“Matty Ice” has a big day at Plainridge Park

Plainville, MA – Fresh off of piloting the fastest mile ever recorded by a Massachusetts-bred pacer last week when Stihl N won in 1:50 at Plainridge Park, Matty Athearn was on point again Monday (June 7) when he registered the 500th win of his young driving career and then won the featured race to put the exclamation point on his day at the Ridge.

Matty Athearn picked up win #500 of his driving career in the second race today while piloting Makin Money Fast at Plainridge. Tom Melanson photo.

Athearn took care of business quickly in the second race when Rosecroft Raceway transplant Makin Money Fast ($17.40) out-dueled the front-running Mr. Right Hanover (Shawn Gray) to the wire to win by 1/4 length in a lifetime best 1:52.3 and claim career win number 500.

Then in the $20,000 Winners-Over pace for horses and geldings, Athearn got away seventh with Artful Way while Duplicated N (Bruce Ranger) cut the fractions. As the race passed the half in :55.4, Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) was rolling up the outside with Artful Way in tow and they both continued to make up ground going to three-quarters.

Duplicated N and Rock Diamonds N paced around the last turn in lock-step while Artful Way took full advantage of the shield. Before they straightened for home, Athearn tipped Artful Way three-high and got himself down low in the process. Then with a few taps of the wheel disk, Artful Way swelled up and paced away to a 1-1/4 length victory and seasonal mark of 1:51.3.

Artful Way, with “Matty Ice” on the reins, paced to a 1-1/4 length victory in the feature this afternoon at Plainridge. Tom Melanson photo.

It was the 63rd career win for the venerable Artful Way ($13.20) who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stable and trained by Jackie Greene.

There was another stellar field of Winners-Over male pacers who vied for $15,000 in the secondary feature and that group produced the fastest mile of the day.

The front-running Major Leaguer (Nick Graffam) took his usual spot on the point to the quarter in :26.3, but Yonkers invader St. Lads Neptune (Shawn Gray) had other ideas and grabbed the lead from him and completed the first half in :54.3. It was there that Mansome (Drew Monti) was out in the breeze, moving steadily towards the leader.

Mansome drew alongside St. Lads Neptune before the three-quarters and paced side-by-side with him around the far turn. When they hit the top of the stretch, Mansome looked strong and paced away under moderate Monti motivation to score a 1-1/4 length win in 1:50.4, which was a new lifetime mark.

Mansome ($7.20) is owned by Bruce Weinstein and his trainer, Elisha Lafreniere.

Finally, the top fillies and mares on the grounds had their big weekly bout in the $15,000 Winners-Over for distaff side-wheelers and The Fun Marshall (Bruce Ranger) certainly had a good time. After grabbing the lead past the quarter that went in a brisk :26.3, The Fun Marshall backed off the half to :55.4 before stepping off a sharp :27 third panel. Around the far turn the mare stretched out to a four length advantage and The Fun Marshall hit the line alone under Ranger wraps in 1:51.1, which was a new lifetime mark.

With that win, The Fun Marshall ($2.80) went over the quarter-million dollar mark lifetime, now sporting a bankroll of $256,881 for owners Jim Winske, David Winske and Stephen Michaels. Melissa Beckwith trains the winner.

There was no winner in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager again today and as a result, there will be an $18,974.05 carry over in the sixth race on Thursday (June 10) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race is set at 4 p.m.

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