Plainville, MA — A pair of $20,000 trots topped the card at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 15), and both winners were backed by the betting public.
First, in the upper-level conditioned trot, Echo De Meautis FR ground out a hard fought victory to score his first win for his new connections.
Matty Athearn left from post seven with Echo De Meautis FR but was forced to settle in third as Cellular (Nick Graffam) was going down the road. Cellular set early fractions of :27.1 and :57 before Echo De Meautis FR was out and rolling again, this time unabated. Echo De Meautis FR matched strides with Cellular to three-quarters, around the last turn and into the stretch, and he reduced his deficit at each one of those stations. Trotting towards the line, Echo De Meautis FR methodically inched his way to the front and scored a neck victory over Cellular in 1:54.4.
It was the fourth win in the last five starts for Echo De Meautis FR ($5.00), but his first for owner Melvin Fink. Jimmy Nickerson trains the winner.
Athearn and Nickerson also hooked up to win with Rockinbilly’sdream (1:55.2, $2.10) and Downhome Punch (1:58.1, $4.20) to score a tag-team triple and lead their peers in their respective categories.
Then, in the 6-year-old and under trot, Sonny’s Moni remained undefeated in 2023 after brushing late to an easy victory.
Early leader Sonny’s Moni (Domenico Cecere) held the top spot to the :27.2 quarter before watching Perfect Titan (Brett Beckwith) overtake him before the half. After they passed that marker in :56.4, Bill Bauer (Drew Campbell) advanced in the breeze and took the lead from Perfect Titan by three-quarters while Sonny’s Moni was locked in fourth on the pylons. At the top of the stretch, Bill Bauer took the lead and Sonny’s Moni finally found some room and tipped into the middle of the racetrack. Without even raising a line, Cecere guided Sonny’s Moni as he bolted to the front and won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.1.
Sonny’s Moni ($2.60) has now won six consecutive races for owner Moni Maker Stable and Cecere, who also does the training.
For the second day in a row, Nick Graffam registered three driving wins during the card and, as a result, has moved into fourth place for dash wins at the current Plainridge meet with 53 victories, passing Kevin Switzer Jr., who has 51.
Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 17) at 4 p.m. There will be a $5,648 carryover in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in race six.