Wednesday’s matinee featured two divisions of the second leg of the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel on a day where the favorites thrived. Rckaroundtheclock N (A Rocknroll Dance) became the only pacing mare to become a two-leg winner as she coasted to a career-best victory for Greg Merton on Wednesday. Rckaroundtheclock N has never lost a race at Saratoga and she moved her local win streak to five-for-five after a career-best 1:53 wire-to-wire victory in leg two of the series. Rckaroundtheclock N has led at every pole in every race in her brief time at the Spa and on Wednesday, the rising star cruised through a first half in 56 seconds before registering a measured one length score with Merton at the controls. Rckaroundtheclock N bested fellow leg one winner American Chance (Jimmy Devaux) who finished second to the 1-9 betting favorite in the series’ second leg to complete a chalky $3.00 exacta. Rckaroundtheclock N is the series’ clear one to beat heading into next Wednesday’s Final, which will go for a purse of upwards of $30,000. The five year old mare is owned by the Scheigert Racing Stable of Saratoga Springs, NY and trained by Amanda Kelley.
The runner-up to Rckaroundtheclock N in leg one wound up as the 1-9 public choice in her division of leg two as Clemmie Hanover (Roll With Joe) rode a hot streak into Wednesday try in the $10,000 second leg of the O’Brien Memorial. Trainer Dave Byer, who co-owns Clemmie Hanover with Jerry Hoffman, saw his stable star thrive once again on Wednesday. The four year old distaffer marched out to an easy lead with Brian Cross piloting before clicking off a first half in 58.2. Never facing an anxious moment, Clemmie Hanover paced away from her rivals in the second half of the mile before reporting home in a seasonal-best 1:55.4. With her most recent victory, Clemmie Hanover now has three wins and two seconds in her last five starts and has secured her spot in next week’s Final. Like A Peach (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket and held on to be second to Clemmie Hanover in leg two while Special Olivia (Alek Chartrand) came on to be third.
Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with first post time set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino