by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
Plainville, MA — The third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for first-year state-breds resumed at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 22) after a one week break and offered four divisions vying for $163,434 in total purse money.
First-time series starter Taylor Swiftly and two-time series winner Simple Kaos took different paths to victory but both turned in dominating performances.
$40,300 2-year-old filly trot
Winner: Taylor Swiftly (Trixton-True Diva) 1:58.2
Owners: Lindy Farms of Connecticut
Trainer: Dominico Cecere
Breeder: Lindy Farms of Connecticut
Scott Zeron took Taylor Swiftly off the gate to settle in fourth and watched as Crystalline (Shawn Gray) took command by the quarter. The race progressed to the five-eighths before Ev’s Girl (Steve Smith) pulled first-over and Taylor Swiftly was happy to follow with the cover. Crystalline was beginning to trot away from the field around the last turn, opening up a three length advantage. So Zeron tipped Taylor Swiftly three-deep around Ev’s Girl and really got the filly in gear. Taylor Swiftly drew alongside Crystalline at the head of the stretch and as soon as she did, Crystalline broke, leaving Taylor Swiftly to trot home alone under wraps by three lengths in 1:58.2.
It was one start and one win in the MASS for Taylor Swiftly who now joins Ev’s Girl and Just Enuf Sass who each have the same win record in this division heading into the final.
$40,500 2-year-old colt and gelding trot
Winner: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) 1:57.4
Owners: George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson
Trainer: George Ducharme
Breeder: Michelle Larson
Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) left nothing to chance as he bolted for the lead and headed his group at every station during the mile. After going :28.3, :58.1 and 1:27.2 by a gapped two lengths on top, Simple Kaos trotted away effortlessly to a four length victory in 1:57.4 while The Fixer (Mark Athearn) outdueled Precision (Steve Smith) for place.
Simple Kaos won his three MASS legs by a combined 14 lengths and looks to become a champion next week.
$42,334 2-year-old colt and gelding pace
Winner: Victorias Maverick (Western Maverick-Perfect Launch) 1:55.3
Owners: Leighton Property and Bruce Plouffe
Trainer: Valerie Grondin
Breeder: Lynn-Marie Plouffe
It was gate-to-wire once again for Victorias Maverick who got little challenge from anyone else in the race. Cutting the quarters in :27.3, :56.4 and 1:26, Victorias Maverick was on top by four heading into the lane and cruised home an easy winner in 1:55.3.
Victorias Maverick won by a total of 16 lengths in his three MASS victories and should be heavily favored next week in the final.
$40,300 2-year-old filly pace
Winner: Karan’s Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) 1:58.1
Owner: Al Ross
Trainer: Jim Hardy
Breeder: Al Ross
Karan’s Choice (Jim Hardy) sat second behind Cominrightatyou (Ron Cushing) in a two-horse breakaway through fractions of :30, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before pulling in the lane. From there it was a hard fought stretch battle between the two all the way to the wire where Karan’s Choice got the advantage to win by a neck in 1:58.1.
Karan’s Choice will join Victorias Maverick and Simple Kaos as undefeated MASS finalists.
The MASS continues at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 23) when the 3-year-olds get together for their third and final leg. Five divisions will compete for a total of $163,000 in purse money as they all try to make the final next week. One MASS leg on Tuesday is a non-betting race and goes off at 1:45 p.m. The regular betting card has a post time of 2 p.m. with the MASS events going as races one through four.
The MASS finals will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 30) at Plainridge Park with a record $800,000 in purse money to be distributed. Eight divisions will go for $100,000 each and state champions will be determined for age, sex and gait.
For more information on the Massachusetts Sire Stakes, log onto www.sominc.net.