Plainville, MA — “Dripping with class” is the best way to describe Artful Way, and his pedigree was on full display as he won the $25,000 Open Handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 23).
Driver Drew Campbell picked up the lines on Artful Way this week and got way fifth while Cigars And Port (Wally Watson) got to the quarter in a conservative :27.4. Not content sitting back, Campbell pulled in front of the stands and launched Artful Way to the front by the half, from where he controlled the pace throughout.
Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) and Rollinlikethunder (Drew Monti) advanced on the outside as the race moved up the back straight and hastened the pace considerably, making Artful Way cut a :26.2 third quarter just to stay ahead. But not only did he maintain his lead, he turned back both challengers in the final turn and then rebuffed late surges by the pocket-sitting Cigars And Port and Quick Shot (Shawn Gray) down the lane to win by a half length in 1:50.4.
On the strength of his seventh win of the year and 66th lifetime, Artful Way ($4.40) has now banked $110,760 in 2021 and went over three-quarters of a million dollars in lifetime earnings, now boasting $756,115 in the bank. For his career to date, Artful Way has won 36 percent of his races and has been in the money 61 percent of the time. The distinguished 9-year-old gelded son of Artistic Fella-Art Debut is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stable and is trained by Jackie Greene.
Drew Campbell ended up the day’s top driver at Plainridge with three wins, while Jackie Greene recorded a training double.
Earlier on the card, Thinkbig Dreambig (Bruce Ranger) dropped out of Open company and picked up a victory in the $20,000 upper-level conditioned pace, going gate-to-wire in a season’s best clocking of 1:50.3. Thinkbig Dreambig ($5.20) is owned by Brixton Medical, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk, and is trained by Domenico Cecere.
Other horsemen who had doubles on Thursday included drivers Shawn Gray and Bruce Ranger, and trainer Jamie Gerard.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Sept. 24) at 2 p.m.