The 2016 Holiday Trotting Series kicked off on Thursday at Saratoga Casino Hotel for trotters who had compiled seasonal earnings of $12,500 or less as of 10/31/16. There were two divisions of the series each going for a purse of $6,000. Golden Stroke (Yankee Glide) worked hard early and moved to the lead while aggressively piloted by Stephane Bouchard in the first division on Thursday. The Eve Bergeron-trained trotter held on late to win in 1:59.3 for his second victory of the year. Golden Stroke had finished second or third in four of his previous six starts before becoming the public’s 6-5 favorite in leg one of the newly contested series at the Spa. Tony Ciuffetelli’s Tagmaster (Tagliabue) was the fastest of the leg one trotters as the 12 year old circled the field to prevail going away in 1:59.1 in the second division. Ciuffetelli owns, trains and drives the veteran high-stepper who surged past his rivals after making a big three wide move en route to his fourth win of the year and third in his last four starts. Leg two of the Holiday Trotting Series will take place next week with the final being contested during closing week of the ’16 racing season. The Holiday Pacing Series kicks off on Friday night. First post time on Friday is set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino