FORMER New Zealander The Bird Dance has acclimated well since landing in North America earlier this year as proven by his win in the top $25,000 Open Pace at Plainridge Park yesterday.
Ron Cushing pushed The Bird Dance off the gate and to the quarter in a swift 26.2 seconds, with fellow Kiwis Moonshadow and Extradite following on the pegs.
The Bird Dance continued to call the shots and didn’t let challenger Artful Way get past his wheels as they rolled into the last turn.
The son of A Rocknroll Dance opened a two-length gap at the head of the stretch and paced home of his own accord to win by two lengths in 1:51.2.
It was the fourth win in six North American starts for The Bird Dance — three of which were at Plainridge — which has earned $45,500 for his owner Philip Scott McKenzie.
Heidi Gibbs trains the six-year-old gelding.
Elswhere on the card another New Zealand pacer Lachie Maguire came from last at the top of the stretch to score an impressive sweeping victory in 1:52.
The fifth win of the year by Lachie Maguire pushed his seasonal earnings to $76,015 for owner J M F Racing. Melissa Beckwith trains the winner.
- TIM BOJARSKI