Heading into Saturday night, in two of the previous five installments of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season’s biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the $260,000 race that memorializes the longtime former Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Inc. Joe Gerrity Jr. Saturday night was the tenth installment of the race in his honor. The winner of the ’17 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and wound up as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of 26.2 and 53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure’s romp came by a margin of five and a half lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up on Saturday night while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the eight year old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal, QC, CA. Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively. Saturday’s star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing’s richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner’s circle at the conclusion of his conditional race at the Spa.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening with a first post time of 7:05pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino