Nuttin But Finesse & Luke Hanners

Nuttin But Finesse and driver Luke Hanners won Saturday night’s open pace in 1:52.2 This was Nuttin But FInesse’s 9th win in 2022. The 4 year-old Art Major is trained by Janice Connor.

Alluneedisfaith N & Shawn Gray

Alluneedisfaith N (Art Major) has been nothing shy of dynamic since coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel late in the summertime. The Alicia Gray trainee has had to deal with outside posts in each of his local tries but has been undaunted finishing first or second in the six consecutive starts that he’s made in the Open Pace heading into his most recent try.

On Saturday night, Alluneedisfaith N drew post eight for his attempt in the $16,000 Open and left a bit at the start to settle in mid-pack. The race’s favorite worked hard in the early going but settled onto the front-end in a first half paced in 56.1. Alluneedisfaith N powered up on the outside and just unloaded on the favorite taking over the lead around the final turn.

Under just mild urging from driver Shawn Gray, Alluneedisfaith N reported home a length winner in a mile clocked in 1:53.4 on a chilly night in Saratoga. Longshot Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) got away last in the eight-horse feature but came charging hard in the stretch before finishing second at odds of 30-1. Optical Illusion N (Chris Long) earned the show spot to continue what has been his breakout campaign at the Spa.

The morning line favorite, Alluneedisfaith N paid $7.60 to win in what was his fourth Open victory since coming to town in August and his eleventh win overall in the 2022 season. The eight year old is owned by Doug Overhiser of New Smyrna Beach, FL.

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

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Moonshine Kisses & Jay Randall

Moonshine Kisses (Sunshine Beach) is making a late run at Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene-trained pacer rattled off his third consecutive victory and fifth in his last six tries in the local Open Pace on Saturday. Contending with the outside post for the third straight week, he changed tactics just a bit this week and floated out a bit at the start.

Driver Jay Randall found placement in mid-pack with the race’s 4-5 betting favorite and pacesetter Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) powered through a first half in 56.3, Moonshine Kisses bided his time. Randall unleashed the favorite heading to the three-quarter pole and when the Greene trainee made his move, it proved to be too much for his competition. Moonshine Kisses secured a decisive victory, stopping the timer in 1:52.3 for his ninth win of the season in just seventeen tries and his fifth in the last six starts in the local Open.

Crockets Cullen N finished second in a $10.20 exacta while longshot American R ebel (Luke Hanners) earned the show spot to round out a $52.50 triple. Moonshine Kisses is owned by Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY.

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

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Blue Collar Man & Dan Daley

Saturday night marked the conclusion of the eighth annual installment of the Gary Kamal Pacing Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel with Blue Collar Man at the front. The Final for the series named in the memory of a longtime Saratoga horseman who passed away in 2007 appeared to be up for grabs as the lone pacer who swept the three legs of the series drew post eight for his try in Saturday’s $35,000 Final.

Pickup Man Hanover was the public’s 9-5 betting favorite on Saturday despite the poor draw but the post position got the best of the talented three year old. Blue Collar Man (Bolt The Duer) was a beaten favorite twice in the series while confronted with defeating Pickup Man Hanover who wound up in the same division as the Dan Daley-trained pacer in each of the three legs. It was the Dan Daley trainee who flipped the script on Saturday and wound up on the front-end in the Final.

The sophomore paid a stiff price for getting to the lead though as he posted first-half fractions of 26.3 and 55 seconds before facing a host of challengers turning for home. The Blue Collar Man held on to score, winning a photo with longshot Special FX (Chris Long) to prevail in 1:53.4 and become the eighth winner in the history of the Gary Kamal Pacing Series. Special FX, a leg one winner, was the runner-up on Saturday while Skyline Blue Chip (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot.

Blue Collar Man paid $5.80 to win as the second-choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that returned $50.50 and $425.50, respectively. The three year old Blue Collar Man is owned by Ann-Mari Daley and Donald Brenner, both of Florida.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that starts at noon. | Saratoga Springs, New York

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Moonshine Kisses & Jay Randall

Moonshine Kisses (Sunshine Beach) continued his hot streak on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel when the Jackie Greene trainee rattled off his third consecutive win in the local Open Pace. The six year old, who has split his season between Saratoga and mostly Plainridge Park, put the swoop to the group once again in Saturday’s $16,000 Open when he went last to first with reinsman Jay Randall at the controls. Moonshine Kisses prevailed in last weekend’s Open Pace when he pulled off a last-to-first move to stop the timer in 1:53. In his repeat effort, the star pacer again overcame his outside post by cruising past his rivals late to score in 1:53.3 in what was his eighth victory of the 2022 campaign and his third in the local Open in the month of October. On Saturday, the Greene trainee paid $4.80 as the race’s 7-5 betting favorite. Pocket Of Terror A (Brett Beckwith) was the runner-up in the feature while longshot Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. The exacta and triple in the race returned $14.80 and $179.50, respectively. Moonshine Kisses is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Moonshine Kisses & Jay Randall

Moonshine Kisses (Sunshine Beach) drew the outside post for Saturday night’s try in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene trainee is no stranger to winning Opens having done so on several occasions this season both locally and at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts. In Saturday’s installment of the $16,000 feature, he got away last in the six-horse Open.

The fractions were quick up front as they went to the half in 56.3 and when the favored Alluneedisfaith N (Shawn Gray) revved up the engine, the Jackie Green trainee followed him. Alluneedisfaith N was the even money favorite in the feature having finished first or second in six of his seven starts since moving to the stable of Alicia Gray in early August. That one powered up into contention while Moonshine Kisses tipped off his cover around the final turn.

It was Moonshine Kisses who paced fastest of all in the stretch surging past his rivals to score his second local Open win of the month coming on to get it in 1:53. The six year old, who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY, secured his seventh victory of the season in just fifteen tries. Alluneedisfaith N lengthened his streak of finishing first or second when he was the runner-up Saturday to Moonshine Kisses completing a $13.80 exacta.

Talking Tom (Jimmy Devaux) finished third in a $56.50 triple. Jay Randall was the winning driver behind Moonshine Kisses.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for noon.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Pickup Man Hanover & Luke Hanners

There were three divisions of the first leg of the Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series contested on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Pickup Man Hanover (Huntsville) enjoyed a dynamic freshman campaign in 2021 which saw him hit the board in all eight starts en route to more than $110,000 in earnings.

The Simone Noud trainee made just the third start of his sophomore season on Saturday and cut the mile in his $12,500 division of the series. Driver Luke Hanners powered Pickup Man Hanover out to the lead in the early going and despite being tested for the majority of the mile held strong in the stretch to prevail in 1:54 and set a new lifetime mark. After recording leg one’s fastest victory on Saturday, Pickup Man Hanover established himself as perhaps the one to beat in the annual fall series.

The Andy Gardner-trained Special FX (Sportswriter) drew the rail in his division of the series and driver Chris Long got the four year old a pocket trip. The race’s odds-on favorite Wolftrax (Shawn Gray) got parked the mile but fought gamely every step of the way before losing a photo with Special FX at the wire. The Gardner trainee paid $12.60 in the mild upset. Wolftrax, who had to settle for second, will be one to watch in the remainder of the series.

The final division of the first leg of the Kamal Memorial went the way of Skyline Blue Chip (American Ideal). Despite the fact that the Gary Levine trainee came into the series on a two-race win streak, Skyline Blue Chip was dismissed at odds of 10-1 when he got a pocket trip from leading driver Jimmy Devaux. The three year old pacer cruised up the inside to record the upset while matching his lifetime mark while scoring in 1:55.2. Devaux piloted four winners on the Saturday card.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for noon. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $1,995 beginning in the matinee’s first race.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Alluneedisfaith N & Shawn Gray

Alluneedisfaith N (Art Major) has been a force since joining the stable of trainer Alicia Gray this August. On Saturday, the New Zealand invader won the local Open Pace for the second time and extended his streak of finishing first or second to five weeks. Alluneedisfaith N was the 4-5 betting favorite in Saturday’s Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel and driver Shawn Gray marched the public’s choice out to the lead in a first quarter in 28.1.

As if that fraction wasn’t soft enough, the veteran got even more of a breather before clicking off a half in 59.1 and from there the race seemed like it was over. Optical Illusion N (Chris Long) drew post seven in the seven-horse feature and had the daunting task of trying to close in a race with such soft fractions up front. Optical Illusion N drew even with Alluneedisfaith N late in the mile and those two squared off in the stretch before the favorite held strong to prevail in a mile paced in 1:54.3.

Optical Illusion N hit the board for the sixth time in his last seven tries in the Open when he finished second on Saturday to complete a $24 exacta. Keystone Dakota (Brett Beckwith) earned the show spot to round out a $76.50 triple. Alluneedisfaith N now has four wins and two seconds in seven starts since joining the Gray stable. The eight year old is owned by Doug Overhiser of Florida.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee starting at noon. There will be a $1,486 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the afternoon’s first race.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Moonshine Kisses & Jay Randall

No trainer has won the Open Pace more times in the last decade at Saratoga Casino Hotel than Jackie Greene. The track’s two-time leading trainer splits her time between Saratoga and Plainridge as she has several top-flight, Open caliber pacers. On Saturday evening, Greene’s Moonshine Kisses (Sunshine Beach) was the 2-5 betting favorite in the local Open Pace as the six year old made his return to town off a victory in the Plainridge Open last week.

Driver Jay Randall took back early with the public’s odds-on choice on Saturday but with the first half going in just 57.2, it didn’t necessarily shape up to be a closer’s race. Moonshine Kisses picked up the cover of rival Optical Illusion N (Chris Long) who has become a force in the Open this summer and was coming off a win in last week’s installment of the $16,000 feature. The outer tier thrived and as Optical Illusion N wore down the leader, Moonshine Kisses tipped off his cover and came charging hard in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:52.4 to record his second local Open win of the year and his sixth victory overall in thirteen seasonal starts.

Optical Illusion N was the runner-up while Patrikthepiranha A (Brett Beckwith) closed to be third. Moonshine Kisses, who is owned by Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY, paid $2.90 to win as the big favorite and led an exacta and triple that returned $11.80 and $36, respectively. The victory was the sixth at the Spa this season in the Open Pace for Jackie Greene.

Live racing continues on Sunday with a matinee beginning at noon.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Alluneedisfaith N & Shawn Gray

Alluneedisfaith N (Art Major) recorded his first local Open victory at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday in what was a huge night for driver Shawn Gray. He was a beaten favorite in his two Spa starts coming into Saturday’s try when he drew post six in the six-horse Open Pace. The 5-2 second-choice in the wagering, Alluneedisfaith N got away last in the $16,000 feature and with fractions nothing close to blistering up front, the chances appeared bleak for the Alicia Gray trainee after the first half went in 56.4.

The favorite was carving out the fractions while confronted by a first-over Optical Illusion N (Billy Dobson). Those two slugged it out as Alluneedisfaith N remained sixth and last at the three-quarter pole. Gray fanned the New Zealand import to the far outside around the final turn and the eight year old made the kind of move rarely seen when racing against top flight competition. The classy veteran powered past his rivals to score in 1:52.3 to register his first win in a local Open highlighted by a final quarter of 27.1.

Alluneedisfaith N paid $7.30 to win and led an exacta with Keystone Dakota (Brett Beckwith) second that returned $35.40. Optical Illusion N finished third and rounded out a $156 triple. Gray’s win behind Alluneedisfaith N, who is owned by Doug Overhiser of Illinois, was one of four consecutive victories and five on the night in total for the veteran reinsman who sits fourth in the driver standings for the season.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with first post time set for Noon.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser