Clover Wins Filly & Mare Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday

Clover has been on a tear of late at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Monday, the Mark Beckwith-trained mare made her debut in the Fillies and Mares Open. Wally Hennessey has piloted Clover, a six year old mare by Sportswriter, to two of her three consecutive victories heading into her Open debut on Monday.

Wally was aggressive with the red-hot distaffer in the early portion of the $15,000 Monday feature as Clover showed early speed to make the front in a sizzling first quarter of 26.3 before yielding to a rival who took them to the half in 55.3. Hennessey didn’t waste much time evacuating the pocket when the leader appeared to be tiring and Clover pounced on that one before drawing out to a decisive lead. Clover wound up drawing away from the field in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:53.4 for her sixth win of the season and fourth in a row.

34-1 shot Shes So Sweet (Chris Long) also made her Open debut on Monday and came on to finish second while Racy Roxy A (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Clover, who is owned by Howard Jacobs of West Orange, NJ, went off as the public’s 3-5 betting favorite in the $15,000 Open and led an exacta and triple that paid $148 and $535, respectively.

Hennessey rattled off three consecutive wins later on the Monday card to give the veteran reinsman a driving grand slam.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $3,351 with the wager beginning in the first race. First post time Saturday is set for 5pm.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Lady Saturn Sweeps Virginia O’Brien Memorial Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel

Lady Saturn took out her broom and completed a sweep of the 9th annual Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Brett Crawford pilots the three year old filly for trainer Michelle Crawford who was a decisive winner in all three legs of the series. On Monday, the sophomore was tasked with overcoming post eight in the $29,000 Series Final.

Lady Saturn flashed some early speed and landed in fifth in the early going in the Final. Crawford got a cover trip with the up-and-coming filly before tipping her three-wide approaching the three-quarter pole. I Loved Her First (Wally Hennessey), a runner-up in all three legs of the series heading into Monday, cut the mile in the Final but succumbed to the pressure of Lady Saturn in the stretch before fading to third.

Longshot The Queen Hornet (Chris Long) was dismissed at odds of 90-1 while making her first start for new connections and came from last before closing to finish second. Lady Saturn stopped the timer in 1:55.2 to move her record in 2024 to five-for-five. The Queen Hornet was the runner-up to complete a $165 exacta while I Loved Her First rounded out a triple that returned $373.

The 4-5 betting favorite in the Final, Lady Saturn, who is owned by Dragon Tales Farm Inc of Burnt Hills, NY, is a daughter of Huntsville out of the Western Ideal mare P Note Blue Chip, who was bred by her current owner. While Lady Saturn’s victory was the headliner of the day at the Spa, it was Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey who was the sulky star piling up seven wins on the matinee card.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time of 5pm.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Lady Saturn and Molly’s Game win divisions of the O’Brien Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday

Lady Saturn and Molly’s Game win divisions of the O’Brien Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday

Some of the top young fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel have slugged it out for the better part of the last three weeks as part of the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series. Monday’s matinee featured two divisions of the third leg of the series for young distaffers and saw the favorites shine. Lady Saturn, a three year old filly by Huntsville, began her 2024 campaign with a victory in a non-winners of two race lifetime condition on April 16th before taking part in the series’ first leg contested the following week.

The sophomore filly made it look easy scoring in legs one and two of the series heading into Monday’s third leg as the big favorite. Brett Crawford pilots Lady Saturn for trainer Michelle Crawford and wasted little time moving the 1-9 shot to the early lead while in pursuit of the seasonal grand slam. Homer she did as Lady Saturn held off a mild bid in the stretch from three-leg runner-up I Loved Her First (Wally Hennessey) before recording a career-best 1:55 victory. Lady Saturn, who is owned by Dragon Tales Farm Inc, will head into next week’s Series Final as the one to beat as she is now four-for-four in 2024.

The other $10,000 division of the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pace went the way of Mollys Game, a three year old Jaymes McAssey trainee. Mollys Game came into the series off back-to-back second-place finishes before pulling off a mild upset in leg one with Chris Long in the sulky. Billy Dobson piloted the sophomore filly to a runner-up try in leg two before going coast-to-coast with her on Monday in a lifetime best 1:56.4. Mollys Game was her race’s 3-5 betting favorite in her leg three win. The McAssey trainee is owned by Delpozo Scwartz Paoletti LLC.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a first post time of 5pm.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Lady Saturn Wins Leg of Virginia O’Brien Memorial Series

Two divisions of the first leg of the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series for fillies and mares served as co-features on the Monday card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The ninth annual installment of the O’Brien Memorial got underway with a pair of $10,000 divisions and trainer Jaymes McAssey enjoyed a strong start to the series. Mollys Game, a three year old daughter of Bettor’s Delight, came into her division of the series off back-to-back second-place finishes.

Chris Long piloted the McAssey trainee on Monday and showed speed with the 9-2 shot in the wagering. Mollys Game sat the pocket to her race’s heavy favorite I Loved Her First (Dylan Huckabone Miller) and pounced in the stretch when she found open road. The sophomore stopped the timer in 1:58 for her second win of the season. Mollys Game paid $11.40 to win in the leg one series score for owners Delpozo Scwartz Paoletti LLC of Methuen, Massachusetts.

The other $10,000 division of the O’Brien Memorial went the way of Lady Saturn (Huntsville). Brett Crawford drives the Michelle Crawford trainee who won her seasonal debut last week (April 16) when she parlayed a pocket trip to victory. In leg one of the series on Monday, Lady Saturn sat mid-pack before making her move to pick-up cover eventually tipping three-wide and overpowering her competition en route to a career-best 1:56.3 victory.

Lady Saturn was winless as a freshman in 2023 but has begun her sophomore campaign two-for-two in the win column after her leg one romp which came at odds of 7-5. Lady Saturn is owned by Dragon Tales Farm of Burnt Hills, NY.

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

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Isle Coach Goes Coast-to-Coast on Monday at Saratoga Casino Hotel

Trainer Robyn Mangiardi and driver Chris Long continued a strong stretch on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel when their Isle Coach went coast-to-coast in one of the co-features. Mangiardi and Long teamed up for the win in the Sunday feature when their Free Willy Hanover scored his first ever score in the local Open Trot. On Monday, Isle Coach drew the rail for his second local try as he competed in an $8,000 race for young pacers.

Coming off a second-place finish in his Spa debut, Isle Coach controlled the action from start to finish en route to a 1:56.3 victory, his second in the 2024 campaign after spending the early portion of his season racing at Freehold Raceway. The four year old gelding by Corner Blitz out of the Island Fantasy mare Madeira Island held off late bids from longshot Heir Of Southwest (Brett Crawford), who was the runner-up, and pocket-sitter Duck Dynasty (Mark Beckwith) who had to settle for the show spot.

Mangiardi, who was voted as the Horsewoman of the Year at Saratoga in ’23, is off to another strong start to her campaign this year and followed up her first Open win with the Monday score with her newly-acquired Isle Coach whom she owns.

Live racing continues at Saratoga on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee that begins at noon.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Trotting Filly Meepers is Two For Two in 2024 at Saratoga Casino Hotel

Trotting Filly Meepers (E L Titan) moved her record to two-for-two in 2024 when on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the sophomore high-stepper went coast-to-coast. Meepers raced just once as a freshman in ’23 and in that start, she finished second in a $35,200 New York Sire Stakes event at Buffalo Raceway.

Michelle Crawford trains Meepers for owner Michael Gilhooly of Delanson, NY and Brett Crawford drives the filly who cruised unopposed in the early going in her $7,500 Monday try for young trotters and never faced an anxious moment en route to repeating on the lead in 2:02 for team Crawford. The filly appears to be racing into form for an upcoming run at the NY Sire Stakes this spring and summer.

The Monday card was also highlighted by another impressive feat by leading driver Brett Beckwith. The 21 year old pilot drove five winners on both the Saturday and Sunday cards at the Spa leading up to a Monday program which saw him pile up another five victories. Beckwith has surged out to a commanding lead in the driver standings and continues to pad his lead daily aided by his three consecutive five-packs on Monday.

Live racing continues on Tuesday at Saratoga with a first post time set for noon.

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

Driver Matt Athearn Wins Four on Monday at Saratoga Casino Hotel

Young reinsman Matt Athearn enjoyed his best day of the season on Monday at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The 25-year-old pilot, who last year was named the Johnny Page Award winner for up-and-coming drivers at the Spa, scored a driver’s grand slam on Monday’s matinee card. His four-bagger was highlighted by a victory behind Summit City Sonny (Dover Dan) in the Open Trot.

The five-year-old Summit City Sonny prevailed in the Open for the first time this season after being a solid force in the trotting feature in 2023 for trainer Jesse McAssey. On Monday, Athearn guided Summit City Sonny out to an early lead that saw him click off first-half fractions of 27.2 and 57.1. Pocket-sitter City Of Hope (Jimmy Devaux) followed the leader’s every move before ending up second-best to Summit City Sonny who stopped the timer in 1:57 for his second win of 2024 and his first in Open company.

City Of Hope completed a $19.60 exacta while Snowpiercer (Brett Beckwith) finished third in his debut in the $15,000 Open to round out a triple that returned $62. Summit City Sonny, who is co-owned by Adam Friedland and his trainer Jesse McAssey, paid $8.20 to win in the mild upset. Athearn’s four-win afternoon puts him in third place in the driver standings with nearly two months of the racing season now complete.

Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee that starts at noon.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Tiktok Roy Wins Co-Featured Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday

Tiktok Roy (Swan In A Million) was a resounding winner in a $9,500 co-featured trotting race contested on Monday at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Monica Krist trainee has been lightly raced over the course of the last year and a half but has found his stride in recent weeks. Tiktok Roy cruised to a six-length romp earlier this month and did so in a speedy 1:57.2.

Following a break in his previous start, Tiktok Roy was the 8-5 second-choice in the wagering on Monday while stepping up in class from the level of his first win of the season. On Monday, the four year old made an easy lead with Billy Dobson driving for owner Rick Dobson of Howell, MI. With the race’s favorite having made a break early in the mile, Tiktok Roy never faced a legitimate challenge in going coast-to-coast in a win time that matched that of his first seasonal victory, scoring in 1:57.2 once again as an open-length winner.

The other co-featured trot went the way of longshot Ruby Roundhouse (You Know You) who came from off the pace to win in 1:58.4 at odds of 28-1. Jay Randall piloted Ruby Roundhouse to the win for owners Nick Segel and Claude Bourgois and trainer Barry Segel.

Live racing continues on Tuesday with a matinee set to kick off at noon. There is a $4,177 carryover in the Pick Five pool to the Pick Five scheduled to start in race one on Tuesday.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo

Driver Jay Randall Wins Four Races at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday

Driver Jay Randall enjoyed a four-win afternoon on Monday at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran reinsman got his day off to a strong start when invader Barnello (Bar Hopping) trotted to a maiden victory in the matinee’s opener.

From there, Randall went on to guide Pembroke Traveler to an open-length score before winning his third of the day behind the Gary Levine-trained Ouchie. Ouchie’s win was the second in his last three starts for Randall and Levine.

Randall wrapped up his afternoon with a victory behind the Dave Byer-trained Texas Town (Huntsville) who won for the second consecutive week. The four-year-old Texas Town was the second-choice in the wagering in his $9,500 co-featured race for pacers and had the task of battling the favorite who was on the front-end.

Texas Town fought gamely on before grinding Jimble Kimble (Matt Athearn) into defeat late in the mile before stopping the timer in 1:56.2 to complete the Randall grand slam.

Jimble Kimble was a solid second while Flying Image (Chris Long) continued his strong campaign as he finished third. Texas Town is co-owned by Jerry Hoffman and his trainer Dave Byer, both of New York.

Jay Randall has begun his season in the top five in the driver standings at Saratoga this season and enjoyed his biggest day of the young campaign on Monday.

Live racing takes place on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee the kicks off at noon. There is a $19,684.94 carry over in the Jackpot Super High 5.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett Photo

Driver Brett Beckwith Continues Hot Streak at Saratoga

Driver Brett Beckwith continued his red hot start to the 2024 season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday as the 21-year-old reinsman piled up four more winners. Beckwith sat behind the afternoon’s feature winner as Go Dancing A (A Rocknroll Dance) overcame post eight to win for the third consecutive time.

The 2-1 favorite in the wagering despite the unlucky post draw, Go Dancing A surged out to the early lead under the urging of an aggressive Beckwith who guided the seven year old to a wire-to-wire Monday score in a $9,500 event for colt and gelding pacers.

Go Dancing A stopped the timer in a ’24 best 1:54.2 in what wound up being a training double for Mark Beckwith. Both Brett Beckwith and Mark Beckwith teamed up for a win with Pax Hanover, who went coast-to-coast in an $8,000 race for young trotters.

Pax Hanover’s victory came in a seasonal best 1:59.1 to complete the Monday grand slam for the young reinsman who has powered out to a commanding lead in the driver standings in the season’s opening month.

Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee that begins at noon.

Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

Jessica Hallett photo