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Wally Watson earns 2,000th driving win
Thursday, July 05, 2018 - by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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Plainville, MA --- Longtime New England horseman and Plainridge Park regular Wally Watson hit a career milestone in the eighth race on Thursday (July 5) when Cyclone Artist pulled three-deep around the last turn and paced away to win in 1:53.3, giving Watson his 2,000th career driving victory.

Tom Melanson photo
Wally Watson earned his 2,000th career driving win with Cyclone Artist on Thursday at Plainridge Park.
Watson, who lives in Cumberland, Maine, started his driving career in 1987 and has been a full-time participant in the sport ever since. He has a total of 16,413 lifetime starts with 2,000 wins, 2,332 seconds, 2,377 thirds and $5,545,755 million in earnings. Watson had a single-season career high 168 wins in 1998 and just completed his best ever season for earnings in 2017 when he made $455,685 in purses.

At the current Plainridge meet, Watson has 18 wins in 190 starts with $178,103 in earnings. Watson also has 6,137 training starts over his career, with 722 wins, 925 seconds and 908 thirds, along with $2,555,499 million in the bank.

Wally Watson was greeted in the winner’s circle by friends and family after the race, along with every driver competing on the Thursday card.

While Watson captured the spotlight for top human achievement of the day, Osprey Vision stole the show for the equine set by winning the featured $12,000 conditioned event for the diagonal-gaited.

Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) left sharply and grabbed the lead by the eighth pole before letting Nathaniel (Drew Campbell) overtake that position by the quarter. These two raced in that order to the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.1 with a pesky French Moni (Patrizio Ancora) parked outside prompting the leaders.

Coming off the far turn, the top three held the same positions, but Nathaniel started to tire and drifted away from the pylons. This provided Osprey Impact a clear path and the shortest route to the wire. While French Moni continued to drive on the grandstand side, Osprey Impact barrelled down the stretch on the inside and out-muscled them all to win in 1:55.

It was the third win of the year and second straight victory at Plainridge Park for Osprey Impact ($6.80), who is owned by Paul Larrabee and trained by Robert Marston.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 6) with post time at 4 p.m.

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