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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  

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) has been the king of the trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year. The Scott Mongeon trainee has had a breakout harness racing season in his seven year old campaign and on Tuesday night, recorded his third Open Trot win of the year. Jimmy Devaux blasted Twisted Pretzel out from post position eight and made the early lead. After the favorite Smalltownthrowdown (Billy Dobson) yielded the lead to him, Twisted Pretzel got a nice breather in the middle half and reached three quarters in 1:26.4. Up The Alley (Mark Beckwith) took his shot first over and drew nearly even with Twisted Pretzel at one point before the leader held firm and hit the wire first in 1:55.3. Up The Alley finished second while Smalltownthrowdown earned the show spot. It was the tenth victory of the year for Twisted Pretzel who has earned most of his wins either in the Open or Winners Over levels. Because of his post position, Twisted Pretzel was dismissed at odds of 10-1 in Tuesday's winning effort. He led an exacta and triple that paid $107 and $390.50, respectively. Though the year is still young, Twisted Pretzel has certainly become the front-runner for Trotter of the Year at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Wednesday night with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

West Liberty (Western Terror) prevailed in the $9,500 Friday harness racing feature for fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Following a second place finish last week when dismissed at odds of 12-1, West Liberty again received little backing by the betting public on Friday night when she wound up getting away fourth in the five-horse feature for distaffers. Driver Jimmy Devaux activated the Bruce Bentley-trained mare heading towards three quarters and West Liberty surged right past the race's favorite Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith). West Liberty, who paid $22.00 to win, stopped the timer in 1:53.3, the fastest win time of the year for the six year old mare. Sometimes Graceful (Wally Hennessey) came on for second as she hit the board for the fifth consecutive time in the class while Her Own Land had to settle for third. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

Tropical Storm Bi (Yankee Glide) set a lifetime mark winning the Winners Over trot in 1:55 last week at Saratoga Raceway. On Wednesday night, the Tony Ciuffetelli-trained trotter was dismissed at odds of 5-1 as he looked to repeat with harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky.  Devaux blasted Tropical Storm Bi off the car as the five year old flashed some uncharacteristic early speed. Fending off a few challengers along the way, Tropical Storm Bi stopped the timer in 1:57 to record his second of back-to-back jacks in the $12,500 feature. Mugshots Bro (Bruce Aldrich Jr) sat the pocket and finished second while longshot Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) earned the show spot. Tropical Storm Bi returned $12.20 to win in his second consecutive victory. The win was one of four on the night for Devaux who is in the midst of a big month at the Spa. Aldrich piloted five winners on the Wednesday card. Live racing resumes on Friday evening with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

The harness racing track's defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year So Nice (Ponder) has been at it again of late at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Amber Buter-trained distaffer got off to a bit of a slow start in 2017 but in recent months has straightened things right back out. So Nice scored her first victory of the year while competing in Pennsylvania in late May and since returning to the Spa in June has reestablished herself as a top flight mare. The seven year old was the 3-5 betting favorite in the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday night and moved out to the early lead after putting up a first quarter in a speedy 26.4. After getting a brief breather, So Nice was tested throughout the majority of the second half but proved to be up to the task. The veteran mare, who was driven to victory by Jimmy Devaux, stopped the timer in 1:52.1 to set a new seasonal mark in her fourth victory of the campaign. Tataria (Mark Beckwith) finished second in the feature while Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey) came on for third. With the earnings from the Friday score, So Nice is now just a couple thousand shy of reaching the half million dollar mark lifetime. Devaux piloted three winners on Friday night after securing five victories on the Thursday card at the Spa. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Deak's Cici Barr (Armbro Barron) set a new lifetime mark in Thursday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel in what was a big day for harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux. Devaux has been red hot of late and chose Deak's Cici Barr over another one of the major dangers in the $9,300 feature for New York sired trotters. The choice proved to be the correct one as the seven year old mare who has been on top of her game since coming to Saratoga late last month continued her own hot streak. The George Deak-trained trotter put in her best career performance in her local debut in June scoring in 1:57.3 while upsetting at odds of 30-1. Following a second place finish last week, Deak's Cici Barr was the 6-5 public choice on Thursday as she scored an impressive victory in 1:56.4. The win was one of five on the card for Devaux who currently sits in fifth in the local driver standings. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) has been the most consistent trotter all year at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Sunday, the Scott Mongeon trainee won for the eighth time in 2017. Starting from the outside post in the $14,500 Open Trot, Twisted Pretzel flashed some early speed and wound up situated in fourth in the early going. Jimmy Devaux moved the rising trotting star first over approaching the half and after he took over, Twisted Pretzel took off. Met with the late challenge of the favored Tirade Hanover (Bruce Aldrich Jr), Twisted Pretzel held firm and scored in 1:55.1. The final time served as a new lifetime mark for the seven year old and also matched the fastest time for any trotter this year at Saratoga. Tirade Hanover was a strong second in his local debut while Boli (Wally Hennessey) kept his "on the board" streak alive by finishing third. Twisted Pretzel was dismissed at odds of 9-1 and returned $21.20 to win. The exacta and triple came back $59.50 and $185, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Monticello Raceway held its famous fireworks over the weekend, but harness racing driver Jimmy DeVaux put on his own fireworks show Wednesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway by winning 5 races. Leading trainer Dolores Basilone harnessed 4 of DeVaux's winners on the afternoon card. DeVaux is the leading dash driver this year at Monticello Raceway with 192 wins, followed by Jim Taggart Jr. (135) and Bruce Aldrich (122). DeVaux currently is in 5th place at Saratoga Raceway with 72 wins. His combined season tally is 264 wins, with earnings of $1,131,825 and a healthy UDRS of .333 Not wasting anytime DeVaux swept both ends of the early double with For Kevin's Sake ($2.70) and Flunky's Girl ($5.00) DeVaux and Basilone were successful in the 4th race with Mystical Con ($4.00) and the 5th race with JJ's Doughnut ($3.20) Win number 5 came in the 6th race with Majestic Jo ($2.80) for trainer Dawn DeVaux. Shawn Wiles

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) has been one of the top trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel this harness racing season and on Sunday afternoon won for the seventh time in 2017. The Scott Mongeon trainee has been a force in the Open Trot this season and on Sunday moved into the $15,000 Winners Over. Jimmy Devaux has been the regular driver for Twisted Pretzel who assumed the early lead in the feature. Forced to park out a rival from the start, the race's 8-5 betting favorite clicked off first half fractions of 27.3 and 56.1. The seven year old trotter had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive as he turned away pocket sitter On The Podium (Bruce Aldrich Jr) en route to victory in 1:55.4. On The Podium was the runner-up while longshot Tropical Storm Bi (Frank Coppola Jr) came on for third. It was win number seven in seventeen seasonal tries for Twisted Pretzel who completed a training double for conditioner Scott Mongeon. Live racing resumes on Tuesday afternoon with an Independence Day matinee set to begin at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) won his first career Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday afternoon. The Scott Mongeon-trained seven year old came into the race off back to back victories and was assigned post position two in the $13,000 feature. Invader J A T O (Stephane Bouchard) moved out to the early lead and held that advantage until turning for home. That's when Twisted Pretzel stepped on the gas and powered past J A T O en route to his sixth win of the season. Jimmy Devaux piloted the trotter to each of his three most recent scores. The race's favorite Boli (Wally Hennessey) came flying in the stretch but was too late to get the job done and had to settle for second while J A T O held to settle for third. Twisted Pretzel, whose win came in 1:55.3, paid $19.60 in the upset. The exacta and triple came back $74.50 and $207, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday with a matinee set to begin at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Little Santamonica (Little Steven) has always loved competing at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the talented harness racing mare has always done her best work on the front end. In Friday night's $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open, the Jordan Hope trainee moved out to the lead. Driver Jimmy Devaux, who has said that Little Santamonica is one of his favorite horses as she always gives premium effort, gave the nine year old a second quarter breather before she was tested approaching three quarters. Little Santamonica recorded her seventh victory of the season as she held off pocket sitter Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) and longshot Quick Draft A (Frank Coppola Jr) to prevail in 1:53.1. The race's 6-5 co-favorite in the wagering led an exacta and triple that paid $27.80 and $189, respectively. It was career win number 42 for Little Santamonica who earlier in the season paced the fastest mile of the year for distaffers when she stopped the timer in 1:51.4 in her previous Open win. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a 6:45pm first post time. Mike Sardella

Little Santamonica (Little Steven) was just a fifth of a second off the all-time track record for aged pacing mares as she prevailed in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jordan Hope-trained distaffer sat the pocket to the race's favorite Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) and swung out of the two-hole around the final turn. Those two speedy mares hit the wire nearly together but it was Little Santamonica who got the job done in 1:51.4 in the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Jimmy Devaux piloted the nine year old mare to her sixth win of the season and second in the local Open. Her Own Land was the runner-up in the feature for the third consecutive Friday night while invader Betabcool N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Little Santamonica returned $10.80 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that paid $18.60 and $55.50, respectively. The final time was just shy of the 1:51.3 paced last year by Velocity Vespa as the fastest in track history for an aged pacing mare. In that start, Velocity Vespa was also piloted to victory by Devaux. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Little Santamonica (Little Steven) made her return to Saratoga in style on Friday night. The harness racing veteran pacing mare has enjoyed a lot of success in past years while squaring off against the top lady pacers at the Spa and returned to town on Friday to compete in the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Jimmy Devaux piloted Little Santamonica and moved her out early before settling the nine year old mare in third going to the opening quarter. Little Santamonica came first over after a first half paced in 56.2 and proved gutsy as she toughed out a win in 1:53.3 in a race that saw a blanket finish. The six pacing mares were only separated by a total of two lengths at the wire but it was the Jordan Hope-trained Little Santamonica who proved to be fastest of all. Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) was the runner up while Our Els Dream N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. The race's longshot returned $29.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $89.50 and $430, respectively. While it was the first local start in 2017 for Little Santamonica, the veteran distaffer has already piled up five wins on the year. With the earnings from the victory, Little Santamonica moved her career bankroll to over the $400,000 mark. Live racing continues on Saturday evening with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

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