Larry Stalbaum wrapped up his training title at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday afternoon when his Big Box Hanover (Uncle Peter) scored impressively in the matinee’s feature. Stalbaum took home the award for both Trainer of the Year and Horseman of the Year after having just a sensational 2021 season at the Spa. On Monday, Big Box Hanover won the Open Trot for the third time since joining the Stalbaum stable in November. The four year old is wrapping up his third consecutive season of six-figure earnings and although he was a beaten favorite in the two installments of the Open leading up to Monday’s try, he proved up to the task in impressive fashion. Big Box Hanover wound up in the pocket behind aggressive and speedy leader Gigfy (Alek Chartrand) who has consistently finished second or third all year long and certainly of late. Gigfy tried to fend off Big Box Hanover in the stretch but his efforts were thwarted as the Stalbaum trainee cruised by to win in an impressive 1:54.2. Gigfy finished second while Xcuseme (John Stark Jr) earned the show spot. The win time serves as a new lifetime mark for Big Box Hanover whose Open victory was his third in six local tries. The winner is owned by the Red White & Blue Racing Stable of Matamoras, PA. Stalbaum’s Bucketlist Hanover completed a double for the Horseman of the Year as he came from off the pace to score in a $10,700 race for trotters.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon for closing day of the 2021 meet at Saratoga with racing set to resume on February 5, 2022. Closing day will feature a jackpot carryover of $9,370 in the Jackpot Super High Five which takes place in the afternoon’s finale. First post time on Tuesday is set for 12 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser