Ahi Sunshine shone brightly in Plainridge Park Open

Plainville, MA — Ahi Sunshine has already won six races this year, but none of them came at Plainridge Park, despite having started there five times. That all changed on Monday (July 8) afternoon when the 4-year-old horse captured the $20,000 Open Handicap pacing feature in a career best effort at The Ridge.

Ahi Sunshine picked up his seventh win of the season on Monday in the co-feature at Plainridge Park. Tom Melanson photo.

Ahi Sunshine (Drew Monti) got away a gapped sixth as Alex Having Fun (Nick Graffam) took over a quarter to gain the lead from Torrid Saint A (Matty Athearn). Alex Having Fun settled in on top and then cruised to the half in :54.4 without any challenges from behind. However, that was about to change as Ahi Sunshine started his attack at the half and made his way alongside Alex Having Fun at three-quarters. After the pair paced in synchronicity around the final bend, Ahi Sunshine broke away from the duel and paced clear by 1-1/2 lengths to win and take a new lifetime mark of 1:50.3.

Ahi Sunshine ($8.60) scored his seventh win of the year for owner Janie Kellogg and trainer Jacki Greene, who scored two winners on Monday.

In the undercard $17,000 conditioned pace, Justa Little Bit A (Nick Graffam) got away 10-1/2 lengths behind Ucanttouchthis (Bruce Ranger) who set frantic fractions of :25.4, :53.2 and 1:21.1 through three-quarters. But Graffam had Justa Little Bit A out and rolling second-over behind Lifes A Puzzle (Kevin Switzwer Jr.) until they came off the far turn where he vacated the screen and made up a four-length deficit in the stretch to win in 1:50.3.

Justa Little Bit A sprung the upset in the co-feature on Monday at the Ridge. Tom Melanson photo.

Justa Little Bit A ($51.60) is owned and trained by Gretchen Athearn.

Justa Little Bit A wasn’t the only upset on the day. There was also Sixfingerfreddie (1:51.4, $63.60) and Meadowbrook Flash (1:52.3, $21.80) who lit up the tote board.

The Beckwith Boys were at it again on Monday with driver Brett getting a grand slam and trainer Mark doing a double. Brett’s winners included To The Hunt (1:51.3, $3.40) and General Ward (1:53, $7.00) who were both trained by Mark, and Ideal Funding N (1:51, $3.20) and Sportsnest (1:55.2, $7.00) who rounded out his quadruple.

Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (July 9) with post time at 4 p.m.

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