Nows The Moment doubles up in Plainridge Open

Plainville, MA — After coming off a hard fought victory in the top trot last week, Nows The Moment came right back and scored an easy gate-to-wire win in the $25,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (July 2).

Nows The Moment cruised down the stretch to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:54.1. Tom Melanson photo.

Driver Mike Stevenson made it clear he would dictate the race and had Nows The Moment on the point immediately after the gate released the field. With a loose lead and little resistance from behind, Nows The Moment cut quarters of :27.1, :57 and 1:26.3 at three-quarters, where he held a 1-1/2 length advantage over the pocket-sitting Joey Bats (Kevin Switzer Jr.). Turning for home Joey Bats tipped out and tried to cut into the margin, but there was no catching Nows The Moment as he cruised down the stretch to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:54.1.

It was the 25th career win in only 91 lifetime starts for Nows The Moment ($6.40) who now has $389,172 earned for owner Sonya MacDonald. Alex MacDonald trains the winner.

The following race was the undercard $20,000 Winners Over Handicap Trot and Winding Hill (Shawn Gray) scored his third consecutive win after grabbing the lead by the half and never looking back to register his season’s best effort, timed in 1:55 2.

Winding Hill ($4.20) went over $300,000 lifetime with the win, now boasting $303,265 for owner Diane Whittemore. The 37-time winning 10-year-old is trained by Marissa Chadbourne.

Bruce Ranger has been on a tear of late at Plainridge Park and Friday (July 2) was no exception. Ranger piloted four winners during the day and extended his lead as the top dash winning driver at the current meet.

Ranger won with Dream Chapter (1:57.2, $2.40), Moni For Lindy (1:54.3, $2.60) and Marquis Lafayette (1:55.3, $3.20) in races two, three and four to complete the natural hat trick, and then added Walltocousins (1:57.2, $4.20) to fill out the grand slam.

With those four tallies, Ranger now has 78 wins for the meet, 11 ahead of the second place Shawn Gray (66).

Domenico Cecere trained all three horses that Ranger drove in the natural hat trick sequence, thus giving him that same distinction on the conditioning side. And he also led all trainers on Friday after those three stable members visited the winner’s circle.

Once again there was no single unique winning combination in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta on Friday and as a result, when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (July 5) at 4 p.m. there will be a $20,381 carryover on that wager in race six.

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