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As the summer starts begins to wind down, Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) has emerged as the clear-cut front-runner for Horse of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene-trained pacer has been the track's superstar in 2019 and on Saturday night, the four year old won the Open Pace for the eighth time this season. Jay Randall has been the regular driver for Hudson Phil in his local starts this year and the veteran reinsman wasted no time powering the standout pacer out to the early lead in Saturday's $15,000 Open. Hudson Phil sizzled through a first quarter of 26.2 before clicking off a half in 55.2 but didn't face his first challenge until checking in at three quarters in 1:23.3 when Major Crocker A (Billy Dobson) drew alongside to confront the big favorite. Hudson Phil rebuffed him around the final turn but Major Crocker A had one surge left in him and closed again in the stretch before coming up second-best in the 1:51.1 mile. Lockton Luck A (Mark Beckwith) finished third to extend his "on the board" streak to six. Hudson Phil's ten wins have led to over $100,000 in earnings in his monster 2019 campaign. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Batavia, NY --- Saratoga Raceway regular Hudson Phil traveled four hours west on the 90 for his first-ever harness racing start at Batavia Downs and the trip was worth his while. He won the $12,500 Open Handicap pace in gate to wire fashion at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 3). Hudson Phil (Jim Morrill Jr.) flew off the wings and took command with Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) drafting close behind. After going to the quarter in :27.2, Morrill grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to a meager :29 as the rest of the field finally caught up. As they started on the second circuit Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) pulled first up on the outside to pass the gapped Adonis Bay (John Cummings Jr.) and then dropped back into third to save ground. The race moved into the last turn and Monti pulled Upfront Countryboy out again and aggressively started driving him as they headed into the stretch. Hudson Phil was still in command but Upfront Countryboy was closing with every step. Lucan Hanover, who had been following the leader the entire mile, was now full of pace but had nowhere to go and was locked on the pylons. Hudson Phil stayed strong on the point and held off all challenges to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Hudson Phil ($2.30) has now earned $86,832 for owner Kellogg Racing Stables on the strength of his eight 2019 wins. Jackie Greene trains the 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil-Hazel. The $11,000 Open II was a very entertaining race. Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) was cruising along smartly on the lead at the half in a moderate split of :56.1, before taking the race to the head of the stretch looking like a winner. But Iammbrightside N (Dave McNeight Jr.), who had been drafting on the outside for a half-mile, pulled three-wide at the three-quarters and was under a full head of steam. Cultural Paradise and Iammbrightside N battled side by side all the way to the wire where Iammbrightside N got the advantage by a neck in 1:53.3. It was the 33rd lifetime win for Iammbrightside N ($12.20) who is owned by Mirussa Russo and trained by Dave Russo. Several horsemen had multiple winners on Saturday night. Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. all had three winners on the evening while trainer Dave Russo also sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner's circle. The New York Sire Stakes glamour division; the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings will invade Batavia Downs on Sunday when live racing resumes to vie for $117,400 in total purses. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, MA --- The Saratoga, New York based harness racing trio of the Kellogg Racing Stables, trainer Jackie Greene and driver Jay Randall shipped two of their big guns to Massachusetts and came away with wins in both feature paces at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 29). The day's main event was the $16,000 Open Handicap pace and Hudson Phil brought his A-game for the win and set a new lifetime mark along the way. Leaving from post four, Hudson Phil exploded for the lead and set torrid fractions of :26.1, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before Starznheaven (Shawn Gray) engaged him at the top of the stretch. But Hudson Phil had plenty left in the tank as he came home in :28.1 to win by one-half length in 1:50.2. A 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil and Hazel, Hudson Phil ($5.40) scored his third victory of the year, 14th of his career and pushed his lifetime earnings over a quarter-million dollars with $253,677 now in the bank. Then in the $14,000 Winners-Over pace, Some Attitude came in 0-for-7 in 2019 and went home with the win, the purse and his fastest mile in two years. Some Attitude watched as Avatartist (Mark Eaton) took command, but came right out to retake just past the :26 quarter. From there he set fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.2, which were almost identical to his earlier-winning stablemate. After swinging around the last turn Some Attitude was under light urging and paced home in hand, holding off all late charges to win in 1:51.1. Some Attitude                                  Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson After three consecutive second-place finishes, Some Attitude ($5.80) finally got across this year and pushed his lifetime bankroll to $203,530 in the process. Although Randall added one more win with Weekend Fling ($20.40) to end his day with a hat trick, Shawn Gray was the top dog again for wins scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Gray won with Opus Blue Chip (1:53.2, $3.00), Jo Pa's Artist (1:56.1, $6.40), Late Night Joke (1:52.1, $18.40) and Flem N Em N (1:52.4, $8.80). The four-win performance hoisted Gray into first place for dash wins at the Plainridge meet with 21, two ahead of Mitchell Cushing who had the lead entering the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 2) with post time set at 4 p.m.   Tim Bojarski

Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) returned to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night to compete in the $15,000 Open Pace. The Jackie Greene harness racing trainee won his previous local start which took place last month but was a beaten favorite earlier in the week while competing at Plainridge in Massachusetts. Hudson Phil was the Open's 1-5 betting favorite on Saturday and certainly raced like that convincing of a public choice. The four year old pacer surged out to the early lead and after going through lap one in 56 seconds, put in a back half that was simply dazzling. Hudson Phil paced his final half in 54.4 to score in 1:50.4, the fastest mile of the year thus far at Saratoga. Jay Randall piloted the rising Open star to the decisive victory. Longshot Nitro Glistening (Brett Crawford) was the runner-up to the favorite while Carolina Beach (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. In four starts in the local Open Pace in 2019, Hudson Phil now has two wins and a second. The big favorite led an exacta and triple on Saturday that paid $18.40 and $56.00, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 noon first post.   Mike Sardella

Harness rascing trainer Jackie Greene is no stranger to Open Pace victories at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In fact, no trainer has won the Open more times in the past several years than Greene. Her Artful Way is the three-time defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa and since that veteran is a common participant in the Saturday night feature, some of Greene's other top flight pacers are forced to race out of town. With Artful Way not in to go this week, Greene entered Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) into Saturday's $15,000 Open Pace and the rising star started from post two. Hudson Phil finished second in his most recent try in the local Open in February before making two starts at the Meadowlands. Driver Jay Randall wasted no time in putting the four year old pacer on the front-end on Saturday and the youngster had to endure sizzling fractions on a chilly night in the Spa City. Parking out a rival, Hudson Phil clicked off a first quarter in 26.4 before reaching the half in 54.2. The demanding fractions didn't seem to take their toll as Hudson Phil kept rolling along and actually opened up a big lead in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:52.1, the fastest clocking of the year for any horse on the young season at Saratoga. Hudson Phil paid $6.20 to win as he bested last week's Open winner Carolina Beach (Mark Beckwith) who had to settle for second. Havefaithinme N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. An eight time winner in 2018, Hudson Phil recorded his first victory of the '19 campaign on Saturday in what was his first career win in the local Open. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:00pm. Mike Sardella  

Artful Way's unbelievable run in the Open Pace continued on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel- a run that has lasted three years! The Jackie Greene trainee was at it again on Saturday as he got away last in the $20,000 Open Pace at the Spa. Driver Frank Coppola Jr. sat patiently with the superstar pacer before moving him second-over approaching the half. Following the live cover of another perennial star JK Panache (Shawn Gray), Artful Way tipped off his cover around the final turn and surged before getting up in just the nick of time. The six year old stopped the timer in 1:52.4 in what was his ninth win in the local Open this year and sixteenth victory on the season overall. The Pacer of the Year at Saratoga in '16 and the Pacer and Horse of the Year in '17, Artful Way is putting the finishing touches on what will be his third consecutive award for top local pacers. JK Panache continued the big year of his own with a second-place finish in the feature while Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. Artful Way returned $5.70 to win as the race's second-choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that paid $15.20 and $60, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for 12:15pm. lla by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

There were two divisions of $10,700 trotting events for New York-sired trotters featured on Thursday's harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Jackie Greene's Weekend Wit Bigd (Lucky Chucky) was looking to repeat on Thursday and was the public's 7-5 top choice as she drew post position two with Frank Coppola Jr. sitting behind. Weekend Wit Bigd thrived for the second consecutive Thursday afternoon as she went coast-to-coast for her fifth victory of the season. The sophomore filly stopped the timer in 1:59.2, holding off major danger and pocket-sitter Miss Muscle (John Stark Jr) who had to settle for second just one start after finishing fourth in the $55,000 Excelsior Final at Saratoga almost two weeks ago. The other division of the co-features saw filly Youcouldbethatgirl (Credit Winner) go coast-to-coast with leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky. Youcouldbethatgirl joined the Gary Levine just two weeks ago and prevailed in her first start for new connections, wiring the field in 1:59.1. Following a difficult journey in her last try, Youcouldbethatgirl returned to the front end on Thursday and returned to the winner's circle after stopping the timer in 1:59. Paying $13.00 to win, Youcouldbethatgirl held off the first over bid from rival Shortie Joe (John Stark Jr) who had to settle for second place for the second consecutive week. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Artful Way is the two-time defending Pacer of the Year and reigning Horse of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Saturday night, the track's standout harness racing pacer made the familiar trek to the winner's circle once again. The Jackie Greene-trained Artful Way recorded his sixth win in the local Open Pace on Saturday night as the six year old went coast to coast in the $18,000 feature. Frank Coppola Jr. marched the local star out to the early lead in a first quarter of 27.1 but then got to back the tempo down a bit before reaching the half in 56.3 and checking in at three quarters in 1:25.1. Artful Way stopped the timer in 1:53 in what was his thirteenth victory of the season, nearly half of which have come in the local Open. Invader Military Master A (Mark Beckwith) shook loose late and flew up the inside for second while All Artist (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot in the Saturday feature. Artful Way, who was the public's 3-5 betting favorite in the win, became the second horse to record six Open Pace victories this season at the Spa joining Carolina Beach who last won the local feature earlier in the month. The race between those two for 2018 Pacer of the Year is something to watch as we move forward into the final few months of the racing season at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. 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  

Buff (Credit Winner) cruised to victory in the Tuesday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Jackie Greene trainee went wire-to-wire in the $14,500 Open Trot. Buff won back to back Opens in July and after not factoring in his two most recent starts was offensive minded in the early going on Tuesday, powering out to the lead in a 27.1 first quarter. The five year old never got much of a breather, trotting a half in 56.2 before checking in at three quarters in 1:25.2. Never facing a serious challenge, Buff had plenty left for the stretch run and drew away late before stopping the timer in 1:54.3. The win time not only served as a seasonal mark for Buff but matched the fastest time for any trotter this season at Saratoga. Previously, Tropical Storm Bi and New York Sire Stakes star The Veteran recorded victories in 1:54.3. Buff, who was driven to victory by Frank Coppola Jr, was the 4-5 public choice on Tuesday night as he registered his third win of the season in the local Open and eighth overall. Longshot Dragin The Wagon (Phil Fluet) sat the pocket in the feature and finished second while Piercewave Hanover (Jordan Derue) came from last to earn the show spot. Buff won ten races in 2017 and is on pace to have an even bigger campaign in '18 for trainer Jackie Greene who currently sits fourth in the local trainer standings. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Plainville, MA---Saratoga Raceway regular Artful Way left the friendly confines of the Spa this week in lieu of a New England road trip to race the best resident pacers in Massachusetts. And as he heads back to New York he'll be taking with him a souvenir photo of his win in the $16,000 Winners-Over Handicap at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 6). Riding a a two race win streak, Thisjetsabookin (Shawn Gray) left like he owned the place to take the lead. Nestled in second for the ride was Artful Way (Jimmy Whittemore) and the rest of the field seated behind them. Thisjetsabookin paced to the half in :54.3 unfettered by his rivals until halfway up the backstretch when Starznheaven (Greg Merton) pulled from fourth and started to advance to the front. Starznheaven drew even with Thisjetsabookin at the three-quarters and went by him coming out of the last turn. But as soon as he did, Artful Way pulled from second and started to chase him down. Heading down the lane the two horses paced side by side with both drivers rocking and knocking. After battling for the last sixteenth of a mile, Artful Way finally got up on Starznheaven just before the wire and won by a head in 1:50.1. The time reflected his best work of the year. With his tenth win of the season in the books, Artful Way ($5.40) has eclipsed the century mark in earnings, boasting a bankroll of $101,667 in 2018 for owner Kellogg Racing Stable and trainer Jackie Greene. Whittemore did some damage in the secondary featured $12,000 conditioned pace with Tioga Downs regular Major Leaguer, who went gate to wire on the front end without issue to win by three in 1:51.1. Owned by his driver, Major Leaguer ($4.60) collected his fifth win of the year for trainer Dennis Whittemore. Whittemore completed a driving hat trick with Poisonous ($10.20) who led the entire race to win by six lengths in 1:51.2, which was a new seasonal mark. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 7) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) was at it again. The Jackie Greene trainee scored another win in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night as the harness racing  five year old destined to be the track's Pacer of the Year for the second straight season prevailed in the local Open for the eighth time of the year. Artful Way blasted out to the early lead over a sloppy track on Saturday and the public's 4-5 betting favorite never had an anxious moment before stopping the timer in 1:53. The track's Pacer of the Year in '16, Artful Way is having an even better year in '17 as his Saturday victory was his thirteenth of the campaign, eight of which have come in the local Open. Dancin Yankee (Mark Beckwith) finished second in the $19,500 feature as he kept a streak of his own alive. The pacer who holds the all-time track record at the Spa has competed seven times in the Open this year and finished second or third in all seven. Bet You (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot on Saturday as Artful Way cemented his Pacer of the Year status once again. The local star will certainly be a top candidate to be Horse of the Year in '17 as well. Frank Coppola Jr, who piloted the superstar Artful Way to the victory, had a sensational night. The track's top driver piled up an amazing seven victories on the card, padding an already insurmountable lead in the driver standings. Trainer Jackie Greene had four winners on the Saturday program. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella  

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) continued his sensational campaign in Saturday's harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Artful Way put the swoop to the group in the $18,000 Open Pace for the second consecutive weekend. The Jackie Greene trainee again got away last in the seven-horse feature and sat patiently as track record holder Dancin Yankee (Mark Beckwith) battled it out with co-favored Deetzy (Billy Dobson). Those two checked in together to three quarters in 1:23.2. All the while, Frank Coppola Jr. was about to make his move with Artful Way who is actually having a better year already than he did in his award winning 2016 campaign. Coming from last at the half when he was still nine lengths off the lead, Artful Way powered past the dueling rivals to win in 1:52.2. Dancin Yankee was the runner-up in the Open for the second consecutive week while Deetzy earned the show spot, hitting the board for the third straight week in Saturday feature. Artful Way was co-favored at odds of 8-5 and led an exacta and triple that paid $17 and $24.40, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee set to begin at 12:15pm. There is a Monday matinee scheduled as well with the Columbus Day program also starting at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) put in as impressive of a performance on Saturday night as you will see in an harness racing Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene trainee got away fifth in a six horse field in the $18,000 Open Pace while his co-favorite Dancin Yankee (Mark Beckwith) set up shop on the front end. Dancin Yankee, who holds the all-time track record with a 1:48.4 victory in the Gerrity Pace in 2015, finished third in his return to town last week. Driver Mark Beckwith put that classy veteran on the lead in the early going on Saturday night and despite going a fast first quarter in 26.4, got to back it down a bit en route to going a first half in 56 seconds. Artful Way made his move from the back of the pack with about 3/8 of a mile to pace and when he did so, he meant business. Unleashing an eye-popping move heading to the three quarter pole, Artful Way paced right past Dancin Yankee and drew away to win the Open in 1:51.4. Highlighted by a final half in 54.2, Artful Way became the first five-time Open Pace winner at the Spa this season. Dancin Yankee won the photo for place while last week's Open winner Deetzy came on to finish third. Artful Way, the track's defending Pacer of the Year, has already matched his win total from 2016 with ten and is just shy of his earnings from last year of $115,000+. Artful Way was piloted to the Open score by Frank Coppola Jr. Greene and Coppola teamed up for a pair of victories on Saturday night as heavily favored Some Attitude (Somebeachsomewhere) moved his local record to two-for-two. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that kicks off at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella  

Artful Way and harness racing driver Brett Crawford takes the Vernon Downs Open Pace ($11,400) on Monday (September 4). Artful Way (Artistic Fella), would jump out to the lead and go gate-to-wire. The 5 year-old, who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables and trained by Jackie Greene, would put up all the fractions :25.3, :53.4, 1:21.1, 1:49.0. JK Panache (Jimmy Whittemore) would follow the whole way to finish second. Oh My Joepa (John MacDonald) would take third. Artful Way ($3.50) would win for the ninth time this year and for the 29th time in his career. Leading driver John MacDonald would win four on Monday afternoon. MacDonald won with Manverick ($3.10), Mayflowermoonshine ($3.40), Dragon Fever ($6.40), and Coopers Beach ($2.60) Vernon Downs returns for live racing on Thursday (September 7), featuring the New York Sire Stakes for Freshman trotting colts. Post time is 6:45. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) did on Saturday night what Artful Way does as the Jackie Greene harness racing trainee scored an Open Pace win at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The track's defending Pacer of the Year went coast to coast in Saturday's $18,000 feature and never suffered an anxious moment. Coming in off a victory in the Plainridge Open earlier in the week, Artful Way utilized his early speed to make it to the top with relative ease. After getting a first half in 56.2, he had plenty left for the back-half and cruised to the win in 1:52.1 with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Longshot Wynberg Courage N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the runner-up as the 28-1 shot got the pocket ride and held on to earn the place spot on Saturday while fellow invader Maxdaddy Blue Chip (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third. Though Artful Way was the race's odds-on favorite, the exacta and triple in the Open paid well. The exacta returned $42.40 while the triple came back $271 in the seven-horse feature. Artful Way joined stablemate Titus Seelster as four-time winners of the Open Pace at the Spa this season. Both standouts are owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY. Artful Way's connections also had the winner of Wednesday night's Fillies and Mares Open as Stylsh Beachwhere scored the victory in a local feature for the second time in three tries. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

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