Swedish Starlet N sets new mark in Plainridge Park Open

Plainville, MA — After taking last week off, Swedish Starlet N returned with a vengeance to win for the eighth time this year after capturing Tuesday’s (July 9) $20,000 Open Handicap pacing feature for fillies and mares at Plainridge Park in gate-to-wire fashion to take a new lifetime mark.

Matty “Ice” Athearn and Swedish Starlet N flew off the wings and seated the field in a swift :26 opening panel. With the girls following in single file, Swedish Starlet N got things her own way by backing the half down to :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. During that third quarter, the heavily favored Arizona (Brett Beckwith) pulled first-over from sixth and made her way to third in the breeze right next to the pocket-tripping Seaside Tina (Kevin Switzer Jr.) before the race entered the last turn. When they came out of that bend, Arizona went by Seaside Tina but couldn’t gain any ground on Swedish Starlet N, who bolted home while Athearn bounced in the bike and won by 1-1/2 lengths in a new career best of 1:51.2.

Swedish Starlet N took a new lifetime mark in Tuesday’s top distaff pace at Plainridge Park. Tom Melanson photo.

Swedish Starlet N ($7.60) is owned by Tim Bojarski and Tony Gruppo and is trained by Jimmy Nickerson.

Earlier in the $14,000 conditioned claiming event for 5-year-olds and under, ER Griffin (Kevin Switzer Jr.) left from post seven to grab the lead, set fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:23 with no legitimate threats from behind and turned for home, pulling away to a 2-1/2-length victory in 1:51.3, which was just one-fifth off his lifetime best clocking.

Er Griffin ($5.40) is owned and trained by Mike Eaton, in partnership with Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and Russell Young.

Driver Jimmy Hardy and trainer Jolene Andrews had a big day at Plainridge on Tuesday, leaving both on top of their respective categories for the day. Hardy scored a grand slam in the bike, winning with Bang Ah Uey (1:53.3, $2.20), Hungryforvictory (1:53.2, $16.00) and Baywatch Hanover (1:53.4, $3.40), all trained by Andrews, who had the hat trick, and then closed out his four-bagger with Roaring Kitty (1:52.3, $9.80).

Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (July 9) with post time at 4 p.m.; the card will feature a $1,026 carryover in the Wicked Hi-5 in race six.

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