Charity takes center stage at Plainridge

by Jack Ginnetti

Marlborough, MA — Charity was the winner Tuesday (April 29) as Plainridge Racecourse staged its ninth annual Kentucky Derby charity raffle.

Eleven non-profit organizations sold a combined total of $16,625 in raffle tickets and earned a percentage on sold tickets that will be wagered on the Derby.

In addition, three lucky individuals won the giveaway drawing to wager on the ‘Run for the Roses’ on Saturday, May 3. The top prize of a $4,000 wager went to a resident of North Attleboro, Mass. The second and third place winners won $1,500 and $500 wagers. These wagers were provided by the track.

Four new charities took part in this year’s fund raiser. They included the Active Force Foundation; New England Harness Writers Association; Paws of Plainville; and Phoenix Rising Equine Rescue.

The other charities represented were the Alzheimer’s Foundation; American Credit Counseling; Harness Horse Youth Foundation; Plainville Athletic League; Plainville Lions Club and Standardbred Pleasure Horse; and Harness Horse Museum and Hall of Fame.

The project was directed by Donna Merrick, who began preparations as far back as January.

Others taking part in the gala affair held near the track’s grandstand ‘Wall of Fame’ were John DeFiore, Gary Piontkowski, and Stephen O’Toole. Plainville Police Chief Edward M. Merrick, Jr. was among the invited guests.

Hardy cited

After Tuesday’s second race at Plainridge, the New England Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association presented driver-trainer-owner Jim Hardy with an achievement citation.

Hardy equaled a track record of seven winners on a Plainridge card on April 22. The mark is also held by Stephen O’Toole and Greg Bowden.

The presentation was made by Robert Lieberman and John Ginnetti, with John DeFiore, Gary Piontkowski, O’Toole and Bowden taking part.

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