The Finals for the Learn and Earn Series’ took place on Sunday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The series’ for two year olds were implemented this season to give freshmen horses a chance to compete against other freshmen with an opportunity to “earn while they learn.” There were four legs of each series leading up to Sunday’s Finals. The Learn and Earn Pace Final saw a bit of unique circumstances as the horse that hit the wire third wound up being placed first following a double disqualification. The favorite in the $13,400 Final was Sand Dollar (Jimmy Devaux) who was on the front-end and battling with rival Kissapotamus (Dustin Miller) around the final turn. Kissapotamus interfered with Sand Dollar causing him to leave the course while on a break. In the meantime, Diamonds Choice (Dan Daley), the longest shot in the wagering, came charging hard in the stretch. When the dust settled, Kissapotamus hit the line first while Sand Dollar came back onto the course to edge Diamonds Choice. Kissapotamus was subsequently disqualified for the interference but Sand Dollar was deemed to have gained ground while on the break and thus had to be placed behind Diamonds Choice. Dan Daley trains and drives Diamonds Choice who, when all was said and done, emerged victorious to spring the upset at odds of 21-1. Sand Dollar wound up being placed second while Kissapotamus was placed third. Diamonds Choice is owned by Ann-Mari Daley and Bukers Stable.
The Learn and Earn Trotting Series Final saw an early speed duel between the top two betting choices. The $12,700 Final of the four-leg Series saw the favored Wow Love (Dan Daley) get parked the mile by two-leg winner Miss Chip Away (John Stark Jr). As those two sparred, Family Riches (Met’s Hall) got her cue to tip three-wide from driver Billy Dobson and the freshman filly trotted into a commanding lead around the last turn. Family Riches, who is trained by Chip Zombick Jr for owner Mike Pozefsky, stopped the timer in 2:00.2, a career-best clocking for the two year old. Miss Chip Away held second while Wow Love salvaged the show spot.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 5pm first post.
Photo: Jessica Hallett
Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York