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Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff is hot. The executive recruiter just won his eighth race this season in amateur harness racing competition and he's cruising along with a .444 UDR in 24 starts. His latest victory came last night (June 5) at Saratoga Raceway when he won a CKG Billings trot with his own Bambino Hall in a time of 1:58.3. In a field shortened to six starters after two scratches, Hechkoff changed his MO and instead of gunning Bambino Hall for the lead he took a seat in fourth position on the first turn while "Coach Paul" Minore, with Wygant Prince, parked "Hot Handed Hannah" Miler, and Pembroke Snapshot in a swift :28.3 first quarter. Minore yielded as Miller took command and she led the field toward the halfway point. Hechkoff, perhaps sensing that the stiff first quarter might have taken something out of the two leaders, or maybe he wanted to get in front of Permanent Joy and Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivelin who was coming on the outside from the back of the pack, he moved Bambino Hall out to challenge Miller. After the :59.3 half Bambino Hall rambled to the lead as Permanent Joy kept going forward. At the three quarters Permanent Joy was third on the outside but Bambino Hall was getting away. As the short field headed for paydirt Bambino Hall kept pouring it on and drew off to a four length triumph over Permanent Joy. Wygant Prince overtook a tiring Pembroke Snapshot to secure the show dough. It was the fourth seasonal win for the veteran trotter whose career earnings are approaching a half million dollars. "He's such a nice horse to drive and he went a big race tonight," Hechkoff said. " I'd like to have a barn full like him." Owned by Hechkoff's RBH Ventures and trained by Kyle Spagnola, Bambino Hall was sent off as the betting favorite in the race and paid $4.90 for win. John Manzi

Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) continued her terrific harness racing season on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year at the Spa has continued to be the Friday feature's dominant force this season. Road Bet started from post seven in the first installment of the Fillies and Mares Open to be contested at a distance of 1 1/16 mile and made her patented early move to the lead. The Kyle Spagnola-trained mare went start to finish, holding off a late bid by the race's favorite Let's Go Higher (Billy Dobson) to secure her fourth Open victory in 2015. Road Bet paced her first mile in 1:51.4 before stopping the timer in 1:58.3 for the 1 1/16 mile. Let's Go Higher finished second while longshot Bo Tox Hanover (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot in her local debut. Stephane Bouchard piloted Road Bet to her score in the $18,000 Friday feature which was one of two wins on the night for the Kyle Spagnola stable. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella  

Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) became the first three-time winner of the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the five year old harness racing mare went wire-to-wire. Stephane Bouchard piloted the Kyle Spagnola-trained distaffer to a 1:54.3 victory in the $18,000 Friday feature. The defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Road Bet has now been first or second in five of her six starts in '15. Last week's Open winner It's A Miracle (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the runner up to Road Bet on Friday while Super Soph (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Road Bet, who was the public's 6-5 betting favorite, won for the 17th time in 61 lifetime starts. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Victory Ahead (Art Major) secured one of the biggest upsets of the season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Thursday evening. The four year old pacer was making his first start out of the barn of trainer Kyle Spagnola and got away last in the $7,500 conditional-claimer. Driver Stephane Bouchard swung Victory Ahead three wide past the three quarter pole and the third year pacer charged past his rivals in the stretch to record the win at odds of 85-1. It was the second biggest win price of the year at the Spa as Victory Ahead paid $174.50 to win and rounded out a daily double that came back $1704, more than double the previous largest double of the season. The win was one of two on the card for Kyle Spagnola whose All The Bettor (Bettor's Delight) scored a mild upset of his own with Billy Dobson in the bike. Live racing continues on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

The defending Pacing Mare of the Year at Saratoga Casino and Raceway Road Bet (Bettor’s Delight) scored her second Open win of the season on a chilly Friday night in the Spa City. Stephane Bouchard piloted the five year old Kyle Spagnola trainee to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:55 in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Cherry Bliss (Mark Beckwith) closed to finish second besting Let’s Go Higher (Billy Dobson) who had to settle for the show spot. Road Bet, who became the second mare to win the feature twice in 2015, returned $8.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $28.20 and $71, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm.  Mike Sardella

Harness racing trainer Kyle Spagnola continued his good start to the 2015 season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Thursday afternoon. Spagnola's Northern Secret (Angus Hall) prevailed in the opener on the twilight racing card that began at 4:00pm. Northern Secret put her local win streak on the line when she drew the outside post in the $8,300 trotting feature. Frank Coppola Jr pointed the four year old mare out to the early lead and they would never look back, scoring in 1:59.4. Spagnola won the season's first feature on Sunday's opening day program when defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year Road Bet cruised to victory in her first start of the season. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Last year's harness racing Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) started out her season in style on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.   The Kyle Spagnola-trained mare made the early lead in the $18,000 co-featured Fillies and Mares Open and would not look back. Frank Coppola Jr. piloted Road Bet as she sped through a 27.1 opening quarter and lasted on the lead.   Road Bet held off the challenge from the pocket sitting favorite as Campanile (Austin Siegelman) had to settle for second while Goddess's Rosa (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot.   Road Bet was dismissed at odds of 4-1 and led an exacta that returned $17.60. The trifecta came back $80 in the six horse co-feature.   The $18,000 Open Trot was won by Banco Solo (Dobson) who nosed out the 1-5 public choice Zooming (Tyler Buter) at the wire.   Banco Solo returned $16.80 to win in the five horse co-feature. Driver Bruce Aldrich Jr had a big day on the matinee card as he piloted four winners. Live racing resumes at Saratoga on Thursday with a 4:00pm first post. Twilight racing is new this season and will take place on every Thursday throughout the spring. Melissa Simser

Northern Secret (Angus Hall) completed a double for her connections in Thursday's trotting feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The three-year-old filly proved victorious again in her second local start behind a pocket ride for driver Frank Coppola Jr. The win in the $7,000 trotting event was the second of back-to-back scores for owner Bill Donovan and trainer Kyle Spagnola on the night. Curvature Hanover (Andover Hall) went wire-to-wire for Coppola in her local debut as Donovan and Spagnola teamed up for a pair of victories on the card. Curvature Hanover's score came in 2:01.1. Spagnola, last year's Peerless McGrath Award winner for up-and-coming trainers, has followed up his breakout 2013 with another big year in '14 sitting just outside the top ten in the local trainer standings. Live racing continues on Friday evening with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Pop I (Andover Hall) won his first ever local Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Harry Landy trains and drives the four year old trotter who rode a two race win streak into Sunday's co-feature. Dismissed at odds of 22-1, Pop I followed the cover of Baby Boy Grin (Stephane Bouchard) throughout the second half of the mile before tracking him down in the final strides of the $17,000 Open Trot. The win for Pop I came in a career best 1:55.2 and the earnings from the win moved the Landy trainee's career bankroll to over the $100,000 mark. Baby Boy Grin was the runner up in the Open for the second consecutive week while the race's favorite Tac's Delight (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open for the second straight week in the matinee card's co-feature. Road Bet was driven by Frank Coppola Jr. who piloted for trainer Kyle Spagnola. Live racing resumes on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) held on to win in the $17,000 co-featured harness racing fillies and mares Open on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  The Kyle Spagnola-trained mare faded late last week when she wound up third after setting sizzling fractions up front. This week, the fractions were still very quick but Road Bet had enough to hang on to win a photo with Tiamo (Mark Beckwith). For Road Bet, it was victory number three in five starts in the local Open for distaff pacers as she stopped the timer in 1:52.3 with Frank Coppola the sulky. Tiamo was the runner up for the second straight week in the ladies' Open while Let's Go Higher (Shawn Gray) came on to finish third. The co-favored Road Bet returned $6.90 to win while the exacta came back $38.20 and the triple paid $114.50. Mike Sardella

The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

Road Bet moved her local record to two-for-two on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the distaff pacer prevailed once again in the Fillies and Mares Open. Frank Coppola Jr.sat behind Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) and moved her out to the lead for the second consecutive week. Despite sizzling early fractions which saw the four year old click off an opening quarter of 26.3 and a half of 55.3, Road Bet had something left in the tank in the stretch to repeat. The win time of 1:52.2 served as a track record for four-year-old pacing mares as the Kyle Spagnola trainee has asserted herself as one of the mares to beat among the top local pacers. The race's 8-5 favorite, Road Bet provided driver Frank Coppola Jr.with one of his three victories on the card. Campanile (Austin Siegelman) was the runner up in the $17,000 Open for the third consecutive week while Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey) earned the show spot. Live racing resumes on Thursday night with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sparacino, for Saratoga Raceway  

Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) made her local debut a winning one in Sunday afternoon's feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Trained by Kyle Spagnola, Road Bet was assigned the rail in the $17,000 Fillies and Mares Open and utilized it to her advantage by sorting things out early and wound up cutting the mile. Frank Coppola Jr.sat behind the four year old mare who had an open length lead throughout the race before recording a two and a quarter length victory in 1:53. Road Bet was the public's 9-5 public choice and got the best of Campanile (Austin Siegelman), who was the runner up for the second straight week in the Open and It's A Miracle (Bruce Aldrich Jr), who hit the board for the eighth consecutive start. Road Bet became the fourth different mare to win the Sunday feature in the last four weeks. Live racing resumes on Thursday night at Saratoga with first post scheduled for 6:45pm. By Mike Sardella

Ashley's Husband became a rare horse to win the Saturday Open Pace for a second time this season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. After securing a victory in the $17,000 feature for the first time two weeks ago, Ashley's Husband (Henry Clay) took a week off. On Saturday night, he was the betting public's co-favorite at odds of 2-1 with Jordan Derue in the sulky. The Kyle Spagnola-trained pacer moved first over on his co-favorite who wound up making a break heading to the three quarter pole. Once Ashley's Husband struck the lead, he powered clear from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:53.2 as a well-measured winner in the feature. R Caan (Billy Dobson) followed the winner every step of the way and ended up second while Achilles Blue Chip (Mark Beckwith) shook loose late to earn the show spot. The win was one of three on the night for Derue and one of two for conditioner Spagnola. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Ashley's Husband scored his first Open Pace victory at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday. The four-year-old pacer's win served as one of three on the night for his trainer Kyle Spagnola whose Major Way and Life's Lessons each recorded their third consecutive victories on the card. Ashley's Husband (Henry Clay) moved first over at the half on front running Let's Rock Together (Frank Coppola Jr) who had to work awfully hard to secure the early lead. Though things looked bleak around the clubhouse turn for Ashley's Husband, the Spagnola trainee shifted gears heading to three quarters and flew in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:52.3. Bet On Roulette (Wally Hennessey) followed the winner's cover to finish second and RU Ready To Rock (Bruce Aldrich Jr) completed the trifecta in the $17,000 feature. Ashley's Husband, who was the race's 9-5 betting favorite, was piloted to the Open score by Jordan Derue. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway's stakes season continued Tuesday night, with the opening round of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The annual tribute to Teddy Roosevelt, for 3- and 4-year-old gentlemen who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1, offered up eight, $12,500 divisions. Turns out that the last division (Touchdown Mindale) was also the swiftest (1:53.3), with the entire list of winners as such... --Artist Night,g,4 (by American Ideal); co-owners (as Burke Racing) trainer Ron Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,Howard Taylor/driver George Brennan; 1:54/$3.20; --Sir Michigan Z Tam,g,4 (by Somebeachsomewhere); co-owners (trainer/driver) Pat Lachance,M&M Harness Racing,Ira Rosenblum; 1:55.4/$4.10; --Rocks N Bonds,g,4 (by Rocknroll Hanover); owner Kostas Tsanakos/trainer Ivan Llopez/driver Eric Abbatiello; 1:55.1/$4.60; --A Stitch in Time,g,4 (by Kent's on Nuke); owner A Piece of the Action/trainer Lou Pena/driver Brian Sears; 1:54.1/$2.10; --I Dream a Dream,g,4 (by Western Ideal); co-owners Lomangino Standardbreds,Leo Lomangino/trainer-driver Lachance; (life-best) 1:54/$18.60; --Ashley's Husband,g,4 (by Henry Clay); owner W J Donovan/trainer Kyle Spagnola/driver Jordan Derue; 1:56.1/$2.50; --K-Lee's Shakenbake,g,4 (by Raycer Thad); co-owners Martin Scharf,David Linker/trainer Darren Cassar/driver Ron Pierce; 1:54.4/$3; --Touchdown Mindale,g,4 (by Always A Virgin); co-owners Erv Miller Stb,Harvey Eisman,Leland & Owen Mathias/trainer Nick Surick/driver Marcus Miller; 1:53.3/$22.40. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

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