Plainville, MA — La Always Amartini had been based at Yonkers Raceway until last week, when she shifted northeast and finished second at Plainridge Park. Seven days later, the second time proved to be a charm for the 6-year-old mare, as she scored her first Massachusetts win in the $15,000 conditioned distaff feature at Plainridge on Thursday afternoon (May 6).
La Always Amartini (Kevin Switzer Jr.) watched from sixth as Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) and Maverick Fiber (John Nason) played give-and-go with the lead to the half. After reaching that station in :56, Sweet Sue became the pacesetter for the second time and braced for the assault from the rear of the field.
Sweet Style (Jay Randall) came rolling first-up on the rim with La Always Amartini on her back, but that lineup changed near the three-quarter pole, when Switzer tipped La Always Amartini three-deep into the last turn and drew alongside Sweet Sue. Now embroiled in a heated dispute, Hardy and Switzer both started driving hard with lines and tails flagging in the breeze. Sweet Sue fought hard to hold her position, but La Always Amartini had the better foot this day and pulled away to a 1-1/4 length win in 1:53.4.
It was the first win of 2021 and a seasonal mark for La Always Amartini ($6.80), who is owned by Fox Racing and trained by Jimmy Nickerson.
There was an instant jackpot payout in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta at Plainridge on Thursday. Despite even money favorite Lillian Rose (1:55.3, $4.00) winning the race, 59-1 shot For Chip’s Sake finished third and 38-1 Tempra Hanover finished fifth to bring serious value to the 3-7-9-5-1 combination, which paid $10,930.92 for a 20-cent wager.
Bruce Ranger led all drivers with three wins on Thursday.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 7) with post time at 4 p.m.