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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TIOGA, N.Y. - Wins on Sunday in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga have the colt Hickfromfrenchlick and the filly Zero Tolerance riding a wave of harness racing momentum into their final New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) appearances. The 3-year-olds sit comfortably in the top tier of point earners with one leg of racing left for each before the Night of Champions at Batavia Downs. Trainer/driver/co-owner Ray Schnittker calls Hickfromfrenchlick's race on Sunday the horse's "best performance of the year." The colt pacer is more mature and a lot more sound on the track, according to Schnittker, and paced strongly through the wire in the Final in 1:48.4. Hickfromfrenchlick is a special horse for Schnittker out of the second crop of So Surreal, a horse he also campaigned. If he had to compare the two, Schnittker would say Hickfromfrenchlick is a little quicker while So Surreal may have the edge in the endurance department. Even so, he says, "both have a very high speed." Hickfromfrenchlick's next start is on Aug. 29 at Yonkers. He is staked to events at Hoosier Park later this fall and will head there following the NYSS Finals at Batavia on Sept. 14. Bred by Steve Jones, his career earnings are now $374,052 Joe Holloway, trainer of Zero Tolerance, says she has been excellent this year and showed a strong back half in the Final, finishing in 1:50.2. Her ability to adapt to any racing situation is a quality that's impressed him. "Her versatility is her biggest strength. I've had a lot of fillies and they've all had their particular quirks, but with Zero Tolerance, she's not dependent upon one racing strategy," said the newly inducted Hall of Famer. She is undefeated in New York this season with four NYSS victories to her name. Her next start will be at Batavia in the final leg of the NYSS, where she will look to hold on to her position as points leader in her division,and improve upon nearly $150,000 in earnings. Beyond the NYSS, Holloway has plans to race Zero Tolerance in Lexington and in the Breeders Crown. "If everything goes right, she'll have seven more starts this year," he said. As a 2-year-old, Zero Tolerance made a number of Grand Circuit appearances, most notably a second behind Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown Final. The daughter of Heston Blue Chip was bred by Winbak Farm and now owned by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz, she earned $485,813 on the track as a freshman and career earnings now total $839,986. From the New York Sire Stakes

The Friday night harness racing Open Pace for fillies and mares featured just a field of five at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The group of top-flight distaffers slugged it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and proved to be a romp for the race's favorite. Clear Idea (American Ideal) was a New York Sire Stakes star and has emerged as a top quality aged mare after following up a four year old campaign that saw her earn more than $100,000 with another season in 2019 in which she is set to eclipse that tally. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Friday night with driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Clear Idea surged out to the early lead in the feature and once she got there, it was lights out. After cruising through a first half in 57.1, Clear Idea powered away from her competition before stopping the timer in 1:53 for an open-length romp in the Open. Fellow invader Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the race's longshot but got the pocket trip behind the winner and parlayed it to a second-place finish while Itty Bitty (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Clear Idea's win was the 19th in 79 lifetime starts and moved her career earnings to over $528,000. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga. There will be a $1,438 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the evening's first race. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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

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

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

With no Fillies and Mares Open on the docket on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the $12,500 Winners Over for distaffers was the feature. After the morning line favorite got scratched, the featured field was cut down to five participants and it was Dale Lawton's Surreal Feeling (Jimmy Devaux) who wound up be the public's even money favorite. A winner of the local Open last month, Surreal Feeling is having a strong campaign and drew inside major danger Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith) who was fresh off a second-place finish in last week's Open at the Spa. The fractions were solid for the aforementioned tandem to close into and the race's frontrunner faded sharply when confronted by a first-over Surreal Feeling approaching three-quarters. Surreal Feeling opened up a bit after checking in at three-quarters in 1:24.3 but Bye Bye Felicia followed her cover into a striking position. Midway through the stretch, Bye Bye Felicia surged past the favorite before stopping the timer in 1:53.1 to record her first local victory on a beautiful night in the Spa City. For the Eric Beach-trained five year old, it was win number five on the season. Surreal Feeling was the runner-up while Pasultimatedelite N (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Bye Bye Felicia paid $7.60 to win in the feature and led an exacta with the favorite second that returned $13.40. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with NY Sire Stakes highlighting a 14-race card. Three year old colt and gelding pacers will be featured. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Cartier Volo (Cash Hall) has spent the last couple of months being a factor in Winners Over and Open Trot harness racing competition at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The five year old trotting mare is usually tasked with besting a group of top-flight boys and on Tuesday night, the Margaret Spagnola trainee was at it again. The lone lady in the $15,000 Open Trot, Cartier Volo did it unconventionally but scored her first ever Open win on Tuesday night. Frank Coppola Jr. is the regular reinsman for Cartier Volo and pulled her first over on front-runner Mister Muscle (Mark Beckwith) who was looking to overcome an early break while seeking his first Open victory. Mister Muscle had just enough to hit the wire first to hold off Cartier Volo and longshot Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper). Mister Muscle, though, made a break after the start and was deemed to have not obeyed the breaking rule. Subsequently, he was disqualified for failing to lose ground while on a break. Cartier Volo was thus placed first in the mile clocked in 1:56.2. Silent Pine moved up to second while Ulster (Jay Randall) wound up earning the show spot. Cartier Volo paid $12.80 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $162.50 and $467, respectively, as she bested the boys to record her first Open score. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.   Mike Sardella

For the second consecutive Saturday night, Beach Boogie (Somebeachsomewhere) won the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rene Allard trainee was assigned the outside post in the $15,000 five-horse feature and leading driver Billy Dobson sat behind the race's 1-5 favorite. Beach Boogie came from off the pace to win last weekend's Open in 1:51.3 but on this beautiful Saturday night in Saratoga Springs, the five year old cruised out to an easy lead. After carving out first half fractions of 27.3 and 56.1, Beach Boogie didn't face a challenge until pocket-sitter Century Endeavor (Gerry Mattison) charged up the passing lane in the stretch. The chase proved futile though and Beach Boogie stopped the timer in 1:51.3, once again, to record his second straight Saturday score at the Spa and the sixth consecutive Open win at Saratoga for the Allard stable. Century Endeavor came up second-best in his debut in the Open on Saturday while invader Summer Side (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Beach Boogie has now won five times in eleven starts in 2019. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

The Open wins just keep coming for trainer Rene Allard and driver Billy Dobson at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The red-hot tandem has now teamed up for five consecutive Open victories at the Spa. Following two Open wins on Gerrity night in July, Allard and Dobson won features last Friday and Saturday night, securing victories in the Fillies and Mares Open and the Open Pace. Eclipse Me N (Real Desire), who paced 1:51.4 on Gerrity night to become the fastest mare of the season at the Spa, cruised to a coast-to-coast victory in Friday night's $15,000 Open for distaffers as she made good at odds of 1-2 to move the Open streak to five. Dobson marched Eclipse Me N out to the early lead and they never looked back, cruising home to win in 1:52.2. Longshots Bye Bye Felicia (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and Spreester (Jimmy Devaux) finished second and third, respectively, in Friday's feature. Eclipse Me N's win was her seventh in fifteen starts in 2019. Dobson piloted another Allard trainee to victory on Friday as well as young pacer Robyn Camden (Art Professor) cruised to a career-best score in 1:53.2 at odds of 1-9 in a $7,500 conditional race for fillies and mares. Allard's Beach Boogie will likely be the favorite in Saturday night's Open Pace as the Allard-Dobson combo will look to extend the streak to six for consecutive victories in local Opens. Beach Boogie has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday's try in the Open. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. There is a Pick Five carryover of $1,303 in Saturday's Pick Five, a wager that starts in the evening's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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