Cigars And Port was master of fractions in Plainridge feature

Plainville, MA – After winning his first two starts in Massachusetts, Cigars And Port came up short in his subsequent pair of outings due to an outside draw and an off track. But everything fell into place for him on Monday (June 28) and he went gate to wire in the $20,000 Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park.

Driver Bruce Ranger sent Cigars And Port off the gate and took the lead while the field followed in single file behind. The six-pack of side-wheelers hit the quarter in :26.3 and the half in :56.1 when Kiwi Tintin N (Nick Graffam) pulled first-over from fourth and paced up towards the leader. Cigars And Port continued his march at the five-eighths with Force N Fury (Drew Monti) in the pocket and Kiwi Tintin N on his outside flank.

Cigars and Port went gate to wire today in the $20K Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge. Tom Melanson photo.

They hit the three-quarters in 1:23.3 and headed into the final turn where Kiwi Tintin N began to fade. This allowed Force N Fury the opportunity to pull and challenge, and at the head of the stretch that’s exactly what he did. Force N Fury was pacing under a full head of steam, but so was Cigar And Port who was up by a length. Despite his best effort in the final strides, Force N Fury came up one-quarter of a length short and Cigars And Port won in 1:51.3, equaling his best time of 2021.

It was the sixth win of the year for Cigars And Port ($5.60) who is owned by the Scheigert Racing Stable and is trained by Amanda Kelley.

Odds On Lauderdale held off a strong late challenge by Mansome to win by a neck in the co-feature. Tom Melanson photo.

The red hot Ranger who has won 12 races over the last three cards of racing, also won the co-featured $15,000 Winners-Over pace with Odds On Lauderdale ($6.20) who left from post one, led every step of the mile and held off a strong late challenge from Mansome (Drew Monti) to win by a neck in 1:51.3. Odds On Lauderdale is owned by his trainer Mike Eaton along with Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and Russel Young.

Bruce Ranger ended up with a driving triple on Monday, but he was not alone in that achievement.

The father-and-son team of trainer Mike Graffam and driver Nick Graffam combined to score a natural hat trick in the seventh, eighth and ninth races while the training/driving tandem of Jimmy Nickerson and Drew Monti also won three races during the course of the program.

The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta carryover continues to grow as there was no unique combination selected once again on Monday. So when live racing resumes at The Ridge on Thursday (June 30), there will be a carryover of $13,966 for that wager in the sixth race. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.

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