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Massachusetts Sire Stakes 3-year-old preview
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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Plainville, MA --- The $1.5 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes kicks off at Plainridge Park next week with the 3-year-old trotters and pacers of both genders competing in the first leg on Tuesday (Oct. 2) going for $35,000 per division. 

Many of the horses eligible to the MASS have also competed in other racing jurisdiction’s sire stake programs as a result of the resident mare program in Massachusetts. The duality of eligibility is one of the benefits of breeding in Massachusetts along with the growing purse structure year over year. 

Here are some of the MASS eligibles who will be probable starters the first of next month and a look at what they have been doing so far this year.

3-year-old pacing colts 

Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) has had a stellar year on the Maine Sire Stake circuit, winning four legs and finishing second and third two times each as well. His mark is 1:57 at Scarborough Downs this year and he has earned $35,977 for his efforts. He was a major player in the MASS last year, tying a stakes record of 1:56 for his division and it looks like he has continued to improve since then. Dean Malin bred and owns Twelve and has Eddie Davis Jr. doing the training. 

Pembroke Pharoah (Baron Biltmore-Migraine) has also been a star on the Maine Sire Stakes, winning five legs and earning $34,807 so far this year. He took a mark of 1:56.4 at Windsor and has hit the board nine out of 11 times. He did win one leg of the MASS at two, but was disqualified for interference after the race so he will look to get his first official win in that series this year. William Varney owns Pembroke Pharoah with his driver, Heath Campbell, and also bred the horse with his trainer, Valerie Grondin. 

Last year’s 2-year-old champion I’m A Clown (I’m Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) has been lightly raced back this year, getting only five starts between Plainridge Park and Harrington Raceway. But he has been improving of late and will be back to defend his freshman title for his owner Nelson Malin III and trainer Kevin Switzer. Malin and Switzer bred I’m A Clown. 

3-year-old pacing fillies

Gonna Hear Me Rohr (Western Maverick-Heather K) has five wins and two seconds in Maine Sire Stakes action to date with a lifetime mark of 1:58.1 at Skowhegan with earnings of $35,205. That’s quite a turnaround from her only two starts last year where she was distanced in both and it’s quite possible that she will be the one to beat in this division this year. Bradford Veilleux owns Gonna Hear Me Rohr who is trained by James Dunn and was bred by Heidi Rohr. 

Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) has won three races in eight starts this year including a 1:53.1 lifetime best effort at Plainridge Park, however she hasn’t seen any stakes action since the 2017 MASS. But her overnight efforts show she looks ready to compete. KDK Standardbred bred and owns Rock Me Threetimes and Kevin Switzer is the trainer. 

Delco Dusty (Jereme’s Jet-Gypsy’s Good Girl) was the 2-year-old champion in this division last year and set a stakes record of 1:53 in the process. But she is off to a slow start in 2018 and winless to this point. Her latest effort has been much improved and she will have to step up to try and regain last year’s success. Jesse De Long bred and owns Delco Dusty who is trained by Jimmy Nickerson. 

3-year-old trotting colts

Hashtagmadeyalook (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) was the MASS 2017 2-year-old champion and is looking to do the same at three. He started out this year racing in the New York Sire Stakes before dropping down to the Excelsior “A” series. There he found a good spot scoring two wins, two seconds and a third in five outings while earning $29,815. Although he made the Excelsior finals by points, he was scratched sick on Aug. 10 and has been off ever since, just qualifying back on Sept. 21. If he regains his summer form, he will be a major player in the MASS this year for owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. and trainer George Ducharme. 

After seeing substantial Grand Circuit action last year, Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) has only had limited stakes engagements to date in 2018, those being two starts in the NYSS and an elimination of the Empire Breeders Championship. However he does have three overnight wins and has taken a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2 earlier this year and is very familiar with the Plainridge track. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred and owns Kinda Lucky Lindy who is trained by Domenico Cecere. 

3-year-old trotting fillies

Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) was the top point-getter in the NYSS Excelsior “A” series this year. She had four wins, three seconds and a third out of eight starts and earned $52,730 as a result. Although she got beat in the final, it was only by three lengths from post seven. She will come into the MASS ready to roll off her competition in New York this year. Ithinkthatsmine is owned and bred by Ray Campbell Jr. and is trained by George Ducharme. 

Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) was the 2-year-old MASS champion last year but hasn’t had much success in 2018. After not getting qualified until July 13, Bag O Chips was scratched sick and didn’t make her first start until July 26. In her limited starts she has had some breaking issues that seem to have been worked out in subsequent qualifiers leading up to her first MASS start this year. Bred by Linwood Farm, Bag O Chips is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme.

The Massachusetts Sire Stakes kick off the 2018 season on Monday (Oct. 1) with four divisions of 2-year-old trotters and pacers each going for an estimated $35,000. The 3-year-olds will hit the track on Tuesday (Oct. 2) for their first leg. Horsemen should be advised that the draw for both days will be held on Thursday (Sept. 27) with the box closing at 9 a.m. 

Here is the complete MASS schedule.

Monday (Oct. 1)
2-year-old-First Leg-$35,000 added

Tuesday (Oct. 2)
3-year-old-First Leg-$35,000 added

Monday (Oct. 8)
2-year-old-Second Leg-$35,000 added

Tuesday (Oct. 9)
3-year-old-Second Leg-$35,000 added

Monday (Oct. 22)
2-year-old-Third Leg-$35,000 added

Tuesday (Oct. 23)
3-year-old-Third Leg-$35,000 added

Tuesday (Oct. 30)
2- and 3-year-old Finals-$85,000 (est.)

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