Big Box Hanover & Larry Stalbaum

Big Box Hanover (Uncle Peter) has been a solid force in the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel since coming to town last year. This season, the Larry Stalbaum trainee has been a picture of consistency and came into Sunday’s try in the feature with three Open wins to his credit this year but while finishing in the top three in 21 of his 31 starts in ’22. Big Box Hanover finished second or third in four consecutive starts in the Open before drawing his best post in months on Sunday afternoon. The five year old wound up being the betting public’s 3-5 favorite in the $16,000 Open and Stalbaum flashed speed from post four with the talented trotter. Yielding in the early going to Majestic Fire (Luke Hanners), Big Box Hanover sat the pocket in a first lap that went in 58 seconds. Majestic Fire, who won the Open two weeks ago, was in complete control through three quarters in 1:26.2 but Big Box Hanover popped the pocket around the final turn. Longshot Quadratic Bluechip (Chris Long) came surging up the rail in the stretch but it was Big Box Hanover who hit the wire first to register his fourth Open score of the season and eighth victory overall in the ’22 campaign. An earner of six figures for the third consecutive year, Big Box Hanover’s fourth Open win came in 1:56.1 on Sunday. The Open winner is owned by the Red, White and Blue Racing Stable of Matamoras, PA. Quadratic Blue Chip was the runner-up on Sunday to complete a $20.40 exacta while Majestic Fire wrapped up the $95 triple in the feature.

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


Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Innisfallen & Jordan Derue

Innisfallen and driver Jordan Derue won Sunday’s open trot in 1:57.2. The 6 year old by Explosive Matter is trained by Brett Derue.

Live racing at Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

Majestic Fire & Luke Hanners

Majestic Fire (Majestic Son) moved up into the Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel following an eleven-length romp last weekend in his first start for trainer David Yates. He posted a dazzling 1:55.3 last Sunday (Nov 6) but drew post six for Sunday’s try in the $16,000 feature. Luke Hanners piloted the David Yates trainee to his impressive score and sat behind him once again this week.

The young reinsman asked the seven year old trotter for early speed and when they couldn’t find an early landing spot drove on to the lead. Majestic Fire posted fast fractions of 28 and 57 seconds in the first half before clicking off three-quarters in 1:25.3. Although he had built a big lead, Majestic Fire was under Hanners urging turning for home as he seemed to be tiring a bit. The red-hot trotter had enough to hang on to win by a half length in a mile clocked in 1:56 for his first Open Trot victory.

Owned by Josh Cukerstein of Halfmoon, NY, Majestic Fire paid $9.50 in the mild Open upset and led an exacta with Grinder (Jimmy Devaux) second that returned $58. The favored Big Box Hanover (Larry Stalbaum) came on to finish third and complete a $184 triple. Majestic Fire gave Hanners one of his three winners on the Sunday card.

Live racing continues on Monday afternoon with a matinee starting at noon. There is a $2,967 carryover in the Pick Five which begins in the Monday opener. The Pick Five is a 50 cent wager.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Angel Nation & Brett Beckwith

Angel Nation and driver Brett Beckwith won Sunday’s open trot in 1:55.2 Angel Nation is trained by Melissa Beckwith.

Melissa Simser

Mark Of A Beast & Wally Hennessey

Mark Of A Beast (trained by Andrew Byler) and driver Wally Hennessey scored an easy victory in today’s open trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The 5 year-old gelding by Imagistic got away with the lead and and was able to hang on until the wire, trotting a mile in 1:55.4 Mark Of A Beast paid $16.20 to win

Racing continues tomorrow with post time set for noon.
Melissa Simser

Quadratic Bluechip & Chris Long

Sunday’s open trot at Saratoga saw a very tight finish but was won by semi-longshot Quadratic Bluechip (trainer Lisa Zabielski) and driver Chris Long. After getting away and sitting third up until the stretch the 6year-old by Muscle Hill was able to find his way through the field to win in 1:55.4 by a head.

Big Box Hanover (Larry Stalbaum) came on late and trotted an impressive mile after a rough trip, finishing second and clocking a last quarter in 29.1. Gigfy (trained by Brian Mattison and driven by Alek Chartrand) finished third, while post time favorite Mark of A Beast (Jim Devaux) and Goodashim (Brett Beckwith) finished in a dead heat for fourth. Quadratic Bluechip paid $12.60 to win.

Live racing continues Monday, with post time at 12pm.

Melissa Simser

Mark Of A Beast & Phil Fluet

Long shot Mark Of A Beast (trained by Andrew Byler) and driver Phil Fluet scored an upset win in today’s open trot. Leaving at the start, Mark Of A Beast went wire to wire in 1:55. The only potential challenger, and heavy favorite, Dewey Arnold (trained by David Dewhurst) made a break after the ¾, leaving Mark Of A Beast to coast away from the rest of the field. The 5 year-old trotter paid $74.50 to win.

Saratoga Casino Hotel

Melissa Simser

Big Box Hanover & Larry Stalbaum

Big Box Hanover, and trainer/driver Larry Stalbaum coasted to an easy open win for the second week in a row Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York.

After getting away fourth, Larry Stalbaum pulled first up at the half mile marker with Big Box Hanover and took the lead, winning by 3 lengths in 1:56.

Melissa Simser

Quadratic Blue Chip & Chris Long

It has been a terrific late summer surge for Quadratic Blue Chip (Muscle Hill) at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Lisa Zabielski-trained trotter, who has previously dabbled in the local Open here and there, won the Friday feature for the first time last week (August 26). Zabielski and driver Chris Long have been a potent pairing this summer at the Spa and after their Quadratic Bluechip scored his first Open win last week, he drew post seven on Friday in his effort to repeat in the $16,000 feature.

The race’s favorite Reign Of Honor (Brett Beckwith) made a rare appearance on the front-end and despite working relatively hard to get to the top clicked off a half in a reasonable 57.2. As he and pocket-sitting ER Sophia (Jimmy Devaux) squared off in the stretch, the rail opened up for Quadratic Bluechip who was dismissed at odds of 25-1. The biggest longshot in the feature charged hard in the passing lane and won a photo with Reign Of Honor in a mile clocked in 1:56.3.

ER Sophia finished third but was disqualified for causing interference to a rival around the final turn which resulted in Remember Titans (Jay Randall) being placed third. Quadratic Blue Chip, who is co-owned by Mark Salerno and trainer Lisa Zabielski, paid $52 to win as a rare back-to-back Open Trot winner and led an exacta and triple that returned $316.50 and $809, respectively.

Zabielski and Long doubled on the card as they teamed up for a victory with young trotter Sevenare who like stablemate Quadratic Bluechip recorded a victory for the second consecutive week.

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

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

ER Sophia & Jimmy Devaux

ER Sophia (Swan For All) won the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel in July for the first time in her career. The John Mongeon trainee went coast-to-coast with leading driver Jimmy Devaux at the controls to record that victory. Following a third place finish in last week’s trotting feature, it was back into the Open again on Friday night for ER Sophia who drew post seven in the eight-horse feature and thus was the biggest longshot in the race while dismissed at odds of 21-1. Devaux sat patiently in the early going with the mare who was looking to beat the boys in the feature once again.

ER Sophia made her move at the three-quarter pole before swinging wide around the final turn. The six year old came charging home and wound up in a photo finish with millionaire trotter Cash Me Out (Phil Fluet). ER Sophia emerged victorious and paid $45.60 to upset in the $17,150 Open. Cash Me Out was the runner-up while Quadratic Bluechip (Chris Long) earned the show spot.

ER Sophia’s victory was her seventh on the season and second in Open company for owners Brenda Messenger and Scott Woogen. She led an exacta and triple in the feature that returned $301.50 and $2,378, respectively. Devaux piloted four winners on the Friday card.

Live racing continues on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a first post set for 6:45pm.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser