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Harness racing trainer Rene Allard won a pair of Opens last Saturday night (July 20) at Saratoga Casino Hotel and scored with Lyons River Pride (Somebeachsomewhere) in Friday night's Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa. On Saturday, Allard sent his Beach Boogie (Somebeachsomewhere) to town to compete in the $15,000 Open Pace. The five year old came in as a winner of three of his last four but had a daunting task ahead of him in the local feature. He was tasked with besting 2019 Open star and the race's big favorite Hudson Phil (Jay Randall). Hudson Phil's win streak in the local Open came to an end last week but he was the 4-5 public choice on Saturday nonetheless as he looked to start a new streak. The Jackie Greene trainee powered out to the early lead and set fast fractions of 26.3 and 55.2 in the first half. All the while, Beach Boogie was sitting last in the six-horse feature. Leading driver Billy Dobson got Beach Boogie underway and after Hudson Phil clicked off three quarters in 1:23, the favorite had company. Beach Boogie tipped off the cover of fellow out-of-towner Lockton Luck A (Mark Beckwith) and stormed home to score in the Open in 1:51.2. Paying $9.30 to win in the mild upset, Beach Boogie gave Allard his fourth Open win at Saratoga in the last eight days. Hudson Phil was the runner-up in an $18.20 exacta while Lockton Luck A rounded out the $119 triple. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with NY Sire Stakes action featured with three year old filly pacers taking center stage. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella   TONY “SHIFTY” CIUFFETELLI WINS BILLINGS TROT AT SARATOGA With the proliferation of amateur driving events during mid-summer the Billings Series Trot at Saratoga Harness on the evening of July 27th only attracted five entries and when they were set to go to post only four horses heeded the buglers' call. The short field didn't deter Tony “Shifty” Ciuffetelli when he sent Someway Same Hall to the lead from the three- hole despite being parked by the first stanza in :28.4 by Royalpine Princess and driver, “Daring Dean” Collett. However, once in command Someway Same Hall led his competitors by some three lengths when he passed the halfway point in :57.4. But those three lengths were soon opened to six as the altered son of Cash Hall trotted by the third quarter in 1:27.1. At that point “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello had Broadway Bruiser in high gear and moved into second and with Brett “the Kid” Beckwith alongside with Elegant Son. But there was no catching the leader as Sameway Same Hall cruised to an easy 3-1/2 length victory in 1:57.4. Broadway Bruiser was second with Elegant Son , a neck farther back, in third place. by John Manzi for the Billings Series   

Driver Jay Randall is enjoying another fantastic harness racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Wednesday, the veteran reinsman came up just shy of sweeping the co-features. The 58 year old Randall guided the Eric Adsit-trained Iamnotlefthanded (Credit Winner) to a first-over victory in one of the two $9,000 co-features for New York sired trotters. Iamnotlefthanded toughed out an overland journey and wound up wearing down the race's favorite Aerial Flight (Jimmy Devaux) before stopping the timer in 1:59.1. The win was the third of the season for the Adsit trainee who has hit the board in better than half of his starts on the campaign. Randall came up just a nose shy of sweeping the co-features when Frank Hanover tried to gun down front-running Squirely Girly (Muscle Mass) in the other $9,000 division for trotters. Squirely Girly made the front with her trainer Jordan Derue in the sulky and held off the late charge from Frank Hanover to record a lifetime best win in 1:58.1. Returning $9.10 to win, Squirely Girly recorded her second victory in three starts but also just her second on the season. Frank Hanover was the runner-up for Randall who piloted a pair of Wednesday winners. Devaux, who currently sits second in the local driver standings, had another big night as he added five wins to his bulky total in 2019. All five of Devaux's winners set new lifetime marks on the beautiful summer evening in the Spa City. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $1,288 on Friday with the Pick Five starting in the evening's first race.   Mike Sardella

The $12,500 Winners Over for trotters served as the Tuesday night harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A strong field of seven was highlighted by last week's Winners Over victor Mister Muscle (Muscle Mass) who was assigned the outside post as he looked to move his record to three-for-three since coming to the Spa earlier in the month. Last week, the Melissa Beckwith trainee held off the late charge of rival Justice Jet who had to settle for second. On Tuesday, Justice Jet drew the rail with reinsman Jimmy Devaux in the sulky and was the public's 7-5 betting favorite in the feature. Mister Muscle made a break while leaving but after getting back trotting rushed up to the front-end anyways. Justice Jet got away third and Devaux sat patiently with the favorite in a first half in 58.3. Mister Muscle and Justice Jet went toe-to-toe approaching three quarters and though Justice Jet took the lead, he never got clear. Mister Muscle rallied on the rail and those two brought their battle to the stretch where Justice Jet poked his nose out in time to win a photo in 1:56.3. Mister Muscle wound up being disqualified from second for failing to lose ground while on a break and was placed fourth. Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) was placed second while Ulster (Jay Randall) was moved up to third. Justice Jet gave his trainer Gary Levine a training double as Levine's Victoria Swan (Swan For All) won her fourth consecutive race on Tuesday night with Bruce Aldrich Jr. in the sulky. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.   Mike Sardella

The defending harness racing national Horse of the Year McWicked (McArdle) came to town for the first time on Saturday night to compete in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Casie Coleman-trained McWicked earned more than $1.5 million in his award-winning 2018 campaign but recorded only one win in his first five starts in '19 before heading into the season's richest race at the Spa. Hall of Famer Brian Sears was in to drive McWicked and gave the classy eight year old pacer a second-over trip. With the race's favorite This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) on the front end and rival None Bettor A (Joe Bongiorno) in the pocket spot, Mcwicked fanned off his cover after the three quarter time popped up in 1:23.1. This Is The Plan faced a two-pronged challenge in the stretch and it was McWicked who proved fastest of all, securing the biggest win of his season by stopping the timer in 1:50.3. This Is The Plan was the runner-up while None Bettor A had to settle for third. McWicked paid $9.80 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $30.60 and $79. McWicked, who is owned by S S G Stables of North Boston, NY, becomes the 11th winner of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial since it was started in 2009. Originally contested as a series, the Gerrity became a free-for-all Invitational Pace in 2013. That year the track record was set by Bolt The Duer who paced 1:49. His record lasted just one year as Dancin Yankee dazzled in the '14 installment of the Gerrity when he lowered that record to 1:48.4 in a world record performance that still stands as the fastest in Spa history. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

The Royal Poze (RC Royalty) has put together a strong stretch over the last couple months in the winners of two but not more than five class for New York sired harness racing trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Andy Sardella trainee had a solid season in 2018 as a three year old but has really put it all together of late. On Wednesday night, The Royal Poze drew the rail in the $9,000 featured race for trotters and driver Frank Coppola Jr. was aggressive with him from the get-go. The race's 9-5 second-choice in the wagering, The Royal Poze breezed past the favored Pappagiorgio (Jimmy Devaux) heading to the quarter en route to the front-end. First over longshot Squirely Girly (Jordan Derue) rushed up to approach the leader heading to three quarters but The Royal Poze was up to the task, holding off the two-pronged challenge from Squirely Girly and Pappgiorgio in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:58.1. Squirely Girly finished second while Pappagiorgio settled for third. The victory was the fifth in ten starts in the '19 campaign for The Royal Poze who paid $5.60 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $78 and $270, respectively. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.   Mike Sardella

With no Open Trot on the docket, the $12,500 Winners Over for trotters served as the Tuesday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The track's defending Trotter of the Year Ulster (Glidemaster) got his year started a bit late and after kicking off his 2019 campaign this spring hasn't been quite as strong as he was in his award-winning season. Ulster was the race's 6-5 betting favorite as he drew the rail for his try in the Tuesday feature. Mister Muscle (Muscle Mass) made his debut in the local Winners Over just one week after recording an impressive 1:55.1 victory in his first Spa start. The Melissa Beckwith trainee flashed speed on Tuesday and wound up in the pocket behind Ulster who set quick fractions on the front end. After getting a half in 57 seconds, Ulster clicked off three quarters in 1:25.4 and was pushed to the limit around the final turn. Mister Muscle cruised up the passing lane to secure the lead and held off the late charge from longshot Justice Jet (Brett Crawford) to stop the timer in 1:55.1 for the second consecutive week. Justice Jet was the runner-up while Ulster had to settle for third. Mister Muscle paid $8.40 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta with 13-1 shot Justice Jet that returned $87.50. The triple with the favorite third came back $343. Live racing continues on Wednesday at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.   Mike Sardella

Military Master A (Bettor's Delight) parlayed his pocket trip to a harness racing victory in the $15,000 Open Pace on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Mark Beckwith picked up the catch-drive behind the Lance Hudson trainee and moved him out to the early lead before giving way to the race's favorite Starznheaven in an opening quarter that went in 27.1. Starznheaven cruised unopposed through the middle half of the feature before Military Master A launched his bid around the final turn. Those two squared off in the stretch after drawing away from their competition but at the wire it Military Master A that proved fastest of all in a mile clocked in 1:51.2. Starznheaven was the runner-up while Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) finished third. It was the first win in the Open for Military Master A and the third victory of the year overall for the eight year old who paid $9.90 to win in the mild upset. The exacta with the favorite second paid $43.60 while the triple came back $123. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

Victoria Swan (Swan For All) stayed red hot on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Her harness racing trainer Gary Levine is in the midst of a scorching stretch in his own right and on Friday night, the four year old mare moved her win streak to three with a hard-fought victory. Victoria Swan moved to the Levine stable in June and after finishing third in her first race for new connections drew the rail for her second start. Victoria Swan went coast-to-coast in 1:54.4 and set a new track record for four year old trotting mares on that Sunday afternoon. Following her second consecutive wire-to-wire win, Victoria Swan had post position six in a six-horse field on Friday when driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. opted to take her back in the early going. The mare displayed her versatility as she went first-over approaching the half and wound up grinding the leader into submission turning for home in the $7,250 trotting event. Victoria Swan stopped the timer in 1:57 for her third consecutive win. Levine has vaulted up the trainer standings at Saratoga in recent weeks and currently sits second just behind Melissa Beckwith in what could amount to an interesting race within in the races moving forward in the 2019 campaign. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first post set for 7:05pm.   Mike Sardella

Im TP's Crazed Bro (Crazed) went coast-to-coast in one of Thursday's $9,000 co-featured races for New York sired harness racing trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Brian Cross piloted the Scott Mongeon-trained trotter to the wire-to-wire win which was the fifth in 2019 for the three year old who has spent part of his season racing in New York Sire Stakes Excelsior A competition. Im Tp's Crazed Bro got soft fractions in the middle half of Thursday's race while trotting over a track labeled 'sloppy' and used those fractions to his advantage late before stopping the timer in 1:58.4 for the victory. Im TP's Crazed Bro was the 6-5 betting favorite in his division of the co-featured trotting events on the card. The other co-feature went the way of Phil Fluet's Kolin (Crazed). Kolin came into the race with five victories on the campaign and added one more to his tally after getting a pocket trip behind his race's favorite Jake G's Champion (Billy Dobson) on Thursday. Kolin popped the pocket just past the three-quarter pole and got the best of Jake G's Champion in the stretch before prevailing in 1:59. Frank Hanover (Jay Randall) came on to be second while Jake G's Champion had to settle for third. Kolin, another three year old who has spent time competing in Excelsior A races this summer, paid $6.20 to win in his most recent victory. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm.   Mike Sardella

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) dominated the harness racing action among the track's top trotters this winter and into the spring at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran Kyle Spagnola trainee won the local Open Trot three times in the first five installments of it in 2019. The millionaire trotter fell into a little Open drought at the point but still came into Wednesday's try in the $15,000 feature with five wins on the season. Phil Fluet piloted Cash Me Out on Wednesday and powered the eight year old out to the early lead. After clicking off a fast first quarter in 27.4, Cash Me Out got a bit of a breather, reaching the half in 57.3 before being confronted past the half by the race's 4-5 betting favorite and three-time defending Open winner Mugshots Bro (Jimmy Devaux). Cash Me Out rebuffed that one and drew away in the stretch to score in 1:54.3 for a new seasonal mark. The win was the 43rd in the career of the veteran trotter in 180 lifetime starts. Longshot Cartier Volo (Frank Coppola Jr) hit the board for the fourth consecutive time in the Open as she came on to finish second while Mugshots Bro had to settle for third on the warm Wednesday afternoon in the Spa City. Cash Me Out paid $11.60 to win in the mild upset. The exacta returned $62 while the triple came back $163.50 in the six-horse feature. Live racing continues on Thursday night with a 7:05 pm first post time. Mike Sardella

Veteran harness racing reinsman Frank Coppola Jr. had a terrific Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On the final Sunday race card until September, Coppola piloted four winners on the matinee program. After recording three wins in the day's first four races, Coppola sat behind Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) who drew the rail for her first try in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Dismissed at odds of 8-1, Surreal Feeling was undaunted and Coppola moved her out to the early lead in the feature for distaffers. The four year old mare posted fast fractions throughout, going a half in 56.1 before clicking off three quarters in 1:23.4. With the favorite, and fellow Yonkers invader, Oceania (Bruce Aldrich Jr) closing in, Surreal Feeling shifted gears once again and powered away from her competition to win in 1:53.1. Longshot Western Stepp (Jay Randall) came on late to be second while Oceania earned the show spot. With Surreal Feeling paying $19.40 to win, the exotics returned big numbers. The exacta paid $110.50 and the triple came back $329.00 in the six-horse Open. The victory by Surreal Feeling gave Coppola four winners on the card. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with our final matinee card until September. There is a Pick Five carryover of $1,378 on Wednesday with first post time set for 12 Noon.   Mike Sardella

Hudson Phil's (Shanghai Phil) third consecutive Open Pace harness racing victory was recorded in a bit of an unconventional fashion on Saturday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene-trained pacer remained the public's top choice in the wagering despite being assigned post eight for his try in the $15,000 feature. Driver Jay Randall powered Hudson Phil out to the early lead once again but after pacing a half in 56.1, the four year old Open star was overpowered in the backstretch by rival Starznheaven (Shawn Gray) who took over the lead past three quarters in 1:23.2. Starznheaven failed to clear though despite pacing his third quarter in 27 seconds and Hudson Phil rallied back on the rail to re-claim the lead turning for home. All the while, Yonkers invader Stars Align N (Steve Genois) was waiting for the passing lane where he wound up surging in the stretch to prevail in 1:52. The inquiry sign was immediately posted though and Stars Align N wound up being disqualified for causing interference in the first turn of the race and was subsequently placed last. That meant Hudson Phil was the winner for the sixth time in the local Open Pace this year for Greene and Randall. Starznheaven wound up being placed second while Military Master A (Mark Beckwith) ended up third following the DQ. Hudson Phil was the 3-2 betting favorite in the race and led a $17.20 exacta and $148.50 triple. The victory was the tenth this year in the Open Pace for trainer Jackie Greene who has three wins with Artful Way and one from Some Attitude to add to the six Saturday scores from Hudson Phil in the '19 campaign. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for 12 Noon. Mike Sardella

Pan Street USA (No Pan Intended) was the fastest winner among the four series finals contested on Wednesday's harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith trainee finished second in his first two local starts including one in the leg of the series leading up to Wednesday's $20,000 final of the Freedom Pace. Mark Beckwith sat the pocket with Pan Street USA as they tracked the favored In The Huddle (Billy Dobson) through three quarters of a mile. Pan Street USA slid out of the two-hole and cruised by around the final turn before pacing away to score in 1:52.1. The other $20,000 co-feature was won by a first-over Rose Run Speedster (Billy Dobson) who came up second-best in the leg of the Star Spangled Trot but would not be denied in the $20,000 final. The betting favorite for the second consecutive start, the Gary Levine-trained Rose Run Speedster toughed it out to prevail in 1:57.3. The $15,000 final of the Stars and Stripes Pace went to Mach My Point who also scored behind a first-over journey to record his first win of the year, stopping the timer in 1:55 for trainer Lisa Zabielski and driver Jimmy Devaux. The $15,000 final of the Independence Trot went to Howdy Jane who set a new lifetime mark for the second straight start, going coast-to-coast with reinsman Frank Coppola Jr. piloting for conditioner Rachel Beaulieu. Howdy Jane's biggest career win came in 1:58. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Im The Muscle (Muscle Mass) was a decisive harness racing winner in the Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rene Allard trainee drew the rail for his first try in the $15,000 local feature and leading driver Billy Dobson sat behind the four year old trotter. Patient in the early going, Im The Muscle made his move past the half with the track's defending Trotter of the Year Ulster (Jay Randall) on the engine. Ulster began to tire and Im The Muscle surged past and opened up a big lead around the final turn before stopping the timer in a career-best 1:54.3. Longshot Cartier Volo (Frank Coppola Jr) charged hard late to come on for second while Cash Me Out (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. After enjoying an eleven-win campaign in 2018, Im The Muscle's Sunday victory was just his second in eleven tries in '19. The race's even money favorite, Im The Muscle led an exacta and triple that paid $29.60 and $166.50. Dobson piloted three winners on Sunday's matinee card. Live racing resumes on Wednesday with a special 5pm first post. It is our annual Independence Day celebration with fireworks at the conclusion of the twelve race card. There are four series finals on Wednesday's program contested for purses of $15,000 and $20,000.   Mike Sardella

Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) continued his winning ways in Saturday night's harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene-trained star went coast-to-coast in the $15,000 Open Pace for the second consecutive week. Jay Randall piloted Hudson Phil to his fifth victory of the year in the local Open, a win that came with the four year old as the public's 1-9 betting favorite. In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket to Hudson Phil and was the runner-up while Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) earned the show spot. Trainer Jackie Greene has taken home the Pacer of the Year award in each of the last three seasons at Saratoga as her Artful Way has been the dominant force in the regular Saturday feature at the Spa. In 2019, though Artful Way does have three victories in the local Open, it is his stablemate Hudson Phil who has the lead among local pacers with five wins in the $15,000 feature. Saturday's win for Hudson Phil came in 1:51.2 which is a full second "slower" than the 1:50.2 clocking he took in April at the Spa which serves as the lifetime mark for local star pacer. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:00 Noon. Mike Sardella

The track's defending co-Horse of the Year Spreester (American Ideal) made it back to the top of the mountain on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A winner of eight Opens for fillies and mares in 2018, the Paul Zabielski harnes racing trainee had gone through a drought in the feature that dated back to last August. On Thursday afternoon, Spreester drew the rail for her most recent try in the $15,000 Open for distaffers and driver Jimmy Devaux aggressively piloted her out to the early lead in a first quarter paced in 28 seconds. Spreester got a breather and reached the half in 57.4 and with the favored Sandy Sue (Billy Dobson) sitting in the pocket spot and two-time defending Open winner Osprey Blue Chip (Brett Crawford) rushing up first-over, Spreester picked up the pace heading towards three-quarters. Sandy Sue wound up surging up the inside in the stretch but came up just shy of the win as Spreester held her off to prevail in 1:55. The victory was the third of the year for Spreester but the first in the Open since last August. With the earnings from the win, the eight year old veteran moved over the $800,000 mark for her career. Sandy Sue was the runner-up while Foxy Dame N (Chris Long) wound up third after a disqualification of Osprey Blue Chip for causing interference in the stretch. Spreester paid $4.40 to win as the race's second-choice in the wagering while the exacta with the favorite second came back $10.40. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 6:45pm first post time. There will be a $2,654 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in race one.   Mike Sardella

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