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Last week's Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel saw harness racing rivals Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) and Up The Alley (Muscle Mass) hit the line at the same time. It was the first dead-heat in an Open thus far in 2017 at the Spa. In Tuesday's installment of the $18,000 Open, Cash Me Out and Up The Alley got away last and second to last as a speed duel ensued. After fractions of 27.3 and 55.2 were put up in the first half, Cash Me Out and Up The Alley made their moves. The Kyle Spagnola-trained Cash Me Out powered up first over and took over the lead with relative ease. Up The Alley followed that one's cover and as the front-runner tired, that tandem drew off from the field. Cash Me Out, who was driven by Billy Dobson, opened up a big lead around the final turn and wound up stopping the timer in 1:54 for his second consecutive score in the feature. Up The Alley (Dan Cappello Jr) came up second best and has now finished first or second in four consecutive tries in the Open. Longshot Tober (Brian Cross), who finished third behind the top tandem last week, did so once again on Tuesday night. Cash Me Out returned $6.50 to win in what was his sixth victory of the season. The exacta and triple came back $66 and $480.50, respectively. Cash Me Out is owned by the Traylor Racing Stable, LLC of Ballston Spa, NY. Their stable scored a pair of victories on the night as trotter Cash Poor (Jimmy Devaux) prevailed in the race following the Open on the Tuesday card. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a fifteen race card featuring NY Sire Stakes for three year old colt and gelding trotters. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

It was a big afternoon on Monday at Saratoga Casino Hotel for harness racing trainer Kyle Spagnola. The young conditioner entered the week in fifth in the trainer standings and added two wins to his total on the matinee card. Spagnola's Skibbereen (Real Desire) made his return from Vernon Downs where he prevailed in the $12,000 final of the Farina Series and wound up as the betting public's 3-5 favorite in the field of colts and geldings competing for a purse of $5,750 on Monday despite twice being a beaten favorite in his local starts. Skibbereen powered up around the final turn and cruised past the leader before drawing away to win in 1:58.3 with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Skibbereen joined trotter The Franchise (Billy Dobson) in recording a win on the Monday card for Spagnola who scored a training double and had a second and a pair of thirds with his trainees on the day while in the midst of another strong season at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm matinee when there will be a pick-5 carryover of $2,804. Mike Sardella

Scibbereen (John MacDonald) wins Anthony Farina Pacing Series Final at Vernon Downs on Saturday night (May 20). Scibbereen ($8.60) who is trained by Kyle Spagnola was fourth after three-quarters passing Nostrovia (Wade Tomaszewski)in the stretch to win in 1:55.4. American JJ (Michael Miller) would be placed first to capture the the Robert Keller series final when Pipe Dream Express (Jimmy Wittemore) caused interference in the stretch and was placed second. American JJ ($4.00) is also trained by Miller. Vernon Downs returns to live action on Friday (May 26) at 6:45pm For more information please go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.      

My Tweed Heart (Manhardt) scored her first win in the local harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Friday night. Making just her second start at the Spa, the Kyle Spagnola-trained four year old had to work hard every step of the way on Friday night as she was pressured throughout the mile. My Tweed Heart put up sizzling fractions of 27.1 and 55 in the first half while parking out last week's Open winner Little Santamonica. The race's favorite Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) made a three-wide move and drew alongside My Tweed Heart before those two had a tug of war throughout the final quarter of the mile paced in 1:53.2. My Tweed Heart held on to win by a neck and returned $7.00 to win in the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open. The exacta with the favorite second paid $15.20 while the triple with Albany Girl (Stephane Bouchard) third came back $46.80. My Tweed Heart was driven to victory by Frank Coppola Jr. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) went coast to coast in the Sunday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The longtime top-flight highstepper secured his second victory of the year in the Open Trot as driver Jimmy Devaux moved him out to the early lead. Cash Me Out went the distance on the engine on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Spa City. The Kyle Spagnola trainee earned just shy of $200,000 last year and has picked up right where he left off in '17. The six year old trotter got the best of his rivals in the $16,000 Open on Sunday and did so at odds of 3-5. Cincinnati Miss (Frank Coppola Jr) finished second while Ulster (Dan Cappello Jr) earned the show spot. The exacta paid $16 while the triple came back $62. Cash Me Out, who stopped the timer in 1:55.4 in his Sunday score, is owned by Traylor Racing LLC of Ballston Spa. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) made his return a winning one at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday afternoon. A red hot Kyle Spagnola stable sent its prized six year old out to compete in the $12,000 Open Trot on Sunday off a qualifier two weeks ago and a scratch last week. Jimmy Devaux was aggressive at the start with Cash Me Out who moved out to the lead in a first quarter of 28 seconds flat. Despite putting up a quick half of 57.3, Cash Me Out had plenty left for the final lap and drew away from his rivals in the field of six before stopping the timer in 1:55.3, the fastest trotting mile of the year thus far at Saratoga. Twisted Pretzel (Mark Beckwith) was the runner-up in his first crack at the Open this year while longshot Lucid Thoughts (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Cash Me Out was the 9-5 second choice in the betting and led an exacta and triple that paid $36.40 and $174, respectively. Cash Me Out, who is owned by Traylor Racing LLC, was a nominee for Trotter of the Year last year after a $196,000+ season by way of eleven wins and twelve seconds. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Cash Me Out (Jim Devaux) overcame post 8 to win Sunday's feature trot at Saratoga for harness racing trainer Kyle Spagnola. The time for the mile was 1:56.3   Racing resumes on Thursday with a 4pm post time.   Mike Sardella  

Vernon, N.Y. -- J A T O, the 4-year-old harness racing gelding who climbed rapidly from lower-level non-winners races to the Open ranks at Vernon Downs last fall, suffered his first defeat at the Miracle Mile in Friday (October 14) evening's featured $10,500 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Trot.   Despite a strong early push to the fore through a :27.3 initial quarter mile and a pressure-free :58.3 middle half, J A T O (Chris Lems) would ultimately be upended by pocket rival Waiting On a Woman ($3.10), who made his move off the pegs in mid-stretch and edged away to prevail by a length at the end of a 1:54.3 mile over fast going. J A T O held the runner-up spot, while Its Payday Friday (Ronnie Morales) sustained gradual uncovered gains to take third.   Waiting On a Woman was availed a clear trip throughout by local leading driver John MacDonald, lacking for racing room at no point in the mile. The 8-year-old Northern Bailey gelding captured his 56th career win for owner Michael Polansky and trainer Kyle Spagnola.   In the evening's sub-featured $7,900 distaff trot, Homer Hochstetler and Robert Buddig's Sweet Thing ($4.30) made every yard a winning one, holding sway of My Lucky Word for a 1:55 score. Fern Paquet, Jr. drove the 4-year-old Chocolatier mare for one of his three wins on the evening's 10-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 15) with an 11-race card; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nesh Cruiser (Yankee Cruiser) parlayed the pocket ride to victory in the Saturday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Leading driver Frank Coppola Jr. piloted the four year old pacer in the evening's $9,500 top level condition race on a Saturday evening in which the regularly featured Open Pace was not contested. Nesh Cruiser sat the pocket to the favored Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) who faltered late after enjoying an easy lead throughout. Nesh Cruiser pounced in the stretch and stopped the timer in 1:53.1, matching the lifetime mark that he set earlier this year. Espen De Vie (Jim Devaux) shook loose for second while Sassy Hanover had to settle for third. Coppola, who has surged into a big lead in the driver standings in the last month, piloted the winner for a red hot Kyle Spagnola stable. Nesh Cruiser upset at odds of 11-1 and led an exacta and triple that paid $267.50 and $$350.50, respectively. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Vernon, N.Y. -- Michael Polansky's Waiting On a Woman ($7.80) waited on no one in Friday (October 7) evening's featured $9,100 top-level trotting event at Vernon Downs, evading his five rivals and giving harness racing driver Chris Lems one of five wins on the 10-race program.   The 8-year-old Northern Bailey gelding, who had most recently been racing in upper-level events at the Meadowlands, Pocono, and Plainridge, worked to secure the pocket from his inside post before switching off the pegs and clearing 8-5 favorite Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald) just after a :28 first quarter. Waiting On a Woman would maintain complete control of the terms from that point, rating a :58.1 middle half before accelerating away at head-stretch. The Kyle Spagnola trainee ultimately edged clear of Lucid Thoughts by 2-1/4 lengths for his 55th career win, while Kahoku (Truman Gale) held third off a ground-saving stalking trip.   Waiting On a Woman's 1:54.1 mile earned him the fourth win of his 8-year-old campaign.   In addition to his victory in the feature, Lems teamed up with 13-year-old Grecale As ($9.60, 1:56.4), Engagedatlexington ($6.60, 1:57.1), Airman Batten ($3.10, 1:54.1), and and Hollywood Jess ($4.60, 1:57.2).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 8) evening; the first of 11 races is due off at 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - Better Said ($23.80) overcame a speed-grinding first-over trip to take the harness racing $15,500 featured pace Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Jim Taggart Jr. was able to take away the lead from favored frontstepping Single Me in early stretch, but 2014 Breeders Crown winner Sayitall BB came clear in the Pocono Pike and charged hard, extending the winning daughter of Well Said, but she remained game to hold off her oncoming rival by a neck. Better Said also took a new mark of 1:51.2 with the victory, in which she came her own last half in 55 flat despite the first-over grind. Kyle Spagnola trains the winner of $194,552 for owner Michael Polansky.   Two other distaffers of note winning on the Tuesday Pocono card were the Royel Millennium filly Prairie Sweetheart, now 9 for 9 lifetime as she prepared for the fall stakes season in Florida by lowering her mark to 1:50.4 for driver Anthony Napolitano and trainer Mike Deters, the latter co-owner with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler, and 2014 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2PF champion Southwind Roulette, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere who raised her stack of chips to $562,655 while lowering her speed mark to 1:50.1 under the guidance of Mike Simons for trainer Ron Burke and owner Frank Poerio Jr.   PHHA / Pocono

Craziville (Crazed) prevailed in Thursday's harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The three year old trotter scored a victory in the $8,000 trot for New York Sired highsteppers and did so in career best fashion. Bet down to odds of 1-5, Craziville had to survive a battle in the stretch before drawing clear late to win in 1:59.3. The Kyle Spagnola-trained gelding raced on Tuesday night in the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior B and did well to secure a second place finish in that one despite starting from the outside post position. Thursday's victory was just the second of the season for Craziville though the sophomore trotter has hit the board eleven times in his seventeen starts in 2016. The win was the second consecutive on the card for driver Frank Coppola Jr. who piloted a 1-5 favorite to victory in the evening's previous race for a different Spagnola. Trainer Dave Spagnola's No Tears Blue Chip (Roll With Joe) scored convincingly to record his third win of the year as the public's choice on Thursday. Coppola completed a natural hat trick when he guided claiming pacer Southern Swan to a mild upset for Dave Spagnola in the evening's six race on a night in which Coppola and the Spagnolas thrived. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

WILKES-BARRE PA - Waiting On A Woman ($13.40) waited until past a fast half to make his move in the $18,000 featured trot Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then rushed to the lead down the backstretch and went on to a 1:53 harness racing victory.   Driver Andrew McCarthy was midpack with the altered son of Northern Bailey early while favored Luminosity finally got to the lead, but paid the price of a 55.4 clocking to make to the top. McCarthy revved his charge up, and the pair trotted their own third quarter in 27.1 to make the lead that they would never surrender, holding off the fast-closing Rock Of Cashel by a length, with another closer, the misnamed (at least for tonight) Upfront Billy, was third; Luminosity faded to off-the-board status after her early hard usage.   Kyle Spagnola, with five local wins and a Pocono UTR hovering around .350, conditions the winner of 54 races and $419,859 lifetime for owner Michael Polansky.   PHHA / Pocono

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) scored his third harness racing victory of the year in the local Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Jimmy Devaux piloted the Kyle Spagnola-trained trotter and moved him first over approaching the half. Cash Me Out hit his best gear and cruised past his rivals to open up a big lead heading towards three quarters. The five year old highstepper was met with challenges in the stretch from Boli (Wally Hennessey) and Stirling Cadet (Frank Coppola Jr) but held them both off before stopping the timer in 1:54.4. The victory was number eight on the year for Cash Me Out who is just shy of $110,000 in earnings midway through July. Boli was the runner up for the third consecutive start in the $15,000 Open while Stirling Cadet finished third to hit the board for the six straight time in the Sunday feature. Cash Me Out was the race's 3-2 betting favorite and led an exacta and triple that returned $34.20 and $237.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday with first post time set for 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

Monte activity is heating up for the summer season in Ontario and the US. Yesterday at Clinton Raceway there were two monte pari-mutuel contests on the ten race harness racing card. The first, for a purse of C$3,000, went to Celebrity Legacy (10g Windsong’s Legacy-B Cor Tamara-Dream Of Glory) for Alex Marion. This one scored in 2:04h after being placed first through a disqualification. The second event, for C$4,000, went to Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) with Evelyn Harms aboard, timed in 2:03.4h. This winner took a similar monte event on June 4 at Kawartha for a purse of C$4,000. Replay link. Matinee and qualifying action is underway in the US. On June 19, at Goshen Historic Track, a matinee test went to Admirable Hanover (9g Cantab Hall-Almost An Angel-Crowning Point) for trainer/jockey Vanessa Karlewicz clocked in 2:15k. The prior Sunday at Goshen, Sing Out (8g Malabar Man-Some Where My Love-Lindy Lane) recorded a 2:05.1h victory with Michelle Crawford in the irons for trainer Kyle Spagnola. At Gaitway on June 13 Hiway Marcus (5g Gut Instinct-Highway Angel-Prince Pine) scored in 2:01.3 for Maria Buchanan and trainer Ron Burke. At Vernon on June 10 Funny Photo (7m Classic Photo-American Jean-American Winner) return to his RUS specialty with a 2:02.3s win. Sophie Engerran was the pilot for trainer Kimberly Gilmar-Daios. On June 17 at Vernon Jeanie Marie (9f Famously-Vite Vite Kosmos-Lindy Lane) won a RUS qua spin in 2:02s with a swift :29.3 final panel with Heather Reese aboard for trainer Jennifer Sansone. Monteamerica.com Thomas H. Hicks

If there's one thing that Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff learned since he became an amateur harness racing driver is that when you have the best horse in a race go the front, control the race, and make the others try to catch you. And that's precisely what the Executive Recruiter did with The Franchise in the Billings trot today (Sat. Apr. 30) at Freehold Raceway. After they gained control nobody could catch them and they got first-call on every pole to go on and score a 2:00.2 victory in the six-horse race. "We had to work a little to make the front from the five-hole but once we were on top we controlled the race," Hechkoff offered after his victory."And my horse was strong all the way to the wire." Hechkoff and The Franchise had to hustle to get the lead from the five-hole but they cleared the other five horses coming off the first turn and they had command by the first quarter which was trotted in a swift :28.4. Once on the lead they made every pole a winning one en route to a neck triumph over Hit The Hill and driver "Yankee Joe" Lee. Third place went to Sam's Honeybee who was driven by his owner and Billings president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. It was the second seasonal victory for the Muscles Yankee 6-year-old gelding who is co-owned by his driver and his trainer, Kyle Spagnola. Sent off at odds of 3-10 The Franchise paid $2.60 for win. Coming off his best season as an amateur driver where he won 23 races durin 2015 it was "the Headhunter's" third seasonal triumph and 80th win since he joined the amateur ranks in 2000. A second Billing trot was also on the Saturday card at Freehold Raceway. That contest saw Scott “the driving doctor” Woogen, with Peoplesayimnogood, rally from third at the top of the stretch to collar “Coach Paul” Minore and Wygant Prince at the wire for a  neck triumph in 2:01. Third place went to King’s Cavalier, driven by “King David” Offenberg. It was the first seasonal victory for the 4-year old Lear Jetta  gelding owned by his driver  and trained by Gary Messenger.  Peoplesayimnogood returned a $14.20 win mutuel.  For Doc Woogen, a gastroenterologist, it was his 145th lifetime driving victory  Next up for the Billings amateurs will be a contest(s) on Saaturday May 7 again at Freehold Raceway. By John Manzi for the Billings Series

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