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Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) continued to cement his case to be harness racing 'Horse of the Year' at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday afternoon. The Scott Mongeon trainee won for the 13th time of the season after getting a pocket trip in the $19,500 Open Trot. Twisted Pretzel has been a picture of consistency this year and after riding the coattails of rival Bobs Hope (Billy Dobson) throughout the mile on Sunday, hit the line first in 1:56 after Bobs Hope made a break late in the stretch. Keystone Ace came on to finish second and following the disqualification of Bobs Hope from third, last week's Open winner Stirling Cadet (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Of the thirteen seasonal wins for Twisted Pretzel, six of them have come in the Open Trot. Jimmy Devaux swept the Opens this weekend as his win while sitting behind Twisted Pretzel followed up Friday night's victory with longshot One Over Par in the Fillies and Mares Open and the win in Saturday's pacing feature with Rocknroll Wildcats. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) is enjoying a harness racing career year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Sunday, the Scott Mongeon-trained trotter won for the eleventh time on the season. Jimmy Devaux piloted Twisted Pretzel in Sunday's $18,000 Open Trot and positioned him in the pocket behind the favored Up The Alley (Mark Beckwith). Those two drew away from their rivals around the final turn and the seven year old Twisted Pretzel had little difficultly cruising by to win in 1:55. That time serves as a new lifetime mark for Twisted Pretzel who won the Open Trot for the fourth time this season matching Cash Me Out for most among highsteppers. On Sunday, Twisted Pretzel was the 9-5 second choice in the betting and bested the favored Up The Alley who was seeking his second consecutive Sunday score in the feature. Lucid Thoughts (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) has been the king of the trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year. The Scott Mongeon trainee has had a breakout harness racing season in his seven year old campaign and on Tuesday night, recorded his third Open Trot win of the year. Jimmy Devaux blasted Twisted Pretzel out from post position eight and made the early lead. After the favorite Smalltownthrowdown (Billy Dobson) yielded the lead to him, Twisted Pretzel got a nice breather in the middle half and reached three quarters in 1:26.4. Up The Alley (Mark Beckwith) took his shot first over and drew nearly even with Twisted Pretzel at one point before the leader held firm and hit the wire first in 1:55.3. Up The Alley finished second while Smalltownthrowdown earned the show spot. It was the tenth victory of the year for Twisted Pretzel who has earned most of his wins either in the Open or Winners Over levels. Because of his post position, Twisted Pretzel was dismissed at odds of 10-1 in Tuesday's winning effort. He led an exacta and triple that paid $107 and $390.50, respectively. Though the year is still young, Twisted Pretzel has certainly become the front-runner for Trotter of the Year at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Wednesday night with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) has been the most consistent trotter all year at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Sunday, the Scott Mongeon trainee won for the eighth time in 2017. Starting from the outside post in the $14,500 Open Trot, Twisted Pretzel flashed some early speed and wound up situated in fourth in the early going. Jimmy Devaux moved the rising trotting star first over approaching the half and after he took over, Twisted Pretzel took off. Met with the late challenge of the favored Tirade Hanover (Bruce Aldrich Jr), Twisted Pretzel held firm and scored in 1:55.1. The final time served as a new lifetime mark for the seven year old and also matched the fastest time for any trotter this year at Saratoga. Tirade Hanover was a strong second in his local debut while Boli (Wally Hennessey) kept his "on the board" streak alive by finishing third. Twisted Pretzel was dismissed at odds of 9-1 and returned $21.20 to win. The exacta and triple came back $59.50 and $185, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) has been one of the top trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel this harness racing season and on Sunday afternoon won for the seventh time in 2017. The Scott Mongeon trainee has been a force in the Open Trot this season and on Sunday moved into the $15,000 Winners Over. Jimmy Devaux has been the regular driver for Twisted Pretzel who assumed the early lead in the feature. Forced to park out a rival from the start, the race's 8-5 betting favorite clicked off first half fractions of 27.3 and 56.1. The seven year old trotter had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive as he turned away pocket sitter On The Podium (Bruce Aldrich Jr) en route to victory in 1:55.4. On The Podium was the runner-up while longshot Tropical Storm Bi (Frank Coppola Jr) came on for third. It was win number seven in seventeen seasonal tries for Twisted Pretzel who completed a training double for conditioner Scott Mongeon. Live racing resumes on Tuesday afternoon with an Independence Day matinee set to begin at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Twisted Pretzel (Crazed) won his first career Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday afternoon. The Scott Mongeon-trained seven year old came into the race off back to back victories and was assigned post position two in the $13,000 feature. Invader J A T O (Stephane Bouchard) moved out to the early lead and held that advantage until turning for home. That's when Twisted Pretzel stepped on the gas and powered past J A T O en route to his sixth win of the season. Jimmy Devaux piloted the trotter to each of his three most recent scores. The race's favorite Boli (Wally Hennessey) came flying in the stretch but was too late to get the job done and had to settle for second while J A T O held to settle for third. Twisted Pretzel, whose win came in 1:55.3, paid $19.60 in the upset. The exacta and triple came back $74.50 and $207, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday with a matinee set to begin at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

The Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame & Museum Announces it's Annual Harness Racing Induction Ceremony/Open House, Tuesday June 14, 2016 at the Museum- 352 Jefferson St, Saratoga Springs, NY. The museum is located off the Jefferson St. Entrance to Saratoga Casino Hotel.   This year's inductees are Dave Spagnola, trainer & Ackbro Ms Perfect, horse.   Spagnola, a longtime local trainer is the leader in all time training wins at the Spa Oval .    Dave Spagnola Dave Spagnola grew up on the family farm in Ft Johnson, NY.  Along with their riding horses, the family had harness horses trained by Bert and Yves Breton at Saratoga, developing his interest in racing at an early age. During his high school years he worked for Yves Breton, and after graduating he started working for Earl Bean. He spent a few years working for the Simser’s in Florida and even more with Jimmy Richards, working his way up from groom to assistant trainer before striking out on his own in 1986. He had a one horse stable with claiming pacer ID Guy, who he improved to 8-8-0 in 20 starts. Dave’s philosophy has always been that you put the time into the horse first to get results; you’re not rewarded with good performance up front. More owners and the 1987 Peerless McGrath award for up and coming trainer followed. Dave trained 1988 3YO Pacer of the year Vic’s Fortune, and was voted USWHA’s trainer of the year for 3 consecutive years 1989-1991. He would repeat that honor another 4 times in 1993, 1998, 2000 and 2001. 2002 marked the fourteenth year in a row his UTRS training percentage was over 300. Dave credits his longevity to having great owners over the years, and also his collaboration with Saratoga Hall of Fame driver Frank Coppola.  The two were roommates early in their careers, and both had the same viewpoint that you had to help your horses last throughout the yearly meet. Frank always gave a lot of solid facts about a horses condition, owners used Dave to train because Frank was a steady driver for him. Other notable Spagnola trainees include Amazing Grace who was 3YO Trotter of the Year in 2007 and $7500-10,000 claiming pacer of the year Artiology, with owner Michael Polansky. Dave’s stats to date are 7,385 LT starts for a record of 1,225-1,153-1,086 and $5,121,203 in purses (approx. since 1992) His stable today stands at about 30 horses, he likes training young trotters, and along with longtime owner Michael Polansky has several broodmares.    Ackbro Ms Perfect, owned by Dan & Steve Ackerknecht, and trained by Scott Mongeon was the 2007 Trotter of the Year.    Ackbro Ms Perfect   Ackbro Ms Perfect was foaled in 2003, a bay trotting mare by Credit Winner out of Lady Lindy. She was the third foal of Lady Lindy, a mare whose promising career had been cut short by injury at a young age. Dan Ackerknecht, convinced that she would make a good broodmare prospect, approached his brother Steve to get into the breeding business and chose upcoming NY sire Credit Winner to cover her in 2002. The pair approached longtime Saratoga trainer Scott Mongeon to break and train the filly, he would also become her regular driver for her stellar career. He remarked that she was built long and lean with great conformation, never made breaks and never wore trotting hopples. Ackbro Ms Perfect broke her maiden at Saratoga in a NYSS 2YO Filly Trot in July of 2005. She ended her 2 YO campaign with 8 starts 3-1-1 and $57,508 in purse money. The 3 wins were in the NYSS, finishing fourth in the late closer (now excelsior) final at Monticello. The 2006 campaign was a year of solid performances for the always well-mannered filly. She was undefeated in 5 NYSS starts, setting a track record of 1:56.3 at Saratoga.  She finished the year 8-1-2 for 15 starts with $137,531 in purses and a third place finish in the NYSS Night of Champions Final at Saratoga. 2007 turned out to be the breakout year for Ackbro Ms Perfect. She continued her winning ways now competing in the Open Trot classes at Saratoga, she turned in solid efforts week after week finishing the season with 36 starts for a record of 8-6-4 and $86,000 in earnings.  She was awarded both Aged Trotter of the year and Trotter of the Year by USHWA at year’s end. Ackbro Ms Perfect finished her career with stats of 38-26-17 for 157 starts and earnings of $389,165. Her 3YO mark of 1:56.3H was her fastest. Both Steve and Dan are grateful to Scott Mongeon and the Mongeon family for doing such a wonderful job with her over the years.   In addition we will be presenting the sixth annual Virginia O'Brien Memorial 110% Award. This award honors individuals who devote their life to the pursuit of the sport of harness racing, such as a groom or backstretch worker, who might not otherwise be in the limelight. The nominees are chosen by their peers from the Saratoga Harness Horseperson's Association.   The gates will open for the event at 5:30 pm, with the ceremony starting at 6:30 pm. Refreshments and light food will be served.   For more information contact Director, Dave Oxford at 518-526-3138 or email:    

With at least five months in between starts, local Columbus harness racing trainees Quick N' Slick & Southwind Pepino might not be ready to dominate the open ranks at Scioto Downs Racino today (Friday, May 10) but their trainers believe in their horses' abilities.

A couple of super talented three year old harness racing fillies squared off on Thursday night at Saratoga as Curtsy Hanover (Cantab Hall) and Crazy About NY (Crazed) competed in a $5,000 non-winners of two race lifetime trot.

Ballston Spa (New York) harness racing trainer Margaret Spagnola had a monster night on Wednesday (September 5) at Saratoga as she added four wins to her season's total.

Vernon Downs celebrated its second harness racing track record performance of the weekend after the undefeated For A Dancer delivered a 1:56 victory in a division of Saturday's $121,591 New York Sires Stake that trimmed one-fifth of a second off the previous local standard for 2-year-old trotting fillies.

The open trot, the regular Friday night harness racing feature, took a back seat this week at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the Battle of Saratoga #8 trotting series final was on center stage on a scorching night at the Spa.

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