Monday afternoon featured two divisions of the first leg of the “Bullet” Bob Meyer Memorial Trotting Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The series is the trotting compliment to the Charlie Hoffman Pacing Series which kicked off on Sunday at the Spa. The series’ formerly called the “Holiday Series” have been renamed this year to honor the two longtime fixtures at the Spa. The Bob Meyer Trot first leg had two divisions on Monday with each division going for a purse of $10,000. With late board backing, Jackie Cantine’s Im Not Vanilla (Chocolatier) was the 3-2 betting favorite in the first division contested on the matinee card. Driver Brett Beckwith sat patiently in the early going with Im Not Vanilla as the race’s leader Riverofroyalty (Brett Crawford) carved out the fractions. Riverofroyalty built what looked to be an insurmountable lead around the final turn but that’s when the eleven year old veteran Im Not Vanilla shifted gears and came storming home in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:59.4. The victory was the third on the season for Im Not Vanilla who is owned by Jeff Cantine of Ballston Spa, NY.
The other leg of the series saw Amazing Sevens (Chapter Seven) go coast-to-coast in 2:01. Driver Phil Fluet worked hard to get the Margaret Spagnola-trained trotter to the lead in the early stages on Monday. Amazing Sevens got a strong middle-half breather while just mildly contested by the race’s favorite Itsoneofthose (Jimmy Devaux) before drawing away to win in 2:01. Jeter’s Way (Brett Beckwith), another Cantine trainee, finished second while Itsoneofthose had to settle for third. Amazing Sevens completed a grand slam for driver Phil Fluet who piloted two winners for both Margaret Spagnola and Kyle Spagnola, including one in the $15,000 Open Trot with Kyle’s Cash Me Out. Fluet now sits just two victories away from reaching the 1,000 win plateau for his career after his huge Monday afternoon in the sulky.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a first post time set for noon.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy