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The favorites thrived in the $9,000 harness racing co-features for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky) brought a five-race win streak into his Wednesday try from the rail and was the public's 4-5 betting favorite. The Chip Zombick Jr. trainee had a big summer while competing mostly in the Excelsior B division of the NY Sire Stakes and proved worthy in the $9,000 level at the Spa as he won in 1:57.2 last week with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. On Wednesday, Lucky June Bug was once again on the front-end and felt very little pressure in the early going. The three year old had longshot Royal Lady (Mark Beckwith) sitting on his back throughout the mile. That 30-1 outsider took her shot at the favorite in the stretch but had to settle for second-best as Lucky June Bug stopped the timer in 1:57.4 for his sixth victory in a row and ninth in fifteen starts in 2019. Though Lucky June Bug was the race's odds-on favorite, the exacta with Royal Lady second paid $78.50. The other $9,000 division of the co-features went the way of another odds-on favorite. Alek Chartrand's Halliama (Conway Hall) drew the rail as he sought his third consecutive win. Content to sit the pocket, Halliama blasted by his race's front-runner in the final furlong before trotting away to score in 1:58.1. The sophomore trotter is now five for eleven in the '19 campaign leading up to a try in this Saturday night's Excelsior A Final when he will go for a purse of $55,000. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Bontz N (American Ideal) recorded her second consecutive harness racing win in the local Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday. On a chilly fall-like afternoon, the Gary Levine-trained Bontz N went off as the public's 3-5 betting favorite as she looked to follow-up last week's win in the $15,000 Open for distaffers with another victory. Leading driver Billy Dobson was in the bike behind Bontz N who showed early speed in each of her first three starts at the Spa leading up to Thursday's try in the feature. Though the eight year old New Zealand-bred did leave a bit, she was forced to take a seat in the fourth spot in the early going which led to what would be a first-over bid in the Open. Closing in first-up on a tiring leader, Bontz N took over command past three quarters in 1:24.3 and was immediately met with the challenge of rival Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith) who followed the favorite's cover to get into a striking spot in the final quarter of a mile. Bontz N was headed by Happy Heart in the stretch but she dug in to turn that one away late before winning a photo in 1:53.4. Happy Heart was a strong second to the back-to-back Open victor while Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Bontz N paid $3.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $16 and $52, respectively. The win was one of four on the day for Dobson who is having another sensational season at the Spa while in pursuit of what would be his seventh local driving title. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Vernon Downs invader Southwind Falcon (Conway Hall) has made his presence felt at Saratoga Casino Hotel over the last few weeks and on Wednesday afternoon, the three year old harness racing trotter prevailed for the third consecutive start. Ron Harp trains and drives Southwind Falcon who took a big jump up in company into Wednesday's $9,000 co-feature for New York sired trotters. A strong closer, Southwind Falcon once again came from well off the pace as he made a backstretch blitz heading to three-quarters before circling the field to prevail in 1:58.1. Southwind Falcon's seventh victory of the year came in mild upset fashion as he paid $10.20 to win. The other co-features were won by Okay (Conway Hall), who upset at odds of 11-1 for trainer-driver Claude Huckabone Jr., and Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky), who made good as his race's odds-on favorite to extend his win streak to five. Frank Coppola Jr. piloted the Chip Zombick Jr- trained three year old to his Wednesday score which was the fastest among the co-feature winners as he romped in 1:57.2. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 Noon first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) prevailed for the second consecutive week in the Open Pace on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino trainee who last week took the first-over journey to the winner's circle. This week, Crockets Cullen N was dismissed at odds of 6-1 in the six-horse Open when he got second-over cover behind Century Endeavor (Gerry Mattison) approaching the half. After the first lap went in 56.1, the race's leader succumbed to the pressure of the first-over rival but it was Crockets Cullen N who tipped off that cover and motored home in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:52.3. Hudson Phil (Jay Randall), the winningest Open horse at Saratoga in 2019, came from last and followed the winner home to be the runner-up in the $15,000 feature while Century Endeavor earned the show spot. Crockets Cullen N, who won the local Open twice last season, has now scored in the Saturday feature twice in 2019. In his most recent victory, the eight year old paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $51 and $137, respectively. Crockets Cullen N was one of two winners on the night for Stalbaum and Tarantino who teamed up for a victory with Lord Willoughby A (Mach Three) in the $12,500 Winners Over on Saturday. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for two year old harness racing filly trotters contested on Wednesday at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the favorites dominated the action. Hypnotic Am (Chapter Seven-Daydream Am S-Muscle Hill) has been simply sensational in her freshman season and on Wednesday, the Marcus Melander trainee remained undefeated. Hypnotic Am was squaring off against another terrific two year old in her $76,750 division of the NYSS. Something had to give as both she and opponent Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) came in undefeated. Hypnotic Am was piloted out to the early lead by Hall Of Famer Brian Sears and sizzled through a first half of 56.4 over a track labeled 'good.' The fantastic freshman clicked off three quarters in 1:25.3 as she and pocket-sitter Love A Good Story drew away a bit from the rest of the field. Hypnotic Am appeared to have plenty left in the tank when she hit the line first in 1:54.4 to move her record to six-for-six in her two year old campaign. With her earnings from the win, Hypnotic Am moved her bankroll to over the $270,000 mark, an incredible amount for just a half dozen career starts. Love A Good Story suffered her first defeat but was a strong second to the big favorite while Sorprese (Dan Daley) finished third. Ake Svanstedt's Seventimesalady (Chapter Seven-Ava Marion-Cantab Hall) continued her strong freshman campaign on Wednesday when she went coast-to-coast in 1:59 over a track that at the time was listed as sloppy. As heavily backed as a favorite can be, the 1-9 chalk Seventimesalady enjoyed comfortable fractions on the engine but did get tested a bit in the stretch before securing the fourth win in her seven career starts. No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) was the runner-up while Without A Warning (Scott Zeron) finished third. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) took advantage of sizzling fractions in the Saturday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel to secure his first harness racing Open Pace victory of the season. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino-trained eight year old who is once again enjoying a strong season in 2019. Crockets Cullen N is no stranger to the Spa and in fact, he won the local Open on two different occasions last year. On Saturday night, regular Open winner Hudson Phil was once again the betting public's odds-on favorite but that one's early speed wound up taking its toll. An eight-time local Open winner in '19, Hudson Phil powered out to the front end in a first quarter of an eye-popping 26.1 before reaching the half in 54.1. Crockets Cullen N was the first challenger for the favored leader and had little difficultly overpowering him approaching three-quarters. Stalbaum went pedal to the metal around the final turn and though fellow closers Military Master A (Mark Beckwith) and Jersey Jim closed in a bit, it was Crockets Cullen N who reigned supreme in the $15,000 feature. The final time of 1:51.1 was just shy of the lifetime mark of 1:51 for Crockets Cullen N who gave Stalbaum one of his two winners on the night. The New Zealand invader paid $9.50 to win and led an exacta with Military Master A second that returned $119.50 while the triple, which was completed by Jersey Jim, came back $534. Stalbaum and Tarantino teamed up for three winners on the card as their Lord Willoughby A and Itsonlyrocknroll A secured front-running victories on Saturday night. Live racing resumes at Saratoga on Wednesday afternoon with a matinee beginning at Noon that features a Pick Five carryover of $4,043. The Pick Five begins in race one. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

The featured field was reduced to five participants after a scratch on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open featured 1-5 betting favorite Bontz N (Billy Dobson) who went wire-to-wire in her local debut last week (August 23rd) while competing in the Winners Over for distaffers. On Friday night, she made her first start in the Open and moved out to the early lead though she paced a first quarter in a quick 27 seconds. Bontz N continued to cruise quickly on the engine and after reaching the half in 55.4 was met with the challenge of Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall). Come Get The Cash paced a final half of 54.4 last week while coming up just shy of reeling in Bontz N when they squared off for the first time. In Friday's feature, the power surge from the John Macdonald-trained Come Get The Cash would prove to be more than enough as she overpowered the favorite and drew away in the stretch before stopping the timer in a career-best 1:53.1. Bontz N held strong for second while Surreal Feeling (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. Come Get The Cash paid $9.20 to win in her upset victory and led an exacta with the favorite second that returned $15.40. The win was the fourth of the season in fifteen tries for the four year old who has really come into her own in the past few months and now adds Open winner to her resume. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $1,384 on Saturday with the Pick Five beginning in the evening's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Mugshots Bro (Jailhouse Jesse) won three consecutive installments of the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel back in June. Trained by Lisa Zabielski, the seven year old trotter is enjoying a breakout season in 2019 but after going on a bit of a cold streak this summer Mugshots Bro dropped in class to record a victory in his last start (August 20th). Jimmy Devaux sat behind Mugshots Bro as he was back in Open company on Wednesday night. Dismissed at odds of 6-1, the Zabielski trainee powered out to the early lead in a fast first quarter clocked in 27.3. The favorite Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) wound up second-over but after his cover faded so did his chances. Mugshots Bro had to hold off the challenge of invader Jericho (Jay Randall), who was closing up the passing lane, before stopping the timer in 1:56.1 for his fourth victory in the $15,000 Open Trot this season. Jericho finished second while Wings Of Royalty settled for the show spot. Mugshots Bro paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple in the six-horse feature that returned $121 and $201.50, respectively. With the win, Mugshots Bro moved his career earnings to over the $200,000 mark. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at the Spa with a first post time scheduled for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Two year old colt and gelding trotters were featured at Saratoga Casino Hotel as part of the New York Sire Stakes on Tuesday night. The track record for freshman geldings fell when the longshot in a four-horse race lit up the board in historic fashion. Trainer Jim Campbell brought driver Greg Merton to town to pilot Hobbs (Credit Winner-Cruella De Ville-Yankee Glide) who had finished second or third four times in his seven career tries. Hobbs was winless coming into the evening and though he squared off against just three rivals, his opponents each came in with strong resumes. After an early break by the race's favorite in the $75,350 division for freshman high-steppers, Hobbs wound up in the pocket spot behind Barn Holden (Andy Miller) who had won three of his six starts in NYSS competition in 2019. Hobbs popped the pocket around the final turn and won the battle in the stretch, stopping the timer in 1:57.3. The win time serves as a new track record for a two year old gelding trotter at Saratoga, a mark previously held by Clive Bigsby (Jim Morrill Jr) who scored in 1:58 in a Sire Stakes race in the '17 campaign. Though Hobbs broke the record for two year old gelding trotters on Tuesday, the fastest freshman of the night was Trond Smedshammer's Chaptiama (Chapter Seven-Crediama-Credit Winner) who cruised through a dazzling wire-to-wire effort in 1:56 to record the first win of his young career. After settling for second-best three times in his first five lifetime starts, Chaptiama wasn't going to take no for an answer and wound up a decisive winner at odds of 2-1 for Smedshammer. Beerthirty K (Mike Simons) was the runner-up in the $76,750 division of NYSS while the favored Berkery J (Jason Bartlett) had to settle for third. While his 1:56 was much faster than Hobbs' winning time, Chaptiama's clocking didn't serve as a track record as the fastest two year old colt in Spa history is Gimpanzee who set a mark of 1:55.4 as a freshman trotting colt last season. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

As the summer starts begins to wind down, Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) has emerged as the clear-cut front-runner for Horse of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene-trained pacer has been the track's superstar in 2019 and on Saturday night, the four year old won the Open Pace for the eighth time this season. Jay Randall has been the regular driver for Hudson Phil in his local starts this year and the veteran reinsman wasted no time powering the standout pacer out to the early lead in Saturday's $15,000 Open. Hudson Phil sizzled through a first quarter of 26.2 before clicking off a half in 55.2 but didn't face his first challenge until checking in at three quarters in 1:23.3 when Major Crocker A (Billy Dobson) drew alongside to confront the big favorite. Hudson Phil rebuffed him around the final turn but Major Crocker A had one surge left in him and closed again in the stretch before coming up second-best in the 1:51.1 mile. Lockton Luck A (Mark Beckwith) finished third to extend his "on the board" streak to six. Hudson Phil's ten wins have led to over $100,000 in earnings in his monster 2019 campaign. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

With no Open on the docket, the $12,500 Winners Over for fillies and mares was the harness racing feature on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Bontz N (American Ideal) was making her local debut for trainer Gary Levine as she went off as the public's 1-5 betting favorite in the Friday feature. The New Zealand invader was coming off a decisive victory at Yonkers and once again was pointed out to the front-end in her local debut. Bontz N got a second quarter breather after clicking off a first quarter of 27.4 before the favorite got her first test as she led the charge to three quarters, a challenge that came from Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall). The long first-over journey for Come Get The Cash resulted in a second-place finish as Bontz N paced home in 27.2 to stop the timer in 1:53.3 to prevail in her first start at the Spa. Come Get The Cash was a strong second while Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Bontz N paid just $2.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $14.60 and $25.40, respectively. Leading driver Billy Dobson piloted Bontz N to her victory in the feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Two year old harness racing pacing fillies took center stage on Wednesday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the New York Sire Stakes highlighted an action-packed fourteen race card. Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight-Real Desire) has emerged as the top freshman filly in NYSS action this summer and the Ron Burke-trained two year old drew the rail for her $53,500 try on Wednesday. Matt Kakaley sat behind Merga Hanover, who cruised to a decisive victory at odds-on and paced the mile in 1:54, the fastest time of the freshman fillies on the evening. Merga Hanover moved her record to five-for-six as she powered away from a strong group of rivals at the Spa. The trend of favorites prevailing continued in the second division of NYSS for the two year olds as John Berger's Galleria Gal (Art Major-Just A Glimpse-Jate Lobell) made good as the public's 4-5 top betting choice. Galleria Gal opened up a big lead in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:55 to register her second victory of the summer in stakes competition. Tyler Buter piloted the star freshman who now has piled up earnings of more than $82,000 in her seven lifetime tries. The final of the three stakes races on the night went to The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover-Arturo) who was one of her race's three 2-1 shots. Scott Zeron drove the freshman filly for trainer Richie Silverman. It was the second win in six tries for The Fun Marshall who came from off the pace to secure the score in the $52,500 stakes event. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.   Mike Sardella

On Tuesday night, Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) did what Cash Me Out does at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran trotter has spent the last several years competing in the Open Trot and the eight year old added another win to his collection in Tuesday's $15,000 harness racing feature for high-steppers. Leading driver Billy Dobson picked up the catch-drive behind the Kyle Spagnola trainee and wasted no time moving the race's 4-5 favorite out to the early lead. Cash Me Out set fast fractions in the early going but after trotting the first quarter in 27.2 did back it down a bit before reaching the half in 57 seconds. Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) appeared to be the major danger and took a run at the favorite in the final quarter but the chase was futile. Cash Me Out recorded his fifth win in the local Open this season as he stopped the timer in 1:55 making a runner-up out of Wings Of Royalty who came up second-best for the second consecutive week in the Open. Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) came on to finish third. For Cash Me Out, it was the eighth victory in 2019 and the 45th of his career en route to lifetime earnings of more than $1.07 million. The exacta was chalky in Tuesday's feature returning $7.40 while the triple paid $23.40. The victory behind Cash Me Out was one of four on the evening for Billy Dobson who continues to lengthen his monster lead in the driver standings. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 14-race card featuring the New York Sire Stakes for two year old pacing fillies. First post time is set for 7:05pm with one non-betting race taking place before the wagering portion of the card.   Mike Sardella

Driver Jay Randall had a renaissance year of sorts last year at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the veteran reinsman has picked up right where he left off this season. On Wednesday's card, the 58 year old Randall piloted back-to-back winners and four on the night. Jay drove winners in two of the three $9,000 co-features for New York sired trotters and both for trainer Bob Gale. Randall moved first over with the Gale-trained Frank Hanover (Credit Winner) approaching the half on his race's favorite Aerial Flight (Jimmy Devaux). Those two slugged it out for nearly a half mile before Frank Hanover emerged victorious in 2:00. The three year old trotter had finished second in three consecutive starts at Saratoga before recording his fourth victory of the season on Wednesday night. The win was the second straight on the card for Randall who guided John Podres' Hot Tip (Mystery Chase) to victory in a conditional pace. Jay's third winner of the night came when he piloted the Brett Derue-trained It Aint The Whisky (Explosive Matter) to a front-running score. It wasn't until the Wednesday finale when Randall completed his grand slam guiding Gale's RC's Lady Royale (RC Royalty) to an upset in the $9,000 nightcap. RC's Lady Royale parlayed her pocket ride to victory and sprung the upset at odds of 25-1. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Last week, trotting mare Cartier Volo (Cash Hall) won her first career Open Trot. The Margaret Spagnola trainee has finished in the top three pretty much every week but it wasn't until she was dq'd into a win last Tuesday night that the five year old scored her first harness racing Open victory. This week, Cartier Volo drew post two in the six-horse installment of the $15,000 Open for trotters. Frank Coppola Jr sat behind Cartier Volo as she moved first over and surged past the race's leader who clocked the first half in 57 seconds. Cartier Volo struck the lead in three quarters of 1:27 but had to hold off the late bid from out-of-towner Wings Of Royalty (Jay Randall) who came charging hard. The chase proved futile and the race's lone lady, Cartier Volo, stopped the timer in 1:56.1 for her fourth win of the season and second consecutive in the Open. It was a big-time upset as the Spagnola trainee paid $48.80 to win. Wings Of Royalty was second while Mugshots Bro (Jimmy Devaux) finished third. The exacta and triple in the six-horse Open came back $232 and $534, respectively. Coppola piloted four winners on the card including one with the Kyle Spagnola-trained Waiting On A Woman who dead-heated for win with rival Notmeitsyou (Phil Fluet) in the undercard to the Open, the $12,500 Winners Over trot. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

New York Sire Stakes were featured on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as three year old colt and gelding trotters took center stage. There were two harness racing divisions for sophomore trotters that each went for a purse of $90,050. Drawing the outside post is usually a big time hazard but on Saturday night, both Sire Stakes winners drew post eight for their tries going for the big bucks. Erv Miller's Livinonthedash (Muscle Mass-Sunshine Glide-Master Glide) had one rival scratched so he ultimately started from post seven. The talented trotter came from well off the pace to win his previous start at Yonkers and got away last in his Saratoga debut on Saturday. Patient Marcus Miller piloting paid off and the super-sophomore came charging hard in the stretch to complete his last-to-first move, stopping the timer in 1:55.4 to be the fastest of the stakes winners on the card. Livinonthedash's victory was his eighth in thirteen starts in 2019 and boosted his seasonal earnings to over the $170,000 mark. Winnerup (Trond Smedshammer) was a strong second to Livinonthedash while longshot Travel Winner (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Livinonthedash paid $6.80 to win as he overcame his outside post to prevail for the third time in his last four NYSS starts. The other division saw Lucky Weekend (Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation-Conway Hall) draw post eight. Unlike Livinonthedash, Lucky Weekend did not have the benefit of a scratch in his race but did utilize his early speed to surge out to the lead with reinsman Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. The Christopher Lakata trainee had hit the board in his three previous starts in the NYSS but had yet to win a stakes race heading into Saturday's try from post eight. After setting a sensible pace on the engine, Lucky Weekend was confronted by rival Powerscourt (Mickey McGivern) who headed the leader around the final turn and battled him every step of the way in the stretch. Lucky Weekend proved too tough and dug in to win in 1:57.2. Powerscourt was a strong second while Captain Krupnik (Jay Randall) finished third. Lucky Weekend paid $13.80 to win in the mild upset. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. The evening will have a $998 carryover to the Pick Five pool with that wager beginning in the first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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