Plainville, MA — A prolific performer since landing in North America earlier this year, The Bird Dance N took flight once again on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 14) in the $25,000 Winners-Over Handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park and came out victorious for the seventh time this year.
Ron Cushing left from post eight and settled in third as Real Peace (Kevin Switzer Jr.) cut the quarter in :26.3. The Bird Dance N was soon on the move, grabbing the lead in front of the stands and controlling the race from there. As the group moved by the half, Cigars And Port (Wally Watson) pulled from third and applied pressure to the leader while they sped through three-quarters in 1:22.4, making things interesting for the rest of the mile.
Around the final turn, The Bird Dance N shook off that challenge and opened up a 1-1/2-length lead as they headed into the stretch. But the pesky Cigars And Port found a second wind and started to close in again. However, it wasn’t enough at the end, as The Bird Dance N threw in a swift :28 last panel and held strong under a line drive to win by a length in 1:50.4.
It was the third win in the last four starts for The Bird Dance N ($4.80) and owner Phillip Scott McKenzie. Heidi Gibbs trains the 6-year-old A Rocknroll Dance gelding.
There was an upset in the co-featured $22,500 upper-level conditioned pace, when Highrthananeagle A (Jay Randall) shipped in from Tioga Downs and tripped out at 14-1.
After taking the early lead, Highrthananeagle A relented that position to fellow newcomer Chatelroll (Nick Graffam), who set the fractions from just past the quarter until the top of the stretch. It was there that Randall tipped Highrthananeagle A from the pocket and out-stepped the leader to the line to win by a neck in a career best-tying time of 1:50.3.
Highrthananeagle A ($31.00) garnered his sixth win of the year for owners Lightning 5 Racing Stable, Joel Kahan, Lawrence Kittenplan and Winners Circle Racing. Rob Harmon trains the winner.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 15) with post time at 2 p.m.