Gibbs, Cushing sweep Plainridge features

Plainville, MA — Trainer Heidi Gibbs and driver Ron Cushing brought their big guns Bettors Fire N and Mach Doro A to Plainridge Park to make their first starts since the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway in April. Both horses fired in a big way, winning the top two pacing classes at the track on Monday afternoon (May 13).

Bettors Fire N won the $16,000 Open Handicap Pace with the fastest mile of the meet to date.

Bettors Fire N led a one-two punch for Heidi Gibbs and Ron Cushing on Monday at Plainridge Park. Tom Melanson photo.

Cushing left from post four with Bettors Fire N and dropped in second behind Avatartist (Mark Eaton), who was on a mission to the quarter in :25.4. But shortly after that panel, he tugged the right line and Bettors Fire N was out and on the move, drawing alongside Avatartist at the half and clearing by three-quarters in 1:22.1. He paced sharply around the last turn, and after Cushing tapped the wheel disc once at the top of the stretch, Bettors Fire N was on cruise control and the big horse motored home to win in 1:50.1.

Bettors Fire N ($5.80) scored his 48th lifetime win and pushed his earnings to just under $790,000. The winning time was also a new lifetime mark.

Earlier in the card, stablemate Mach Doro A stood out in victory in the $14,000 Winners-Over Pace.

Mach Doro A got away last while fellow countryman Lettucerockthem A (Jay Randall) was the keeper of the quarters. After stopping the clock in :26.4, :56 and 1:24.1, Lettucerockthem A was doing a good job of holding off a three-horse outer flow that tracked him since the three-eighths. But as they were fanning off the final turn, Mach Doro A wound up from the back of the pack, tipping four-wide under a hand drive. He cleared the leaders at the top of the lane and cruised home as Cushing sat chilly to win handily in 1:52.2.

Mach Doro A ($8.00) paced his back half in :55.3 on the rim and also took a new lifetime mark for his effort.

Both horses are owned by Kevin Sywyk, Frank Ranaldi and their driver Ron Cushing.

Shawn Gray led all drivers on Monday with a grand slam. He scored with Spark A Dream (1:58.3, $2.20), Deetzy (1:52, $8.00), Modern Yankee (1:56.2, $3.60) and Beachchip Hanover (1:54.3, $4.00). Gray sits in first place this meet for dash wins with 33, six ahead of the second place Mitchell Cushing.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 16) with post time at 4 p.m.

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