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Happy Heart (Woodstock) has been as solid as any harness racing pacing mare at Saratoga Casino Hotel in 2019 and on Thursday, the Melissa Beckwith trainee sprung the upset in the afternoon's feature. Happy Heart was dismissed at odds of 16-1 despite drawing the rail in what wound up being a five-horse Open for distaffers following a scratch. The Fillies and Mares Open featured a 1-9 betting favorite as last week's winner The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall) was back in town to try to defend her title from last Thursday's eye-popping effort in the ladies Open. The Charging Moa N wound up first over this week and took over the lead past three quarters in 1:25. Happy Heart got shuffled back a bit before moving off the rail and fanning three-wide around the final turn. The six year old surged in the stretch and her closing effort was enough to track down The Charging Moa N to prevail in 1:54. Larry Stalbaum catch-drove Happy Heart on Thursday and piloted the mare to what was her third win in the local Open in 2019. Paying $35.20 in the upset, Happy Heart completed a training triple for Beckwith on the afternoon as her Best Honey Hanover and Mach Of Shame won conditional races earlier on in the matinee. The Charging Moa N came up second-best on Thursday to round out a $71.50 exacta. Happy Heart is owned by Tom McTygue and the Masie Stable, both of Saratoga Springs, NY. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 6:45pm. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $1,361 on Saturday with the Pick Five beginning in race one. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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) came into Thursday's harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a pair of second-place finishes in the Open Pace for fillies and mares in 2019. The Melissa Beckwith trainee scored three victories in the local feature last season and on Thursday recorded her first of the year as she closed sharply up the inside in the five-horse Open. Brian Cross picked up the catch-drive and sat third throughout the mile with Happy Heart before the rail opened up at the top of the stretch. With the race's odds-on favorite Coveredndiamonds N (Jay Randall) starting to tire on the lead, pocket sitter Westsluckycam (Bruce Aldrich Jr) moved to the outside turning for home. The passing lane opened up for Happy Heart who was dismissed at odds of 7-1. The six year old mare surged up the rail and scored in 1:54.1. Westsluckycam finished second while Coveredndiamonds N had to settle for third in the $15,000 Open. Happy Heart paid $17.20 to win and led an exacta that returned $90.00. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a first post scheduled for 6:45pm.   Mike Sardella

With the scratch of two-time defending Horse of the Year Artful Way, the field in Saturday night's Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel was down to six harness racing participants. Despite the smaller size group, the race on paper looked to be a good one and it certainly played out that way. Melissa Beckwith's Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) recorded the second most wins in the Open Pace in 2018 at Saratoga with six. On Saturday night, the five year old was making his third start of the season in the feature and wound up getting a pocket ride behind fellow Open star of years past (and present) JK Panache (Jimmy Devaux). JK Panache set the fractions and was met with a two-pronged challenge in the stretch as the race's 9-5 co-favorites converged on him. Carolina Beach and invader Western Fame (Billy Dobson), who was making his first start of the '19 campaign, closed in on the leader and a three-horse stretch drive ensued. It was Carolina Beach and driver Mark Beckwith who emerged victorious in a mile clocked in 1:53.4. JK Panache held on for second while Western Fame had to settle for third in the $15,000 feature. Carolina Beach paid $5.90 to win and led an exacta and triple in the six-horse field that returned $29.60 and $82.50, respectively. The victory was one of three on the night for Beckwith trainees all driven to their scores by Mark Beckwith. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00pm. Mike Sardella    

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  

Driver Wally Hennessey and trainer Melissa Beckwith achieved a feat that may have never been done before when they teamed up for wins in five consecutive harness races on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The evening's $15,000 feature saw Beckwith's Happy Heart draw the rail for her first attempt in the Fillies and Mares Open in quite some time at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Wally Hennessey piloted Happy Heart for the first time last week and the mare went coast to coast in a conditional race. Hennessey was back in the sulky on Friday evening and he wound up getting a pocket ride for Happy Heart who rode the coattails of the favored Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) who was on the engine. Spreester paced a first half in 56.4 before checking in at three quarters in 1:25.1 while confronted by rival Rock N Roll Rosie (Jimmy Devaux). As those two squared off, Happy Heart sat patiently in the pocket before shaking loose in the passing lane. Happy Heart and Spreester went toe-to-toe for a few strides before Happy Heart got up to win the photo in the $15,000 Friday feature. The Melissa Beckwith trainee went off at odds of 6-1 in her first victory in the local Open. Returning $14.40 to win, Happy Heart led an exacta with Spreester second that paid $46.20. Rock N Roll Rosie earned the show spot. Hennessey and Beckwith teamed up for five consecutive winners on the card as pacing mares Sports Delight, Media Queen N and Fade To Gold and trotter Glide In The Wind joined Happy Heart in recording victories in successive races on Friday evening, a feat we have never seen before at Saratoga and one that may be hard pressed to ever occur again. Hennessey drove winners in six consecutive races on Friday as he piloted trainer John Mac Donald's Stonebridge Frosty to a wire-to-wire score following the five straight with Beckwith trainees in an historic night for the Hall of Fame reinsman and meet's leading conditioner. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

With no Fillies and Mares Open on the card, a $9,500 conditional event for distaffers served as the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The race had the look of an Open, though, as a few of its participants were dropping out of top-flight company. Happy Heart (Woodstock) was a nominee for Filly and Mare Claiming Pacer of the Year in 2017 as one of the stars of the Melissa Beckwith stable. While her '18 campaign hasn't quite matched last year's, Happy Heart is enjoying another solid season and on Friday night driver Wally Hennessey sat behind her for the first time. Starting from post two, Happy Heart was aggressive in the early going and powered out to the lead in a sizzling 26.4 first quarter. After getting a breather in the second quarter, Happy Heart was met with the challenge of the race's odds-on favorite who made her move first over though that rival never got close to the leader. Happy Heart seemed to be tiring a bit late in the mile as longshot Pull The Shade (Frank Coppola Jr) motored up the inside in the stretch to come after her. Happy Heart hung in there and recorded her fifth victory of the season, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 to spring the mild upset at odds of 6-1. Pull The Shade was the runner-up while one of the Open droppers Rock N Roll Rosie (Jimmy Devaux) came on for third. Happy Heart paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple, with the favorite out of the number, that returned $121.50 and $530, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) became the first six-time winner of the Open Pace this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night as the Melissa Beckwith trainee came from off the pace to record the win. Carolina Beach was a beaten favorite in last Saturday's installment of the $14,500 Open but was still bet down to odds of 4-5 this week. Wally Hennessey sat off the early speed with Carolina Beach who moved second over after the first half went in a fast 55.2. Drafting behind the defending Horse of the Year Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) who was brushing up first-over, Carolina Beach tipped off the cover around the final turn before storming past his rivals to prevail in 1:51.2. Artful Way was an improved second on Saturday while Somewhere Fancy (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Carolina Beach's win was his twelfth of the year and his sixth in the local Open as the four year old gelding continues to bolster the resume in what has been his career season. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm start to the matinee. 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  

Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) won last week's Open Pace in career best fashion at Saratoga Casino Hotel and was subsequently assigned the outside post in Saturday's most recent installment of the $14,500 feature. On Saturday night, Wally Hennessey picked up the catch drive behind Carolina Beach whose primary game is early speed. Hennessey had thoughts of leaving but with too much speed inside of him, backed off with the four year old and settled in fifth in the six-horse Open. Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) made the early lead but was confronted almost immediately by parked out rival O'sundland (Larry Stalbaum) who finally made it to top in a sizzling half paced in 54.3. Panocchio didn't sit for long and was quickly back out to confront the weary O'sundland who started to fade past three-quarters in 1:22.3. All the while, the race's odds-on favorite Carolina Beach was patiently waiting to pounce. Hennessey pulled up the backstretch and Carolina Beach swooped the group before drawing away to win in 1:51.3 for his third Open Pace victory of the year and second in as many weeks. Panocchio was the runner-up on Saturday while longshot Babinga Wood (Jimmy Devaux) came on to be third. For Carolina Beach, who is trained by Melissa Beckwith, paid $3.00 as the race's big favorite and led an exacta and triple that came back $9.90 and $62, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm start to the matinee. 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  

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