The favorites thrived in the $9,000 co-features for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky) brought a five-race win streak into his Wednesday try from the rail and was the public’s 4-5 betting favorite. The Chip Zombick Jr. trainee had a big summer while competing mostly in the Excelsior B division of the NY Sire Stakes and proved worthy in the $9,000 level at the Spa as he won in 1:57.2 last week with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. On Wednesday, Lucky June Bug was once again on the front-end and felt very little pressure in the early going. The three year old had longshot Royal Lady (Mark Beckwith) sitting on his back throughout the mile. That 30-1 outsider took her shot at the favorite in the stretch but had to settle for second-best as Lucky June Bug stopped the timer in 1:57.4 for his sixth victory in a row and ninth in fifteen starts in 2019. Though Lucky June Bug was the race’s odds-on favorite, the exacta with Royal Lady second paid $78.50.
The other $9,000 division of the co-features went the way of another odds-on favorite. Alek Chartrand’s Halliama (Conway Hall) drew the rail as he sought his third consecutive win. Content to sit the pocket, Halliama blasted by his race’s front-runner in the final furlong before trotting away to score in 1:58.1. The sophomore trotter is now five for eleven in the ’19 campaign leading up to a try in this Saturday night’s Excelsior A Final when he will go for a purse of $55,000.
Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino