Mach Le More A & Leon Bailey
Mach Le More A (Mach Three) won his first Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel back in April. The seven year old Amanda Kelley trainee is in the midst of a career year and has spent much of it racing in the local Winners Over, a level one below the Open. On occasion, Mach Le More A steps up into the regular Saturday feature and finished second and third place in his last two starts against the track’s best heading into this week’s try. Leon Bailey pilots the Kelley trainee and powered him out to the early lead in the $16,000 feature. With very little speed to test him in the early going, Mach Le More A enjoyed leisurely first-half fractions of 28.1 and 57.2 with Ucanttouchthis (Brett Beckwith), the race’s favorite, sitting in the pocket. Mach Le More A took advantage of those soft early fractions and paced up a storm in the final half before powering away to win in 1:52 pacing his back half in 54.3. Ucanttouchthis finished a solid second in his Open debut while Somebeach Baron (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot. Mach Le More A set a new lifetime mark with his 1:52 score which was the eighth win in the Open Pace this year for owner ScheigertandAllies LLC, of Saratoga Springs, and trainer Amanda Kelley. Mach Le More A paid $7.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $22.20 and $90.50, respectively.
Live racing continues on Sunday evening at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser
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 at Saratoga 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.
Photo: Melissa Simser
Vel Mr Nice Guy & Billy Dobson
Apex Seelster & Jimmy Devaux
Apex Seelster (Big Jim) is in the midst of a career year and on Saturday night, the Monticello invader looked to prevail in Saratoga Casino Hotel’s Open Pace for the first time. The Ken Koch-trained pacer came to town as a winner of three consecutive tries in the Monticello Open and after scoring in the $13,000 Winners Over in his Spa debut, Apex Seelster finished second in last weekend’s Open despite making a break before the start. On Saturday, the six year old drew post five in the eight-horse Open and wound up coming first-over on the race’s leader Lake Charles (Leon Bailey).
The winningest Open horse in the 2022 campaign at the Spa, Lake Charles left to overcome post eight and after getting a first half in 56 seconds was approached by Apex Seelster who looked to grind the leader into submission. In the meantime, Mikibytheseaside (Luke Hanners), who came into the race off an Open win of his own, sat the pocket behind the dueling leaders who brought their battle into the homestretch.
Those three fought it out to the wire where Apex Seelster emerged victorious in a mile clocked in 1:52.1 on a chilly evening in the Spa City. Mikibytheseaside finished second at odds of 12-1 while Lake Charles held third. The winner paid $4.60 and led an exacta and triple that returned $52.50 and $312, respectively. Apex Seelster is owned by Tom Milici of Montgomery, NY.
Live racing at Saratoga continues on Sunday afternoon with a Noon start to the Father’s Day matinee.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy
Hudson Phil & Billy Dobson
Hudson Phil prevailed in the first installment of the Open Pace this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel in early February. The Jackie Greene trainee has been a force at the Spa for the last few years and is once again establishing himself as a top-flight pacer in the early stages of the ’22 campaign. After springing an upset on opening weekend, Hudson Phil had a second, a third and a fourth in the local Open before hitting the board in consecutive starts at Yonkers Raceway. On Saturday night, the seven year old was back in town and wound up as the 8-5 betting favorite in the $15,000 Open Pace at the Spa. Billy Dobson piloted the Greene-trained pacer who sat back in the early going as several rivals slugged it out in the first half. After watching the first half go in 56 seconds, Hudson Phil started to make his move and tipped three-wide approaching the three-quarter pole before swooping the group and opening up a big lead. Hudson Phil drew away from the competition to win by almost seven lengths in 1:53 to record his second Open win of the season. Mikibytheseaside (Jay Randall) made his Open Pace debut on Saturday and finished second despite drawing post eight while Elite Retreat (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. Hudson Phil paid $5.30 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $17 and $164.50, respectively. The winner is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY who now have four victories in the Open Pace this year, two with Hudson Phil and two with local superstar Artful Way. While Dobson scored the victory in the Open, Leon Bailey was the evening’s driving star as Vernon Downs’ back-to-back top reinsman drove five winners on the Saturday card.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon. There is a Pick Five carryover of $2,460, a Pick Six jackpot carryover of $1,624. First post time is set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser
Mikibytheseaside & Jay Randall
With no Open Pace on the docket, the $13,000 Winners Over for pacers was the feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night. Mikibytheseaside (Always B Miki) made his 2022 debut in the feature coming off a pair of qualifiers in which he went coast-to-coast. The Andy Sardella trainee came to the Spa last fall and rattled off victories in his first three local starts before taking the winter off. On Saturday, he was the 9-5 second choice in the wagering when driver Jay Randall pointed him out to the lead in the Winners Over race. Following a reasonable first half that went in 57.3, the four year old cruised through a third quarter in 27.3 while hounded by the favored Oregon Trail (Billy Dobson) who was first-over. Mikibytheseaside put that rival away in the stretch and reported home a winner in 1:54 in his return. Oregon Trail was a game runner-up while Northern Rein (Leon Bailey) earned the show spot. Mikibytheseaside paid $5.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $19.20 and $240, respectively. The winner is owned by Mike and Bill Pozefsky of New York.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser
Better Moonon Over & Jimmy Devaux
A pair of claimers led veteran conditioner Jim Martuscello to a training double on Saturday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Martuscello runs a small stable at the Spa and added two new members to his barn a few weeks ago when owner Pasquale Baia, of Amsterdam NY, claimed pacers Better Moonon Over and Gibus. Better Moonon Over made a break in his first start off the claim but the six year old has since rebounded in style. Following a second-place finish, Better Moonon Over was a decisive in his next start leading up to Saturday’s try in the $5,000 claiming ranks. Jimmy Devaux powered Better Moonon Over out to the early lead and from there, it was over. The claiming pacer cruised away to win by better than six lengths in 1:55.1 to complete his back-to-back jacks.
Gibus was claimed for $12,500 by Baia and Martuscello last month and finished second in his first start for new connections in late February. After a three week layoff, it was back to the track on Saturday for Gibus who moved up into the $15,000 claiming ranks for the first time. Reinsman Brett Beckwith sat patiently with Gibus throughout the first five-eighths of a mile before unleashing him approaching the three-quarter pole. The seven year old put one in the win column for the first time this year when he surged past the front-runner before powering away to prevail by two and a quarter lengths in a mile clocked in 1:55.2 to complete a double for his owner and trainer. Gibus paid $10.000 to win in the mild Saturday upset. Martuscello had started out his ’22 campaign with four wins and four seconds in just ten seasonal starts.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser
Skyway Victor & Jay Randall
Skyway Victor (Tellitlikeitis) has been impressive for his new connections in the early stages of the 2022 campaign at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Acquired this offseason by owners Mark Eaton and Robert Griffin, Skyway Victor won his Spa debut when he went coast-to-coast in 1:55 to prevail in a $13,000 Winners Over for pacers on February 19th. After not factoring while starting from post eight in his first try in the Open, Skyway Victor drew post six for Saturday’s start in the $15,000 Open Pace. Driver Jay Randall found early speed from the four year old pacer who got to the first quarter in 28 seconds before reaching the half in 57 seconds flat. The race’s favorite Belmont Major N (Shawn Gray) was making his local debut and he stormed up to challenge the leader approaching the three quarter pole but Skyway Victor would not be denied. The Eaton trainee dug in and finished in a 27.3 final quarter en route to victory in 1:53, the fastest mile of the season for any horse at the Spa thus far. Belmont Major N was the runner-up in his first local try while Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. The winner paid $6.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $14 and $49.20, respectively.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that kicks off at Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser
Keystone Dakota & Brett Beckwith
Keystone Dakota, and mother and son team Melissa and Brett Beckwith won Saturdays open pace in 1:55.1
Artful Way & Billy Dobson
As has been the case dozens upon dozens of times over the course of the last five years, Artful Way (Artistic Fella) won the Open Pace on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The three-time Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Artful Way made his first start in the Open in 2022 on Saturday while coming off a win in the $13,000 Winners Over. The Jackie Greene-trained superstar was the 2-1 second-choice in the betting when driver Billy Dobson blasted him out to the front end in the $15,000 feature. The ten year old carved out first half fractions of 27.1 and 57.2 on a cold and snowy evening in Saratoga Springs before being met with the challenge of the race’s odds-on favorite Lake Charles (Leon Bailey). The veteran leader dispatched the first-over bid by the public’s top choice with relative ease and just needed to hold off fellow past Pacer of the Year Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) in the stretch, a task that he was more than prepared for. Artful Way stopped the timer in 1:55 for his second victory in three seasonal tries. Paying $6.00 to win, Artful Way led an exacta with Crockets Cullen N that paid $36 in a five-horse feature while the triple came back $67.50 with the favored Lake Charles earning the show spot. Artful Way is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser