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Sally Fletcher A (American Ideal) was offensive minded from the get-go in Friday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Bruce Aldrich Jr. powered the Jose Godinez-trained distaffer out to the early lead in the $14,500 Fillies and Mares Open and the speedy mare never stopped. After posting a sizzling first quarter in 26.3 over the sloppy going, Sally Fletcher A did get a second quarter breather before reaching the half in 56.3. The seven year old distaffer then went pedal to the metal in the third panel as the race's favorite came calling first-over. Sally Fletcher A posted a 27.2 third quarter before pacing off to win in 1:52.2, matching the fastest time of the year for a lady pacer at the Spa. The track's top mare in 2018 is Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) and that Paul Zabielski trainee nearly overcame her outside post on Friday as she finished second in the feature. Longshot Stylish Beachwhere (Jordan Derue) earned the show spot. Sally Fletcher A was the second-choice in the wagering while going off at odds of 2-1. The exacta with Spreester second paid $30.60 while the triple returned $189. The win was the second in the local feature in the career of Sally Fletcher A who also scored in a December installment of the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Driver Jay Randall joined the 4,000 win club on Wednesday night when the veteran reinsman piloted young trotter Brookroadgeorge (CR Excalibur) to victory at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A longtime regular at Saratoga after beginning his career back in the 1970's, Randall was named the track's top up-and-coming driver in 1982. Now about forty years into what has been a solid, consistent career in the sulky for native New Yorker, Randall came into the evening with 3,999 career victories as a driver. The 57 year old reinsman wasted very little time reaching the career milestone on Wednesday night as he prevailed in his first drive on the card. Brookroadgeorge moved first-over and powered past his rivals before reporting home in 2:00.2 as an open length winner. The victory was the second in the young career of the Bruce Borden-trained trotter and the 4,000th in the illustrious career of longtime Spa regular Randall. Jay wasted no time securing career victory number 4,001 as he piloted one of his trainees So So Incredible (So Surreal) to a wire-to-wire score just a couple races after recording his milestone win on Wednesday. Randall, who is enjoying his best season in several seasons, currently sits sixth in the driver standings at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Two year old pacing colts taking part in the New York Sire Stakes were featured on Tuesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. There were two divisions of the $80,000+ Sire Stakes for freshman colts and in the first division, what looked like it would be a battle of the titans between the undefeated Melodies Major and the super-fast superstar Major Blake never came to fruition. The Sam Schillaci-trained Major Blake was a late scratch due to sickness which made Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious-Die Laughing) a 1-9 favorite as the freshman looked to build on a beginning to his career that yielded four wins in four tries. On Tuesday night, Tyler Buter once again piloted the Mark Ford trainee and moved the star pacer out to the early lead in his $81,750 division of the NYSS. Though Melodies Major had his way on the front end, the freshman came up empty and longshot Reigning Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven- Little Miss K- Artsplace) came from well off the pace to prevail in career-best fashion. Jim Morrill Jr. piloted the freshman to the 1:54.2 victory for trainer Brett Pelling. Buddy Hill (Scott Zeron) was the runner-up for the second consecutive start while World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) earned the show spot. The heavily backed Melodies Major faded sharply late and ended up last. Reigning Deo returned $24.40 to win in recording his second victory in just three career starts. The other division of the NYSS for two year old pacing colts and geldings went the way of Bicorne Hanover (Art Major-Boldnbrash Hanover-The Panderosa) who pulled off the mild upset as he and driver Matt Kakaley went wire-to-wire in 1:54.3. Bicorne Hanover is now a two-time winner in the New York Sire Stakes this season as the Ron Burke trainee took advantage of post position one to wire the field. Returning $11.40 to win, Bicorne Hanover bested longshot runner-up KJ Leo (Scott Zeron) and co-favored Jack Nation (Jim Morrill Jr) who earned the show spot. The 1:54.3 clocking served as a lifetime mark for the freshman pacer. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga with live racing starting at 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were co-features on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Fillies and Mares Open joined the regular Saturday feature the Open Pace to highlight the evening's thirteen race card. Each of the co-features went for a purse of $14,500 and each saw the favorite prevail. The Open Pace was won by Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) who was offensive minded from the get-go on Saturday night. Wally Hennessey overcame the outside post with Carolina Beach, the race's 4-5 betting favorite, as he moved the Melissa Beckwith-trained pacer out to the early lead. Laying down fast fractions of 27 and 55.4 in lap one, Carolina Beach had something left for the stretch run to prevail in 1:52.1 while holding off Texas Terror N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and securing his second consecutive win in the Open and eleventh victory overall in the 2018 campaign. Texas Terror N was the runner-up while longshot Rise Up Now (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. The Fillies and Mares Open, the regular Friday night feature at the Spa, was pushed back a night due to a New York Sire Stakes-filled card on Friday. Rene Allard's Eclipse Me N (Real Desire) swooped the group to win the local Open for the first time. Leading driver Billy Dobson worked out a cover trip for the 6-5 favorite as Eclipse Me N drafted second-over behind the track's defending Pacing Mare of the Year Truth And Liberty who was making her first local start of the season. Eclipse Me N made a powerful move around the final turn and drew out to win by a length and half, stopping the timer in 1:53.2 for her sixth victory on the campaign. Regular Open star Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) came from last in the Open for distaffers before finishing second while longshot Better Said (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with New York Sire Stakes competition highlighting the thirteen race card. Two year old pacing colts and geldings will be featured in stakes action. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

The Veteran (Muscle Mass-Tequila Summer-Yankee Glide) continued his monster sophomore season on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the George Ducharme harness racing trainee not only prevailed in his $89,950 division of the New York Sire Stakes but he did so in track record-setting fashion. The Veteran was the 1-5 betting favorite on Friday as he recorded his sixth win in nine seasonal starts in the NY Sire Stakes race for three year old colt and gelding trotters. Driver Scott Zeron, who is just one week removed from his win in the Hambletonian with the filly Atlanta, continued his magical 2018 campaign as he was in town to pilot the favorite in each of the two big Sire Stakes races on the card. With early speed in the race setting the table for a closer, The Veteran wound up moving three-wide with about 3/8 of a mile remaining in the stakes try. The talented sophomore overpowered his competitors before drawing away in the stretch to win by nine lengths in 1:54.3. The win time serves as a new track record for three year old trotting colts, lowering the previous mark set almost two years ago to the day by Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley). The 1:54.3 clocking also matches the previous mark set by Tropical Storm Bi for the fastest time for any trotter at Saratoga in the 2018 season. Zeron also piloted the winner of the other $89,950 division of the NYSS on Friday as Linda Toscano's Helpisontheway (Chapter Seven-Porque-Plesac) lived up to the hype at odds of 1-9. Zeron moved the big favorite out to the early lead and the talented sophomore high-stepper cruised to an open-length romp in 1:55.1 for his fourth consecutive win and sixth in ten seasonal tries. With the winnings from the Friday score, Helpisontheway now has earnings of over $200,000 in 2018. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga while NYSS action returns to the Spa on Tuesday night when two year old pacing colts and geldings take center stage. First post time each night this summer is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Mind Your Manners (Deweycheatumnhowe) sprung the upset in the Wednesday feature for New York-bred trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The four year old was one of the nominees for Three Year Old Trotter of the Year at Saratoga last season but has not had a big follow-up campaign in 2018. Mind Your Manners was winless on the season heading into Wednesday's $9,630 feature but driver Mickey Mc Givern piloted aggressively in the early going and put the longshot on the front-end. Enjoying pretty comfortable fractions throughout, Mind Your Manners fended off the challenge of the race's second choice in the betting before drawing clear in the stretch to win in 1:59.3 to upset at odds of 12-1. Amazing Sevens (Bruce Aldrich Jr), who was the public's 6-5 top choice, came from a long way back to finish second while Mass Confession (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot. Mind Your Manners, who recorded six wins as a sophomore last year, is trained by Cheryl Mc Givern. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with New York Sire Stakes action highlighting the card as three year old trotting colts and geldings take center stage. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Ulster (Glidemaster) has been the king of the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year. The Amanda Facin trainee established himself late last season as an Open threat and it was apparent early on in the 2018 harness racing campaign that he would be a force among the track's top trotters this year.  Ulster won the first Open Trot of the season at the Spa back in February and recorded three wins in the track's first four features for high-steppers this year. Though his last win in the Open came back in April, the veteran trotter had five Open wins to his credit in '18 when he went off as the odds-on betting favorite on Tuesday. Jay Randall is the regular pilot for Ulster and on Tuesday, the veteran reinsman powered the favorite out to the early lead in the $14,500 feature. The seven year old trotting star cruised through first half fractions of 28.1 and 57.4 before clicking off three quarters in 1:26.1. Under just mild Randall urging, Ulster drew away to win by three lengths in 1:55.1 for his sixth Open score of the season. Yonkers invader Madman Hall (Ray Schnittker) overcame a tough first-over journey to be second while Crazycat (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. With still a ton of racing left to be done in the 2018 campaign at the Spa, not only is Ulster the front-runner for Trotter of the Year but may well be a contender for Horse of the Year. Live racing continues on Wednesday night with a first post time of 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Spreester (American Ideal) has been a force all year long in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In fact, the Paul Zabielski trainee may well be the front-runner for Horse of the Year in 2018 at the Spa. The seven year old harness racing mare, though, has gone through a bit of a cold streak, by her standards, of late. Often a beaten favorite this year, Spreester has certainly done her share of winning and on Friday was looking to score in the $14,500 feature for the eighth time of the season. Driver Frank Coppola Jr. flashed early speed with the star distaffer who was part of a 26.4 first quarter. While a first-over Stylish Beachwhere (Wally Hennessey) wore down the race's front-runner, Spreester slid out approaching three quarters taking dead aim on Stylish Beachwhere as that longshot looked to spring the upset. Spreester, who was the 8-5 betting favorite on Friday, got up in the final strides to record her eighth Open score of the season at the Spa, stopping the timer in 1:52.4. Stylish Beachwhere was a strong second while Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third. It was the 46thwin in the career of Spreester whose lifetime earnings are closing in on $750,000. She paid $5.30 to win on Friday and led an exacta and triple that returned $43 and $173.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. 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  

There were three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for two year old colt and gelding trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Tuesday evening. Each division for the freshman high-steppers went for a purse of $54,500 and in the first division of the night, a new track record for two year olds was set. Marcus Melander's Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows-Muscle Massive) was the public's 2-5 betting favorite in his installment of the NY Sire Stakes for two year olds and brought a two-for-two career record into the try. Brian Sears marched the colt out to the front end as the freshman stepped away to a lead that grew to nearly five lengths in the early going. After clocking a half in 57.1, Gimpanzee appeared dominant in the final lap before stopping the timer in 1:55.4. The win time lowered the previous track record for two year old trotting colts by a full second, eclipsing the mark set last year by My Lindy Winner (Jim Morrill Jr). The win time also served as a new lifetime best for the freshman trotter whose previous mark was set at Tioga Downs in the start leading up to Tuesday's race. Frank Coppola Jr. piloted Horns For Three (Credit Winner-Swoosh Hanover-Lindy Lane) to a wire-to-wire score in the second division of the Sire Stakes on Tuesday. The Ed Hart trainee held off the first-over bid by the favored Our White Knight (Brian Sears) before scoring in 2:00.4. Horns For Three is now a two-time winner in the NYSS as he prevailed at Buffalo last month. The evening's final division of the NYSS saw Thunder (Conway Hall-Cr Oh Suzanna-Royal Troubador) roll to a first over victory for Scott Zeron. The John Butenschoen trainee recorded the first win of his young career as he toughed it out overland before scoring in 1:59.2. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Denslow Hanover (Yankee Cruiser) stayed razor sharp on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Don Billings trainee is riding the streak of his life and made his first career start in the Open Pace on Saturday. Finishing first or second in eight consecutive starts heading into his try in the $14,500 feature, Denslow Hanover drew post three in the Open for his red hot connections of trainer Don Billings and driver Jimmy Devaux. Defending Horse of the Year and regular Open force Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) moved out to the early lead on Saturday and though he felt no pressure throughout the first three-quarters of a mile, Artful Way set sizzling fractions. After pacing a first half in 55.1, Artful Way clicked off three quarters in 1:22.2. Denslow Hanover began to make his move and surged off cover in the stretch taking dead aim on Artful Way. The six year old Denslow Hanover got up in time to prevail in a career-best 1:51.4 and register his first Open victory. Artful Way was a solid second while longshot Newbie (Harry Landy) earned the show spot. Denslow Hanover paid $21.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $72 and $604, respectively. Devaux piloted six winners on the Saturday program, three of which coming for trainer Don Billings. Devaux and Billings also teamed up for the win in Friday's feature as Bye Bye Michelle prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Bye Bye Michelle (Stonebridge Regal) has been a force since coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel a couple years back. Thriving out of several different harness racing stables over her time at the Spa, Bye Bye Michelle has done most of her damage locally while competing in the high level claiming ranks. At times, the veteran mare has raced in the Fillies and Mares Open and has had some solid showings against the track's top distaffers. The eight year old mare had yet to record a win in the local Open this season when on Friday night she started from post three in the six-horse feature. Bye Bye Michelle moved first over on the race's 1-5 betting favorite Lady Shadow (Wally Hennessey) who has been the Open's star over the last month plus. Bye Bye Michelle ground the leader into submission and wound up stopping the timer in 1:53 to record the win in the $14,500 Open on Friday. Invader Roll With Sparky (John Macdonald) came from off the pace to finish second while the heavily favored Lady Shadow had to settle for third. Bye Bye Michelle, who was driven to victory by Jimmy Devaux, paid $15.00 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $89 and $261, respectively. With the earnings from the Friday score, Bye Bye Michelle moved her career bankroll to over the $300,000 mark. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There was a pair of New York sired trot races that served as co-features on the Wednesday evening harness racing program at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The first of the co-features was won by TT Conway (Conway Hall) who toughed out a first-over trip before reeling in the race's big favorite Howd Ya Like That (Wally Hennessey) in the final strides. TT Conway drew the rail but came away fourth before moving first over on Howd Ya Like That who was seeking her third consecutive victory. TT Conway tucked in around the final turn to save some extra ground in the final furlong before tracking down the favorite to prevail in 1:58. TT Conway paid $9.40 to win in the mild upset while Howd Ya Like That finished a close second. The $9,630 division of the co-features for New York sired trotters went the way of John Stark Jr's Lasa Dida Lady (Deweycheatumnhowe). The four year old mare recorded her sixth victory of the season as, just like TT Conway did in the other co-feature, Lasa Dida Lady grinded out a first-over win on Wednesday. The 1-5 betting favorite stopped the timer in 1:58.2 through a light rain in the Spa City. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Gruden (Muscles Yankee) added trotting hopples a few weeks ago after enduring breaking trouble in previous months. The Rene Allard trainee won the qualifier at Pocono with hopples on and was dynamic at Saratoga Casino Hotel last week while winning his local debut in 1:55. Gruden moved up in company on Tuesday night as he took part in the $12,000 Winners Over. The five year old trotter who scored nine wins in seventeen tries in 2017 was bet down as the 1-9 favorite on Tuesday Leading driver Billy Dobson moved Gruden out to the early lead, paying a bit of a stiff price to get to the top. Parked at the start, Gruden crossed over to cut the mile after guiding the way through a first quarter of 27 seconds. The big favorite had little difficultly opening up a big lead but was beginning to tire as a pair of dangers, Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) and Entranced (Dan Cappello Jr) were making steady progress towards the leader. Gruden had enough to hang on and win in 1:56 while Silent Pine came up second best. Entranced earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Heading into Saturday night, in two of the previous five installments of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season's biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the $260,000 race that memorializes the longtime former Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Inc. Joe Gerrity Jr. Saturday night was the tenth installment of the race in his honor. The winner of the '17 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and wound up as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of 26.2 and 53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of five and a half lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up on Saturday night while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the eight year old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal, QC, CA. Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively. Saturday's star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing's richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner's circle at the conclusion of his conditional race at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening with a first post time of 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

With the Fillies and Mares Open set to be contested on Saturday night this week, a $9,500 conditional race for the ladies served as the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. John Macdonald trainee All Charged Up (Ponder) made her return to the Spa where she competed twice in the Open in June. Though she didn't have much success in her two local starts, All Charged Up is enjoying a big season having won seven times coming into Friday's try. Driver Jay Randall moved the invader out early before yielding to the race's favorite Rock N Roll Rosie (Jim Devaux) who came into the feature with five wins in her seven local starts this season. The favorite did not have her 'A' game on Friday evening and when All Charged Up found room in the passing lane, she surged. Longshot rival Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) got away last in the field of seven but made a power move in the final quarter before coming up just shy of All Charged Up for the victory. Stylish Beachwhere (Wally Hennessey) finished third in the evening's feature. All Charged Up, whose win came in 1:54.1, was the second-choice in the wagering returning $6.20 to win. She led an exacta and triple that paid $88.50 and $332.50, respectively, with the favorite out of the number. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 12 race, star-studded card. The evening features the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace as well as New York Sire Stakes action for three year old pacing colts. The richest horse in harness racing history Foiled Again will be on hand to take part in the evening's sixth race and will be squaring off against defending Saratoga Horse of the Year Artful Way. In addition, there will be three Opens contested, each of which goes for a purse of $25,000 on the richest race card of the season at the Spa. There will be a $7,777 guarantee in the pick five pool on Saturday as well. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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