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As harness racing driver Jimmy Devuax was entering the winners circle after his fifth win on the 10 race card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday January 14, track announcer Howard Oil said "When you're hot, your hot" James Devuax has been on fire as of late, the 53-year-old reinsman won four races the prior day. The last time Devuax won five races at Monticello Raceway was almost exactly a year ago, on January 10, 2020. With nine wins in two days, Devaux has a slim lead over Mike Merton atop the leading dash winner leader board of the young 2021 season. The banner day started in race two with Road Untraveled (PP3) 2:00.3 - $6.00, the 13 year old gelding earned his first win of the season for trainer Dave Dziengiel. Thisishowwedoit (PP4) 1:57.4 - $2.60, Giddyallyougot (PP3) 2:00.2 - $14.00, Preacher Ollie (PP4) 1:57.3 - $3.50, who won his third race in four starts. Devaux concluded the afternoon with His Excellence (PP6) 1:57 - $12.20 in race nine for trainer Art Green. Also on the card, Cory Stratton drove two winners and former Monticello Raceway Rising Star, Shane Darish won with Precious Blue Chip, over $656,000 was wagered on the afternoon, live racing continues tomorrow afternoon with a 12:25 Post. Shawn Wiles

Talbotcreekwhiskey (Somebeachsomewhere) emerged victorious in the final Open Pace of the harness racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday. In what may have been the best race of any local Open this year, the Justin Sodano-trained Talbotcreekwhiskey got parked the mile to the outside of the favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum). The defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Crockets Cullen N gave the cold shoulder to the invader in a race that featured first-half fractions of 26.4 and 55.3. While those two slugged it out, Olde Broadside (Alek Chartrand) came from last in the six-horse co-feature and dropped back to the inside around the final turn. It looked as if Talbotcreekwhiskey had finally had enough after being parked every step of the way but his pursuit of the leader continued in the stretch before he reached up to take over in the final strides. Talbotcreekwhiskey overcame the journey and stopped the timer in 1:54.3 to be an unlikely Open winner with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Olde Broadside closed for second while Crockets Cullen N earned the show spot in the $10,000 Open. Talbotcreekwhiskey paid $4.90 to win as the second-choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that came back $41.80 and $128.50, respectively.   The co-featured trotting race on the card went the way of Winning Legends (Winning Mister) who went coast-to-coast for trainer-driver Justin Huckabone. The four year old trotter had one win in his two local tries in the Open this season heading into Monday's try in which he had little difficulty scoring in 1:56.3. Gruden (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket and finished second after winning a place photo with Stone In Love (Brian Cross) who came up third-best. Winning Legends was the 3-5 betting favorite in the final installment of the $10,000 Open Trot for the 2020 campaign. The exacta and triple paid $8.10 and $25, respectively, in the trotting feature. Tuesday afternoon is closing day at Saratoga. Billy Dobson and Gary Levine will be recognized in the winner's circle with plaques recognizing their seasons as the leading driver and trainer, respectively. First post time for closing day is set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Racine Bell (So Surreal) continued a super stretch for her connections at Saratoga Casino Hotel when on Tuesday afternoon the star distaffer won the Fillies and Mares Open. Owners Chris and Dale Lawton won the ladies' Open with Racine Bell two weeks ago (Oct 20) before doing so with their Surreal Feeling last week (Oct 27). The super sophomore sizzled in the backstretch and powered past her rivals to open up a commanding lead before stopping the timer in 1:54.3 to win by a resounding six lengths for driver Jimmy Devaux. Birch Island Betty (Mitch Cushing) was the runner-up to the Lawtons' Surreal Feeling last week and came closing in the final quarter to be second once again on Tuesday. Firstup (Shawn Gray) held on to finish third.   Racine Bell, a New York Sire Stakes star this summer, won for the seventh time in thirteen starts in 2020. Dave Dewhurst trains the star filly who now has just shy of $285,000 in career earnings in just 23 lifetime starts. Racine Bell paid $6.20 to win on Tuesday and led an exacta and triple that returned $24 and $67, respectively. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) continued a super stretch for her harness racing connections on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Raceway as the five year old distaffer prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open. Owners Chris and Dale Lawton won last week's Open with their star sophomore Racine Bell. Dave Dewhurst trains that filly who had another terrific season in the New York Sire Stakes this summer before winning her first local Open last Tuesday (Oct 20). This week, the Lawtons' Lindas In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven) won his fourth consecutive race at Saratoga. The young pacer went coast-to-coast with reinsman Jimmy Devaux in the sulky on Tuesday to complete a grand slam for the three year old colt. In the afternoon's $9,350 feature, Surreal Feeling went wire-to-wire with Devaux in the bike. The five year old was coming off a qualifier in which she won by fifteen lengths. Surreal Feeling, who won her first local Open last July, registered her second local score in decisive fashion stopping the timer in 1:54.3. The mare finished second or third in her three previous tries in the Open contested this summer before heading to race at Yonkers for a month. On Tuesday, the mare proved dominant in recording her fourth victory in eleven seasonal starts. Birch Island Betty (Mitch Cushing) closed to be second while Bontz N (Billy Dobson) lengthened her "on the board streak" when she came on to be third, finishing "in the money" for the sixth consecutive start.   Surreal Feeling paid $9.20 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $43.80 and $223, respectively. Dale Lawton trains both Surreal Feeling and Lindas In Heaven who were two of Devaux's four winners on the Tuesday card. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Americanprimetime (American Ideal) recorded his second consecutive victory in the Open Pace on Saturday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rick Dane Jr trainee broke the lengthy local win streak of rival Crockets Cullen N last Saturday (February 29) when he went coast-to-coast in the $15,000 Open. This weekend, with Jimmy Devaux once again in the sulky, Americanprimetime was the public's top choice in the feature when bet down to odds of 3-5. The favorite wasted little time powering out to the lead and once he got there, he proved to be tough as nails. Americanprimetime paced his first half in 56.3 before being confronted by Crockets Cullen N who suffered his first defeat in his last eleven tries when he was the runner-up to Americanprimetime this week. The journey got the best of Crockets Cullen N on Saturday and the Spa's defending Pacer of the Year faded from the scene around the final turn as Americanprimetime drew away. Going back-to-back, Americanprimetime stopped the timer in 1:52 for the fastest time of the young meet at Saratoga. Betterlatethnnever (Jay Randall) sat the pocket to the winner before finishing second while Topville Olympian (Phil Fluet) came on to earn the show spot for the second straight week in the local feature. The exacta and triple in the Open paid $27.80 and $146.50, respectively. Americanprimetime is owned by the Rock&Roll Stable of Chicago, IL. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon beginning at noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Both harness racing drivers Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Jim Devaux each enjoyed a banner day on Tuesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway as each driver won 4 races on the muddy afternoon. Track Superintendent Anthony Desimone did an excellent job in maintaining the racing oval after 2 days of rain and mud Bruce Aldrich Jr. started off the day by winning the first race with the heavy favorite Always Ya Baby in 2:00.1 - $2.70, Devaux would win the next 2 races, Aldrich came back in race 4 with Safety Second 1:58 - $3.90. 2 races later he visited he winners circle aboard Bootswiththefur in 2:03-$2.50, the Bob Lounsbury trained earned her second win of the season. Devaux won the next 2 races, in the last race of the afternoon Bruce went wire to wire with Julios Girl 1:59.4 -$3.00. Where Bruce Aldrich wasn't, DeVaux was , the 4 bagger started in the second race for Jimmy Devaux with Surface Tension, who scored a 4 length wire to win in 2:04.1 - $2.70, he came right back the following race aboard Gorgeous Partygirl 2:00 - $5.40 for trainer Greg Decker. Gaius Crastinus won race 7 in 1:59.36 - $4.20, last up was Kilkenny in 2:02.2 - $7.90 in the last race of the day. Trainers Jim Doherty Jr. and Art Green each had a training double on the card, Jim Doherty Jr. is in second place with 15 wins behind the leader Bo Sowers with 19 for leading dash winning trainers, Art Green broke into the Top 5. Jim Devaux maintains a slim lead for leading dash winning drivers, the 4 wins on the card gives him 34 wins, with Bruce Aldrich trailing closing behind in second with 33 wins. Greg Merton is 3rd with 28 wins followed by Jim Taggart Jr. with 25 wins, in the 5th spot is the young gun and future dash winner, Brandon Parker with 24 wins who has been on fire as of late. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Harness racing driver Jim Devaux owned the second half of the harness racing card at Monticello Raceway Thursday by sweeping the programs final five races. The win skein started in the fifth race aboard Rockme Socks Off who scored a pocket trip to win by a neck in 1:58- $7.90 from post 4 for his first win of the season for trainer Elisha Lafreniere and owner Wilda Mcdanel. Runhappy Ten was next up, who scored in a 6 length romp pacing the fastest mile of the afternoon in 1:55.4 and paid a paltry $2.90 win pari mutual. The 4 year old gelding by Pet Rock is trained and co owned by Joseph Skowyra and Mo Coo Inc. Devaux and Skowyra teamed up again in the next race with Big Is Better, who scored a 2 length win in 1:57.4 and paid $5.70. Win #4 came aboard Adorabella from the rail in another romp, winning by 9 lengths for trainer Jody Riedel for his first win of the 2020 season in 1:59.1 - $2.50. Devaux capped of the afternoon with Master Faster from post position 4 to score a wire to wire win by 3 lengths in 1:58.2, pacing his last quarter in 28.4 for trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Live racing resumes Monday January 13 with a 12:25 Post Time. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway          

The Final of the fourth annual Holiday Pace Series took place on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The harness racing series had two legs which each went for a purse of $7,500 leading up to Saturday's $20,000 Final. The fastest winner of any division leading up to the Final was Santanna One (Santanna Blue Chip) who scored decisively in leg two in 1:55.1. Drawing post two on Saturday, the Jessica Derue trainee was the public's 1-9 betting favorite. Reckless Rebel (Western Maverick) drew the rail and went off at odds of 9-1 after a second and a fourth place finish in the series' legs. Reckless Rebel yielded to Santanna One in the early going and wound up getting a two-hole trip behind the big favorite. With about 3/8 of a mile to pace, reinsman Jimmy Devaux popped the pocket with Reckless Rebel who powered right past the favorite to open up a big lead past three quarters in 1:26.3 over a track labeled 'sloppy.' Though he tired a bit in the stretch, the George Merton-trained pacer held on to record the win in the Final holding off late bids from Blueberry Heaven (Billy Dobson) and Santanna One, who found a bit of a second wind. Reckless Rebel stopped the timer in 1:56 and paid $21.20 to win in the upset. Blueberry Heaven came on for second to complete a $143.50 exacta while Santanna One had to settle for third and rounded out a triple that came back $199. Reckless Rebel, who is owned as well as trained by Merton, adds his name to the list of previous winners of the Holiday Pace which consists of Moveoutofmyway, Three Handbags and Nitro Glistening. The $10,000 Holiday Pace Consolation went the way of Redhot Romeo who toughed out a first-over journey to win in 1:59.1 with Dylan Huckabone-Miller at the controls. Sunday is closing day for the 2019 racing season and will feature a twelve-race matinee that is set to kick off at 12 Noon. There will be a retirement ceremony for three fourteen year olds that takes place before the races begin on Sunday. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Driver Jimmy Devaux continued his terrific 2019 campaign at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon as the veteran reinsman won three out of the ten races on the matinee card. Devaux swept the early pick-three while piloting pacer Pantheon Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere) to victory after scoring wins with trotters The Magic Number and Entranced. Pantheon Hanover, a Spa veteran pacer, dropped down to the bottom level condition on Wednesday after enduring a bit of a cold streak. The seven year old went coast-to-coast for a pretty decisive win in 1:55.1 on Wednesday in what was his sixth victory of the season for trainer Dave Dewhurst. The Magic Number set a lifetime mark on Wednesday afternoon when he parlayed his pocket trip to a career-best 1:58.3 score for Devaux who was driving for trainer Vern Beachy. Entranced also went start to finish on the engine as the Amanda Kelley trainee made good at odds of 9-5 for one of the three consecutive victories for Devaux who is entrenched in the second spot in the local driver standings for 2019, well behind leading driver Billy Dobson but comfortably ahead of his next closest pursuer Jay Randall. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon starting at 12 Noon. There is a $5,000 guaranteed Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the matinee's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Mugshots Bro (Jailhouse Jesse) won three consecutive installments of the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel back in June. Trained by Lisa Zabielski, the seven year old trotter is enjoying a breakout season in 2019 but after going on a bit of a cold streak this summer Mugshots Bro dropped in class to record a victory in his last start (August 20th). Jimmy Devaux sat behind Mugshots Bro as he was back in Open company on Wednesday night. Dismissed at odds of 6-1, the Zabielski trainee powered out to the early lead in a fast first quarter clocked in 27.3. The favorite Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) wound up second-over but after his cover faded so did his chances. Mugshots Bro had to hold off the challenge of invader Jericho (Jay Randall), who was closing up the passing lane, before stopping the timer in 1:56.1 for his fourth victory in the $15,000 Open Trot this season. Jericho finished second while Wings Of Royalty settled for the show spot. Mugshots Bro paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple in the six-horse feature that returned $121 and $201.50, respectively. With the win, Mugshots Bro moved his career earnings to over the $200,000 mark. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at the Spa with a first post time scheduled for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

The Friday night harness racing Open Pace for fillies and mares featured just a field of five at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The group of top-flight distaffers slugged it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and proved to be a romp for the race's favorite. Clear Idea (American Ideal) was a New York Sire Stakes star and has emerged as a top quality aged mare after following up a four year old campaign that saw her earn more than $100,000 with another season in 2019 in which she is set to eclipse that tally. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Friday night with driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Clear Idea surged out to the early lead in the feature and once she got there, it was lights out. After cruising through a first half in 57.1, Clear Idea powered away from her competition before stopping the timer in 1:53 for an open-length romp in the Open. Fellow invader Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the race's longshot but got the pocket trip behind the winner and parlayed it to a second-place finish while Itty Bitty (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Clear Idea's win was the 19th in 79 lifetime starts and moved her career earnings to over $528,000. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga. There will be a $1,438 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the evening's first race. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Driver Jay Randall is having another terrific year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran reinsman sits third in the local driver standings at the conclusion of this week's harness racing action. Heading into Sunday's card, Randall had a difficult choice to make. He was listed as the driver for both Ulster (Glidemaster) and Bobs Hope (Donato Hanover) in the afternoon's $15,000 Open Trot. Ulster, who is the defending Trotter of the Year at the Spa and was piloted by Randall is all eight of his Open wins last season, was making his 2019 debut. Bobs Hope has been the dominant force in this year's installments of the Sunday feature at Saratoga. Randall drove him to all four of his Open wins heading into Sunday's try. Randall opted for Ulster, who one would think he would now stick with moving forward. Jimmy Devaux subsequently picked up the catch-drive behind the Amanda Kelley-trained Bobs Hope, who was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Sunday despite being assigned the outside post. Ulster made it to the front end and was untested through three quarters in a reasonable 1:26.2. Bobs Hope, who left to get away third, revved up the engine and powered up to challenge Ulster around the final turn. Those two squared off in the stretch before Bobs Hope got the better of Ulster, who had to settle for second in his return. Bobs Hope stopped the timer in 1:55.3 to record his fifth Open win in seven tries at Saratoga in the '19 campaign. Ulster was a strong second in his seasonal debut while Freddie Mac (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. For Devaux, the win was one of four on the day for the red-hot reinsman who also piloted four winners on the Saturday card. As for Randall, the regular driver for the Trotter of the Year at the Spa in three of the last six seasons, he stuck with Ulster who gave every indication in his return that '19 may be another terrific campaign for the veteran trotter. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:00 Noon first post. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $2,644 on Wednesday with the Pick Five starting in the matinee's first race.   Mike Sardella

On any given day, there are a handful of drivers at Monticello Raceway that can win 5 races in a day, today was Jim Devaux's day. 4 of Devaux's win's came in the wire to wire fashion, he won the first race with Let Me Explain (2:00.1 - $9.40) The Murray Bassen trained Bestgirlfriendever took race 3 (2:00.4 - $2.70) for her second win of the season. Mylittlesurfergirl from the rail found the 2-hole journey to her liking and won the 5th (1:56.3 - $4.10) giving trainer Murray Bassen a training double. Meadowbranch Max accounted for the 4th win of the card (2:02.1 - $3.20) Kamwood Laughter N (1:58 - $2.80) rounded out the afternoon, the 12 year old Live or Die mare notched her 5 win of the season for trainer Joseph Skowyra. With the 5 wins on the card, Devaux is currently in 3rd place for leading Dash winning drivers with 61, Mike Merton is 2nd with 70 and Austin Siegelman is atop the leader board with 99 wins. Austin Siegelman has experienced the quintuple 4 times already this year. A total of $525,000 was wagered on the afternoon for a race average of $65,000.   By Shawn Wiles

Trainer Dave Dewhurst got off to a bit of a slow start to his 2019 harness racing campaign at Saratoga Casino Hotel but the most recent week’s action at the Spa is evidencing that the veteran conditioner has turned the corner. After winning Saturday night’s Open Pace with his JK Panache, Dewhurst scored three victories on the Wednesday card. Young trotter RX For Success (Credit Winner) began the day as a winner for Dewhurst whose Royal Bahama (RC Royalty) drew the rail for his start in one of the $9,000 co-featured races on the matinee program. Reinsman Jimmy Devaux was aggressive with Royal Bahama and retook the lead past the opening quarter with the race’s second choice in the wagering. After rebuffing the challenge of the favorite, Royal Bahama held off his rivals in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:58.1 to set a new lifetime mark. Dewhurst’s training hat trick was completed when Tournament (Deweycheatumnhowe) secured his first victory of the season, lasting on the lead in 1:58.3 in one of the co-features. Tournament, who came into the race with a host of second and third place finishes in recent months, wound up as the even money favorite as he wrapped up the three-win day for Dewhurst and for Devaux who piloted a trio of winners on the matinee card. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon featuring a Pick Five guaranteed pool of $5,000 and a race five triple pool with a $20,000 guarantee. First post time is set for 12:00pm.         Mike Sardella

The month of December seems to be to harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux's liking, it was only 10 days ago that he won five races on the afternoon. On Thursday afternoon December 27, Devaux did it again. The wins started in Race two where he scored with RCS Ready (2:04.1-$9.70) for trainer Wesley Miller. It is rare to see Devaux go off at odds of 30/1, as he pulled off a shocker with NY Whitesox in 1:58 and paid $63.50. Jim came right back in the next race and visited the winners circle with Quality Closer in the Winner Over event, scoring an easy 6 length win in 1:54.4 for Monica Banca, Zack Lee won the 10th race for owner Gary Haas in 1:57 - $5.50. Drive Em Cowboy capped off the 5 bagger in race 11 to win in 1:57.2 and paid $13.20 for win. Devaux just missed his 6th winner of the day but fell short finishing second in the last race. The five wins added to DeVaux's yearly tally, giving him 211 wins at Monticello Raceway, placing him 4th in for leading dash winners and $796,076 in earnings, over $776,000 was wagered on the 12-race card. By Shawn Wiles

On a wet and grey Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, James Devaux won five of the harness racing cards ten races. The banner day didn't start until midway through the card in race 5, where Princess Katie (2:02.4 - $2.10) was his afternoons first winner. Devaux, would then proceed to win the next 3 races in a row, Faithful Friend (2:01.1 - $8.50), Norma Rei (1:59.4 - $3.30) and Rosy Outlook (1:57.4 - $10.40) Devaux just missed notching his 6 win of the day, losing by a neck in the 9th race. He won the last race of the day in with Sandy Hook Hanover (2:00.4 - $20.40) for trainer Chad Washington, Devuax, a former 2 time Dash winner at Monticello Raceway is currently ranked 4th in the Monticello Driving colony with 197 wins. By Shawn Wiles

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