PLAINRIDGE — There is no question that Blue Knight has been the most dominant trotter at Plainridge Park this meet and he continued his career season with a third consecutive win in the $25,000 Open Handicap trot at The Ridge in a new lifetime mark while equaling a track record.
Driver Ivan Davies floated Blue Knight off the gate and worked his way to the lead in front of the stands, before the half. Once he cleared he caught a breather until Golden Kronos (Drew Monti) made a first-over move and applied the pressure as they went up the backstretch.
The race was on as they hit three-quarters with Golden Kronos bearing down on Blue Knight and then he responding to the challenge. Golden Kronos was not going away as they came off the far turn and then he was joined by several horses making late moves in the stretch. But Blue Knight kept to his task and maintained a length advantage all the way to the line where he won in 1:54.
The time was a new lifetime mark for Blue Knight and it tied the track record for 4-year-old trotting geldings.
It was the sixth win of the Plainridge meet for Blue Knight ($5.40), making him the winningest trotter of the year to this point. The added purse also pushed his 2021 total to $72,775 for owner Richard Mason. Davies also trains the winner.
In the $15,000 upper level conditioned trot, Big Rich (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took the lead and got the field to the half in :56.4. Marquis Lafayette (Bruce Ranger) was making his way up the outside at that point and drew alongside Big Rich on the backstretch. The two tangled toe to toe around the last turn and down the lane but Marquis Lafayette could not get to Big Rich who refused to lose and tripped the timer first in a season's best 1:54.1.
It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Big Rich ($9.20) who is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the 9-year-old Donato Hanover gelding.
That win completed a double for trainer Joe Nelson and the New England Burke Brigade as they also sent Lexus Marcus ($3.60) to victory in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54 two races earlier with Drew Monti in the bike.
Monti and Shawn Gray led all drivers on Friday with two wins each.
The Massachusetts Sire Stakes kick of at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Sept. 26) and 13 eligible trotters made their final tune-up starts on Friday in anticipation of the lucrative series ahead.
The 3-year-old trotting filly Fog Watch (RC Royalty-Global Beauty) brushed late off cover for driver Joe Di Stefano to win her second consecutive race and register a new lifetime mark of 1:59.2 in the process. Fog Watch ($17.60) was bred by Ray Campbell Jr. who co-owns with Catherine Dickson. Joe Di Stefano also trains the winner.
Then the 3-year-old trotting gelding Billy B (Cr Power Glide-Menage Hall) went gate to wire and also won his second straight, lowering his lifetime mark to 1:58.1. Joel Wheeler bred and owns Billy B ($3.60) who was driven by Wally Watson and is trained by Lisa Watson.
Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Sept. 19) at 2 p.m.