Pumping Irony (Muscle Mass) pulled off a mild upset in the $33,400 John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series Final contested at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday. Steve Genois piloted the Eve Bergeron trainee to a second-place finish in leg one of the series before going wire-to-wire in leg two leading up to her try in the final for the series that honors the memory of John Mongeon Sr, a longtime horseman at Saratoga. The final featured 1-5 betting favorite Xcuse Me (John Stark Jr) who hadn’t been defeated in his first four starts in 2019 heading into Wednesday’s tilt including his two tries in the series’ legs. Pumping Irony drew the rail for the final and wound up sitting the pocket to Xcuseme who hadn’t faced a formidable challenge in his first few starts on the campaign. Xcuseme cruised through a first half in an honest 58 seconds and was met with the challenge of a longshot approaching three-quarters. All the while, Genois sat patiently in the pocket with Pumping Irony before the passing lane opened up turning for home. One of just two mares in the field, Pumping Irony flexed her muscles in the stretch and surged by the big favorite to record the mild upset in a career-best 1:57.2. Xcuseme had to settle for second-best on Wednesday while Iamnotlefthanded (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Pumping Irony paid $12.40 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $28.40 and $73.00, respectively. The $15,000 consolation of the series went to Southwind Tinker who herself put in a career-best performance on Wednesday for trainer Dave Dewhurst and driver Jimmy Devaux, scoring in 2:00 in the consolation. Pumping Irony adds her name to the list of previous winners of the John Memorial Sr. Memorial Trotting Series which is comprised of Pop I, Order By Don, Quick Feet, Palmers Pride, Reigning Autumn, Spoiler Alert and now Pumping Irony.
Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee set to kick off at 12:00 Noon. There is a Pick Five carryover of $2.024. The Pick Five begins in race one.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino