With no Open Trot on the docket, the $12,500 Winners Over for trotters served as the Tuesday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The track’s defending Trotter of the Year Ulster (Glidemaster) got his year started a bit late and after kicking off his 2019 campaign this spring hasn’t been quite as strong as he was in his award-winning season. Ulster was the race’s 6-5 betting favorite as he drew the rail for his try in the Tuesday feature. Mister Muscle (Muscle Mass) made his debut in the local Winners Over just one week after recording an impressive 1:55.1 victory in his first Spa start. The Melissa Beckwith trainee flashed speed on Tuesday and wound up in the pocket behind Ulster who set quick fractions on the front end. After getting a half in 57 seconds, Ulster clicked off three quarters in 1:25.4 and was pushed to the limit around the final turn. Mister Muscle cruised up the passing lane to secure the lead and held off the late charge from longshot Justice Jet (Brett Crawford) to stop the timer in 1:55.1 for the second consecutive week. Justice Jet was the runner-up while Ulster had to settle for third. Mister Muscle paid $8.40 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta with 13-1 shot Justice Jet that returned $87.50. The triple with the favorite third came back $343.
Live racing continues on Wednesday at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino