Plainville, MA --- In a blanket finish that had four horses within a length of each other, Grand Theft got up in deep stretch to capture the $20,000 Henry David Thoreau pacing series final at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (May 14).
Grand Theft (Greg Merton) got away sixth in the field of nine as even money favorite Mysharona Bluechip (Pat Curtain) bolted for the lead, registering a :25.4 first quarter in the process. Manceiver (Steve Nason) who had floated out of the gate for position was now stuck out in the brisk pace with no choice but to tread water from third and hope something developed.
As the race approached the half, Grand Theft pulled from mid-pack and got right behind Manceiver as they hit that station in a stiff :54 flat. He was then forced to go three-deep around the tiring rim-runner but was still five-lengths off the leader.
When they hit the three-quarters in 1:21.3, Mysharona Bluechip was starting to tire, forcing Bo Master (Drew Campbell) to pop out of the two-hole and go right around him. At the same time Grand Theft had found new life and was now second outside of that one. As the field bunched, Grand Theft got a head in front of Bo Master while keeping the closing Jackson’s Image (Shawn Gray) and Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) at bay to hit the wire first in 1:51.2.
Setting a new lifetime mark in the process, Grand Theft ($7.80) won his second start of the year for owners Kristie Leigh Farm Inc., Joseph Betro, Stephan Giagni and Stephen Demeter. Monique Cohen trains the winner.
The weekly $16,000 Open pacing feature also provided a stellar race that saw Calvin B (Drew Campbell) come second-over at the half behind Electric Western (Greg Merton) to ride that one's back to the top of the stretch before blowing past him down the lane to win by a length in 1:51.3.
Calvin B ($12.00) nabbed his third victory of the year for owner Dolores Smiel and trainer Jim Nickerson.
Greg Merton led all drivers with three wins on the card.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (May 15) with post time for the first race at 4 p.m.