The Grand Circuit will make its third visit of 2022 to Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 24) when the track will host the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace. Since their inception, these two stakes have re-written the track’s record books multiple times and have drawn thousands of fans to The Ridge each year to witness the event. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. but the gates will open at 1 p.m. for all the planned festivities.
The Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot has 21 eligibles and many of those horses are racing in other stakes being held at the Meadowlands this weekend. Balenciaga, Inaminute Hanover, Incommunicado and Take All Comers are all entered in the $432,000 ET Gerry Hambletonian Maturity while Next Level Stuff, P L Notsonice, Sorella and Weslynn Quest will compete in the $40,000 Ms. Versatility Trot.
The Clara Barton had 16 mares pay in and a number of those will be in action over the weekend as well including six in the $175,000 Dorothy Haughton Memorial, also at the Meadowlands. Those Barton hopefuls include Amazing Dream N, Gia’s Surreal, Grace Hill, Racine Bell, Watch Me Now N and the Clara Barton stake’s defending champion and Plainridge Park track record holder, Lyons Sentinel.
The Spirit day card will also feature Plainridge’s signature stake, the $50,000 Bert Beckwith Memorial Pace that will consist of the best resident pacers competing for that top prize. Two $25,000 eliminations for that stake will be held on Monday (July 18) with the top four finishers of each division moving to the final.
Also on the card will be three other series finals going for $20,000, $17,500 and $15,000 along with a special race for the New England Amateur Driver’s Club. The draw for Spirit day is Tuesday (July 19).
All attending fans will be able to help retired race horses by making a direct donation to the Standardbred Transition Alliance, which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accredit, inspect and award grants to approved organizations that acquire, rehabilitate, train and re-home Standardbreds. And everyone who makes a donation will be entered into a free random drawing for a 2022 Hambletonian package that includes two admissions, VIP Tent tickets, programs and hats that were donated by the Hambletonian Society. The Hambletonian will be held at Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday (Aug. 6).
-edited release (Tim Bojarski for Plainridge Park)
Run date: July 15, 2022