On Saturday night, trainer Joe De Carlo scored his biggest win of the year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. De Carlo has a talented and diverse stable which competes as often at Yonkers as it does locally but has done a lot of its damage at the Spa in the last few months. Saturday’s $31,500 Final of the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series saw De Carlo’s Nashurallability go off as the 1-9 betting favorite After all, the four year old mare had gone three-for-three since joining her new barn last month and dominated her two races in the O’Brien series. Drawing the rail for the final gave the up-and-coming Nashurallability every chance to flash her early speed and be on the engine as she sought the biggest win of her young career. Driver Chris Long sat behind the favored mare as she moved her record to four-for-four for De Carlo scoring in the final for fillies and mares in a career best-matching 1:54.3. Nashurallability has earned just shy of $30,000 in her four local starts and is stamping herself as the top lady pacer in a stable full of talented male pacers and trotters.
While Nashurallability was the Saturday star this week for the De Carlo barn, the stable’s normal Saturday standout is In The Huddle. A $12,500 claim last year, In The Huddle has now established himself as a top flight Open Pacer. Enjoying immediate success after the claim, In The Huddle won six out of his first eight starts out of the De Carlo barn culminating in a win in the Open Pace late last season. After a breakout campaign in which he earned over $83,000, In The Huddle became a Yonkers regular in the early stages of 2017. Having a big first full year under the guidance of De Carlo, In The Huddle recorded victories in his first two starts in the local Open Pace and the five year old is quickly stamping himself as one of the track’s top pacers. The rising star was scratched sick out of his last start but it won’t be long before we see In The Huddle back at the line of scrimmage and rolling in Saturday features at the Spa as the De Carlo stable star establishes himself as the one of the top pacers at the Spa in ’17.
De Carlo started another pair of young pacers on Saturday night in what was a busy night for the stable. While stablemate Nashurallability was prevailing in the O’Brien Final, De Carlo’s J K Cowboy was competing in the $31,600 J P Morel Memorial Pacing Series Final. Just like his barn mate, J K Cowboy drew post position one on Saturday but unlike the magnificent mare, this four year old had his work cut out for him. A longshot in the final of the series that honors the memory of longtime Saratoga top driver J P Morel, J K Cowboy has yet to record a win in 2017 though he had finished second or third in four of his five local starts this year. Saturday didn’t wind up being the best showing for J K Cowboy who despite getting a pocket trip behind eventual winner In A Single Bound, finished fifth after fading late in the mile. Another talented four year old De Carlo trainee Show The Fashion faced his toughest local test this weekend. After enjoying very little success in the Sagamore at Yonkers this spring, Show The Fashion came to Saratoga in late April and rattled off back to back jacks. Displaying his versatility, Show The Fashion prevailed on the engine in his first start, scoring in 1:54.1 at odds of 7-2. The following week, the speedy pacer secured a new lifetime mark by coming from just off the pace before stopping the timer in a career best 1:53.4. Securing a hat trick proved too difficult for Show The Fashion on Saturday as the young pacer got parked the mile while battling two rivals that had faced tons tougher of late but that first local defeat did nothing to take away from the successes of yet another young rising star out of the De Carlo stable.
While De Carlo has shined with pacers on Saturday nights at the Spa, Sunday afternoon featured a pair of trotters recently acquired by De Carlo. Dony Andreas and Time To Quit were each recent claims for De Carlo and both trotters have thrived in their new environment. Dony Andreas was a $6,000 claim made on the final weekend of March. The claim would prove to be fruitful as the trotter not only went on to rattle off three consecutive victories for his new connections, he did so while stepping up in class each time. A nominee for claiming trotter of the year in ’16, Dony Andreas had done damage in the $6,000 claimers. De Carlo moved the six year old to the $10,000 level and after an open-length victory, stepped him up into the $15,000 claimers. Dony Andreas set a lifetime mark winning in 1:56 that week and matched that time in his following start in another victory, this one taking place in the $20,000 claimers. A sharp climb up the ladder for De Carlo’s new top trotter. Following a third place finish, it was back to the $15,000 level on Sunday for Dony Andreas who cut the mile and finished second, getting passed in the final strides to add a second place finish to his seasonal resume which continues to be very impressive.
De Carlo set his sights on another claiming trotter in April when he acquired veteran highstepper Time To Quit. A $15,000 claim, Time To Quit paid immediate dividends for his new connections when he went coast to coast in his debut for De Carlo. After being defeated as a big favorite the following week while competing up in the $20,000 level, it was back to the 15’s for Time To Quit. A tough post draw resulted in a fifth place finish and on Sunday afternoon, a return to post position one meant a return to the front end for Time To Quit. The results weren’t there this week for the veteran trotter who faded to fifth late after setting fast fractions on the engine. It’s been a big couple of months for the De Carlo stable and the conditioner is doing it with a diverse group of pacers and trotters, ladies and males en route to a training average of well over .400.
Live racing takes place every Thursday and Sunday afternoon with matinees at 12:15pm while evening racing starts at 6:45pm every Friday and Saturday night. Until next week, I’m Mike Sardella wishing you the best of luck and we’ll see YOU at the finish line!