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Plainridge Trot Mark Could Fall Twice

Published: July 28, 2017 11:01 am ET

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All eyes will be focused on the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park today (July 28) as the best trotters in North America will compete in the newest stake on the Grand Circuit schedule.

Many experts feel the stellar field going postward in the ninth race will produce a new all-time trotting record for the track and that could probably be the case. But the $25,000 “Old North Church” Open Handicap trot, which will be contested one race before the feature, may actually do it first.

Gural Hanover (Matt Kakaley), Mambo Lindy (Greg Merton) and Wings Of Royalty (Yannick Gingras) were all Spirit of Massachusetts eligible, but didn’t make the field based on earnings over the past two years. As a result, their connections opted to enter them in the co-featured event and they have all the fire power needed to smash the existing mark of 1:53.

Gural Hanover hasn't been worst than second in his last six starts, except for an untimely break at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (June 24). Over his career Gural Hanover boasts 19 wins, $865,224 in earnings and a personal best of 1:51 registered at the Meadowlands on June 2 of this year. The six-year-old Crazed gelding has five wins in 2017 and is nine out of 12 in the money. Leaving from post eight and being listed as the 9-5 morning line choice means trainer Ron Burke will be starting the favourite in both main events.

Mambo Lindy has a definite home field advantage. The six-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover has raced over the Plainridge surface his entire life and has excelled in most of his efforts. In 31 lifetime starts, Mambo Lindy has 19 wins, 17 of which were at Plainridge. This year he's won five out of six starts at The Ridge, including a 1:53.3 effort by three lengths on Thursday (June 22) where he looked like he had a lot more left in the tank. Trainer Frank Antonacci sends this one to the gate from post six at 2-1.

Massachusetts-bred Wings Of Royalty will have some strong backing in the stands on Friday, as all of his connections have New England roots. This 5-year-old R C Royalty horse won his first start of the year at Tioga Downs in 1:53.2, setting a new track record for older trotting horses. Then after a short layoff due to a foot issue, he won the Open trot on Friday (July 14) at Vernon Downs in 1:52.4 by five lengths, which was his best outing to date. Walpole’s own George Ducharme trains Wings Of Royalty and is the third choice at 3-1, leaving from post four.

Wings Of Royalty set the all-time track trot record of 1:53.2 at Plainridge last year that was broken just last week by Up The Alley, who is also in this race.

Up The Alley has four wins this year and is currently on a two-race win streak, scoring at the Meadowlands in 1:52.2 the week before setting the new mark at The Ridge. Trainer Richard Silverman has tabbed Mark MacDonald to drive the five-year-old gelded son of Muscle Mass this week and they will go to work from post seven at 7-1.

Please note that coverage and live streaming of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot will be available Friday at DRF Harness and at the Plainridge Park website (

Post time for the first race is 4:00 p.m. The Spirit of Massachusetts Trot is race nine on the card and is slated to go off at 6:40 p.m.

There will be some special promotions on tap for fans who attend the Spirit of Massachusetts day card.

Plainridge Park will be giving away inaugural edition Spirit of Massachusetts Trot baseball caps starting at 3:30 p.m. in the grandstand. They are limited to one per customer and will be available while supplies last.

Live racing fans will also have the opportunity to win tickets to the Super Bowl rematch between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons to be played at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (Oct. 22).

In order to win, customers must place losing Plainridge pari-mutuel tickets with their name and telephone number printed on the back in boxes numbered 1-9, corresponding with the nine horses in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot. After that race, a winner will be drawn from the corresponding numbered box as the winner of the race. Only losing Plainridge tickets can be used for entry.

For more information about the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, log onto the Plainridge Park website at and click the “Live Racing” tab.

(Plainridge Park)

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