It was a big day at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday for trainer Brett Derue and driver Jimmy Devaux. That combo teamed up for a pair of victories on the matinee card including a dazzling win in the afternoon’s pacing feature. Simple Kinda Man (Sportswriter) was impressive in his first two starts at the Spa out of the Derue barn and drew the rail for his try in the $12,850 pacing feature on Monday. Devaux powered the six year old out from his inside post right to the lead and from there, it was pretty special. After clocking a first half in 54.4, Simple Kinda Man just kept rolling along and opened up a commanding lead before stopping the timer in 1:50.3 which, at the time, was the fastest mile of the meet at the Spa. Derue and Devaux also teamed up for a victory with conditioned pacer Dramatist who was the easiest kind of winner on Monday. Derue had a training hat trick on the card as his Nothing To Prove repeated in a $12,500 claimer with Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey in the bike. All three of Derue’s winners either set a new lifetime mark or matched their previous career-best score on the day. In addition to guiding two of Derue’s winners, Devaux also scored a pair of victories behind the Dale Lawton-trained pacers Lindas In Heaven and No Schmo Joe and vaulted into the lead among local drivers supplanting Billy Dobson for the first time in almost two years.
The Open Trot was contested on Monday afternoon as well and had the same result as last week’s installment of the $14,000 feature for high-steppers as Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) rolled to another victory for driver Phil Fluet, trainer Kyle Spagnola and owner Mike Traylor. It was the fifth win in the local Open this season for the veteran trotter who added to his $1.25+ million in career earnings with his wire-to-wire score. The fastest clocking of the meet came when former Saratoga Pacer of the Year Crockets Cullen N went coast-to-coast in 1:50.3 for owner/trainer/driver Larry Stalbaum.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga when two year old trotting fillies take center stage as part of the New York Sire Stakes to comprise the back half of the fifteen-race matinee card. First post time is set for Noon.
Photo: Cheyanna Mandy