Open pacers top Thursday Plainridge program

Plainville, MA — A pair of Open paces highlighted the action at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 26).

Seven mares lined up in the $20,000 distaff Open, where visiting Yonkers regular Chuppah On ran away with the show.

Betterb Chevron N (Matty Athearn) had a comfortable lead to the half in :57.2 when Chuppah On (Kevin Switzer Jr.) pulled first-over from fourth, drew even with the leader midway up the backstretch, and then opened up a four-length lead past three-quarters in 1:24.1. From there, she maintained a substantial lead, allowing Switzer to have Chuppah On wrapped up down the lane for a 4-1/4-length victory in 1:53.1.

On the strength of a bold middle move, Chuppah On waltzed to victory in the Fillies and Mares Open Pace.

It was the third win of the year for Chuppah On ($4.60), who now shows $74,515 in 2022 earnings for owners Brian and Ira Wallach Racing. Tahnee Camilleri was the winning trainer.

Then came the main event, the $25,000 Open for male pacers, and another Yonkers regular, Rock Candy, upset the field.

Bill Haley N (Bruce Ranger) cut the mile and, after a swift :26.1 qaurter, saw an outer flow start to challenge. Points North (Luke Hanners) and Mach Le More A (Leon Bailey) were pacing outside while Skyway Victor (Kevin Switzer Jr.) tracked from the pocket. At three-quarters, eventual winner Rock Candy (Shawn Gray) was locked in fifth and had nowhere to go.

As they headed around the last turn, Skyway Victor pulled the pocket and drew alongside Bill Haley N, and the two opened up two lengths on the field at the head of the stretch. But Gray found room as well and shook Rock Candy three-deep around both front battlers. Rock Candy flew by both down the stretch and won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:50.3, which was a new seasonal mark.

Rock Candy vaulted to the fore in deep stretch to post a lifetime mark in Thursday’s Open Pace at Plainridge. Tom Melanson photos.

Rock Candy ($14.20) registered his third win of the year for the Jesmeral Stable and trainer Matty Medeiros.

Drivers Bruce Ranger and Kevin Switzer Jr. led all others on Thursday winning three races each during the afternoon.

The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta was hit in race six and the combination of 5-4-6-3-7 returned $15,352.16 for a 20-cent wager.

Live racing at Plainridge Park resumes on Monday (May 30) with post time at 4 p.m. Free full past performance race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website and clicking the “Racing” tab.

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