To watch a replay of the Spirit of Massachusetts, click here.
Plainville, MA – Manchego put on a display of devastating speed in a gate to wire victory in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 26) and set a new world record for aged trotting mares over a 5/8th’s mile track when she tripped the timer in 1:49.3.
Manchego broke her own world record of 1:50.1 set at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 2019. The time also smashed the all-age track trotting record at Plainridge Park, besting the 1:51.2 set by JL Cruze in the 2017 Spirit Trot.
Dexter Dunn had Manchego revved up off the gate and shot right for the lead with Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) dropping in the pocket from post seven as the race passed the quarter in a blistering :25.2. The field remained in single file as Manchego marched to the half in :53.3 and the three-quarters in 1:21 with Atlanta in deliberate pursuit.
As the pair trotted away from the field around the last turn, Gingras pulled Atlanta off the pylons to take her best shot at the leader. But as soon as she pulled, Manchego accelerated, opened up two lengths and proceeded to the wire under no urging at all to win wrapped-up by 2-1/2 lengths.
Atlanta held on for second and Run Director (David Miller) closed fast to finish third.
It was the 31st career win for Manchego ($3) and it pushed her lifetime earnings to $2,342,705. The 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic is owned by Black Horse Racing and is trained by Nancy Takter.
One race earlier in the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace, Shartin N made herself right at home again at Plainridge as she broke the all-age track record that she set here just last year.
Tim Tetrick put Shartin N on the point immediately as Kissin In The Sand (Yannick Gingras) left from post four and followed closely with the two-hole trip. After the quick :26.2 quarter and with no pressure at all, Tetrick backed down the second panel to :28.1 and the race seemed well in control for him at that point.
By the five-eighths, Gingras pulled Kissin In The Sand and tried to draw alongside Shartin N, but never got closer than a length around the far turn. Tetrick eased the lines a bit and gave Shartin N her head and the mare swelled up down the lane, opening up 2-1/4 lengths in a :27 flat last panel and won in 1:48.1.
Stablemate Soho Burning Love A (Jordan Stratton) rallied late to finish second and 38-1 shot Philly Hanover (Dexter Dunn) completed the board.
The time was a new all-age track record at Plainridge Park, which was set last year in this same stake by Shartin N when she cruised home in 1:49.1, and it was only one-fifth of a second off the world record of 1:48 for an aged pacing mare over a five-eighths mile track that is co-held by her and Somwherovrarainbow.
This was the 44th career victory for Shartin N ($2.60) who has now earned $2,244,946 for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and Tim Tetrick. The 7-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin is trained by Jim King Jr.