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Royal Lady (Credit Winner) was the runner-up in back-to-back tries in the winners of two but not more than five race lifetime condition at Saratoga Casino Hotel to wrap up the month of September. Since the calendar turned to October, though, the story has been much different for the Melissa Beckwith-trained trotter as she has found the winning way. Royal Lady parlayed pocket trips to wins in successive starts in October leading up to Wednesday's try in a $10,700 co-feature for New York sired trotters. Driver Mark Beckwith didn't want another two-hole trip with Royal Lady and subsequently marched on to the lead in the early going with the race's 1-2 betting favorite. The sophomore filly had her way on the engine but was met with the challenge of Song Chapter (Billy Dobson) in the stretch. Song Chapter got the pocket trip behind the favorite before taking her shot in the stretch. Royal Lady held on to win a photo over Song Chapter in a mile clocked in 1:58.1. The victory was the third in a row and fourth on the season for Royal Lady. The other co-feature saw Sassy Massy (Muscle Mass) spring a mild upset. The Cheryl Whitcroft-trained trotter won in 1:58.4 just one week after setting a lifetime mark of 1:58.3 against similar competition. Sassy Massy was driven to victory by Mark Whitcroft. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon featuring a Pick Five guarantee of $5,000. The Pick Five begins in the matinee's first race and is a 50 cent minimum wager. First post time is set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Mister Muscle (Muscle Mass) has emerged as the new stable harness racing star at Saratoga Casino Hotel for leading driver Mark and conditioner Melissa Beckwith. On Sunday, the five year old won the Open Trot for the third time in his last four tries. Mister Muscle won his first career Open last month and followed that victory up with another in his following start. After a second-place finish last Sunday, it was back to the winner's circle for Mister Muscle this week after he cruised out to the early lead in the $18,000 Open and coasted through a first half in 57.4 before remaining untested in three quarters of 1:27.2. Longshot Cartier Volo (Frank Coppola Jr.) took her shot first-over on the leader past three quarters but the chase was futile. Pocket-sitter Wings Of Royalty, the race's 3-5 betting favorite, didn't prove to be a threat in the stretch to the eventual winner Mister Muscle who stopped the timer in 1:56.3 for his third victory in the Open in the last four tries. Cartier Volo finished second while Wings Of Royalty, last week's Open winner, had to settle for third. With the earnings from the feature score, Mister Muscle moved his career bankroll to over the $200,000 mark. The winner paid $4.50 to win and led an exacta that came back $25. The rising trotting star is owned by Patricia Schneeberger of Valatie, NY. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a first post set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Bye Bye Felicia (Woodstock) sprung the mild upset in Thursday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith-trained distaffer was assigned post three and went off at odds of 9-2 in the six-horse Fillies and Mares Open. With fractions of 27 and 55.4 in lap one, the race's leader tired when confronted by a first-over Bye Bye Felicia. The five year old took over command past three quarters in 1:24 and was tasked with holding off the challenge of the favored Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) who was closing in after getting a second-over journey. Bye Bye Felicia held strong in the stretch and prevailed in 1:52.4 to win the Open for the first time in 2019. Come Get The Cash has finished in the top three in every start since the middle of summer and wound up as the runner-up in the ladies' feature for the fourth consecutive week when she came up second-best to Bye Bye Felicia. Invader Shutthefrontdoor (Phil Fluet) came on to finish third. Bye Bye Felicia paid $11.20 to win in her mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $35 and $112, respectively, in the $18,000 Open for fillies and mares. Mark Beckwith piloted Bye Bye Felicia to her Thursday score. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Mister Muscle (Muscle Mass) wrapped up a big day for his connections as the five year old trotter won the Sunday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Melissa Beckwith and owner Patricia Schneeberger recorded three winners on the matinee card as a trio of Beckwith trainees recorded Sunday scores. Mister Muscle's victory in the $15,000 Open Trot was his second straight with Mark Beckwith in the sulky. Dismissed at odds of 6-1 on Sunday, Mister Muscle raced parked out for the majority of the first lap before clearing in a half of 56 seconds. Though the Beckwith trainee began to tire some in the back half, Mister Muscle had enough to hang on in 1:56.3 to complete his back-to-back jacks in the Open. Longshot Uncle Leo (Jimmy Devaux) was first over on the eventual winner and finished a strong second while the longest shot on the board Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) earned the show spot. Mister Muscle paid $14.80 to win and led big prices in exotics. The exacta returned $125 while the triple came back $715. Schneeberger and Beckwith teamed up earlier in the card for victories with Slieve League (Federal Flex) and The Great Farini (Comaro Dasolo), the latter who recorded a new lifetime mark of 1:57.1 with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. All three of the Beckwith-trained winners' victories on Sunday were their second consecutive. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Happy Heart (Woodstock) has been occasional participant in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the last few seasons. The Melissa Beckwith-trained mare scored a victory in the feature at the Spa this year back in May and following a second-place finish in the $15,000 Open last week drew the rail for her Thursday try. Driver Mark Beckwith was in the sulky and got a pocket trip for Happy Heart as they sat behind the race's favorite Eclipse Me N (Steve Genois). Eclipse Me N worked hard early, pacing the first quarter in 27.2 before getting a half in 56.3. Untested through three quarters in 1:25.1, Eclipse Me N's strides shortened around the final turn and that is when Happy Heart made her move. All the while, Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) was closing in after tipping off cover. Happy Heart got the jump on that one and wound up prevailing in 1:54 to record her second Open win of the season. Come Get The Cash extended her "on the board" streak as she was the runner-up on Thursday while Bontz N (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third following victories in the previous two installments of the Open. H appy Heart paid $11.20 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $76.50 and $269.50, respectively. Happy Heart is owned by Tom McTygue and the Masie Stable, both of Saratoga Springs. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 14-race card featuring eight finals of the Excelsior A series of the New York Sire Stakes. Each of the eight divisions will go for a purse of $55,000. First post time is set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

With no Fillies and Mares Open on the docket on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the $12,500 Winners Over for distaffers was the feature. After the morning line favorite got scratched, the featured field was cut down to five participants and it was Dale Lawton's Surreal Feeling (Jimmy Devaux) who wound up be the public's even money favorite. A winner of the local Open last month, Surreal Feeling is having a strong campaign and drew inside major danger Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith) who was fresh off a second-place finish in last week's Open at the Spa. The fractions were solid for the aforementioned tandem to close into and the race's frontrunner faded sharply when confronted by a first-over Surreal Feeling approaching three-quarters. Surreal Feeling opened up a bit after checking in at three-quarters in 1:24.3 but Bye Bye Felicia followed her cover into a striking position. Midway through the stretch, Bye Bye Felicia surged past the favorite before stopping the timer in 1:53.1 to record her first local victory on a beautiful night in the Spa City. For the Eric Beach-trained five year old, it was win number five on the season. Surreal Feeling was the runner-up while Pasultimatedelite N (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Bye Bye Felicia paid $7.60 to win in the feature and led an exacta with the favorite second that returned $13.40. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with NY Sire Stakes highlighting a 14-race card. Three year old colt and gelding pacers will be featured. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were six participants in Sunday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the track's top trotters slugged it out for their share of a $20,000 purse. Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) continued his march towards the $1 million mark in lifetime earnings on Sunday as he went coast-to-coast in the Open Trot. Driver Mark Beckwith moved the seven year old out to the early lead and Cash Me Out faced no formidable challenge while cruising through a soft middle-half. After checking in at three quarters in 1:27.3, Cash Me Out had plenty left to trot away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:56 for his fifth victory of the season, four of which have come in the Saratoga Open. The race's favorite Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) got the pocket trip behind the eventual winner and wound up as the runner-up while Piercewave Hanover (Jordan Derue) earned the show spot. Cash Me Out, a former star of the New York Sire Stakes, continues to be one of the track's top trotters on a year-in, year-out basis and now has lifetime earnings of over $950,000. Kyle Spagnola trains Cash Me Out for the Traylor Racing Stable of Ballston Spa, NY. The race's 2-1 second-choice in the wagering on Sunday, Cash Me Out paid $6.30 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $10.80 and $32.60, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Happy Heart (Woodstock) continued her recent strong stretch in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel when on Friday night she scored a wire-to-wire win. The harness racing feature field was reduced to just four participants following a scratch and Happy Heart and driver Mark Beckwith took full advantage. The five year old mare cruised out to an uncontested lead and coasted through a first half of just 58.4. It was with about 3/8 of a mile remaining in the $16,000 Open that Happy Heart was presented with her first challenge when the winner of the last two Fillies and Mares Opens Sally Fletcher A (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came rushing up to challenge. Together, Happy Heart and Sally Fletcher A comprised the exactas in three consecutive Friday features but this week, it would be Happy Heart hanging on to win and feature first-timer OK Jewel (Jimmy Devaux) coming on to finish second. Sally Fletcher A had to settle for third in the mile paced in 1:56. For Happy Heart, it was the third Open win of the season and extended her streak of hitting the board in the Friday feature to six. Despite the fact that the 3-5 favorite prevailed in just a four-horse field, the exacta with OK Jewel second returned a solid $26.80. Happy Heart, who is trained by Melissa Beckwith, has now recorded eight victories on the year. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Happy Heart (Woodstock) was the longest shot on the board in Friday night's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith trainee was making her third consecutive start in the Fillies and Mares Open and was dismissed at odds of 26-1 despite having won the Open two weeks ago. Mark Beckwith piloted Happy Heart and moved her first over on leader Sally Fletcher A (Bruce Aldrich Jr) heading to the half. When the pocket sitter could not keep up, Happy Heart found her way into the two-hole and rode the coattails of Sally Fletcher A who paced three quarters in 1:24.4. While the co-favorites in the race were not making up much ground while coming from the back of the pack, Sally Fletcher A and Happy Heart wound up squaring off in the stretch and were noses apart at the wire. Happy Heart got up in time to spring the upset in a mile clocked in 1:53.1, a new lifetime mark for the five year old mare. In her seventh win of the season, Happy Heart paid $54.50 to win, the biggest price of any winner in a Filly and Mare Open contested at Saratoga this year. Sally Fletcher A was second in a $219.50 exacta while co-favored Spreester completed a $420.50 triple in the six-horse feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Front Street (Deweycheatumnhowe) moved his record to two-for-two since joining the stable of Melissa Beckwith when on Wednesday evening he scored in the co-feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Beckwiths acquired Front Street a few weeks ago and the four year old cruised to victory in the low level condition race last week at the Spa. On Wednesday night, Front Street once again drew the rail but this time while competing in the $9,630 co-feature for New York bred trotters. Driver Mark Beckwith moved Front Street out to the early lead and the 9-5 second choice in the wagering would not look back. Met with the late challenge of the favored A Gift For You (Frank Coppola Jr), Front Street held strong in the stretch before scoring in 1:58.2 on a rainy evening in Saratoga. The win came just one week after the young trotter set his lifetime mark of 1:58. The other co-feature was won in upset fashion by Activist (Credit Winner). The Wayne Cukerstein trainee left alertly before getting a pocket ride. Reinsman Phil Fluet pulled the two-hole in the stretch and the sophomore trotter Activist stormed past the leader to win in 1:58.3, a new lifetime mark. Activist was dismissed at odds of 13-1 while registering his first local victory. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Lady Shadow (Shadow Play) brought her $2 million+ in lifetime earnings into Friday night's Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith trainee finished first or second in three consecutive installments of the lady's feature heading into Friday night's try in the $14,500 Open. Lady Shadow powered aggressively out from her assigned outside post with Mark Beckwith in the bike and didn't stop until she reached the top. After posting a first quarter of 27.1, the veteran distaffer took them through a half in 56 seconds. The race's favorite Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) rushed up first-over to challenge for the lead but was rebuffed by the career winner of $2 million. Bye Bye Michelle (Jimmy Devaux) was searching for a seam late and came up shy by a head while Tempus Seelster (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot in the mile clocked in 1:53. Lady Shadow, who won for the third time of the season and second in five starts in the local Open, paid $6.40 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $28.20 and $137.50, respectively. The race card was cut short after the seventh race due to a power outage at the track. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

On Friday night, Lady Shadow (Shadow Play) did what she couldn't do the previous two weeks at Saratoga Casino Hotel and that is defeat regular Open winner Spreester. Lady Shadow is very close to the $2 million mark in career earnings as the Melissa Beckwith trainee cruised to an open length romp in Friday's Fillies and Mares. The veteran seven year old moved out to the front in the early going in the $14,500 feature and built an insurmountable lead as she passed three quarters in 1:24. Mark Beckwith then pulled the trigger and the lead got bigger with Lady Shadow pacing away to win in 1:53.1 by four and a half lengths. Culinary Delight N (Larry Stalbaum) surged up the inside to be second while the favored Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot while a beaten favorite. Lady Shadow paid $7.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $47.40 and $91, respectively. The veteran distaffer now has accrued more than $1.99 million in career earnings after recording her first win in the local feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Last season, Twisted Pretzel was named Trotter of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel after winning thirteen times at the Spa with six of his victories coming in the Open Trot. Although 2018 hasn't been as strong as '17 was thus far for Twisted Pretzel, the veteran trotter did come into Sunday's feature as a three-time winner this season with one victory in the $14,500 Open. On Sunday, Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) drew the rail and went off at odds of 7-2 with Mark Beckwith in the sulky. The eight year old Spa regular took advantage of the inside post in the feature and cruised out to the early lead. After setting fractions in the first lap of 27.3 and 57.1, Twisted Pretzel didn't face his first test until three quarters when longshot Mugshots Bro (Frank Coppola Jr) rolled up first-over to challenge for the lead. Those two battled throughout the final quarter before Twisted Pretzel drew off late to win in 1:55.2, a seasonal best win time for the track's defending top trotter. Mugshots Bro, who won his first career Open two weeks ago, was the runner-up on Sunday while the favored Tropical Storm Bi (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Twisted Pretzel paid $9.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $68 and $179.50, respectively, in the six-horse Open. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Back in March, the Melissa Beckwith-trained Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) won his debut in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The gelding was only lightly raced in 2017 but has put together a strong four year old campaign here in '18. On Saturday night, Carolina Beach went off at odds of 7-2 while starting from post three in just his third try while competing in the $14,500 Open. After working hard in a 26.4 first quarter, Mark Beckwith gave Carolina Beach a bit of a second quarter breather before reaching the half in 55.4. From there, Carolina Beach drew away from his rivals to win by five and a half lengths in 1:51.2, a new lifetime mark in just the 31ststart of his career. Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) was the race's favorite and had to settle for a second-place finish while longshot Manny (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Carolina Beach, who went four-for-eight in the win column in '17, has now recorded eight victories in his sixteen seasonal starts in 2018. Carolina Beach paid $9.00 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $24.20 and $141.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. By Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Friday night featured the Virginia O’Brien Pacing Series Final for fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Eight distaffers who earned the most points in the series’ two legs competed in the $32,200 Final over a sloppy track on Friday evening and it was the race’s favorite that would end up prevailing. Maggies Way (Dream Away) had second-place finishes in each of the series’ legs but after drawing post position four in the Final, she wound up as the public’s 9-5 betting favorite. Driver Shawn Gray moved Maggies Way out to the early lead, a lead she would never relinquish. Longshot pocket-sitter Cakeatin Annieway (Bruce Aldrich Jr) won the photo for place with Simply Awesome (Mark Beckwith) earning the show spot. Maggies Way, who is trained by Mike Girouard, set a lifetime mark of 1:56.4 in what was by far the biggest win in the career of the five year old mare. Despite the favorite winning, the exacta and triple paid a hearty $119 and $803, respectively. Maggies Way adds her name to the list of previous O’Brien Memorial winners that consists of Karla Art, Shesnobeachboy and Nashurallability.  Live racing continues on Saturday night with the JP Morel Pacing Series Final highlighting the twelve race card. First post time is set for 6:45pm.    Mike Sardella

Respectable Dream (If I Can Dream) pulled off a harness racing upset in the Saturday night feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Richie Silverman-trained pacer scored a wire-to-wire win in the $14,000 Winners Over with Mark Beckwith in the sulky. Respectable Dream was coming off a third place finish in last week's Open Pace when he was dismissed at odds of 13-1 in Saturday's feature. Beckwith moved Respectable Dream out to a pretty easy lead and by the time the favored Givenupdreaming (Billy Dobson) made his move first over, it was too little too late. Respectable Dream paced his final half in 55.2 en route to victory in 1:52.2. We Think Alike (Bruce Aldrich Jr) got the pocket ride behind the eventual winner and wound up finishing second. Seeley Man (Shawn Gray) was late on the scene to be third. The trip proved to be too difficult for Givenupdreaming who had to settle for fourth in the feature. Respectable Dream returned $29.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $180.50 and $844, respectively. While it was just winner number three on the season for the six year old gelding, it was his third in the last six starts. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

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