were growing issues. He wasn’t lame, he was achy because he was growing and he seems to have leveled out and come along at the right time. He went a record mile last week but I think he has more in him and we’ll see this week,” said Ducharme.

Another freshman star is Wonderwall Lindy (Walner-Lindysleadinglady) who has two wins and a second in stake action and who also just took a new lifetime mark of 1:56.1 that set a new Plainridge track and MASS record for two-year-old trotting fillies.

“Wonderwall Lindy has come along well. She started out a little head-strong but she seems to be finally maturing and mentally putting it together. She has enough physical ability, it was the mental part that was bugging us early. She raced in the Kindergarten series at The Meadowlands earlier this year where she picked up a couple cheques, but she has really come into her own in this series. The fillies she’s in against are a good honest group, there are three or four legitimate horses in there who could win this race,” said Ducharme.

“I also have Tenesee Lindy (Muscle Hill-Nashville Lindy) in that race and she performed very well last week. She had a lot of trot under the wire and had nowhere to go so I was very happy with her effort. She’s coming into this race as good as the other ones but I think it’s just a matter of trip, as to who wins.”

Ducharme also has a pacing pair of full sisters in three-year-old So Amazing and two-year-old So Flo, who both bring a lot of speed and a lot of attitude. They are by So Surreal out of Teddy Ballgirl and are at the top of their respective divisions.

“So Amazing has been very good for two years now but this is a wide open field with about five horses who could win it all because there is not one real standout. And they know each other well because they have competed against each other in the New York Sire Stakes all year too. So Amazing was very good last week racing from off the pace but she likes the front and she drew the rail this week so that favours her to be positioned well. Plus she’s had a good week of work,” said Ducharme.

So Amazing held the MASS record of 1:53.2 for three-year-old pacing fillies after the first week of competition, but it has since been broken two more times by this uber-competitive group of fillies.

“So Flo has a lot of talent but ever since the day we broke her, she’s a severe kicker in the bike or a jog cart. But when she keeps her mind on her business she has excellent speed. The second leg of this series she tried to kick Frank (Affrunti, her driver) out of the bike in the second turn and when she landed back pacing, ended up finishing second anyway. The key to her is if she behaves herself,” said Ducharme.

Ducharme is also starting two-year-old trotting colt With A Warning (Credit Winner-Concentration), three-year-old trotting colts Beantown Madness (Conway Hall-Armbro Archer) and Royally Raised (RC Royalty-Prospect) and three-year-old trotting fillies Royal Orchard (RC Royalty-Easy Glider) and Royal Envy (RC Royalty-Temper Of Will),

George Ducharme currently has 997 career training wins, only three away from the 1,000 win milestone and it's a good bet that he could achieve that goal in his home state at Plainridge Park in stake action on Monday.

Two of the eight finals are non-betting races and will be held before the regular card at 1:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. Post time for the pari-mutuel program is 2:00 p.m.

(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)

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