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With no Open Trot being contested on Sunday, the $15,000 Winners Over trot served as the feature on the matinee card. Many of the participants of the Winners Over were droppers from the Open so the race had the feel of a regular Sunday feature. Phil Fluet's Dragin The Wagon (Angus Hall) had been the runner-up in the Open four times in his last six starts but the drop to Winners Over led to the end of his seconditis as the eight year old trotter went coast-to-coast in 1:55.1. Dragin The Wagon utilizes his early speed pretty much weekly and did just that as he cruised to an easy lead on Sunday. Facing very little pressure in the middle half of the mile, Dragin The Wagon was met with the challenge of Cash Me Out (Mark Beckwith), another Open dropper, who powered up alongside the leader around the final turn. Those two squared off while pocket-sitter Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray), fresh off of being the favorite in the Open in back-to-back weeks, began to fade from the scene. Dragin The Wagon dug in and held off Cash Me Out to record the victory while Wings Of Royalty earned the show spot. Dragin The Wagon paid $6.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $25 and $79, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) is a new addition to the Larry Stalbaum stable as the New Zealand import made his USA harness racing debut just a couple of weeks ago. Last Saturday night (Oct 6), Crockets Cullen N came to Saratoga Casino Hotel for the first time and made an immediate impact, winning in 1:52.1. This weekend, it was up into the Open Pace for Stalbaum's new acquisition and Crockets Cullen N again proved up to the task. First-over on veteran leader JK Panache (Jimmy Devaux), Crockets Cullen N surged by heading to three quarters and paced a third panel in 27 seconds before clearing the lead. The favored Mar Nien A (Jay Randall) followed the cover of Crockets Cullen N but had to settle for second as the Stalbaum trainee scored in 1:51.4, a new lifetime best. Crockets Cullen N paid $13.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $35.20 and $241.50, respectively. The Australian invader Mar Nien A had been three-for-three since moving to the stable of trainer Amanda Kelley but was the runner-up in Saturday's $18,000 Open Pace. JK Panache earned the show spot. Stalbaum piloted three winners on the card. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

The Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel consisted of just five participants as the track's top distaffers slugged it out for their share of a $16,000 purse. The Fillies and Mares Open proved to be a rematch in the stretch from last week between Sally Fletcher A (American Ideal) and Happy Heart (Woodstock). Last weekend, Happy Heart got up in the final stride to prevail at odds of 26-1 while Sally Fletcher A had to settle for second. In Friday's installment of the $16,000 Open, Sally Fletcher A (Bruce Aldrich Jr) moved first-over and powered past the race's leader before again being confronted by Happy Heart (Brian Cross) in the stretch. This week, though, it was the Jose Godinez-trained Sally Fletcher A who would hit the line first, scoring in 1:53.4 for her sixth win of the season. Returning $11.60 to win, Sally Fletcher A started an exacta which was rounded out by Happy Heart that paid $62.00. YS Tallia (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. The win was the second of the season in the local Fillies and Mares Open for Sally Fletcher A and fifth for Godinez who scored three victories in the Friday feature early in the meet with distaffer Betabcool N. Live racing continues on Saturday evening at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were five divisions of the first leg of the Jim Derue Memorial Trotting Series contested on Monday's matinee card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Each division went for a purse of $10,000 and was comprised of trotters five years old and younger with lifetime earnings of less than $40,000 ($50,000 for fillies and mares.) Barn Star (Conway Hall) was the fastest among the leg one winners of the series as trainer-driver Phil Fluet, who acquired the three year old trotter recently, piloted him to a first-over win in 1:57.1. The sophomore debuted for new connections off a 1:57.1 victory at Batavia and matched that effort on Monday afternoon while the public's 2-5 betting favorite. Invader Silver Buckeye went coast-to-coast in his local debut on Monday as he cruised to victory in a career-best 1:57.4 with leading driver Billy Dobson in the bike. The Rene Allard-trained Silver Buckeye took advantage of a couple of his rivals making breaks in the mile en route to his score in the first leg of the series. The win was one of four on the card for Dobson. Maureen Salino's Bonamassa (Brett Crawford) and Melissa Beckwith's Coach Cummings (Mark Beckwith) were mirror images of each other in the series' first division as they pulled off upsets. Both sophomores stopped the timer in 1:59.3 and did so as longshot winners while dismissed at odds of 13-1. The final division of the day went to Shortie Joe who toughed it out first-over for trainer-driver John Stark Jr. Shortie Joe prevailed in his third start at the Spa following runner-up finishes in his first two local races. Leg two of the Derue Memorial Trot will take place on Sunday afternoon with the $38,200 Final being contested the following Sunday, October 21st. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Syaratoga Raceway  

Lachie Maguire N (Bettor's Delight) returned to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday with two second-place finishes to his credit in his last two starts. The harness racing Jose Godinez trainee was the runner-up in his most recent try at Yonkers after finishing second in his previous start in the Saratoga Open. On Saturday, Lachie Maguire N powered out to the early lead with Bruce Aldrich Jr. in the sulky but gave way to JK Panache (Shawn Gray) approaching the opening quarter. JK Panache, who was riding a two-race win streak as he returned to the local feature on Saturday, clicked off a first half in 56.1 without facing a challenge. With the 4-5 betting favorite Lachie Maguire N riding his coattails, JK Panache checked in at three quarters in 1:23.3. Aldrich popped the pocket turning for home and Lachie Maguire N got the better of JK Panache in a mile clocked in 1:51.4. The win in the $18,000 Open was victory number six on the year for Lachie Maguire N. JK Panache was the runner-up while Deetzy came on to finish third. The exacta in the feature paid $17.60 while the triple came back $54.50. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee starting at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

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  

There were two divisions of $10,700 trotting events for New York-sired trotters featured on Thursday's harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Jackie Greene's Weekend Wit Bigd (Lucky Chucky) was looking to repeat on Thursday and was the public's 7-5 top choice as she drew post position two with Frank Coppola Jr. sitting behind. Weekend Wit Bigd thrived for the second consecutive Thursday afternoon as she went coast-to-coast for her fifth victory of the season. The sophomore filly stopped the timer in 1:59.2, holding off major danger and pocket-sitter Miss Muscle (John Stark Jr) who had to settle for second just one start after finishing fourth in the $55,000 Excelsior Final at Saratoga almost two weeks ago. The other division of the co-features saw filly Youcouldbethatgirl (Credit Winner) go coast-to-coast with leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky. Youcouldbethatgirl joined the Gary Levine just two weeks ago and prevailed in her first start for new connections, wiring the field in 1:59.1. Following a difficult journey in her last try, Youcouldbethatgirl returned to the front end on Thursday and returned to the winner's circle after stopping the timer in 1:59. Paying $13.00 to win, Youcouldbethatgirl held off the first over bid from rival Shortie Joe (John Stark Jr) who had to settle for second place for the second consecutive week. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Artful Way is the two-time defending Pacer of the Year and reigning Horse of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Saturday night, the track's standout harness racing pacer made the familiar trek to the winner's circle once again. The Jackie Greene-trained Artful Way recorded his sixth win in the local Open Pace on Saturday night as the six year old went coast to coast in the $18,000 feature. Frank Coppola Jr. marched the local star out to the early lead in a first quarter of 27.1 but then got to back the tempo down a bit before reaching the half in 56.3 and checking in at three quarters in 1:25.1. Artful Way stopped the timer in 1:53 in what was his thirteenth victory of the season, nearly half of which have come in the local Open. Invader Military Master A (Mark Beckwith) shook loose late and flew up the inside for second while All Artist (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot in the Saturday feature. Artful Way, who was the public's 3-5 betting favorite in the win, became the second horse to record six Open Pace victories this season at the Spa joining Carolina Beach who last won the local feature earlier in the month. The race between those two for 2018 Pacer of the Year is something to watch as we move forward into the final few months of the racing season at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Seventimesavirgin (Always A Virgin) made her local harness racing debut on Friday night while competing in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A superstar in her "younger" years, Seventimesavirgin earned just shy of a half million dollars in her two and three year old campaigns. The five year old mare came to the Spa for the first time on Friday to compete in the evening's $16,000 feature for trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Billy Dobson got the driving assignment and the meet's leading driver sat patiently in last with the mare who was backed by the bettors to the tune of odds of 1-5 in the five-horse feature. After the first half was paced in 56.2, Seventimesavirgin began to move from last, flushing out the cover of Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr). Spreester moved first over and powered past the leader, grinding that one into submission at the head at the stretch. Seventimesavirgin tipped off her cover in the stretch and got up in time to edge Spreester for the win, a victory that came in 1:53.3. Spreester was the runner-up in the Open for the second consecutive Friday night while last week's winner Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith) came on to earn the show spot. For Seventimesavirgin, it was victory number five on the season and an incredible 28thin 59 lifetime starts. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were co-features on the Thursday card at Saratoga Casino Hotel for New York sired trotters and each of the three divisions went for a purse of $10,000. Time Is Fleeting (Lucky Chucky) was the fastest of the three winners and also paid the biggest price among the trio of co-features. Jimmy Devaux piloted Time Is Fleeting for trainer Dave Dewhurst and worked hard early in the mile to secure a pocket trip for the three year old who spent much of his summer competing in the Excelsior B division of the New York Sire Stakes. Time Is Fleeting surged in the passing lane as the race's favorite began to tire on the lead in the stretch and came on to win in 1:58.1, a new lifetime mark. Dismissed at odds of 7-1, Time Is Fleeting gave Dewhurst and Devaux their second winner on the matinee card as they teamed up earlier in the day for a victory with trotter Good Luck Ginny. The other co-features on the program were won by driver Frank Coppola Jr. who piloted Weekend Wit Bigd and Northeaster to front-running scores on Thursday. Both trotters stopped the timer in 1:59.3. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were eight Finals of the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series contested on the Sunday harness racing matinee card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Two trainers each won two of the Finals that went for purses of $55,000. Chris Oakes emerged victorious in two of the afternoon's co-features as his trainees prevailed in the Excelsior Final for three year old pacing fillies and two year old pacing colts. Oakes' Special Kay Deo (American Ideal) drew the rail and the sophomore filly was piloted by Tyler Buter. Special Kay Deo pulled off the mild upset when she parlayed her pocket ride to victory in 1:53.2, the fastest clocking for any of Sunday's Excelsior winners. Oakes' Cal (American Ideal) also sat the pocket before prevailing on Sunday as the two year old gelding scored in 1:54.3 with Jason Bartlett in the sulky. Erv Miller trained two of the Excelsior Final winners as his Michando (Muscle Mass) pulled off the matinee's biggest upset. Marcus Miller piloted the three year old trotting filly who was dismissed at odds of 39-1. Michando was yet another to spring the pocket en route to a Sunday Excelsior score, stopping the timer in 1:57.1. Miller's Heavens Challenge (Rock N Roll Heaven) scored the win in the two year old filly pace Final as Jim Morrill Jr. sat behind the freshman as she prevailed in 1:54.4 while upsetting at odds of 9-1. Maureen Salino's Lifetime Credit (Credit Winner) won the two year old filly trot Final, prevailing in 1:59.2 with John Stark Jr. in the sulky while Anette Lorentzon trainee Labadee As (Conway Hall) scored in the two year old colt and gelding Final in 1:57.3. Labadee As was driven to victory by Brian Sears. The Ed Hart-trained Thor De Vie (So Surreal) lengthened his win streak to four when he scored on the front end to give reinsman Jason Bartlett two wins on the day. Thor De Vie held off the late bid from Imstaynalive (Bruce Aldrich Jr) to prevail in 1:53.4. The three year old colt and gelding trot went the way of Nows The Moment (Credit Winner) who overcame a slow start before scoring in 1:57 with Shane Taggart in the sulky. The Allison Mac Donald trainee's win was his seventh on the season. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Mar Nien A (Rock N Roll Heaven) prevailed in his first start for new connections last Saturday night (Sept 15th) when he parlayed a pocket trip to victory in 1:51.1 at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Amanda Kelley trainee moved up into the $15,000 Open Pace this weekend and despite the step up, was the public's 1-5 betting favorite. Jay Randall sat behind the six year old Australian invader who had just four starts under his belt in the USA before his try in the Saturday Open. Randall sat back patiently with the big chalk in a first half that went in 55.3. Mar Nien A made his move heading to three quarters before tipping off the cover of rival Lachie Maguire N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and powering past his rivals to draw away to win in 1:52 on a chilly evening in the Spa City. Lachie Maguire N was the Open's runner-up while All Artist (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Mar Nien A was purchased by the Scheigert Racing Stable, LLC just a few weeks ago and the expensive investment is already beginning to pay dividends as the six year old gelding appears to be one that will be a force in the local Open moving forward. The 1-5 favorite led an exacta and triple in the feature that came back $14 and $40.20, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 15-race card highlighted by eight New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Finals, each of which will go for a purse of $55,000. First post time is set for 12:15pm. 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

There were three $9,000 trotting events on the matinee card at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday afternoon. The co-features were for New York sired trotters and Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner) was the fastest of the winners. Trainer Homer Hochstetler has done very well with his group of young trotters when they've come to town this season as the conditioner is training at close to a .500 UDRS average at Saratoga this year. On Thursday, the veteran added a pair of wins to his total as young trotter If I Must prevailed early in the card and Missus Mia Wallace completed his training double with a wire-to-wire romp in the one of the co-features. Bruce Aldrich Jr, who piloted both of Hochstetler's Thursday winners, moved Missus Mia Wallace out to the early lead and the sophomore filly never looked back. After not facing an anxious moment in the race's first half, Missus Mia Wallace continued to travel unopposed before completing the win in 1:57.4, her third victory on the campaign. The other co-features were won by Youcouldbethatgirl (Credit Winner) and Pain In The Mass (Muscle Mass). Youcouldbethatgirl prevailed in her first start out of the Gary Levine stable with Billy Dobson in the sulky. The three year old filly stopped the timer in 1:59.1 in her front-running score. Pain In The Mass (Muscle Mass) drew the rail on Thursday coming off a victory in the NY Sire Stakes Excelsior B. Driver Mickey Mc Givern cut the mile with Pain In The Mass and the young filly held strong in the stretch before scoring in 1:58.2 in what was her third victory in 2018. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Ulster (Glidemaster) won his seventh Open Trot of the season on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Amanda Facin trainee went coast-to-coast to spring the mild upset. Ulster marched out to the early lead in the $14,500 feature with regular reinsman Jay Randall at the controls. After going untested in a first half trotted in 57.1, Ulster had plenty left for the final lap. The race's 1-5 betting favorite and last week's Open winner were both uninvolved early and it cost them late as the speed held in the Open. Ulster wired the field in 1:54.3, the fastest of his seven Open scores this season. Longshot Judy The Beauty (Jimmy Devaux) sat the pocket and finished second while Charmed Life (Billy Dobson) came from last to finish third. Ulster, who was Randall's third winner of the day, paid $16.00 in Sunday's score and led an exacta and triple that came back a hefty $131.50 and $728, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm.   Mike Sardella

A veteran presence prevailed in the Saratoga Casino Hotel Open Pace on Saturday night. The back to back defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa Artful Way (Artistic Fella) came into Saturday's tilt as a five-time Open Pace winner this harness racing season but has hit a little cold streak of late, by his standards. Despite the fact that the Jackie Greene trainee hadn't won a local Open since the first weekend of June, the classy veteran was still the public's betting favorite in the feature. Frank Coppola Jr. blasted Artful Way out early and after clearing the lead, gave way to last week's Open winner Carolina Beach (Wally Hennessey). Riding that one's coattails throughout, Artful Way surged up in the inside to score in the $14,500 feature, recording the win in 1:52.1. While the favorite prevailed, the race's longshot was the runner-up as All Artist (Billy Dobson) tipped off cover and ended up second-best in his debut in the local feature while dismissed at odds of 28-1. The winningest horse in the local Open Pace this year, Carolina Beach had to settle for third this week. Artful Way was the 6-5 favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $61.50 and $375, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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