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Harness racing trainer Kyle Spagnola and driver Phil Fluet won the Open Trot together for the third consecutive Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Though that feat is impressive enough, it is made all the more noteworthy due to the fact that the three Opens have been won by three different horses. Two weeks ago, Waiting On A Woman went coast to coast to win the trotting feature while Cash Me Out got the job done last week (Nov 9). On Monday, If Not Why Not (Muscle Mass) made his second career start in the local Open and drew post four for his try in the $10,000 co-feature. Fluet moved the Spagnola trainee out to the early lead and went unchallenged in a first half that went in 57.4. Pocket-sitting Gruden (Billy Dobson) got geared up to go around the final turn and gave If Not Why Not all he could handle in the stretch before coming up just shy in a mile clocked in 1:56.3.   If Not Why Not paid $12.60 in the mild upset and led an exacta with Gruden second that returned $24.40. Longshot TT's D-Jay was placed third after a disqualification and completed a $153.50 trifecta. If Not Why Not is owned by Mike Polansky of Loudonville, NY. The pacing half of the co-featured races on Monday went the way of a track superstar. Artful Way was Saratoga's first ever three-time Pacer of the Year when he earned the honors each season from 2016-2018, but the Jackie Greene-trained stalwart is still on the comeback trail following an injury sustained last season. With just a dozen starts to his credit over the last two years, Artful Way has been in the Open Pace every week for the last five and after a second and a third-place finish in his last two secured his first Open win of the season on Monday. Sitting the pocket to the 1-5 favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum), Artful Way took his shot around the final turn and had enough to get the better of the defending Pacer of the Year before stopping the timer in 1:54.1 for his first Open victory in more than eighteen months. Crockets Cullen N was the runner-up while Blaise MM Hanover (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. Artful Way, who is owned by Kellogg Racing Stables, LLC of Queensbury, NY and was piloted by Billy Dobson, paid $8.90 to win on Monday. Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a Noon start to the card. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

The track's defending Horse of the Year made his return to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday afternoon. The Kyle Spagnola-trained Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) was named the top horse of 2019 at the Spa but has spent much of his '20 campaign traveling to other harness racing tracks to compete. The winner of a local Open back in March and another in June, Cash Me Out had post eight in the $10,000 co-feature on Monday. Phil Fluet piloted the superstar trotter and marched him out early before making it to the top in a first quarter in 27.4. Cruising through a half in 56.2 without facing a challenge, Cash Me Out clicked off three quarters in 1:25.4. Never facing an anxious moment, Cash Me Out drew away to win by three lengths in 1:55.2. Stone In Love (Brian Cross) came from the back of the pack to finish second while Shake A Leg (Jay Randall) earned the show spot.   Cash Me Out paid $5.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $20 and $606, respectively. It was the second straight score in the local Open Trot for Spagnola and Fluet who teamed up for a victory with Waiting On A Woman in last Monday's (Nov 2) Open. Cash Me Out is owned by Mike Traylor of Ballston Spa, NY. The second half of the Monday double feature went the way of Olde Broadside (American Ideal). The Linda Flynn trainee won his first ever Open last month and following a pair of fourth-place finishes was dismissed at odds of 10-1 in Monday's installment of the $10,000 Open Pace. Alek Chartrand sat back patiently with Olde Broadside as the race's favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) set sizzling fractions on the engine. After the half went in 55 seconds, Olde Broadside made his move heading to three-quarters. The leader tired and the closers began to thrive. Olde Broadside charged hard to draw away by better than two lengths, stopping the timer in 1:52.2. Longshot Blaise MM Hanover (Jimmy Devaux) finished second while Artful Way (Billy Dobson) came on to be third. Olde Broadside paid $22.20 to win and started an exacta and triple that returned $184 and $1,585, respectively, in a race which was an upset-bettors delight. Olde Broadside, who has now accounted for both of Chartrand's career Open wins, set a lifetime mark on a beautiful autumn afternoon in Saratoga. The Open winner is owned by Francis Morse of Schuylerville, NY. Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a first post set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Harness racing driver Phil Fluet continued his strong stretch on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Fluet drove a pair of his trainees to victories on Monday's matinee at the Spa when he guided trotters Eternal Prince and Mystical Somolli to wins. On Tuesday, the 41 year old piled up three scores in the sulky including in the $4,800 conditional race with class-dropper No Ordinary Man (Betterthancheddar). The Meg Reynolds trainee had spent most of his post-shutdown time in the Open Pace, a level in which he was maybe a bit overmatched. After drawing post eight off the drop last week, No Ordinary Man got more class relief on Tuesday and subsequently was the public's 1-2 betting favorite. Although he had to work hard to get to the lead in a race that was hotly contested at the start, the four year old gelding proved up to the task, fending off rival Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) who despite being parked from the get-go fought gamely alongside No Ordinary Man throughout the mile. No Ordinary Man stopped the timer in 1:56 over a track that was sloppy on a rainy day in Saratoga Springs.   The victory was the fifth of the year for the young pacer who is owned by Daniel Gagliardi and Stuart Feintuck of Staten Island, NY but the first since the return from the quarantine shutdown. Fluet catch-drove 17-1 longshot Amazing Amanda to victory for trainer Linda Flynn on Tuesday as well as he recorded driving doubles in back-to-back days to begin his week. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga starting at 7:15pm. New York Sire Stakes take center stage as three year old trotting colts are featured in the first half of the race card. There is a Pick Five carryover of $3,959 on Wednesday with the Pick Five beginning in the evening's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Barn Star (Conway Hall) completed a sweep of the Holiday Trot Series when on Wednesday afternoon, the four-year-old parlayed a pocket trip to his third consecutive victory. Phil Fluet trains and drives Barn Star who scored in 1:58.2 in each of the two legs of the series leading up to Wednesday's $20,000 Final. CC Bank (Jimmy Devaux) cut the mile and cruised through a first half in 58.2 as Barn Star lurked in the two-hole. The race's 3-5 betting favorite closed quickly up the inside and powered past CC Bank to stop the timer in 1:59.3 and complete the series sweep. Longshot Duluth (Frank Coppola Jr) came on late to be second while CC Bank earned the show spot. Barn Star, who is owned by the Tommy N Dakota and Phil Fluet Stables, paid just $3.20 to win but led an exacta and triple that returned $33.60 and $118, respectively. The $10,000 Consolation of the Holiday Trot went to Kari-Sue Finn's Grandpa Erv who pulled off a mild upset at odds of 9-2 with Billy Dobson in the sulky. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon with first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Clear Idea (American Ideal) returned to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday afternoon to compete in the local Fillies and Mares Open. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare has been a winning machine throughout her career and prevailed in her lone try in the local Open back in August. On Thursday, Clear Idea had Phil Fluet piloting and was the public's odds-on choice in the wagering despite being assigned post six in the six-horse feature. With several leavers in the race, Clear Idea had to be taken back to last in the early going. She remained there in a first half that went in 57.1. The tempo quickened heading to three quarters and when it did, Clear Idea had a hard time keeping up to her cover while second-over. Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) closed in first-over on the race's tiring leader and when pocket-sitting Bye Bye Felicia, last week's Open winner, flew up the passing lane, it appeared those two were poised to tell the tale. Classy distaffer Clear Idea shifted gears a bit again in the stretch and surged up on the outside approaching the wire. When the dust settled, it was Clear Idea that emerged victorious in 1:55.3 over a track labeled 'sloppy.' Bye Bye Felicia was the runner-up while Come Get The Cash earned the show spot to keep her sensational "on the board" streak alive. The victory for Clear Idea was number 21 in 83 career starts for the five year old Macintosh trainee and was the second on the day for Fluet who won the undercard to the feature guiding longshot Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) to an upset score in the $14,000 Winners Over for fillies and mares. Surreal Feeling paid $33.40 to win while hanging on in 1:56.1. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

John Stark Jr's Xcuseme (RC Royalty) will head into next week's final of the John Mongeon Memorial Trotting Series as the big favorite. The three year old trotter cruised to his fourth consecutive harness racing victory on Wednesday's matinee card going back-to-back in the two legs of the series and staying undefeated in 2019. Xcuseme made pretty easy work of his competition as he coasted to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:58.1, the fastest time of the leg two winners. While Xcuseme was the most decisive of the leg two winners in the Mongeon Trot, he wasn't the only repeat victor. Living Proof I Am (Prayer I Am) also went back-to-back in the series' legs as he got up in the final strides on Wednesday to score in 1:58.3, matching his win time from last week which was a career best. Phil Fluet piloted the Andy Byler trainee to both of his series' scores. The other division of the second leg was won by Pumping Irony (Muscle Mass). The Eve Bergeron-trained trotter cruised to victory as the public's 1-5 betting favorite on Wednesday with Steve Genois in the sulky. A runner-up to Living Proof I Am in leg one, Pumping Irony recorded a convincing romp in 1:59 to punch her ticket to next week's final which will go for a purse of more than $30,000. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00 Noon.   Mike Sardella

Phil Fluet has thrived in Wednesday co-features in the early part of the 2019 harness racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran trainer-driver has piloted a host of his trainees to victories in the $9,000 races for New York sired trotters that have become the regular features on Wednesday matinees in the early stages of the '19 campaign. With horses such as Lady Macbeth and Notmeitsyou prevailing in multiple tries at that level this year, Fluet had another of his trainees add his name to the list of Wednesday feature winners this week as Kapow (Conway Hall) sprung the upset. Dismissed at odds of 41-1, Kapow picked up cover heading to three quarters and surged past his rivals in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:59.1 to be the fastest winner among the pair of co-features. Kapow, who paid $84.50 to win, had a second and third-place finish to his credit this season but Wednesdays' victory was his first of the campaign. Amazing Sevens (Frank Coppola Jr) went coast-to-coast in the other co-feature on the matinee card as the Margaret Spagnola trainee also recorded his first win of the year, scoring in 2:00.2. Fluet's Lady Macbeth came into that race off consecutive wins before taking a month off following an injury and finished third to Amazing Sevens. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Thursday afternoon with action starting at 12:00pm.   Mike Sardella

Veteran trotter Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) became a harness racing millionaire on Sunday afternoon as the superstar reached the career milestone after winning the feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Needing to win in his previous start to hit the million dollar mark, Cash Me Out came up second-best as the race's odds-on favorite. In Sunday's installment of the $15,000 Open Trot, Cash Me Out sat patiently in last in a field that was reduced to five participants following a scratch. Driver Phil Fluet moved the even money favorite to the outside approaching the half mile pole and while things didn't look very good for him heading to three quarters, Cash Me Out just kept plugging away. After collaring the leader in the stretch, the veteran was met with the challenge of rival Aberforth (Billy Dobson) who defeated him when they last squared off in the first shot Cash Me Out had at reaching millionaire status. Just when it appeared that Aberforth was going to get the best of the longtime Spa regular, he went offstride. Cash Me Out emerged victorious in 1:57.2 for his second Open Trot victory of the season and with the earnings from the win became racing's newest millionaire. A trotter that began his career as a star of the New York Sire Stakes, Cash Me Out has been owned since the beginning by the Traylor Racing Stable of Ballston Spa, NY. Kyle Spagnola, the trotter's current conditioner, is just the third trainer to ever have Cash Me Out come out of his barn. Aberforth was disqualified for the break in the stretch and subsequently Aplomb Hanover (Jordan Derue) was placed second on Sunday while longshot Justice Jet (Jay Randall) moved up to third. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:00pm first post. Mike Sardella  

Wednesday's matinee program at Saratoga Casino Hotel featured a trio of $9,000 events for New York sired trotters and for the second time in as many weeks, harness racing trainer-driver Phil Fluet thrived. Last week, Fluet scored one win and a couple of second-place finishes with his trainees but on Wednesday, he recorded a pair of winners. Lady Macbeth (Deweycheatumnhowe) was a repeat winner as she overcame a difficult trip to go back-to-back. Lady Macbeth was caught four-wide around the final turn but came charging hard to get past her rivals and stop the timer in 2:00.4. Her stablemate Notmeitsyou (Chapter Seven) has been a picture of consistency since coming to Saratoga last year and on Wednesday kept his long streak of finishing first or second going as he parlayed his pocket ride into a 2:00.2 score for Fluet. Lady Macbeth was her race's 7-5 betting favorite while Notmeitsyou's victory came while sent out at odds of 2-5. The Maureen Salino-trained Bonamassa (Muscle Mass) cruised to a wire-to-wire score in the final of the three co-features as the four year old mare prevailed in 1:59.4, the fastest time of the co-featured trotting races on the card. Brett Crawford piloted Bonamassa to her second win in three starts on the young season. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a Pick Five guarantee of $5,000 and a $25,000 guarantee to the triple pool in race five. First post time for the matinee is set for 12:00pm. Mike Sardella

Dragin The Wagon (Angus Hall) became the fourth different horse to win the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel in the last four installments of the regular Sunday feature when he went coast-to-coast. Phil Fluet trains and drives Dragin The Wagon who had finished second a handful of times this season but had yet to secure a victory in the local Open heading into Sunday's try in the $20,000 feature. Fluet moved the veteran trotter out to the early lead in what became a five-horse Open following a scratch. Dragin The Wagon enjoyed comfortable first-half fractions and after clocking lap one in 58.2 wasn't challenged until three quarters when the race's favorite Cash Me Out (Mark Beckwith) came out of third to pressure the leader. Dragin The Wagon proved to be too tough for his rivals on Sunday as he dug in to score his first local Open win of the season, stopping the timer in 1:57 over a track labeled 'good.' Cash Me Out came up second-best for the second time in as many Sunday's while Mandeville (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. Dragin The Wagon paid $9.70 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta with the favorite second that returned $21.60. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm start to the matinee. 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  

Tropical Storm Bi (Yankee Glide) parlayed his pocket ride to victory in Sunday's Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Tony Ciuffetelli trainee drew the rail in the $14,500 feature and driver Phil Fluet set up shop in the pocket behind the race's favorite Uva Hanover (Billy Dobson). Uva Hanover set comfortable fractions on the lead as a rain began to fall in Saratoga. First over threat Crazycat (Bruce Aldrich Jr) couldn't get by the front-running favorite but Tropical Storm Bi could. Once he got into the passing lane, Tropical Storm Bi surged by before drawing off to prevail in 1:57 for his second Open win of the season. The six year old gelding paid $7.70 to win. Last week's Open winner Crazycat was the runner-up on Sunday. Uva Hanover finished third while a beaten favorite for the second consecutive week. Tropical Storm Bi owns the fastest time of the year for any trotter at Saratoga as he scored in a dazzling 1:54.3 on a Sunday afternoon in May and has since established himself as a force in the local Open. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Monday's matinee at Saratoga Casino Hotel featured some big upsets by trotters. Miss Flora (SJ's Caviar) set her lifetime mark at the Spa last year when she trotted to a 1:55.4 score and on Monday made her return to town to compete in a $8,500 trotting event. The Mario Dessureault-trained Miss Flora was piloted by Phil Fluet and was dismissed at odds of 17-1 when she sprung into early action. The six year old mare made an easy lead and made it look easy going coast-to-coast to prevail in 1:56.2. Miss Flora paid $37.20 to win in her upset. While Miss Flora did surprise on the Monday card, she wasn't the biggest longshot to prevail, not by a longshot. A J Destiny drew the outside post in a low-level conditional trot and driver Barry Segel blasted the veteran trotter out to the early lead. A J Destiny cut the mile and never gave way before stopping the timer in 1:59.3 to score at odds of 29-1. While the $61.50 win payoff was the highest of the day, there was yet another big upset in a trotting race on Monday as Jackie Cantine's Im Not Vanilla shook loose late and got up to win in 1:57.3 at odds of 25-1. Im Not Vanilla returned $53.50 in his upset victory on a day where being a longshot was no problem for a host of trotters at Saratoga. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at the Spa with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Harness racing driver Phil Fluet had a big day on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran trainer/driver had a win and a second in the co-featured trotting races on the matinee card. Scarey Karie (Conway Hall), who spent much of her summer competing in the New York Sire Stakes, came into Thursday's $10,250 co-feature with earnings of over $60,000 for the year. Scarey Karie had little difficulty scoring a first-over victory on Thursday in 1:58.4 Fluet trains and drives the sophomore filly. Fluet's Item Eyes had a difficult journey in the other co-feature but did well to come from well off the pace to finish second to Mind Your Manners (Mickey McGivern). This mile for New York sired trotters went in the exact same 1:58.4 as did the other co-feature earlier in the day. Fluet had a driving double on the card as the Paul Zabielski-trained Best Shot N (Bettor's Delight) continued his local dominance. The New Zealand-bred pacer, who came to USA and to the Spa earlier this month, moved his record to three-for-three behind a career-best victory in 1:54.2. Fluet, who won the Johnny Page Award for top breakthrough driver at the Spa in 2014, currently sits seventh in the driver standings this season. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Scarey Karie (Conway Hall) prevailed in the $9,950 harness racing co-feature on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Phil Fluet trains and drives the filly who was fresh off a second place finish in a $40,000+ New York Sire Stakes try in her last start. On Thursday, Fluet moved the odds-on favorite out to the early lead, a lead she would never surrender. The sophomore stopped the timer in 1:58.1 for a new lifetime mark in the co-feature for New York sired trotters. In just twelve career starts, Fluet's Scarey Karie now has four wins and four seconds en route to more than $72,000 in earnings. Starlingmoon (Stephane Bouchard) pulled off the upset for the second straight week in the other co-feature as the Andy Byler-trained trotter came from well off the pace to prevail in a career best 1:58.2 at odds of 10-1. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Under The Stars (Yankee Glide) came from the clouds to win the harness racing 2016 Holiday Trot Final at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday evening. Frank McMahon trains the nine year old veteran campaigner whose second place finish in leg one of the series propelled him to Thursday's final. Phil Fluet piloted Under The Stars who got a second over trip behind the race's favorite Golden Stroke (Stephane Bouchard), the only trotter to score victories in each of the legs of the series heading into the $15,450 final. When Golden Stroke was tiring, Fluet guided Under The Stars to the far outside as front-running Tagmaster (Tony Ciuffetelli) was started to falter on the lead. Under The Stars got up to win in 2:00.1 on a cold December evening in Saratoga and did so at odds of 8-1. My Friend Charlie (Mark Beckwith), dismissed at odds of 10-1 came charging hard for second while Tagmaster held on to earn the show spot. Under The Stars returned $19.60 to win and started an exacta that paid $147 and a triple that came back $570. There are three race cards remaining in the 2016 campaign at Saratoga with racing on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 6:45pm and on Sunday with a matinee that kicks off at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

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