Probert & Brett Beckwith

Probert (Dali) & Brett Beckwith

The Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel has belonged to trainer Melissa Beckwith this season. Putting the finishing touches on what will be her ninth local training title, Beckwith has had a couple of distaffers who have thrived in the ladies’ feature throughout the 2022 campaign. Sea Shadows owns a track-best seven Open wins this year but it was a different Beckwith trainee who competed in Monday’s installment of the $16,000 feature.

Probert (Dali) has had a terrific ’22 season while racing both locally and at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts. Following a pair of Open scores and a third-place finish at Plainridge, Probert was back in town on Monday and despite drawing post six in the six-horse feature, the Beckwith trainee was the public’s 3-5 betting favorite. Young reinsman Brett Beckwith found an early landing spot with Probert in a race in which Always Watching (Jordan Derue) was cutting the mile.

Always Watching got to the half in 57 seconds but when Beckwith gave Probert her cue, the five year old surged to challenge the leader who would not relent. Always Watching and Probert battled stride-for-stride with each other until hitting the stretch when the Beckwith trainee powered away to win in 1:53.3. It was the fourth Open score at the Spa for Probert who is owned by Howard Jacobs, Jim Winske and Marcus Kemblowski.

The earnings for Probert push her seasonal total to over the $140,000 mark. Always Watching finished second on Monday to complete a $16.40 exacta while So Amazing (Jimmy Devaux) completed a $48.80 triple.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 5pm first post. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $2,444 with the Pick Five beginning in the first race.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Sea Shadows & Brett Beckwith

Sea Shadows (Shadow Play) continued her magical 2022 campaign on Monday afternoon when the Melissa Beckwith trainee scored in the Fillies and Mars Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The seven year old mare recorded her fourteenth victory of the season as she went wire-to-wire with Brett Beckwith at the controls.

Sea Shadows carved out first-half fractions of 27.2 and 56.4 before being met with the challenge of the race’s 2-5 betting favorite La Bella Vita N (Shawn Gray). Sea Shadows proved up to the task as she turned back La Bella Vita N who had to settle for being the runner-up in the $16,000 feature. Shallow (Brian Cross) sat the pocket to the winner and wound up finishing third.

Sea Shadows paid $7.80 to win in the Open as the second-choice in the wagering. It was the seventh score in the local Fillies and Mares Open this season for Sea Shadows, the most of any distaffer in the ’22 campaign. The mare, who moved her career earnings to over the $350,000 in Monday’s win, is owned by Paul O’Neil of Saratoga Springs.

The win was one of three on the afternoon for the Beckwith stable and reinsman Brett Beckwith who is enjoying a breakout year in just his second full season in the sulky.

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

Mike Sardella
Photo: Melissa Simser

Way Too Sweet & Jordan Derue

On what was a big afternoon for her connections, Way Too Sweet (Rockin Image) pulled off the upset in the Bunny Lake Pace Final on Monday afternoon at Saratoga. Andy Gardner sits second in the trainer standings at the Spa this year and on Monday, the conditioner scored a hat trick. Gardner’s Way Too Sweet was a leg three winner in the Bunny Lake Pace but was faced with the task of defeating Racey Rach N (Chris Long) in the $34,200 Series Final. Racey Rach N rattled off an incredible eleven consecutive wins upon coming to Saratoga this summer but showed a bit of vulnerably for the first time when defeated in her leg three try last week.

The Lisa Zabielski-trained Racey Rach N was the 1-9 betting favorite once again on Monday afternoon and sat the pocket to rival Captain’s Star (Shawn Gray) in a first half that went in 58 seconds. Way Too Sweet and driver Jordan Derue powered up first-over and dueled with Captain’s Star for the majority of the second lap before wearing the leader down turning for home. Racey Rach N pulled the pocket around the final turn and swept up three-wide in the stretch to square off with Way Too Sweet before ultimately coming up just shy in a mile clocked in 1:55.3.

Way Too Sweet, who is owned by George Tackley and Wendy Storrier, recorded her fifth and biggest victory of the season, paying $23.80 to win. Racey Rach N had to settle for second and completed a $45 exacta while Captain’s Star earned the show spot to round out a $211 triple. The score in the Series Final was one of four in sulky on the afternoon for Jordan Derue who also guided his Always Watching to a victory in the Fillies and Mares Open as well as piloting a pair of winners for his brother trainer Brett Derue. Way Too Sweet adds her name to the short list of Bunny Lake Pace Series’ winners that started last year when North Country swept the first annual series.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with first post time set for 5pm. | Saratoga Springs, New York

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Ashestodiamonds & Jim Devaux

On Monday afternoon, Ashestodiamonds (Betterthancheddar) did what no mare has been able to do in nearly a month’s time at Saratoga Casino Hotel. That is, she defeated Racey Rach N. Racey Rach N went an incredible eleven-for-eleven to begin her career at the Spa putting together a local win streak unheard of for decades. In Monday’s third leg of the Bunny Lake Pacing Series, Racey Rach N (Chris Long) went off at odds of 1-9 for the seventh straight time despite drawing post five in her five-horse division of the series. Longshot Ashestodiamonds displayed early speed in the third leg and the Eve Bergeron trainee who hadn’t been a factor in the first two legs of the series made her impression on Monday. Leading driver Jimmy Devaux sat behind Ashestodiamonds who was dismissed at odds of 38-1 when she toughed out a wire-to-wire win sending Racey Rach N to defeat for the first time since the New Zealand invader came to the U.S. this summer. The five year old Ashestodiamonds only owned one win in twenty starts in the 2022 campaign heading into what wound up being the biggest victory of her young career. Racey Rach N fought gamely first-over but had to settle for second in the $12,500 third leg of the series while Sakebomb Blue Chip (Brian Cross) earned the show spot. Paying $79.50 to win on an afternoon that featured a handful of big upsets at the Spa, Ashestodiamonds led an exacta with the favorite second that paid $90 while the triple returned $500 in the five-horse field. The winner is owned by Dany Grenier of Quebec, Canada.

The other division of the third leg of the Bunny Lake Pace went the way of Way Too Sweet (Rockin Image). The Andy Gardner-trained filly has had a nice season at the Spa and recorded the biggest win of young career on Monday when she powered up and past her race’s leader to score in leg three of the series recording a lifetime best 1:55.2 victory. Jordan Derue piloted the three year old filly for owners George Tackley and Wendy Storrier. Way Too Sweet was the 6-5 betting favorite in her division of the Bunny Lake Pace which concludes next week with a Final going for more than $30,000.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time of 5pm. There will be a $2,466 carryover in the pick five which begins in the first race.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Racey Rach N & Chris Long

Racey Rach N (A Rocknroll Dance) continued her utter domination at Saratoga Casino Hotel when on Monday she rattled off her incredible eleventh consecutive victory. The New Zealand invader has gone eleven-for-eleven since coming to the U.S. in the summertime. On Monday, the Lisa Zabielski trainee cruised to victory in her division of the Bunny Lake Pacing Series as her race’s 1-9 betting favorite one again. Racey Rach N never had an anxious moment in recording her eleventh straight win, stopping the timer in 1:56.1 in her $12,500 division of the second leg of the Bunny Lake Pace. Chris Long sat behind the five year old mare who has been 1-9 odds in six consecutive starts and will be the big favorite in the series final coming up in a couple weeks. Racey Rach N is co-owned by trainer Lisa Zabielski and Kim Zabielski.

The other division of leg two of the series went the way of another Zabeilski trainee as Doyoukissfirstdate (American Ideal) got the pocket ride behind her race’s favorite before shaking loose late in the passing lane. Long piloted both series’ winners for Zabielski as Doyoukissfirstdate recorded her seventh victory of the 2022 campaign. A fourth-place finisher in leg one, Doyoukissfirstdate went a long way towards punching her ticket towards the series final behind a Monday score that came in 1:58. The five year old distaffer is owned by Lisa Zabielski in partnership with Mark Salerno of Felton, DE. Doyoukissfirst date paid $6.40 to win as the second-choice in the wagering in her division of the 2nd annual Bunny Lake Pace.

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

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Probert & Brett Beckwith

Trainer Melissa Beckwith’s stable has put forth a few different pacing mares of late that have thrived in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Monday, Probert (Dali) was the distaffer out of the Beckwith barn to race in the $16,000 feature and although she drew the outside post in the six-horse Open, Probert appeared poised to thrive while coming off a second-place finish last week.

Brett Beckwith piloted Probert to that runner-up try and once again sat behind the five year old on Monday. The 19 year old reinsman flashed early speed with Probert who had been doing the majority of her best work from the back of the pack in recent months. The morning line favorite went off at odds of 3-1 in Monday’s feature and cruised through a first half in 56.3. Feeling just mild pressure, Probert stepped on the gas and paced away late in the mile to win the Open in 1:53.4 over a tracked labeled ‘sloppy.’

Longshot Always Watching (Jordan Derue) gobbled up some ground in the stretch to finish second on Monday while Alittlesidehustl N finished third to hit the board for the fifth consecutive week in the Open. For Probert, it was the second Open victory at the Spa in the last month. The winner is owned by Howard Jacobs, Jim Winske and Marcus Kemblowski. The victory was one of three on the card for trainer Melissa Beckwith and driver Brett Beckwith.

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

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

La Bella Vita N & Shawn Gray

La Bella Vita N (Changeover) stayed red hot on a chilly afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday. The Alicia Gray-trained distaffer overcame her outside post to win the $16,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Shawn Gray sat behind the seven year old as she won her third consecutive start on Monday.

Bouncing back and forth between Saratoga and Plainridge this summer, La Bella Vita N powered out early from post seven in the seven-horse feature and although she had to work hard to post a 27 second flat first quarter, the New Zealand invader got a big time breather in quarter two before reaching the half in 57 seconds. Probert (Brett Beckwith) wound up first-over on the race’s favorite on Monday and although she tested her in the stretch, the chase proved futile.

La Bella Vita N stopped the timer in 1:53.4 for her second victory in the local Open and her tenth win of the 2022 season. The even-money favorite led an exacta with Probert second that paid $19 while the triple, which was rounded out by Alittlesidehustl N (Billy Dobson), returned $49.60. She is owned by Bowie Racing of Illinois and Michael Goldberg Racing of Massachusetts.

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

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Racine Bell & Jason Bartlett

Racine Bell (So Surreal) has been competing against the top pacing mares in North America in the last few seasons and on Monday afternoon, the Dave Dewhurst-trained distaffer made her return to Saratoga Casino Hotel to compete in the Fillies and Mares Open. Jason Bartlett came to town to drive Racine Bell who was the public’s 1-9 favorite in the wagering despite drawing the outside post in the $17,150 feature.

Bartlett blasted Racine Bell out early but settled in third in the early going as local top-flight mare Sea Shadows (Brett Beckwith) carved out first-half fractions of 27.3 and 56 seconds. Racine Bell came off the rail heading to the three-quarter pole and although Sea Shadows looked to have something left, the Dewhurst trainee paced right by in the stretch to not only secure the Open win but do so in a final time of 1:51.3.

That clocking matched the all-time track record for pacing mares set in 2017 by Velocity Vespa and matched last year by the track’s Horse of the Year Surreal Feeling, who is owned by Racine Bell’s owners Chris and Dale Lawton. Sea Shadows was a super second while Alittlesidehustl N (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot.

The exacta and triple with the big favorite on top paid $11.20 and $36.60, respectively. Racine Bell’s win was her 28th in 68 lifetime starts and leads her closer to the million dollar mark for her career.

Live racing resumes on Friday evening with a 5pm first post.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Demeter N & Larry Stalbaum

Demeter N (Art Major) went coast-to-coast to score her first victory in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday afternoon. Larry Stalbaum trains and drives the seven year old distaffer after acquiring her last month. In Monday’s $16,000 feature, Demeter N powered out to the early lead as the race’s 4-5 betting favorite.

Demeter N paced a leisurely first half of 58 seconds and then had plenty left to hold off a mild threat from pocket-sitting Shallow (Brian Cross) in the stretch. Last week’s Open winner Birch Island Betty had the daunting task of coming from last in a back-half that went in 55.4 before having to settle for third. Demeter’s 1:53.4 win time matched the seasonal-best clocking she set in April at Yonkers Raceway.

The exacta with Shallow second paid $15.40 while the triple completed by Birch Island Betty returned $47.20. Demeter N is owned by the Shark Racing Stable of Bainbridge, NY.

Live racing resumes on Friday evening starting at 6:45pm as the summer portion of the racing schedule gets underway. That schedule consists of Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening racing with first posts set for 6:45pm each night.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Twin B Joe Fresh & Jason Bartlett

The Independence Day matinee featured two year old pacing fillies on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. There were three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for freshman fillies that each went for a purse of $51,300. Twin B Joe Fresh (Roll With Joe) was the fastest of the two year olds on the card as the Chris Ryder trainee made her Sire Stakes debut a winning one in 1:54.3. Jason Bartlett piloted Twin B Joe Fresh who won her lifetime debut at the Meadowlands in June while taking part in Geers competition. On Monday, the Ryder-trained up-and-comer cruised to a decisive score to move her record to two-for-two. She was the public’s 1-9 betting favorite in her $51,300 division.

Vivians Dream (American Ideal) was also a repeat winner on Monday as the Cory Mumford-trained filly was impressive for the second straight try in NYSS competition. Wally Hennessey picked up the catch-drive behind Vivians Dream who scored impressively in her debut at Buffalo Raceway and had little difficulty repeating. The final time for both wins to kick off her freshman campaign was 1:54.4. She was the 2-5 public choice in the wagering in her Spa debut.

The only mild upset of the trio of stakes races went the way of Ray Schnittker’s Hunting Season (Huntsville) who went coast-to-coast at odds of 5-2. The freshman filly came to town off a win at Pocono Downs and handled the move to the half-mile track with ease on Monday as she went wire-to-wire with Mark Macdonald at the controls. Hunting Season stopped the timer in 1:55.1 in her first Sire Stakes score. The freshman paid $7.10 to win as her race’s second choice in the wagering.

Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga when NY Sire Stakes action will again be featured as two year old colt and gelding trotters will highlight the thirteen-race card. First post time is set for 5PM.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser