Touch Of Dragon, Tucker Creek take Plainridge features

Plainville, MA — The extreme heat that caused the postponement of Monday’s (July 27) card at Plainridge Park had somewhat subsided when the horses took the track on Tuesday (July 28) to contest those deferred races, and several stellar performances were put forth by both man and beast.

A pair of $10,000 condition paces were featured on Tuesday, and both winners followed similar come-from-behind routes.

Touch Of Dragon paced away to victory in a co-featured event on Tuesday at Plainridge Park.

In the first co-feature, Touch Of Dragon (Kevin Swtizer Jr.) got away sixth behind a fast :26.3 quarter set by the favored Pure Sunshine (Ron Cushing). As the field moved past the grandstand, Switzer tipped Touch Of Dragon, motored up the outside, and drew alongside Pure Sunshine by the top of the stretch. From there, Touch Of Dragon responded favorably to moderate urging from Switzer and paced away to win by three lengths in a lifetime mark of 1:53.4.

Touch Of Dragon ($11.20) got his second win in six 2020 starts for owners Michele Nelson, Walter Hight and Jeffery Foss. Joe Nelson trains the winner.

Tucker Creek’s co-featured win capped a natural grand slam for driver Drew Monti. Tom Melanson photos.

Later in the card, Tucker Creek (Drew Monti) floated out from post eight and dropped in fourth while McBeantown (Drew Campbell) led the group to the quarter in :26.3. Positions remained the same until just before the half, when Monti pulled Tucker Creek first-up and pulled alongside Mcbeantown at the three-quarters. At that point, Monti just raised the lines, tapped the bike shaft once and Tucker Creek motored home on cruise control to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:53.1.

It was the second consecutive win for Tucker Creek ($3.20), who campaigns for owners Joe Hayes Jr. and Paul Paoletti. Jimmy Nickerson is the trainer.

Drew Monti scored a natural grand slam in races four, five, six and seven. Besides Tucker Creek, Monti also won with American Fighter (1:57.3, $14.80), What A Hooligan (1:55, $3.20) and Worth Watching (1:56.1, $14.00).

Not to be outdone, Bruce Ranger also had a big day in the bike, winning three races with Plus One (1:52.3, $5.80), Hollywood Deemon (1:58.4, $17.60) and Maui (1:54, $3.20).

The 1:54 win by Maui (Bettor’s Delight-Barbara Ann), who is Massachusetts-bred and stakes eligible, set a new track record for 2-year-old pacing geldings, breaking the record of R Maddy Blue Chip set just last year. Maui is owned by KDK Standardbreds and trained by Kevin Switzer.

After only eight cards of racing so far this year, there have already been four track records broken at Plainridge.

There was an instant jackpot in the Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race, where a 20-cent ticket on the combination of 3-5-2-1-9 returned a whopping $14,603.70.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 30) with post time at 4 p.m.

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