MGC Staff Works Behind the Scenes for 2021 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park Casino

When the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot returned to Plainridge Park Casino on Sunday, July 25, 2021, a team from the MGC Division of Racing was on hand to facilitate racing operations and ensure compliance with all racing laws, regulations, and licensing requirements.

2021 marked the fourth time the stakes race was held at Plainridge Park, the only standardbred racetrack in the Commonwealth. The track’s signature race featured some of North America’s top horses racing for a $250,000 prize.

Manchego, who set a world record time of 1:49.3 at Plainridge Park last year in this race, successfully defended her title by winning the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot once again.

The $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace for fillies and mares also made its return with a competitive field of nine horses. Race winner Lyons Sentinel matched the all-time Plainridge track record set by Shartin N last year.

This year’s national racing event also featured the return of the Bert Beckwith Memorial Pace, providing others with a chance to compete for a smaller prize. This race began at Foxboro Park, and showcased the top local pacers that have raced at Plainridge this season.

Racing fans were also able to enjoy other entertainment offerings at the venue on Sunday, with live and simulcast feeds, live performances from the Berkshire Valley Boys, and a caricature artist on hand.

As fans enjoyed the action and atmosphere, the MGC worked behind the scenes to make sure the day ran smoothly.

MGC staff has a wide range of race day responsibilities. Those duties include the oversight of all licensing matters, working with the horses in the test barn, enforcing racing laws and regulations, and making race results official.

The licensing staff handles background checks and license approvals for trainers, drivers, grooms, racing officials, vendors, and track employees.

Judges watch closely to safeguard the integrity of the races, and coordinate with the ambulance and marshal to ensure a safe environment for all involved.

Meanwhile, MGC’s veterinary staff in the test barn collects and processes samples from multiple horses for each race.

Even with all of the racing division’s regulatory responsibilities throughout the day, those working behind the scenes were still able to take the time to enjoy the excitement of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot.

“My favorite part of a big race day like this is seeing the elite equine athletes from around the country in their peak form,” MGC Director of Racing Dr. Alex Lightbown said. “This race draws national attention to Plainridge Park and brings a large audience, also highlighting the local horses and horsemen.”

Learn more about the MGC’s racing division’s duties by clicking here.

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