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Bye Bye Michelle (Stonebridge Regal) has been a force since coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel a couple years back. Thriving out of several different harness racing stables over her time at the Spa, Bye Bye Michelle has done most of her damage locally while competing in the high level claiming ranks. At times, the veteran mare has raced in the Fillies and Mares Open and has had some solid showings against the track's top distaffers. The eight year old mare had yet to record a win in the local Open this season when on Friday night she started from post three in the six-horse feature. Bye Bye Michelle moved first over on the race's 1-5 betting favorite Lady Shadow (Wally Hennessey) who has been the Open's star over the last month plus. Bye Bye Michelle ground the leader into submission and wound up stopping the timer in 1:53 to record the win in the $14,500 Open on Friday. Invader Roll With Sparky (John Macdonald) came from off the pace to finish second while the heavily favored Lady Shadow had to settle for third. Bye Bye Michelle, who was driven to victory by Jimmy Devaux, paid $15.00 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $89 and $261, respectively. With the earnings from the Friday score, Bye Bye Michelle moved her career bankroll to over the $300,000 mark. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Starznheaven was the Two Year Old Pacer of the Year at Saratoga back in 2014 when the freshman had a strong first season. Fast forward to 2018 and the-now six year old is a formidable Open pacer. After moving to the Jim Nickerson stable last month, Starznheaven (Rock N Roll Heaven) has simply become a monster. With wins against top flight competition at Plainridge, Tioga and Scarborough in recent weeks, Starznheaven was riding a five race win streak when he started from post four in Saturday's $14,500 Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. With fractions of 26.4 and 55.2 being set in the first half, Starznheaven moved first over approaching the half and powered past the leader heading to three quarters. Jimmy Devaux stayed after the rejuvenated pacer who dug-in in the stretch even when confronted by major danger Somewhere Fancy (Billy Dobson). Starznheaven toughed it out to prevail in 1:51.1 to record his sixth consecutive victory. Somewhere Fancy was the runner-up while Somewhere In L A (Mark Beckwith) came from last to finish third. Starznheaven pulled off the upset while dismissed at odds of 8-1. Paying $19.60 to win, Starznheaven started an exacta and triple that returned $58 and $223.50, respectively. The Open score was one of five winners on the night for reinsman Jimmy Devaux. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee starting at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Deetzy (Jereme's Jet) achieved a feat that not many horses in the Saturday feature have been able to in the last few years at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jim Nickerson trainee beat two-time Pacer of the Year and defending Horse of the Year Artful Way and did so after Artful Way cut the mile in the $14,500 Open Pace. Deetzy left alertly and yielded to the race's odds-on favorite to get the pocket ride. Artful Way made a pretty easy lead in the Saturday feature and went to the half in a comfortable, for him, 56.3. Deetzy, all the while, patrolled the pocket before swinging out at the head of the stretch. He then made something that has rarely, if ever, been done look easy. Deetzy stopped the timer in 1:52.2 to pull off the mild upset at odds of 9-1 and in the process, defeated Artful Way who almost never loses when he's on the front end. Ideal Rocky (Billy Dobson) closed sharply to be second in the Open while Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) had to settle for third. Jimmy Devaux piloted Deetzy to his third victory of the year in the local Open and fifth win on the season overall. In the upset, Deetzy paid $20.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $143 and $509, respectively. Live racing has been canceled for Sunday July 1stdue to extreme heat and heat index forecasts. Racing will resume on Tuesday evening with our Independence Day spectacular with a 5:00pm first post and fireworks at the conclusion of the race card. There will be food trucks, live music, contests and giveaways as well as a $7,777 guarantee in the pick five pool. Tuesday is a night you will want to be a part of at Saratoga Casino Hotel. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

One of a few Yonkers invaders to compete in the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Barynya A (Blissfull Hall) went coast to coast in her local debut with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Barynya A came to the Spa as a winner of three of her last four starts but faced a strong group of distaffers in the Fillies and Mares Open on Friday night. Devaux blasted the Ettore Annunziata-trained eight year old out early and after making the lead in a first quarter in 27 seconds, never looked back. The race's top two betting favorites, Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) and Diamondtoothgertie (Phil Fluet), moved in tandem towards the leader in the $14,500 feature but neither could get to the Australian invader who has found a home at Yonkers. Barynya A paced her final quarter in 27.4 and stopped the timer in 1:52.1 in a mile that was the fastest for a mare this year at Saratoga. Spreester finished second in the feature and is still yet to be worse than third in her nine starts since returning to the Spa this spring while Diamondtoothgertie had to settle for third on Friday night. In the mild upset, Barynya A paid $11.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $40 and $80, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Beat The Drum (Tell All) was tasked with overcoming the outside post in Saturday night's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Don Billings trainee was claimed for $50,000 at Yonkers last month and has fared pretty well downstate since the claim before coming to town for the first time to compete in Saturday's $14,500 Open Pace. Jimmy Devaux piloted Beat The Drum, who was relegated to last in the early going. The seven year old sat back patiently as the fractions in the first half went in 27 and 56.1. Carolina Beach (Mark Beckwith) was on the engine while seeking his second Open win of the season but after checking in at three quarters in 1:24, faced a host of challengers. bRocky (Billy Dobson) raced first-over and finished second while Carolina Beach held on for third. Beat The Drum returned $12.80 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that paid $68 and $451, respectively. The feature score was one of three wins on the card for Don Billings and Jimmy Devaux who also teamed up with victories with claiming pacers Curator and Up Front Napoleon. Devaux piloted four winners on the Saturday card. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon when the New York Sire Stakes kick off at the Spa with three year old pacing fillies taking center stage. First post time for the matinee is set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

One harness racing dynasty ends and another continues, Dolores Basilone secured her second consecutive training title at Monticello Raceway, along the way she set a new mark with the most wins for a Monticello trainer with 222 trips to the winner's circle, the new mark surpassed the former record of 218 wins held by Joe Minieri. Basilone's tally of 222 wins including 4 wins off the grounds vaults her into 6th nationally, her barn earned $754,072 in 948 starts at Monticello Raceway. Gary Messenger was second with 116 wins, followed by Robert Lounsbury was third with 113, Dan Gill, 85 and rounding out the top 5 was newcomer Jennifer Lappe. Jim Devaux also had a career best year as he took home his first ever leading dash winner title with 301 wins in 1204 starts and ended the year with Monticello earnings of $986,516. Devaux also notched a milestone when he drove his 5,000 winner earlier this fall. The double driving Devaux also finished 3rd for the most wins at Saratoga Raceway. Devauxs numbers also warranted national attention, as he finished 6th place in the nation with 544 wins and earnings of $3,005.547. James Taggart Jr. was second in the drivers standing with 256 wins and former Monticello Raceway leading dash winner Bruce Aldrich Jr. was 3rd with 244, followed by Michael Merton with 200 and Kyle Dibenedetto with 144 and the morning line favorite to be a future dash winner, Austin Siegelman also had 144 wins to his credit. by: Shawn Wiles  

Freehold, NJ --- There is something to be said for the road less traveled, but a well-worn road can yield rewards as well. Harness racing driver Jim Devaux’s road, for example. Devaux spends his days -- when he’s not driving horses -- driving hundreds of miles up and down the New York State Thruway to race at Monticello and Saratoga. It’s been a road to success as Devaux is putting the finishing touches on a career-best year, both in terms of wins, 540, and purses, $2.98 million. The 50-year-old Devaux ranks a career-high No. 6 in wins in North America and is the leading dash-winning driver at Monticello, where he has won multiple titles. He finished third, another career best, in the standings at Saratoga. In addition, in October he got career victory No. 5,000. “It was a good year,” the soft-spoken Devaux said. “I was fortunate to drive a lot of good horses and I appreciate the trainers and the owners for putting me up. That means a lot. I’ve had a lot of good horses at both tracks. “It’s definitely a grind; a lot of road trips. That’s the most difficult part, fighting traffic, fighting rush hour. It’s long days, long nights. But we made it back and forth without any incidents, so that was good.” Devaux made all but 17 of his 2,672 starts this year at Monticello and Saratoga. Ironically, his most memorable moment came elsewhere. In October, Devaux won a New York Sire Stakes championship with 2-year-old male pacer Jersey Jim. It was Devaux’s first victory in the NYSS championships. “That was very special,” Devaux said. “I thought I could get money in there, but as far as winning, I don’t ever go into the race thinking I’m the best because anything can happen. You just have to drive to the best of your ability and it happened to work out for me. “I really appreciate Perry (trainer Perry Simser) putting me on him. He’s a nice horse. He’s not very big, but he’s got a motor. That was definitely the highlight of the year.” Devaux doesn’t set goals or focus on numbers. “I don’t really worry about those kinds of things,” he said. “I just go into it like anybody else going to work. I just go in there and try to bang out a paycheck. “I drive against a lot of good guys. You definitely earn it. You just have to have the power and put them in the right spot.” Devaux’s father, Butch, raced horses at Saratoga and Monticello, and when Devaux was young he spent as much time as possible at the stables learning about the sport. Devaux focused on training at the beginning of his career and drove horses for his father when he needed a driver. Soon, though, Devaux picked up more and more drives and turned his attention to sitting in the sulky on a regular basis. Despite his career numbers this season, Devaux isn’t putting any grand expectations on 2018. “I’d be real happy if I could just repeat this year,” Devaux said. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Jimmy Devaux recorded his 5,000 career victory on Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway. The leading harness racing driver at Monticello this year, Devaux currently sits third in the driver standings at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Thursday afternoon, Devaux piloted his first local winner since reaching the career milestone on Monday. Two year old pacer Hal N Sammy (Yankee Cruiser) parlayed his pocket trip to victory in Thursday's $6,600 non-winners of one race or $11,000 lifetime pace. The freshman Don Billings trainee had three starts at the Spa coming into the matinee card and in those races recorded a win and a pair of seconds. Faced with the daunting task of squaring off against 1-9 favorite Delightful Joe (Billy Dobson), Hal N Sammy rode the leader's coattails throughout before popping the pocket around the final turn and getting up to win in a career-best 1:55.2. Devaux, who is currently sixth in North America in wins for a driver in 2017, was recognized in the winner's circle on Thursday with a sign acknowledging his career achievement. Live racing continues on Friday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

It was only fitting that after winning this first pari mutel drive at Monticello Raceway, that harness racing driver James "Jimmy" DeVaux would win his 5000th race also at his home track. The always humble DeVaux scored a wire to wire win with Sandy Hook Hanover in the last race of the afternoon. DeVaux also won 2 races prior in the card. The 50-year-old DeVaux is atop the leader board at Monticello Raceway with 249 wins, he is also ranked 6th in the nation for leading dash winning drivers with 410 wins. His mounts have earned over $2,000,000 in purses thus far this year, he is also the 3rd leading driver at Saratoga Raceway with 161 wins. By: Shawn Wiles

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) is enjoying a harness racing career year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Sunday, the Scott Mongeon-trained trotter won for the eleventh time on the season. Jimmy Devaux piloted Twisted Pretzel in Sunday's $18,000 Open Trot and positioned him in the pocket behind the favored Up The Alley (Mark Beckwith). Those two drew away from their rivals around the final turn and the seven year old Twisted Pretzel had little difficultly cruising by to win in 1:55. That time serves as a new lifetime mark for Twisted Pretzel who won the Open Trot for the fourth time this season matching Cash Me Out for most among highsteppers. On Sunday, Twisted Pretzel was the 9-5 second choice in the betting and bested the favored Up The Alley who was seeking his second consecutive Sunday score in the feature. Lucid Thoughts (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Continuing what has been a tremendous month of September for him, harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux piloted winners in both halves of the co-featured trotting races on Thursday's card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Dave Dewhurst-trained New York Chrome (Deweycheatumnhowe) prevailed in the $10,250 local feature for New York sired trotters two weeks ago and returned to town on Thursday following a second consecutive victory which came in the Excelsior series at Batavia Downs. Devaux came from well off the pace with New York Chrome as the three year old trotter cruised past his rivals to prevail in 1:58 on Thursday. The victory was the eighth on the year for the sophomore who spent a large portion of his summer competing in Exclesiors and in the fair circuit as part of the NY Sire Stakes. Devaux swept the co-features as he went coast-to-coast with the Dave Spagnola trainee Congo King (Conway Hall) for the second straight week. The five year old trotter, who was winless in 2017 before scoring in career-best fashion last week for Devaux, completed back-to-back jacks with a 1:58.4 score on Thursday. Devaux, who has been dominant of late, is now just 21 victories away from the 5,000 career win plateau. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Cash Poor (Cash Hall) scored in the Sunday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel to continue what has been a sensational streak for harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux. The Maureen Salino trainee made an easy lead in Sunday's $14,000 Winners Over trot and he never looked back. After cruising through a first half in 58.3, Cash Poor remained untested through three quarters in 1:27.4 before trotting out to win in 1:56.2. Cash Poor returned $8.90 in the win, which was his third of the season. Soul Train (Bruce Aldrich Jr) sat the pocket and finished second while Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) earned the show spot. Devaux has surged up the driver standings in the past two weeks while recorded five wins on a card on multiple occasions. Cash Poor, who gave Devaux his lone winner on the Sunday card, led an exacta and triple that paid $49.60 and $117, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Congo King (Conway Hall) set a new lifetime mark on Thursday afternoon as he scored in the $10,250 co-feature for harness racing New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Dave Spagnola trainee came into the race winless in 2017 but on Thursday was up to the task. Red hot reinsman Jimmy Devaux piloted Congo King for the first time and set sail with him in the co-feature. After recording pretty comfortable fractions on the engine, the five year old trotted away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:58, a new career best. Devaux, who is getting close to the 5,000 win mark for his career, has been on a tear of late both at Saratoga and at Monticello, where he is the leading driver. Devaux scored five victories last Thursday at the Spa and had another five-win day at Monticello on Monday. On Thursday afternoon, the veteran reinsman piloted four more winners as he continues his pursuit of victory number 5,000. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Harness Racing driver James DeVaux capped both halves of the early double with Sandy Hook Hanover (1:57 - $8.30) & Wiggler (1:56.2 $2.90) and then continued to march his way to the winner's circle with Muscle Defined (2:00 - $4.30) and then with Grecale AS (1:59.2 - $2.30). Grecale AS, the winningest trotter in North America earned his 15th victory of the year, the foreign bred son of Sugarcane Hanover is owned and trained by Don Hoover. Fly To The Angels (1:57.4 - $4.30) notched her 70th lifetime win for owner Gregory C Gardner of Sheridan MI. Gardner has owned the 13-year-old Sign of Success mare for her entire career of 347 starts. Jim DeVaux is the leading dash winning driver at the Mighty M, this year with 234 wins, he is ranked 6th in the nation with 365 wins with earning over $1,800,000 with a UDRS of .330. Leading Monticello trainer Dolores Basilone earned 4 wins on the card, Basilone is also ranked 6th in the nation with 168 wins with a UDRS of .363. By Shawn Wiles

Little Santamonica (Little Steven) scored a wire-to-wire win in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran nine year old loves the lead and driver Jimmy Devaux made sure to get her there in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Co-favored at odds of 8-5, Little Santamonica never endured an anxious moment and despite first half fractions of 27 and 55.3, drew away to win by almost five lengths in 1:52.2. The victory was the twelfth on the season for the Jordan Hope-trained distaffer who has thrived at Saratoga when coming to town to compete over the past few years. It was the fourth win in the local Open this year for the classy mare joining So Nice (Ponder) as the only two lady pacers to prevail in as many as four Opens in 2017. Brown Brinny (Bruce Aldrich Jr) finished second in her debut in the local feature while longshot West Liberty (Chris Long) came on for third. Little Santamonica paid $5.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $16.80 and $82, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

So Nice (Ponder) recorded her third consecutive victory on Wednesday night as the star distaffer prevailed in the harness racing Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. So Nice won the local Open in mid July, the last time the Amber Buter trainee came to town. Following a victory at Yonkers in her last start, it was back to the Spa for the seven year old mare who last year was the Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year at Saratoga. In Wednesday's $14,000 feature, So Nice sat the pocket to the race's odds-on favorite Godiva Seelster and blasted by in the final furlong before scoring in 1:53.3. Godiva Seelster was the runner-up while last week's Open winner Stylish Beachwhere came on for third. So Nice, who moved over the half million dollar mark in career earnings with last week's win, paid $8.20 in her most recent victory. The exacta with the favorite second paid $18.40 while the triple in the six-horse feature returned $42.60. Jimmy Devaux, who drove Twisted Pretzel to a win in Tuesday night's Open Trot, piloted So Nice to the score in the Wednesday feature. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella  

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