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American Rock Rolls At Plainridge

Published: July 20, 2017 9:55 pm ET

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After being raced from off the pace 11 starts in a row, driver Jim Hardy sent American Rock down the road this week and won gate-to-wire in the $14,000 featured pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (July 20).

Leaving unchallenged from post one, American Rock scurried to the front effortlessly in a quick :26.4 quarter. With trailing adversaries showing no challenge, Hardy backed down the second panel to :29.2 and effectively ended the race right there.

American Rock picked up the tempo motoring up the backside and tried to put some real estate between him and the field. But the persistent Burning N (Ron Cushing), who was tracking from the garden spot, would not let him out of his sight. At the top of the stretch, Burning N pulled the pocket and drove near American Rock, but Hardy had his gelding in gear and stayed strong to win by a length in 1:52.2.

It was the fourth win of the year for American Rock ($8.20), and it raised his purse total for 2017 to $37,840 for owners Stephen Zajchowski Jr., David Thibault, Christine Thibault and Jim Hardy, who also trains the winner.

In the co-featured $12,000 conditioned pacing event, Warrawee Nonsuch (Nick Graffam) went from leading the race at the quarter to being a locked-in fourth along the pylons by the three-quarters. But after shaking loose around the far turn, Graffam high-lined Warrawee Nonsuch to allow him to pace and pace he did, right by leader Allstar Energy (Greg Merton) to win by a widening two lengths in 1:53.2.

It was the 30th lifetime win for the eight-year-old Jeremes Jet gelding that is owned by Michele Nelson and trained by Joe Nelson.

Hardy had a driving hat trick while Eric Davis and Greg Merton posted doubles for the day.

Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 21) at 4:00 p.m.

(Plainridge Park)

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