Idealsomemagic A Won The 2023 Joe Gerrity Memorial

The 14th annual Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel featured two former winners of the season’s biggest race at the Spa. Tattoo Artist and This Is The Plan won the two previous two installments of the Gerrity and drew into much different spots in this year’s $250,000 pace. The Chris Ryder-trained Tattoo Artist, the 2022 Gerrity winner, drew post three as he looked to repeat against the top-flight competition. This Is The Plan drew post seven and subsequently went off as one of the bigger longshots in the race. Tattoo Artist wound up heavily backed by the betting public going off at odds of 2-5 in what wound up being a wire-to-wire attempt. Jason Bartlett sat behind Tattoo Artist as he paced through first half fractions of 27 and 55.3 before asking the favorite to kick away around the final turn. All the while, longshot Idealsomemagic A, a nine year old son of American Ideal, followed the cover of a fellow Yonkers invader and although the trip got the best of his cover, Idealsomemagic A continued to progress steadily as the field came to the top of the stretch.

Tattoo Artist briefly scampered away from pocket-sitter Hellabablou (Joe Bongiorno) late in the game but just when it appeared that the favorite was about to pull off the repeat, Idealsomemagic A shifted gears and powered up and past the leader to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Idealsomemagic A, who is owned by Vip Internet Stable LLC and Stratton Stable Inc and trained by Cory Stratton, became the biggest longshot to prevail in the fourteen years of the Gerrity, scoring at odds of 27-1. The veteran pacer picked a good time to post a career-best effort as he stopped the timer in 1:50 to set a new lifetime mark behind perfect George Brennan piloting. With the win, Brennan and Stratton, incredibly, become the fourteenth different driver and trainer, respectively, to record victories in Gerrity history. Tattoo Artist finished second on Saturday while Hellabalou earned the show spot. The exacta and triple with the 27-1 shot on top returned $159 and $489.50, respectively.

2023 Gerrity Memorial

Live racing continues on Sunday evening at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm.      

Mike Sardella

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

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