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With no Open on the docket, the $12,500 Winners Over for fillies and mares was the harness racing feature on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Bontz N (American Ideal) was making her local debut for trainer Gary Levine as she went off as the public's 1-5 betting favorite in the Friday feature. The New Zealand invader was coming off a decisive victory at Yonkers and once again was pointed out to the front-end in her local debut. Bontz N got a second quarter breather after clicking off a first quarter of 27.4 before the favorite got her first test as she led the charge to three quarters, a challenge that came from Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall). The long first-over journey for Come Get The Cash resulted in a second-place finish as Bontz N paced home in 27.2 to stop the timer in 1:53.3 to prevail in her first start at the Spa. Come Get The Cash was a strong second while Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Bontz N paid just $2.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $14.60 and $25.40, respectively. Leading driver Billy Dobson piloted Bontz N to her victory in the feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

For the second consecutive Saturday night, Beach Boogie (Somebeachsomewhere) won the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rene Allard trainee was assigned the outside post in the $15,000 five-horse feature and leading driver Billy Dobson sat behind the race's 1-5 favorite. Beach Boogie came from off the pace to win last weekend's Open in 1:51.3 but on this beautiful Saturday night in Saratoga Springs, the five year old cruised out to an easy lead. After carving out first half fractions of 27.3 and 56.1, Beach Boogie didn't face a challenge until pocket-sitter Century Endeavor (Gerry Mattison) charged up the passing lane in the stretch. The chase proved futile though and Beach Boogie stopped the timer in 1:51.3, once again, to record his second straight Saturday score at the Spa and the sixth consecutive Open win at Saratoga for the Allard stable. Century Endeavor came up second-best in his debut in the Open on Saturday while invader Summer Side (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Beach Boogie has now won five times in eleven starts in 2019. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

The Open wins just keep coming for trainer Rene Allard and driver Billy Dobson at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The red-hot tandem has now teamed up for five consecutive Open victories at the Spa. Following two Open wins on Gerrity night in July, Allard and Dobson won features last Friday and Saturday night, securing victories in the Fillies and Mares Open and the Open Pace. Eclipse Me N (Real Desire), who paced 1:51.4 on Gerrity night to become the fastest mare of the season at the Spa, cruised to a coast-to-coast victory in Friday night's $15,000 Open for distaffers as she made good at odds of 1-2 to move the Open streak to five. Dobson marched Eclipse Me N out to the early lead and they never looked back, cruising home to win in 1:52.2. Longshots Bye Bye Felicia (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and Spreester (Jimmy Devaux) finished second and third, respectively, in Friday's feature. Eclipse Me N's win was her seventh in fifteen starts in 2019. Dobson piloted another Allard trainee to victory on Friday as well as young pacer Robyn Camden (Art Professor) cruised to a career-best score in 1:53.2 at odds of 1-9 in a $7,500 conditional race for fillies and mares. Allard's Beach Boogie will likely be the favorite in Saturday night's Open Pace as the Allard-Dobson combo will look to extend the streak to six for consecutive victories in local Opens. Beach Boogie has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday's try in the Open. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. There is a Pick Five carryover of $1,303 in Saturday's Pick Five, a wager that starts in the evening's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Wednesday afternoon's harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel was dominated by red hot reinsman Billy Dobson. The track's defending top driver is having a sensational 2019 campaign and has enjoyed a huge last few weeks of action in the sulky. On Wednesday, the 35 year old piloted four winners including one while sitting behind former Saratoga Trotter of the Year Twisted Pretzel (Crazed). The Scott Mongeon-trained Twisted Pretzel was named the track's top trotter in 2017 and enjoyed a solid '18 campaign as well. The nine year old was the odds-on favorite in his conditional race on Wednesday's afternoon program at the Spa and Dobson picked up the catch-drive behind the longtime Saratoga veteran high-stepper. Twisted Pretzel appeared content to sit the pocket after giving way to a rival approaching the opening quarter but as the trotters made their way to the half, Dobson powered the 3-5 favorite out and cruised past the leader before drawing away to win in 1:56.2 for his first victory of the season. Now approaching $450,000 in lifetime earnings, Twisted Pretzel has spent almost all his career racing right here at Saratoga. As far as Dobson, the beat just goes on. The talented reinsman scored a grand slam on Wednesday adding four more wins to already huge lead in the driver standings as the Michigan native pursues his seventh local driving title in the last decade. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time scheduled for 12:00 Noon.   Mike Sardella

Sandy Sue (Shark Gesture) joined the Jimmy Nickerson harness racing stable earlier this month and the four year old mare finished second in her first start in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In the two weeks that followed her local debut, Sandy Sue didn't factor in the feature which led to her being assigned the rail for Thursday's try in the $15,000 Open for distaffers. Leading driver Billy Dobson sat behind Sandy Sue who went off at odds of 7-2 in the five-horse feature and took advantage of her inside post to cut the mile on Thursday. After pacing a first half in 57 seconds, Sandy Sue felt just mild pressure from the race's favorite Coveredndiamonds (Jay Randall) before scampering away around the final turn. Pocket-sitting Spreester (Jimmy Devaux) closed up the rail in the stretch but it was too little, too late as she ended up as the runner-up to Sandy Sue who stopped the timer in 1:53.4 for her first win in the local Open. Sandy Sue paid $9.00 to win and led an exacta with Spreester second that returned $49.80. Coveredndiamonds N had to settle for third. Defending driving champion Billy Dobson is having another huge year at Saratoga in 2019 and added three more wins to his total on Thursday's matinee. Live racing resumes at the Spa on Saturday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm.   Mike Sardella Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

After a scratch, the featured field on Sunday afternoon was down to six participants at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The six-pack of Open trotters slugged it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and Mandeville (Majestic Son) emerged victorious with leading driver Billy Dobson in the bike. Mandeville was a two-time Open winner at the Spa in 2018 but scored his first win of the season just last week when he stopped the timer in 1:54.2, the fastest clocking for any trotter at Saratoga this year. Mandeville was up into Open company on Sunday and brushed up to take over the lead approaching the half mile pole and once he made the lead, the Don Billings-trained trotter never looked back. Mandeville withstood heavy pressure from the race's favorite Bobs Hope (Jay Randall) who came into Sunday on a three-race win streak in the Open. Mandeville proved up to the task and rebuffed Bobs Hope who still earned a second-place finish. Longshot Cartier Volo was third in the mile clocked in 1:55.3 over a track labeled 'good.' Mandeville paid $9.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $21.40 and $126.50, respectively. With the victory, Mandeville becomes just the fifth horse at the Spa to win an Open Trot this season, a level that has been dominated by two horses that he defeated on Sunday, Bobs Hope and Cash Me Out. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:00 Noon.   Mike Sardella

Eclipse Me N (Real Desire) prevailed in her 2019 harness racing debut while competing in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday afternoon. The Rene Allard trainee enjoyed a $100,000+ campaign last season and debuted in the local feature off a pair of qualifiers that took place at Pocono Downs. With leading driver Billy Dobson in the bike, Eclipse Me N got a second-over trip in the five-horse field, following the cover of the race's favorite. Betabcool N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) enjoyed a hassle-free first lap on the lead before being met with the challenge of the favorite approaching three quarters. Eclipse Me N fanned off her cover around the final turn and came on in the final strides to best Betabcool N and secure the victory in the $15,000 feature. Betabcool N was the runner-up while Miss Irish Rose A earned the show spot. Eclipse Me N, who stopped the timer in 1:54.4, paid $7.70 to win and led an exacta that returned $30.00.   There is a Pick Five carryover of $3,061 on Saturday's card at Saratoga with the Pick Five beginning in race one. First post time is set for 6:45pm.   Mike Sardella

Havefaithinme N (Bettor's Delight) scored in the first Open Pace of the year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jose Godinez trainee brought his over $1 million in harness racing career earnings into the Monday afternoon feature which was contested for a purse of $12,000. The fractions in the race were slow over a track labeled 'good' and Havefaithinme N had his work cut out for him to come from off the pace. The millionaire eight year old toughed it out, though, and wore the leader Khun Ratha A (Larry Stalbaum) down before stopping the timer in 1:56.2 en route to his second win in as many starts in 2019. Khun Ratha A was a strong second while Maxdaddy Blue Chip (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Havefaithinme N completed a Monday hat trick for driver Bruce Aldrich Jr who got his season off to a strong start behind the three-win afternoon. The race's favorite at odds of 2-1, Havefaithinme N paid $6.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $22.60 and $96, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon for the first of what will be regular Wednesday matinees on the schedule this year at Saratoga. There is a Pick Five guarantee of $5,000 on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout February and March. The Pick Five now begins in race one on the card. Also, race 5 will feature a $25,000 guaranteed trifecta pool on Wednesdays and Thursdays. First post time for the matinee cards is set for 12:00pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Trainer Rene Allard scored a pair of wins with the two trotters he brought to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Volare (Conway Hall) cruised to a wire-to-wire victory score as the fastest of the winners of three co-features for New York sired trotters on the chilly afternoon at the Spa. Allard brought Volare to town as the trotter looked to shake what had been some second and third-itis over the past couple of months. Leading driver Billy Dobson wasted little time moving the race's favorite out to the early lead and once the four year old got there, he had no trouble coasting to victory in 1:57.3. Volare's win came in one of the three $11,000 co-features and was the fastest among them on the matinee card. Allard's other victory came with Haveitalltogether (Cantab Hall) who toughed it out first over in a $9,000 event for young trotters. Volare was the by far the fastest of the three winners of the Wednesday co-features but John Stark Jr's Miss Muscle (Muscle Mass) and Notmeitsyou (Chapter Seven) also secured victories in the $11,000 trio of features on the matinee card. Miss Muscle went coast-to-coast for Stark as the three year old filly continued her solid sophomore campaign with what was her fourth victory of the '18 season. Miss Muscle stopped the timer in 2:00.1 as her race's 2-1 favorite. The third co-feature went the way of Notmeitsyou who lived up to the hype as a 1-5 betting favorite on Wednesday as the three year old drew away late to prevail in 1:58. It was the second win for Notmeitsyou in as many weeks in the $11,000 co-feature as the sophomore continues what has been a terrific run since coming to Saratoga in September for trainer-driver Phil Fluet. Live racing resumes on Friday evening with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Saturday featured two divisions of the second leg of the Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series. It is the fifth installment of the series that honors the memory of the longtime horseman at Saratoga Casino Hotel and is for young pacers, five years old and younger. Both divisions went for a purse of $10,000 and it was Arch Hanover (Art Major) who cemented himself as the series' one to beat on Saturday night. Arch Hanover brought a four-race win streak into the second leg but drew post seven in the eight-horse race. Leading driver Billy Dobson blasted Arch Hanover out early and the four year old wound up in the pocket. Rival Kiwi Tintin N (Frank Coppola Jr) came into the race with a three-for-three record since coming to the USA and the New Zealand invader was subsequently the 1-2 betting favorite despite starting from post eight. Kiwi Tintin N surged up first over and took the lead around the final turn but Arch Hanover came roaring out of the hole setting up a sensational stretch duel. Arch Hanover got up in the final stride to prevail in 1:53.4, matching his win time from leg one which served as a lifetime mark. Kiwi Tintin N will be a force in the final as he was a strong second while longshot Still To Come (Chris Long) earned the show spot. The other division of the series' second leg was won by SB Angelindisguise (Shawn Gray) who romped in his second local start, stopping the timer in 1:53.3 to punch his ticket to the final. The Joe De Carlo trainee spent his summer competing in the Midwest and headed east just two weeks ago to compete for new connections in the Kamal Memorial Pace. SB Angelindisguise bested Saulsbrook Deputy (Frank Coppola Jr) who was the race's odds-on favorite on Saturday night en route to his first local score. Barbados (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. The Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series Final will take place next Saturday night (Oct 27) and will be contested for a purse of $35,200. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Precocious Lady (Lucky Chucky) got her career off to a strong start as a freshman in 2017. The Margaret Spagnola trainee raced seven times as a two year old, recording three wins and hitting the board in six of the seven starts. The sophomore season hasn't been as smooth though for Precocious Lady who got off to a slow beginning to her '18 campaign. The three year old has been much improved recently and came into Thursday's $8,500 event for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a win and three third place finishes in her last five starts. Drawing the rail on Thursday, Precocious Lady had leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky who perhaps used a bit of caution in the early going as the filly was coming off of a break. After getting away third from the rail, Precocious Lady swung first-over and powered past the leader before drawing off to a resounding six-plus length victory on a chilly autumn afternoon in upstate New York. Precocious Lady's win, which came in 2:01.3, was the second of the day for her owners and trainer as Jim Corona and John Shufon teamed up with Margaret Spagnola earlier in the card for a win with veteran trotter Quick Feet (Crazed). Quick Feet cruised to a four and a half length win on Thursday as he scored for the second time in just five days. Both of his victories this week came with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Corona and Shufon have been long time partners in the horse business enjoying perhaps their greatest success with Mr. One Eyed Jack who was named Saratoga's Pacer of the Year back in 2004 while a member of the Spagnola stable. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post featuring a pick five carryover of $1,673. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Seventimesavirgin (Always A Virgin) made her local harness racing debut on Friday night while competing in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A superstar in her "younger" years, Seventimesavirgin earned just shy of a half million dollars in her two and three year old campaigns. The five year old mare came to the Spa for the first time on Friday to compete in the evening's $16,000 feature for trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Billy Dobson got the driving assignment and the meet's leading driver sat patiently in last with the mare who was backed by the bettors to the tune of odds of 1-5 in the five-horse feature. After the first half was paced in 56.2, Seventimesavirgin began to move from last, flushing out the cover of Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr). Spreester moved first over and powered past the leader, grinding that one into submission at the head at the stretch. Seventimesavirgin tipped off her cover in the stretch and got up in time to edge Spreester for the win, a victory that came in 1:53.3. Spreester was the runner-up in the Open for the second consecutive Friday night while last week's winner Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith) came on to earn the show spot. For Seventimesavirgin, it was victory number five on the season and an incredible 28thin 59 lifetime starts. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

A veteran presence prevailed in the Saratoga Casino Hotel Open Pace on Saturday night. The back to back defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa Artful Way (Artistic Fella) came into Saturday's tilt as a five-time Open Pace winner this harness racing season but has hit a little cold streak of late, by his standards. Despite the fact that the Jackie Greene trainee hadn't won a local Open since the first weekend of June, the classy veteran was still the public's betting favorite in the feature. Frank Coppola Jr. blasted Artful Way out early and after clearing the lead, gave way to last week's Open winner Carolina Beach (Wally Hennessey). Riding that one's coattails throughout, Artful Way surged up in the inside to score in the $14,500 feature, recording the win in 1:52.1. While the favorite prevailed, the race's longshot was the runner-up as All Artist (Billy Dobson) tipped off cover and ended up second-best in his debut in the local feature while dismissed at odds of 28-1. The winningest horse in the local Open Pace this year, Carolina Beach had to settle for third this week. Artful Way was the 6-5 favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $61.50 and $375, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were co-features on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Fillies and Mares Open joined the regular Saturday feature the Open Pace to highlight the evening's thirteen race card. Each of the co-features went for a purse of $14,500 and each saw the favorite prevail. The Open Pace was won by Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) who was offensive minded from the get-go on Saturday night. Wally Hennessey overcame the outside post with Carolina Beach, the race's 4-5 betting favorite, as he moved the Melissa Beckwith-trained pacer out to the early lead. Laying down fast fractions of 27 and 55.4 in lap one, Carolina Beach had something left for the stretch run to prevail in 1:52.1 while holding off Texas Terror N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and securing his second consecutive win in the Open and eleventh victory overall in the 2018 campaign. Texas Terror N was the runner-up while longshot Rise Up Now (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. The Fillies and Mares Open, the regular Friday night feature at the Spa, was pushed back a night due to a New York Sire Stakes-filled card on Friday. Rene Allard's Eclipse Me N (Real Desire) swooped the group to win the local Open for the first time. Leading driver Billy Dobson worked out a cover trip for the 6-5 favorite as Eclipse Me N drafted second-over behind the track's defending Pacing Mare of the Year Truth And Liberty who was making her first local start of the season. Eclipse Me N made a powerful move around the final turn and drew out to win by a length and half, stopping the timer in 1:53.2 for her sixth victory on the campaign. Regular Open star Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) came from last in the Open for distaffers before finishing second while longshot Better Said (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with New York Sire Stakes competition highlighting the thirteen race card. Two year old pacing colts and geldings will be featured in stakes action. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Gruden (Muscles Yankee) added trotting hopples a few weeks ago after enduring breaking trouble in previous months. The Rene Allard trainee won the qualifier at Pocono with hopples on and was dynamic at Saratoga Casino Hotel last week while winning his local debut in 1:55. Gruden moved up in company on Tuesday night as he took part in the $12,000 Winners Over. The five year old trotter who scored nine wins in seventeen tries in 2017 was bet down as the 1-9 favorite on Tuesday Leading driver Billy Dobson moved Gruden out to the early lead, paying a bit of a stiff price to get to the top. Parked at the start, Gruden crossed over to cut the mile after guiding the way through a first quarter of 27 seconds. The big favorite had little difficultly opening up a big lead but was beginning to tire as a pair of dangers, Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) and Entranced (Dan Cappello Jr) were making steady progress towards the leader. Gruden had enough to hang on and win in 1:56 while Silent Pine came up second best. Entranced earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Quid Pro Quo (Yankee Cruiser) went coast to coast in Thursday's harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Trainer Kim Myers manages a small size stable and has had a terrific season in 2018 thus far. On Thursday, her Quid Pro Quo drew the rail in the $7,250 feature for fillies and mares on what was the final matinee card at the Spa until the second week of September. The four year old distaffer wound up as one of the co-favorites as she looked for her third victory in the last four starts. Leading driver Billy Dobson powered the mare out to the early lead aided by her inside post and Quid Pro Quo cruised to a wire-to-wire win in 1:55.4, matching the lifetime mark she set earlier in the season. The victory was the fifth on the year for Quid Pro Quo in fifteen tries. Trainer Kim Myers now has six wins this season and has seen her trainees hit the board nine times in just seventeen starts in '18. The live racing schedule moves to all evenings beginning this weekend with racing taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights with first post time set for 7:05pm each evening. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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