Plainville, Massachusetts— After being shipped from Yonkers to make its first-ever start in Massachusetts, Pure Cotton left the Commonwealth with the winner’s share of the purse, along with the new record it set in the Open Handicap Pace of 20,000 $ for fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon. (July 19).
Bruce Ranger left with Pure Cotton and placed third while Powered By Mach (Jay Randall) and Demeter N (Larry Stalbaum) battled fiercely for the lead. That scuffle provided a :26 quarter and a :53.2 half, at which point Probert (Nick Graffam) came rolling on the outside to join the leaders.
Pure Cotton continued to watch from the pylons as Demeter N wobbled three quarters, and Probert advanced to second place next to Powered By Mach. With all of the challengers now exhausted, Ranger swung Pure Cotton three deep in the lead of the lane and charged down the center of the track en route to a 1-1/4 length victory in 1:50.3.
The time was a new lifetime mark for Pure Cotton as well as a new track record for 4-year-old pacing mares, beating the time of 1:51.1 set by The Fun Marshall last year.
It was the fifth win in the last six starts for Pure Cotton ($9.00) and owner William Hartt. Lance Hudson coaches the winner.
The undercard featured three $15,000 condition races that also produced new marks.
In the first, Bottomoftheninth (Brett Beckwith) escaped from a fifth gap chasing Kak’s Rev It Up (John Nason) and Quarrel (Kevin Switzer Jr.), who fought hard through the first three quarters . But Beckwith took him out and rolled his back, and, after catching them on the final corner, burst to the line and won by a neck in a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4.
Bottomoftheninth ($5.60) is owned by Martin Valentic and coached by Elisha Lafrenière.
The second saw Adashious Hanover (Drew Monti) establish splits of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:23.1. But as the standings rallied around the far corner, Hilaria (Mike Stevenson) swung five from last and flew into the lane to take the win by a half-length in another season’s 1:52.
Hilaria ($8.00) is owned and trained by Ralph Andersen.
The three-race finale was the fastest of them all, with Unwritten Rule (Brett Beckwith) rolling the road in searing splits of :26.1, :53.4 and 1:21 while Anvil Hands (Jim Hardy ) got a perfect pocket trip. When the race straightened up to head home, Hardy knocked down Anvil Hands and drove him to the line first by three-quarter lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1.
Anvil Hands ($5.80) earned its sixth win of the year for owners Dave and Christine Thibault, Jim Hardy and owner-trainer Jolene Andrews.
Drivers Bruce Ranger and Kevin Switzer Jr. both scored hat tricks on Tuesday, and they were joined by trainer Elisha Lafrenière, who also had three wins.
Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (July 21) with the post time at 4 p.m. Free full race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website.
The Grand Circuit returns to Plainridge Park on Sunday, July 24, when the track hosts the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace. The special card release time will be at 2 p.m.