In what could only be described as an overpowering performance, Artful Way took no prisoners en route to a career matching performance in the $18,000 Open handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon.
Artful Way (Greg Merton) took an immediate lead off the gate and everyone seated behind him except Deetzy (Gary Mosher) who continued to drive for the front. He cleared by the quarter in :26 but before settling on the pylons, Artful Way was back out and rolling to regain the lead by the three-eighths pole.
By the half, Quick Shot (Nick Graffam) pulled first-over and drew alongside the leader and paced stride for stride with Artful Way to a 1:22.4 third panel, but that’s where the race ended. Quick Shot started to fade but it was more that Artful Way found a new gear and simply put the field to bed. Pacing home in :27.2, Artful Way drew-off by eight lengths under a hand-drive by Merton and won in 1:50.1, which equaled his lifetime mark.
Artful Way ($3.60) now boasts earnings of $82,600 for the year on the strength of seven wins for his owner, Kellogg Racing Stable LLC and trainer Jackie Greene.
(Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts)