Distaff Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series

Tuesday marked the start of the Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series for fillies and mares. The series, which was set to kick off last week before the race card was canceled due to a snow storm, featured three divisions of the first leg for distaffers. Much like the series’ for pacing colts and geldings and the one for trotters, the favorites did not thrive.

Longshot Broadway Role (Roll With Joe) picked up her first win of the season at the Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series when she outclosed her rivals to prevail in 1:56.4 while dismissed at odds of 9-1. Chris Long piloted the leg one winner for owner Leonard Sinisgalli and trainer Bob Leslie. Ol Little Shift (Western Vintage) continued her stable’s recent hot streak when she swooped the group to score in her $12,500 division of leg one of the series. Leon Bailey sat behind the Jesse McAssey-trained four year old who recorded her second consecutive victory on Tuesday stopping the timer in 1:57.4 for owner Adam Friedland while off at odds of 4-1.

The fastest leg one winner was Cenalta Call Girl (Allamerican Merlin) who completed a huge day for her connections. Conditioner Melissa Beckwith scored a training triple on the card when Cenalta Call Girl came from well off the pace to power past her rivals and secure leg one’s fastest victory in a time of 1:56.1.

Brett Beckwith guided the nine year old to her Tuesday score giving the young reinsman four winners on the matinee program. Cenalta Call Girl is owned by Bret Pisarski. Leg two will take place next Tuesday (Mar28) in a series that will feature three legs leading up to a Final which will go for a purse of more than $30,000.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with first post time set for 5pm.

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series

The Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series for trotters got underway on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The first of three legs of the series that lead up to the final next month featured two divisions that each went for a purse of $20,000. Jordan Derue trains and drives Esa (E L Titan) who was the odds-on favorite in the first division on Monday. Derue marched the seven year old out to the early lead as rival JNR Express (John Stark Jr) gave way to sit the pocket. That pair drew away from its rivals in the stretch before Esa held on to win it by a head in 1:57.1 to record his third victory of the season. Both Esa and JNR Express, who came up second best, were claimed out of leg one. Mr Cool Seaeyre N (Brett Beckwith) finished third.

The other division saw a different Derue score a win as trainer Brett Derue’s The Royal Poze (RC Royalty) set a lifetime mark on Monday. Drawing the rail in his five-horse $20,000 division, The Royal Poze gave way briefly to Life Well Lived (Shawn Gray) in the early going before retaking the lead approaching the opening quarter. The race’s 4-5 favorite in the wagering never looked back before stopping the timer in a career-best 1:56.2. Invader Fair Glider (Jay Randall) finished second while Life Well Lived held on to be third and was claimed from leg one of the series.

Live racing is canceled for Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a winter storm set to hit the area.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York