Plainville, MA — Making a second-over trip work to perfection, Nick Graffam guided Only Passing Thru to a strong come-from-behind victory in the $16,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (May 17).
Joey Bats (John Beckwith) and Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) argued heartily for the lead before Joey Bats took it over at the quarter. As the field moved towards the half, an outer flow began to form with Northern Skyway (Bruce Aldrich Jr.), Only Passing Thru and Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) marching forward in that order.
The race stayed the same up the backside until Joey Bats hit three-quarters in 1:24.4 and started to fade, leaving Northern Skyway on top in the middle and Only Passing Thru tipping three-deep for the stretch drive. When Only Passing Through hit the straight, he swelled up and trotted on to the finish, leaving his competition behind him to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.3.
It was the fourth win in 13 starts this year for Only Passing Thru ($6.60) and owner Diane Whittemore. Marissa Chadbourne trains the winner.
In the $12,000 co-featured conditioned trot, Lindy The Great got his season off and rolling with his first win of the year as the prohibitive 1-9 favorite.
Lindy The Great (Patrizio Ancora) took a leisurely outside stroll to the front and cleared past the quarter in :28.4. Ancora kept him motoring along unimpeded for the next half mile, until Sortie Hanover (Drew Campbell) advanced up the rim and the pocket-sitting Front Street (Jay Randall) mounted a mild bid from the three-quarters until they hit the stretch. But Lindy The Great was unfazed and trotted home methodically to win easily and wrapped up in 1:55.2.
Lindy The Great ($2.20) has now earned $413,810 lifetime in only 32 starts for owners K R Breeding LLC and Robert Rudolf. Domenico Cecere does the training.
Last year, Lindy The Great faced the likes of Homicide Hunter, Pinkman and Guardian Angel AS. This year, he may meet some of them again as he is eligible to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot that will be held at Plainridge Park on July 28.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 20) with post time at 4 p.m.