Tattoo Artist & Wally Hennessey

The 13th annual installment of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace featured an incredible stretch drive on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Like most years, the race looked to be pretty wide open on paper with no clear cut favorite emerging. Trainer Ron Burke had two participants taking part in the $250,000 richest race of the season at the Spa and was looking to be the first trainer to win the Gerrity on more than one occasion.

His defending champ This Is The Plan started from post two while stablemate Workin Ona Mystery drew the rail while looking to hold off, among others, the favored Linedrive Hanover as well as Tattoo Artist who was the second-choice in the wagering in Saturday’s big race.

Workin Ona Mystery (Tim Tetrick) cut the mile in the Gerrity and rattled off first half fractions of 26.4 and 54.3 before dealing with a wide move from Linedrive Hanover (Brian Sears) who spent the duration of the mile parked out. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) got the pocket trip behind his stablemate Workin Ona Mystery while speedy threat Tattoo Artist (Wally Hennessey) saved ground before finding room up the passing lane in the stretch. It was Tattoo Artist who surged in the final strides to get by his rivals and secure the victory in 1:50.1, the fastest clocking for any horse this season at Saratoga.

Workin Ona Mystery was a strong second while Linedrive Hanover had to settle for third. This Is The Plan, last year’s winner of the Gerrity, completed the superfecta. Tattoo Artist paid $7.30 to win as the second choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that returned $24.20 and $92.00, respectively.

Tattoo Artist is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Cannon, Let It Ride Stables and Diamond Creek Racing. With the earnings from his Saturday score in the Gerrity, the five year old Tattoo Artist now has piled up more than $395,000 in the ’22 campaign and just shy of $1.35 million in his career.

Live racing continues on Sunday evening in Saratoga Springs and will feature a Pick 5 carryover of $4,706. The Pick 5 starts in race one. Also, the Pick Six Jackpot has grown to $7,081 with the Pick Six beginning in race seven.  First post time on Sunday is set for 6:45pm.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

This Is The Plan & Yannick Gingras

Trainer Ron Burke had three of the seven participants in this year’s installment of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The top-flight conditioner brought his superstar This Is The Plan (Somebeachsomewhere) to town to lead the trio of pacers in the $150,000 race. Yannick Gingras piloted This Is The Plan who brought his close to $2.3 Million in career earnings to the Spa and wound up as the 7-5 betting favorite in the 12th annual Gerrity. Gingras moved the standout to the lead in a 26.2 first quarter before giving way to fellow Burke trainee Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick). That one retook command after the sizzling first quarter and cruised through the first half in 55.2. It appeared that after three quarters went in 1:22.3 that it would come down to those two stalwarts but just then is when yet another Burke trainee tossed his hat into the ring. Rockapelo (Matt Kakaley) was the longest shot on the board in the Gerrity and he shook free around the final turn before surging in the stretch. When This Is The Plan powered past Backstreet Shadow turning for home, it appeared that he had the race wrapped up until Rockapelo exploded in the lane and those two photoed for the win. This Is The Plan prevailed by a nose and stopped the timer in 1:50.2, the fastest clocking of the season thus far at Saratoga and in doing so, won for the fifth time in the 2021 campaign. Burke trainees comprised the entire trifecta as they ran one-two-three in the season’s biggest events for pacers. The exacta with Rockapelo second paid $116 while the triple with 8-5 second choice Backstreet Shadow third returned $337.50. This Is The Plan, who now has seasonal earnings of over $600,000, is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva- Purnell & Libby and Lawrence Karr. The 12th winner of the Gerrity was the runner-up in the 2019 installment of the memorial race when he finished second to stalwart Mcwicked at Saratoga two summers ago. Incredibly, Gingras and Burke are the twelfth different driver and trainer to win the Gerrity since its inception in 2009.

Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a thirteen race matinee that kicks off at Noon.



Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino