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The defending harness racing national Horse of the Year McWicked (McArdle) came to town for the first time on Saturday night to compete in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Casie Coleman-trained McWicked earned more than $1.5 million in his award-winning 2018 campaign but recorded only one win in his first five starts in '19 before heading into the season's richest race at the Spa. Hall of Famer Brian Sears was in to drive McWicked and gave the classy eight year old pacer a second-over trip. With the race's favorite This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) on the front end and rival None Bettor A (Joe Bongiorno) in the pocket spot, Mcwicked fanned off his cover after the three quarter time popped up in 1:23.1. This Is The Plan faced a two-pronged challenge in the stretch and it was McWicked who proved fastest of all, securing the biggest win of his season by stopping the timer in 1:50.3. This Is The Plan was the runner-up while None Bettor A had to settle for third. McWicked paid $9.80 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $30.60 and $79. McWicked, who is owned by S S G Stables of North Boston, NY, becomes the 11th winner of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial since it was started in 2009. Originally contested as a series, the Gerrity became a free-for-all Invitational Pace in 2013. That year the track record was set by Bolt The Duer who paced 1:49. His record lasted just one year as Dancin Yankee dazzled in the '14 installment of the Gerrity when he lowered that record to 1:48.4 in a world record performance that still stands as the fastest in Spa history. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

There is no question in Steve Oldford's mind where Australian-bred harness racing import None Bettor ranks among the best horses he's owned. "I've had none better, I'll tell you that," Oldford said with a laugh. "He's kind of the real deal." None Bettor, owned by Oldford Racing and Joe Pennacchio's Joe P Racing, has won nine of 11 races since arriving in the U.S. at the beginning of February, with his nine victories coming consecutively since third-place finishes in his first two stateside starts. On Saturday, None Bettor faces seven rivals - including 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked and O'Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight - in the 11th annual Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The $260,000 invitational also includes Camluck winner The Wall, Levy Memorial champ Western Fame, Ben Franklin winner This Is The Plan, Confederation Cup winner Done Well, and Ideal Jimmy. None Bettor will start from post five with Joe Bongiorno in the sulky for his sister, trainer Jenn Bongiorno. The Bongiornos won last year's Gerrity with Evenin Of Pleasure. "We were hoping for a 2-3-4 post, we ended up with five; we'll take it," Oldford said. "It's certainly better than 6-7-8. "This is going to test him. The timing isn't great (with his schedule) but we want to go. I think Joe and Jenn will have him ready. He's a great horse to be around in the barn, does everything he's supposed to do. He is relaxed when he's out there jogging. We're hoping he stays good and relaxed right up until they say go." Oldford and Pennacchio, both known for their award-winning amateur driving exploits, partnered on None Bettor after Oldford heard about the horse through a network of connections Down Under. Oldford's success with Australian-bred pacer Stormont Czar, who has earned $84,125 since his purchase last year, played a role in getting None Bettor. "We watched his video and liked him and brought him over," Oldford said. "He showed a lot of speed on half-mile tracks and we thought we could make some money with him. I typically buy trotters, but the first one came out well. This one turned out to be a monster. It's just one of those things. We got him for the upper conditions at Yonkers with the hopes he would make the open. He got real good real fast." None Bettor, a son of Bettor's Delight out of Limerick Star, had 16 wins in 58 races Down Under. His victories in the U.S. include the Battle of Lake Erie and three legs of the Great Northeast Open Series. "The Bongiornos have done a great job," Oldford said. "They've gone slow with him and brought him along. We really took our time with him and made sure he was ready. "He's a nice horse. I'm really impressed with his gritty determination. He can sprint off the gate like there's no tomorrow. The way it's been in his recent races, he sets up shop on the front end and just digs in and won't let anybody by him. He doesn't want anybody to pass him." The Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial was established to honor the former longtime chairman of the board at Saratoga Raceway. Gerrity was involved in nearly every facet of the sport at some point in his career and instrumental in the expansion of the facility at Saratoga and installation of video gaming machines, even funding part of the project himself. Gerrity passed away in 2005. Racing begins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Saratoga. Following is the field for the $260,000 Gerrity Memorial, which is race seven on the card. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-The Wall-Jim Pantaleano-Nick Surick-8/1 2-Western Fame-Dan Dube-Rene Allard-9/5 3-McWicked-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-9/2 4-This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/1 5-None Bettor A-Joe Bongiorno-Jenn Bongiorno-5/2 6-Jimmy Freight-Scott Zeron-Andrew Harris-10/1 7-Ideal Jimmy-Brent Holland-Erv Miller-15/1 8-Done Well-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-25/1 Ken Weingartner

Heading into Saturday night, in two of the previous five installments of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season's biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the $260,000 race that memorializes the longtime former Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Inc. Joe Gerrity Jr. Saturday night was the tenth installment of the race in his honor. The winner of the '17 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and wound up as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of 26.2 and 53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of five and a half lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up on Saturday night while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the eight year old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal, QC, CA. Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively. Saturday's star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing's richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner's circle at the conclusion of his conditional race at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening with a first post time of 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

With the Fillies and Mares Open set to be contested on Saturday night this week, a $9,500 conditional race for the ladies served as the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. John Macdonald trainee All Charged Up (Ponder) made her return to the Spa where she competed twice in the Open in June. Though she didn't have much success in her two local starts, All Charged Up is enjoying a big season having won seven times coming into Friday's try. Driver Jay Randall moved the invader out early before yielding to the race's favorite Rock N Roll Rosie (Jim Devaux) who came into the feature with five wins in her seven local starts this season. The favorite did not have her 'A' game on Friday evening and when All Charged Up found room in the passing lane, she surged. Longshot rival Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) got away last in the field of seven but made a power move in the final quarter before coming up just shy of All Charged Up for the victory. Stylish Beachwhere (Wally Hennessey) finished third in the evening's feature. All Charged Up, whose win came in 1:54.1, was the second-choice in the wagering returning $6.20 to win. She led an exacta and triple that paid $88.50 and $332.50, respectively, with the favorite out of the number. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 12 race, star-studded card. The evening features the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace as well as New York Sire Stakes action for three year old pacing colts. The richest horse in harness racing history Foiled Again will be on hand to take part in the evening's sixth race and will be squaring off against defending Saratoga Horse of the Year Artful Way. In addition, there will be three Opens contested, each of which goes for a purse of $25,000 on the richest race card of the season at the Spa. There will be a $7,777 guarantee in the pick five pool on Saturday as well. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (July 18, 2018) - On Saturday, July 21, Saratoga Casino Hotel will welcome some of the country's top harness racing talent for the 10th edition of their biggest race - the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace. This year's memorial pace features a $260,000 purse, with over $500,000 in total purses throughout the evening. The Saturday card will also feature an exclusive wager in conjunction with Saratoga Race Course. For the first-time ever, the 'Toga Toga Double' will allow bettors to place a Double wager that begins with the Grade 1 $500,000 Diana Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, and ends with the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace. The wager option will be available at all outlets that accept bets on both NYRA racing and Saratoga Harness, and will be listed as 'Toga Toga Double' as the track or event name. Additionally, there will be a number of exciting promotions for the Gerrity including a free commemorative 2018 'Gerrity Night' t-shirt with the purchase of a $2 race program, and 77-cent Stewart's ice cream cones commemorating the harness track's 77th season. There will also be a guaranteed pool of $7,777 for the evening's Pick 5 wager. The field for the $260,000 Memorial Pace is as accomplished as ever, with 4 of the 8 entries boasting over $1.4 Million in lifetime wins. The competitors include last year's Gerrity champion, 'Bit Of A Legend N,' whose career win earnings exceed $2.4 Million. In addition to the loaded field for the Gerrity Memorial Pace, there will also be six New York Sire Stakes races on the card for Saturday evening. The evening's sixth race will feature 'Foiled Again,' the richest horse in all of harness racing whose 100 career wins have netted over $7.5 million in purses. There will be a brief presentation ceremony for him and his connections following the sixth race. "This is as exciting of a Gerrity Memorial Pace that we've ever had," said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino Hotel. "Together with the talent of the evening's field, Sire Stakes races and our 'Toga Toga Double' wager option, this is shaping up to be a night to remember for the tenth anniversary of our marquee race." The first post time for Saturday is scheduled for 7:05pm. As always, parking and admission are free. The memorial pace was created in 2009 as a dedication to Joe Gerrity, Jr - a highly respected figure in the area's equine development and an integral leader of Saratoga Harness. Gerrity was a breeder of horses in Loudonville and licensed harness driver before becoming Chairman of the Board for Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc. in 1987. He later oversaw the expansion and development of the facility before it became the premier property to feature Video Lottery Terminals in New York State. Mr. Gerrity passed away in October of 2005. by Tom Engle, for Saratoga Raceway

This Week: Joe Gerrity Memorial, Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Tompkins-Geers and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will be held this weekend at three different racetracks. Action begins on Friday (July 20) at Meadowlands Racetrack with the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be three $10,000 divisions of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two $10,000 divisions of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old pacing colts and trotting colts and a single $10,000 division of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old pacing fillies. On Saturday (July 21), the Meadowlands card will offer the $68,600 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting fillies and the $61,900 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting colts. Also on Saturday, Saratoga will host their marquee event, the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial for older pacers. Finally, The Meadows on Saturday will offer a pair of $25,000 eliminations for the Devlin Miller Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers. The $400,000 (est.) Adios final the following Saturday afternoon anchors a blockbuster card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: David Miller flashed a wide smile as he guided Courtly Choice to the winner's circle after winning the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. The monkey was off the Hall of Famer's back. After 18 failed efforts, Miller finally owned a victory in the Meadowlands Racetrack's signature event for 3-year-olds. Courtly Choice rallied to win the Pace by 1-1/4 lengths on Saturday night (July 14). "That was sweet," Miller said. "Really sweet." The Pace was an obvious omission on Miller's glittering resume. "The Buckeye" is second on the sport's all-time money list with $222 million in the bank. His best previous Pace finish was a second with Always B Miki in 2014. The sweetness of the moment spread in many directions, including trainer Blake MacIntosh, who also savored the victory in his Pace debut. "I believed in this horse," said MacIntosh, the former assistant to Casie Coleman. "He just had some back luck earlier in the year." And it was a winning gamble for the ownership group that ponied up $61,690 to enter the eliminations. The faith of Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Farms was rewarded with the $333,370 first-place check. Most importantly, it was a moment of redemption for Courtly Choice, who failed to make the finals in the North America Cup and the Max Hempt Memorial. The colt served notice his moment was at hand with a sharp first-up victory in his Pace elimination. And then he finally put it all together for the richest victory of his career. The race seemed primed for a 57-1 upset when a dead-game Dorsoduro Hanover, handled by Matt Kakaley, battled his way to the front at the top of the lane. But Courtly Choice was tracking his every move and angled wide under Miller's urging to score the victory. "The trip worked out good," Miller said. "The couple of horses I thought would leave from the outside left. I was able to get Matt in front of me and nobody else moved. On the last turn, I was real happy with my spot." The time was 1:47.1 on the warm evening. Courtly Choice paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 452; 2. Yannick Gingras - 430; 3. Jordan Stratton - 256; 4. David Miller - 226.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 178. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 428.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 280; 3. Jim King Jr. - 171; 4. Tony Alagna - 142; 5. Peter Tritton - 122. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 100.2; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 100.2; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 80; 5. Fashion Farms - 72. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadows and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host eight Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for three lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, as well as the Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Bit Of A Legend N (Bettor's Delight) was the runner-up in the 2016 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace contested at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Peter Tritton-trained standout wound up second best to former harness racing Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit. On Saturday night, Bit Of A Legend N was dismissed at odds of 15-1 as he took part in his second consecutive $260,000 Gerrity Pace. Driver Jordan Stratton sat patiently with the talented eight year old as a grueling pace was being set. There wasn't a dull moment throughout as top rivals were slugging it out from the word "go." The opening quarter went in 26.4 before the first half was clocked in 54.3. The field bunched up after three quarters in 1:21.2 and longshot Bit Of A Legend N powered up three wide around the final turn. From fifth at the head of the stretch to first at the wire, Bit Of A Legend stopped the timer in 1:50.3 exacting his revenge from last year's defeat in the Gerrity with an impressive win in the ninth annual installment of the race in honor of the former Chairman of the Board at Saratoga who passed away in 2005. 36-1 shot Mach It So (Dave Miller) came on for second while Boston Red Rocks (Brett Miller) earned the show spot. Bit Of A Legend N returned $32.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $1,037 and $5,295, respectively. Bit Of A Legend N The fourteen race program featured a track record performance by Funknwaffles (American Ideal) in the NY Sire Stakes as he became the fastest three year old pacer in track history by prevailing in 1:50.4. Funknwaffles Also, the fastest trotting time and pacing time of the year were set on Saturday as Gural Hanover (Matt Kakaley) trotted to victory in 1:54 and Luck Be Withyou (Brett Miller) scored in 1:49.2, the third fastest time in track history on what was a sensational night of racing at Saratoga. Luck Be Withyou Heaven's Gait - New York Sire Stakes Live racing continues on Tuesday evening featuring NY Sire Stakes action with first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

The way harness racing driver Jody Jamieson sees it, if stakes-winning pacer Sintra were human, he might be Mike Trout. "He's got speed, he's got stamina, he's got talent," Jamieson said. "When you add in smarts, where he'll let you drive him how you want, that's the total package right there. He's a five-tool baseball player." Sintra will get the chance to display his tools Saturday in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Sintra, coming off a 1:47.2 win in the Graduate Series championship July 8 at the Meadowlands, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Gerrity's eight-horse field. Sintra and driver Jamieson will leave from post four. The Gerrity also includes Haughton Memorial winner Mach It So, Ben Franklin Pace and Levy Series champion Keystone Velocity, and Battle of Lake Erie winner All Bets Off. Completing the field are millionaires Clear Vision, Bit Of A Legend, Boston Red Rocks and Somewhere In LA. New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in last year's Gerrity. Sintra, a 4-year-old gelded son of stallion Mach Three, has won six of eight races this year while competing primarily in races restricted to 4-year-olds, although he did win the Mohawk preferred against older foes on July 1. In the Gerrity, only Sintra and Boston Red Rocks are 4-year-olds; the remaining horses range in ages from 6 to 11. "It's a real advantage to be able to race against 4-year-olds, there's no question about it," said Jamieson, who drives Sintra for trainer/co-owner Dave Menary. "He's got a bit of a tougher test coming up here on Saturday in the Gerrity, but if he gets the trip he's tough." Last year Sintra won eight of 16 starts and earned $229,346 for owners Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing. Five of the races he lost were won by Betting Line, who was Canada's Horse of the Year. "Anybody that had to race against Betting Line was racing for second money for the most part," Jamieson said. "A couple times I headed him and thought I had him beat and it just didn't work out. It's hard to say whether I've seen a difference in him (this year). He was awesome from day one. He rarely put a bad start in, if at all." Sintra, who was limited to three races at age 2 because of injury, competed mostly at Mohawk last year. His one trip to the Grand Circuit was for the Milstein Pace, where he finished fifth. "We only faced the open company a couple times last year," said Jamieson, who has driven Sintra in 22 of his last 24 races. "This year we're taking on the world. "Dave Menary has done a hell of a job managing him, you can't say enough about him. I think he's also done a hell of a job picking the driver for the horse too." Boston Red Rocks, who is winless in 10 races this year but a runner-up on six occasions, is the Gerrity's 5-2 second choice on the morning line, starting from post No. 1 with Brett Miller driving for trainer Steve Elliott. Keystone Velocity, who drew post eight, is 9-2 followed by All Bets Off at 5-1. "I got a great draw," Jamieson said. "I love the half-mile track, but when you put these kinds of horses on the half-mile track there's obviously a lot of luck and a little bit of a trip scenario that comes into play. But I think he's in the right spot with the four hole and he's in great form." Racing at Saratoga begins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The Gerrity is race No. 6 on the card, with post time at 8:45 p.m. approximately. In addition to the Gerrity, the card features eight New York Sire Stakes races. Fans will receive a coupon for a free commemorative 2017 Gerrity Night T-shirt with the purchase of a $2 race program, while supplies last. A variety of local food trucks will be on hand throughout the night near the track apron. As always, parking and admission are free. The Gerrity honors the memory of Joe Gerrity Jr. and his many contributions. A highly respected leader, inspiration and icon for Saratoga Raceway and the horse racing industry, he was a breeder of horses in Loudonville, a licensed harness driver and became Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc. (now Saratoga Casino Hotel) in 1987. He later oversaw the expansion of the facility and the installation of video gaming machines, partially funding the project himself. He also served as a director for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State for 20 years, and acted as treasurer for much of that time. He passed away in 2005. Below is the field for the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Boston Red Rocks-Brett Miller-Steve Elliott-5/2 2-All Bets Off-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-5/1 3-Somewhere In LA-Jason Bartlett-Richard Banca-6/1 4-Sintra-Jody Jamieson-David Menary-2/1 5-Bit Of A Legend N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-8/1 6-Clear Vision-Mark MacDonald-Jennifer Lappe-15/1 7-Mach It So-David Miller-Jeffrey Bamond Jr.-12/1 8-Keystone Velocity-Simon Allard-Rene Allard-9/2 Ken Weingartner

Reigning National Horse of the Year Wiggle It JiggleIt (Mr Wiggles) came to the Saratoga Racetrack for the first time on Saturday night and was the harness racing 1-9 betting favorite in the 8th annual $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace. Driver Montrell Teague blasted the superstar pacer out early but after seeing he was parked in a fast opening quarter backed off a bit and waited for things to sort out. Wiggle It Jiggleit then blasted up alongside leader All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and took over the lead in a half of 54.4. After stealing a third quarter breather, Wiggle It Jiggleit sprinted away in a 27.1 final panel to win by two lengths in 1:51. Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) closed quickly up the rail and won the photo for place with All Bets Off earning the show spot in the $260,000 Gerrity. Though the track record wasn't ever in jeopardy on Saturday night, the fans who came out in full force to see the harness racing superstar roared in appreciation as the talented four year old made his way back for the winner circle presentation. It was victory number ten in fifteen starts this year for Wiggle It Jiggleit who is owned by George Teague Inc. and Teague Racing Partnership LLC and trained by Clyde Francis. Wiggle It JiggleIt earnings are now $2,999,000 from 42 starts for 33 wins, 6 seconds and 2 thirds. There was over $600,000 in purse money battled for on the evening's fourteen race card at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night as the summer schedule is in full swing with racing every Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 7:05pm each night.   Mike Sardella     Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino    

After either drawing or being assigned the outermost starting spot in each of his past four races, Bit Of A Legend looks to return to his winning ways when he leaves from post No. 1 in Saturday's harness racing $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The New Zealand-born Bit Of A Legend is a 7-year-old stallion who arrived in the U.S. in December. He won eight of 10 races to begin his career in the States, including the $609,000 George Morton Levy Pacing Series championship in April at Yonkers Raceway, but has visited the winner's circle only once in his past four starts. Bit Of A Legend, who will have the services of regular driver Jordan Stratton, is the 3-1 second choice on the Gerrity morning line behind 6-5 favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit, harness racing's 2015 Horse of the Year and the winner of 32 of 41 lifetime starts. Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague will start from post five. "Wiggle It Jiggleit is going to be hard to beat," said Peter Tritton, who trains Bit Of A Legend for owner Harry von Knoblauch. "I thought he could beat the others with the right trip, but Wiggle It Jiggleit is going to be tough. I've got a good draw, so that might even it up a bit. "I just wish Wiggle It Jiggleit wasn't in it, but it is what it is," he added, laughing. "So we'll give it a shot." Bit Of A Legend and Wiggle It Jiggleit have met twice this year. The first encounter came in a preliminary round of the Levy Series at Yonkers and resulted in the horses finishing in a dead heat for win. The second meeting was in the Dorothy Mullin Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 29. Wiggle It Jiggleit won in 1:47.3, the fastest mile in the 11-year history of the racetrack, while Bit Of A Legend went off stride from post eight and finished last. "I changed his shoes for up there (at Philadelphia) and that didn't work out," Tritton said. Bit Of A Legend has raced only once since the Mullin, finishing sixth from post eight in the Open Handicap at Yonkers last Saturday. Bit Of A Legend paced his final quarter-mile :27, the fastest time in the field, and finished 2-1/2 lengths behind winner Doctor Butch. Tritton had hoped to get Bit Of A Legend a start prior to last weekend, but the horse was slowed by a soreness issue. "He went good the other night," Tritton said. "He may be one run short, but he won't be far away. I didn't completely give him off (since the Mullin). I just sort of took it easy for a while because he's not staked to anything this year." Prior to arriving in the U.S., Bit Of A Legend won 20 of 63 races and earned $659,686 while competing Down Under. Among his exploits, he was the first male pacer to win Australian Breeders Crown finals at ages 2 and 3. For his career, the son of Bettor's Delight-Soky's Legend has won 29 of 77 starts and earned $1.13 million. One of Tritton's goals during the remainder of the season is to determine how to stake Bit Of A Legend in 2017. He plans to race the horse at the Meadowlands to gauge his ability on a one-mile oval. So far, Bit Of A Legend has posted all nine of his victories at Yonkers, which is a half-mile track, and not competed on a track larger than five-eighths. "I don't think that's a concern with him," Tritton said. "It's just that he's so handy around the little tracks, where some of them aren't as handy as he is. He still might be able to go with them on the bigger tracks as well. We'll find that out before the end of the year, but he's a very good horse." Following is the field for the Gerrity: PP - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line 1 - Bit Of A Legend - Jordan Stratton - Peter Tritton - 3/1 2 - Doctor Butch - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 8/1 3 - All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 6/1 4 - Artistic Major - Jim Morrill Jr. - Steve Elliott - 12/1 5 - Wiggle It Jiggleit - Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis - 6/5 6 - Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 10/1 7 - Cooperstown - Vincent Ginsburg - Daniel Renaud - 15/1 8 - P H Supercam - Jason Bartlett - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. - 20/1 P H Supercam is the race's defending champion. The stakes record is 1:48.4 was set in 2014 by Dancin Yankee. Ken Weingartner

P H Supercam (Million Dollar Cam) overcame a first over journey to score in the seventh annual harness racing Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. The Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee drew post position four and after leaving to get away third, came first over on the race's favorite Dancin Yankee (Jim Morrill Jr) in the $260,000 free-for-all pace. Dancin Yankee, the Saratoga track record holder after winning the 2014 Gerrity in 1:48.4, returned to town to defend his title and came up just a neck shy of repeating. Jason Bartlett piloted P H Supercam, who wore down Dancin Yankee in the final strides to secure the win in 1:50.1, easily the fastest mile of the '15 campaign at the Spa. Dancin Yankee had to settle for second while longshot Domethatagain (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third. P H Supercam returned $11.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $33.40 and $647, respectively. The victory was the eighth in seventeen seasonal tries for millionaire pacer P H Supercam. Live racing takes place every Tuesday through Saturday at Saratoga for the next six weeks with first post times set for 7:05pm each night. Mike Sardella  

Doctor Butch is the type of horse that dislikes wearing a blanket, even on the coldest days of winter. A blanket in the winner's circle, though, is another story. "No problem with that," Brad McNinch said with a laugh after detailing how Doctor Butch destroyed two winter blankets this year. "He loves standing in the winner's circle with a blanket." McNinch assists wife Linda Toscano with her New Jersey-based training stable and spends a lot of time with Doctor Butch. The 5-year-old pacer will have the chance to pick up a blanket Saturday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway when he faces seven rivals in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial. Doctor Butch, who needs $41,963 to reach $1 million in career earnings, is the longest shot on the morning line at 12-1, but he will neither know nor care about the odds. He will start from post six on the half-mile oval, with Patrick Lachance driving. "He feels good; he looks good," McNinch said about Doctor Butch. "He looks like he can beat anybody and he thinks he can beat anybody. He's just that kind. He's just a good horse. It's mostly attitude. He just wants to beat everybody." Dancin Yankee, the 2014 Gerrity winner, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's race. He will start from post two with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Gary Green. Luck Be Withyou, P H Supercam and All Bets Off are next on the morning line, with odds of 3-1 to 9-2. "I see Dancin Yankee going down the road, but I don't think he'll be left alone; there's enough speed," Toscano said about the race. "Fortunately for us, (Doctor Butch) can race both ways. He'll race just as well from the back as he will on or close to the lead. Hopefully with a trip we'll be OK." Doctor Butch, a son of Art Major out of the mare Classical Yankee, is owned by Ken Jacobs and has won 25 of 87 career races, including the 2013 Art Rooney Pace and 2012 New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers. He was purchased as a yearling for $55,000 under the name Recent Vintage and his family includes millionaire Yankee Cruiser and stakes-winner JK Majorette. He heads to the Gerrity off a third-place finish in the Open Handicap on July 18 at the Meadowlands. Over his most recent 14 starts, Doctor Butch has six wins and a total of 10 on-the-board efforts. His finishes outside the top three came in two starts from outside posts at Yonkers, a troubled trip in the Gold Cup Invitational at Mohawk, and when he tied up in the Jerry Taylor Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He's probably a half-step below the top ones, but I wouldn't have any problem putting him in with them," McNinch said. "He's got a great attitude and he's got lots of go. He's on his game right now. It's just the routine he's in now. He loves it." Doctor Butch has raced throughout this year, making at least two starts in every month of 2015, and won eight of 21 appearances. He has been a member of Toscano's stable from the start of his career. "I love that as much as anything," said Toscano, who also credits caretaker Sanne Hansen for her work with Doctor Butch during the past two years. "We put the first harness on him and we broke him. Normally (Jacobs') horses go south and get broken in North Carolina. That year for some reason the colts stayed north. I think that's the best part, to get to keep one you broke yourself and then watched them turn into a good horse. "He's a pleasure to have. He's a very sound horse, and a very, very pretty horse. He's been paying the way. I kind of was instrumental in him not being sold (after his 3-year-old season) because I really believe in the horse. A formula for a really successful operation is having those winter racehorses that can help pay the bills. Ken loves the babies, but he loves to watch the racing too. It's been fun. Doctor Butch has kind of ticked all the boxes." Following is the field for the Gerrity in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Michael's Power by Camluck, Bruce Aldrich Jr., Mark Silva, 6-1 2. Dancin Yankee by Yankee Cruiser, Jim Morrill Jr., Gary Green, 5-2 3. Scott Rocks by Rocknroll Hanover, Stephane Bouchard, Mickey Peterson, 8-1 4. P H Supercam by Million Dollar Cam, Jason Bartlett, Jeff Bamond Jr., 4-1 5. Luck Be Withyou by Western Ideal, Mark MacDonald, Mickey Peterson, 3-1 6. Doctor Butch by Art Major, Patrick Lachance, Linda Toscano, 12-1 7. All Bets Off by Bettor's Delight, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 9-2 8. Domethatagain by Bettor's Delight, Billy Dobson, Rene Allard, 10-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Harness racing action on the Grand Circuit is really in full swing now. This Week: Joe Gerrity Memorial, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Zweig Memorial and Zweig Filly, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa. Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will be held this weekend at four different racetracks. Action begins on Friday (July 24) at Meadowlands Racetrack with three $10,000 divisions of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old trotting colts and two $10,000 divisions of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old trotting fillies. On Saturday (July 25), Saratoga will host their marquee event, the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial for older pacers, while The Meadows will offer a trio of $25,000 eliminations for their marquee event, the Devlin Miller Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers. The busy weekend concludes on Sunday (July 26) as Vernon Downs will offer the $370,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old colt trotters (and $76,000 consolation), as well as the $185,000 Zweig Filly for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack hosted seven lucrative Grand Circuit events this past Saturday, led by the $706,000 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds. They all had a clear shot at him, but none of the nine other pacers in the Meadowlands Pace could get past Wiggle It Jiggleit, as his 24-year-old driver Montrell Teague gave a fist pump and won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:47.4 at The Meadowlands Wiggle It Jiggleit is owned by Montrell's father, George Teague Jr. and is trained by Clyde Francis. Montrell is the youngest driver ever to win the classic race. The son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover started his season at The Meadowlands in the dead of the winter of 2015, racing in series and taking each in stride with progressively stronger performances. For the season, Wiggle It Jiggleit has now won 14 of 15 starts, with earnings of $978,742. His lone loss was a second place finish to Wakizashi Hanover in the North America Cup. In the Meadowlands Pace, Montrell Teague had Wiggle It Jiggleit on cruise control to the wire in 1:47.4. Dude's The Man ranged up on the outside to get past Wakizashi Hanover for the second place money in the final strides. Also on the stakes loaded Saturday card, JL Cruze (John Campbell) won for the 12th consecutive time, capturing the $443,300 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters by a neck over Resolve in a world-record 2:04.2 for 1-1/8 miles. Shake It Cerry finished third. It was JL Cruze's third consecutive world-record effort, following his 1:49.4 win in the Graduate Series final and 1:51 triumph in the Sun Invitational. The previous record for 1-1/8 miles was 2:05.3, set by Your So Vain in last year's Hambletonian Maturity. JL Cruze, trained by Eric Ell, has won 16 of 18 races this year and earned $612,788. He had five wins in 17 races prior to this season. He was purchased for $37,000 at the November Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale by owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta. Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) won the $430,600 William Haughton Memorial for older male pacers by a neck on Saturday at The Meadowlands in a time of 1:48.1. He's trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr. and owned by Bamond Racing. It was only the second win of the year for the 5-year-old son of Mach Three-Beach Dancer in 12 starts. Lifetime, he has captured 21 of 54 starts with a bankroll of $991,439. State Treasurer was a fast closing second and Foiled Again was just behind him in third. Pacesetter Luck Be Withyou finished fourth. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 303; 2. Tim Tetrick - 293; 3. Brian Sears - 275; 4. David Miller - 244; 5. John Campbell - 203. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 405; 2. Jimmy Takter - 260; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 228; 4. Ray Schnittker - 187; 5. Rene Allard - 158. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 195.5; 2. Burke Racing - 102.5; 3. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 100; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 94.3; 5. Ray Schnittker - 74.9. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadows and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host eight Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for six lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters. Paul Ramlow

For Foiled Again, it’s summertime and nothing is easy. But harness racing trainer Ron Burke is confident the 10-year-old pacer will return to prominence again. The three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, Foiled Again has won four of 14 starts this year and earned $300,100, but last visited the winner’s circle in mid-April. He will try to snap a 10-race skid when he heads to Saratoga Casino & Raceway for Saturday’s $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial. The entry box for the Gerrity closes at 4 p.m. Wednesday. For his career, Foiled Again has won 80 of 212 races and earned $6.33 million, which is the most money for any harness racing horse in North American history. He has gotten better with age, with the money he has banked since turning age 7 – $4.31 million – being good enough on its own to make him the richest pacer. “I feel bad for him,” Burke said. “He’s super right now. He’s drawn the wrong spots, but he’ll get himself going. He’ll come back.” Since joining the Burke stable in 2008, Foiled Again’s overall win percentage in June, July and August is 19.2 percent, with 11 wins in 57 starts. That makes him 61-for-109 the rest of the year, which is a win rate of 55.9 percent. And he’s hit the board an astounding 103 times in those 109 races. During the months from September through the end of the year, Foiled Again has won 32 of 56 starts since 2007 and finished on the board 54 times. Foiled Again will enter the Gerrity off a sixth-place finish in the U.S. Pacing Championship, where he was beaten by stablemate Sweet Lou by 5-1/2 lengths despite a :25.4 final quarter-mile. In his previous two starts, he was third from post seven in the Battle of Lake Erie at half-mile Northfield Park and eighth in the William R. Haughton Memorial from post 10 at the Meadowlands. At the end of June, he paced the fastest mile of his life, timed in 1:47.1, but finished third to Sweet Lou in a world-record 1:47 mile in the Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. “You watch the replay [of the U.S. Pacing Championship] and at the wire he’s absolutely airborne,” Burke said. “He came home as fast as anybody. “Now a couple of the smaller tracks are coming up and he’s always been good at Mohawk. We go to Saratoga with him, then Mohawk, and then we go to Harrington [Raceway] or maybe Scioto [Downs]. He’s sharp. He’ll be good.” Mohawk hosts the Canadian Pacing Derby, which Foiled Again won in 2012, on Aug. 30. Eliminations, if necessary, will be Aug. 23. Harrington is home to the Bobby Quillen Memorial, which Foiled Again has won twice and been runner-up three times, on Sept. 15. Eliminations will be a week earlier, if needed. Scioto Downs has the Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational on Sept. 27. Foiled Again ranks No. 6 in earnings among older male pacers this year. The leader is his stablemate, Sweet Lou, with $916,500. The 5-year-old Sweet Lou has a nine-race victory streak after winning last Friday’s Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park in a track-record 1:47.2. For his career, Sweet Lou has won 31 of 67 races and $3.03 million. He was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer and earned $1 million at age 3, but picked up only four wins in 2013. “I thought last year the torch would pass from Foiled to Lou, but I give credit to Foiled, he stepped his game up and Lou didn’t quite come through,” Burke said. “I’m not surprised this year. I don’t know if Foiled has ever run into a horse in the last couple years that’s as sharp as Lou is right now. It’s just a matter of whether Lou can maintain this until the end of the year. “But nothing Foiled does down the road will shock me. He’s just such a good horse.” Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

Looking to build on positive 2012 handle reports that featured a 13.4% increase in all source Saratoga Raceway wagers, Saratoga Casino & Raceway opens the 72nd harness racing season at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.

The fourth annual Joe Gerrity, Jr. Memorial final will take place this Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

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