by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
Plainville, MA — Wisely avoiding an early front-end fracas, Jericho brushed late in a slick steer by his owner to win the $13,000 “Old North Church” trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 16).
Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) got off the gate the best, flying to the top before the first turn. But Tag Up And Go (Mitchell Cushing) was out and rolling and took the lead at the quarter in :27.1. He then surrendered it immediately to Dial A Chic (Joe Di Stefano) in front of the stands before coming back to retake the top as they headed to the half. As they passed the half in :56.1 Shorething Fashion had pulled from third and was now challenging Tag Up And Go for the lead once again.
All this time Jericho (Robert Kenney) was watching the race from last.
With three horses now in the outer flow as the race progressed up the backside, Jericho pulled from eighth and trotted up to be fourth-over at the three-quarters and immediately tipped three-deep. With Shorething Fashion opening up a two length lead around the far turn, Jericho was trotting up a storm and passing horses like pylons. At the top of the stretch Jericho engaged Shorething Fashion and the two trotted in-sync to the wire where Jericho got the nod by a head in 1:56.1.
It was the second win in the last three starts and the fifth win of the year for Jericho ($10.40) who now has pocketed $49,991 for owners Linda and Robert Kenney and the Di Stefano and Son Stable. John Di Stefano trains the winner.
In the co-featured $13,000 “Abigail Adams” pace for fillies and mares, Twist Of Fate (Jimmy Whittemore) led the first quarter before settling into a two-hole trip behind Angel Or Terror (Drew Campbell) until the top of the stretch. There she came out to challenge down the lane and outpaced Angel Or Terror to the wire to win in 1:53.1.
Let It Ride Stable acquired Twist Of Fate ($16.80) in a private purchase on September 26 and their investment has paid immediate dividends. This was her second win in only three starts since then and the time was just two-fifths off her lifetime mark.
Mitchell Cushing led all drivers with three wins on the day followed by Drew Campbell and Jimmy Whittemore who each had two.
The Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) return to Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 22) and Tuesday (Oct. 23) with the third leg for both 2- and 3-year-olds of both gaits and sexes. The MASS finals will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 30).
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 18) with post time at 2 p.m.