Plainville, MA — The Bird Dance N has acclimated well since landing in North America earlier this year, and he added another win to his already impressive stats with a strong performance in the $25,000 Open Pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 16).
Ron Cushing pushed The Bird Dance N off the gate and to the quarter in a swift :26.2. With Moonshadow N (Bruce Ranger) and Extradite N (Brett Beckwith) following on the pegs, the group of six then motored to the half, where Artful Way (Jay Randall) moved from fourth and joined the fray on the rim.
The Bird Dance N continued to call the shots and didn’t let Artful Way get past his wheels, and when they rolled into the last turn, this bird had flown. The Bird Dance N swelled up and opened a two-length gap at the head of the stretch and paced home of his own accord to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.2.
It was the fourth win in only six North American — three of which were at Plainridge — for The Bird Dance N ($3.40), who has earned $45,500 in those outings for his owner Philip Scott McKenzie. Heidi Gibbs trains the 6-year-old gelding.
In an undercard Open that went for $22,500, Lachie Maguire N came from last at the top of the stretch to score an impressive sweeping victory.
Quick Shot (Jay Randall) took the lead by the quarter and slowed the pace down to :56.3 at the half. It was there that Wyatt J (Drew Campbell) was first-up in the breeze with Thinkbig Dreambig (Bruce Ranger) on his back. At this point, Lachie Maguire N (Brett Beckwith) had been shuffled to last and was covered.
Around the last turn, Wyatt J overtook Quick Shot, and Thinkbig Dreambig was then quickly breathing down his neck. But Beckwith found room at the head of the lane, swung Lachie Maguire N five-wide, and he swooped the group to the wire and won by a half length in 1:52.
The fifth win of the year by Lachie Maguire N ($19.40) pushed his seasonal earnings to $76,015 for owner J M F Racing. Melissa Beckwith trains the winner.
Drivers Nick Graffam and Bruce Ranger both had hat tricks on Thursday while trainer Elisha Lafreniere doubled up.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Sept. 17) with post time at 2 p.m.