Western Stepp upsets; Campbell wins five at Plainridge

Plainville, MA – Although she has won at Yonkers Raceway, Bangor Raceway and Scarborough Downs in recent weeks, you’d have to go back to May 16 for Western Stepp’s last win at Plainridge Park. But that all changed on Thursday (Aug. 29) when the fast pacing mare scored an upset win in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap distaff feature at The Ridge.

Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) flew off the wings and took the lead by the eighth pole before yielding that position to Bye Bye Felicia (Jim Hardy) at the quarter where they stopped the clock in :26.2. By the time the race reached the half, there was an outer flow formed and advancing with Life Isa Shortwalk (Matt Athearn) on the point and the heavily favored Hilaria (Mike Stevenson) third over.

Western Stepp held off a hard charging Hilaria in the feature Thursday at Plainridge. Tom Melanson photo.

Now with four in and four out, positions remained unchanged up the backside to three-quarters where Life Isa Shortwalk began to tire allowing a clear path for the pocket-sitting Western Stepp to pop the deuce in front of the three-wide Hilaria. Coming off the turn Western Stepp was under a highly animated drive by Campbell and paced past Bye Bye Felicia. Hilaria was still charging and making up ground fast. However at the wire she came up a neck short behind Western Stepp who boldly hung on to win in 1:52, which was a new seasonal mark.

Western Stepp ($16.80) scored her eighth win of the year and 35th lifetime for owner Diane Dunn and ran her career earnings up to $311,401. James Dunn trains the 6-year-old daughter of Western Maverick-French Stepp.

Drew Campbell got one for the thumb on Thursday winning five races on the card, including a natural hat trick in races five through seven. He visited the winner’s circle with Roll With Ann (1:55, $2.60), Kitty Russell (1:55, $20.80), Angel Assault (1:55.4, $4.40), the aforementioned Western Stepp and Chief Altawick (1:54.4, $8.60).

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 30) with post time at 4 p.m. There will be a $15,927 carryover pool for the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the sixth race on Friday.

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