Perfect Vixen & John Stark Jr.

The start to the season hasn’t been perfect for the Scott Mongeon-trained Perfect Vixen (Muscles Yankee) but it’s been close. The three year old filly came into the John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series as the one to beat after winning four races in five starts in the 2022 campaign. The clear favorite in the ninth annual installment of the Mongeon Memorial Series, Perfect Vixen set a lifetime mark in leg one scoring in 1:56.2 with John Stark Jr. in the sulky. After drawing post eight, the filly had to settle for a third-place finish in leg two while squaring off against a strong group of competitors. On Sunday, Stark wasted very little time moving the race’s 1-5 betting favorite out to the lead where she never encountered an anxious moment before scoring in 1:56.3 to cement her role as the one to knock off heading into next Sunday’s Series Final. Titan On the Rail (Mickey McGivern) closed well to be second and finished his legs of the series with a win and a pair of seconds. Gavinator (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot.

In the other $10,000 division of the series’ third leg, Charlatan Hanover (Uncle Peter) powered out to the early lead and the leg two runner-up rolled to victory from there. Wally Hennessey piloted Charlatan Hanover to the front-running win as the Gary Levine trainee punched his ticket to next Sunday’s Final behind a 1:58 score. The win was one of four on the afternoon for Hennessey.

Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga and will feature a Jackpot in the Pick Six that sits at $6,358 beginning in race eight. First post time is set for Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

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