La Bella Vita N & Shawn Gray

La Bella Vita N (Changeover) drew post position seven in a seven-horse featured field on Sunday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Alicia Gray trainee was making her debut in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa following a successful stint at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts. La Bella Vita N advanced a bit in the early going in Sunday’s $16,000 Open as Shawn Gray got her away fourth. Like La Bella Vita N, Always Watching (Jordan Derue) was in the local Open for the first time in her young career and drew the rail for Sunday’s try. That longshot was aggressive from the get-go and the 11-1 shot carved out first half fractions of 27.1 and 56.4 before rebuffing a first-over bid from the race’s favorite. All the while, La Bella Vita N drafted behind the cover of the favorite before fanning three-wide around the final turn. The seven year old New Zealand invader surged in the stretch and completed her swoop of the group to score in 1:53.1 in her first ever Open win at Saratoga. Always Watching finished a strong second while Birch Island Betty (Billy Dobson) came on to be third. La Bella Vita N, who is owned by Bowie Racing and Michael Goldberg Racing, paid $10.20 to win in the mild upset. The exacta returned $83 while the triple came back $364. The victory in the Open was one of two on the card for Alicia Gray and Shawn Gray whose Spicytuna Bluechip (Roll With Joe) scored earlier in the night.

Live racing will resume on Friday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post time. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $2,326 starting in the evening’s first race.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Renée Casavant

Birch Island Betty & Billy Dobson

Birch Island Betty, driven by Billy Dobson, won tonight’s open filly & mare pace in 1:54. Birch Island Betty is trained by Eve Bergeron and this was her 3rd open win this year at The Spa.

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

Infinite Symbol A & Phil Fluet

Infinite Symbol A (Indomitable Saab) posted the biggest upset win in an Open this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday afternoon when the Amanda Kelly-trained distaffer scored in the Fillies and Mares Open. The eight year old Aussie invader made her Spa debut earlier this year and although she has enjoyed some success at the lower levels had never competed in an Open before. On Monday, she drew post two but was dismissed at odds of 24-1 in the $16,000 ladies’ feature. Phil Fluet sat behind Infinite Symbol A who wound up getting a pocket ride to rival Birch Island Betty (Chris Long). Just six weeks removed from competing in the lowest classification at the track, Infinite Symbol A scored a win in the Open after powering past the pacesetter to prevail in 1:54.1 on Monday. Birch Island Betty finished second while the favorite Chasethecloudsaway (Luke Hanners) had to settle for third. Infinite Symbol A paid $51 to win in the upset and led an exacta and triple that returned a hefty $352 and $1,048, respectively. The winner is owned by the Scheigert&Alliesracing stable of Saratoga Springs who secured a double on the card when their young pacer NY Hardcore (American Ideal) broke her maiden in an $8,700 race for three year old fillies. Fluet piloted both halves of the double for the Scheigert&Allies stable and their trainer Amanda Kelley.

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

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Sea Shadows & Wally Hennessey

Sea Shadows (Shadow Play) made her debut out of the Melissa Beckwith stable a winning one on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The seven year old distaffer didn’t factor in her first start at the Spa this season when in the Fillies and Mares Open on May 16th, she finished sixth in a seven-horse feature. A talented mare who came into Monday’s try in the Open as a seven-time winner in 2022 after competing primarily at Pompano Park in Florida before traveling north this spring, Sea Shadows was put in gear in the early going by driver Wally Hennessey who powered to the front-end with the race’s 2-1 second choice in the wagering.

The fractions in the feature were fast but despite posting a first half in 56.2, Sea Shadows (Shadow Play) showed no signs of letting up and in fact began to draw away from the race’s favorite, pocket-sitting Luck B Mine (Jimmy Devaux) approaching three quarters before powering out to win by four lengths in 1:52.3. Luck B Mine finished second while All Speed Rising (Justin Huckabone) earned the show spot. For Sea Shadows, it was win number eight on the campaign to match her win total from the ’21 season. She is owned by Paul O’Neil of Saratoga Springs. Beckwith and Hennessey followed up the victory in the feature with another win on Monday as Party Queen prevailed in a $10,500 for pacing mares in the race that followed the Open on the ten-race card.

Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time of 5PM.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Dashintothebeach N & Jimmy Devaux

Dashintothebeach N (Somebeachsomewhere) is in the midst of her breakout season and the Brett Derue trainee put in her best career performance on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Dashintothebeach N rattled off a lengthy winning streak earlier in the 2022 campaign but came into Monday’s try in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open off back-to-back tries when a beaten favorite in the track’s top race for distaffers. Dashintothebeach N got the lead that she likes on Monday and never relinquished. The five year old went a first half in 56.1 before cruising past three quarters in 1:24.1. The Derue-trained mare braced for the challenge of pocket-sitter Birch Island Betty (Chris Long) around the final turn and held her off in the late stages of what wound up being a lifetime-best 1:52.4 score in the feature. It was the second Open victory and ninth win overall on the season for Dashintothebeach N who paid $8.90 to win in the mild upset. Birch Island Betty was the runner-up to complete a $56 exacta while last week’s Open winner Chasethecloudsaway (Luke Hanners) came on to finish third in a triple that returned $275.50. Dashintothebeach N is owned in partnership by Steve Picarazzi of Clifton Park, NY and her trainer Brett Derue of Queensbury, NY.

Live racing will resume at Saratoga on Friday evening with a first post time of 5PM.

 

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Chasethecloudsaway & Luke Hanners

Chasethecloudsaway (Sunshine Beach) is the winningest horse in Opens this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the Chris Petrelli-trained distaffer scored another victory in the Fillies and Mares Open on Monday afternoon. A sixteen-time winner in her breakout 2021 campaign, Chasethecloudsaway has proven last season was no fluke. On Monday, the five year old powered out to the early lead in the $16,050 feature for the ladies, getting to the top in a fast first quarter of 27.2. The 4-5 betting favorite got a bit of a breather in the middle half before being asked for her best around the final turn by driver Luke Hanners. Chasethecloudsaway kicked away late and wound up reporting home a winner by a length. Last year’s Saratoga Horse of the Year Surreal Feeling (Alek Chartrand) drew post eight in the nine-horse Open and came charging hard late to be second while So Diva (Brett Crawford) closed to finish third. Chasethecloudsaway’s win was her fifth in the local Open this year to put her in the lead among all Open horses, both pacer and trotter, for most victories in the feature in ’22. On Monday, she paid $3.60 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $23 and $239.50, respectively. Chasethecloudsaway is owned by David Del Pozzo of Methuen, MA.

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

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Luck B Mine & Leon Bailey

Luck B Mine (Bettor’s Delight) scored her first Open win at Saratoga Casino Hotel last season when the John Podres trainee prevailed against the track’s top pacing mares in a feature in mid-September. Following up her career year of 2021 hasn’t been easy for Luck B Mine but she has rediscovered her top form of late and found herself in the Fillies and Mares Open again on Monday afternoon. The five year old was dismissed at odds of 15-1 despite drawing post two for her try in the $15,000 Open. Driver Leon Bailey found some early speed from the talented distaffer and positioned her in the pocket behind the race’s favorite Dashintothebeach N (Jimmy Devaux). An eight-time winner in ’22, Dashintothebeach N was the public choice in the Open for distaffers for the second consecutive week and cruised unopposed through a first half in 56.4. The leader was met with the challenge of upset-minded Luck B Mine around the final turn and those two slugged it out in the stretch before Luck B Mine took over, eventually stopping the timer in 1:54.1 to set a new lifetime mark. Dashintothebeach N finished second while Chasethecloudsaway (Luke Hanners) earned the show spot. Luck B Mine’s second career win in the local Open was her second victory of the ’22 campaign. The Podres trainee paid $32.40 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $100 and $213.50, respectively. The winner is owned by Steve Guido of Cicero, NY and Don Stockwell of Hudson Falls, NY.

Live racing resumes on Friday evening with Fridays being added to the racing calendar for the next months. First post time on Fridays will be 5PM. This week, there will be a Pick Five carryover of $3,513. The Pick Six Jackpot is up to one of its largest since the wager was instituted last year at Saratoga. The Jackpot is up to $11,417. It is a 20 cent wager.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Probert & Wally Hennessey

Monday afternoon’s feature saw a group of six distaffers take part in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Probert (Dali) made her Spa debut and wound up as the 3-5 betting favorite in the ladies’ feature. Wally Hennessey sat behind the five year old mare for trainer Melissa Beckwith who recorded a second and a third place finish in two starts with the mare while racing at Plainridge last month. Hennessey wasted very little time moving the favorite out to the early lead on Monday and gave her a nice breather in the second quarter before reaching the half in 58 seconds. From there, the speedy Probert powered through a third quarter in 27 seconds flat before being met with the challenge of Birch Island Betty (Chris Long) in the stretch. After getting a pocket ride behind the Open’s favorite, Birch Island Betty powered out of the two-hole and made a run at Probert in the stretch before coming up short by just a head in 1:53. The winner, who came a back half in 55 seconds flat, is owned by Howard Jacobs, Jim Winske and Marcus Kemblowski. Probert paid $3.40 to win. The exacta with Birch Island Betty second came back $34.40 while the triple which was completed by Dashintothebeach N (Jimmy Devaux) returned $105.50. Hennessey piloted three winners on the Monday matinee card.

Live racing resumes on Saturday night at Saratoga and features a Pick Five carryover of $3,401. The Pick Six Jackpot sits at $7,013. The Pick Six encompasses race 8-13 on the program that starts at 5PM.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Chasethecloudsaway & Luke Hanners

Chasethecloudsaway (Sunshine Beach) has been a force in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel early in the season. A winning machine in 2021, the Chris Petrelli-trained distaffer has gotten off to a great start to her ’22 campaign as well. After winning three consecutive tries in the feature for mares in February, Chasethecloudsaway went on a two-race “losing streak” which is only noteworthy due to the fact that she has won 19 times in ’21-’22 heading into her most recent start. On Monday afternoon, the five year old came from off the pace as the race’s favorite Dashintothebeach N (Jimmy Devaux) cut the mile in her debut in the Open. That one cruised through a first half in 57.1 before being confronted by longshot Mckella (Shawn Gray) who took to the first-over path in an attempt to reel in the favorite who is the winningest horse in the young meet at the Spa. Chasethecloudsaway followed the cover until tipping off of it around the final turn as Dashintothebeach N appeared vulnerable late in the mile. The race’s second choice in the wagering at odds of 5-2, Chasethecloudsaway displayed that nose for the finish line and ranged up in time to score in the feature, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 for a new seasonal mark. Dashintothebeach N showed herself well in her debut in the Open and finished second while Mckella earned the show spot. The exacta and triple in the race returned $17 and $118.50, respectively. Chasethecloudsaway, who is now four-for-six in the $15,000 ladies’ feature this season, paid $7.60 for the win on Monday. She is owned by David Del Pozzo of Methuen, MA and was piloted to her feature score by Luke Hanners.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a thirteen-race card set to begin at 5PM.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser