American Tour N Wins Series Final

American Tour N (American Ideal) won the Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series for fillies and mares when on Tuesday she was a decisive wire-to-wire winner in the $32,200 Final. Jimmy Devaux piloted the Brett Derue-trained mare who scored victories in legs two and three of the series before being the 1-5 betting favorite in Tuesday’s Final.

Lookintomyeyes (Leon Bailey) sat the pocket to American Tour N for the second consecutive week and finished second in the Final while leg three winner Nora Tova (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. American Tour N, who is owned in partnership by Steve Picarazzi and her trainer Brett Derue, led a $5 exacta and $23.80 triple. Derue won the Step Up To The Plate Trotting Series last week when his Mr Cool Seaeyre N went coast-to-coast in the Final.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga and will feature a carryover of $10,269 in the early Pick Five. The Pick Five starts in the first race which is set to take place at 5pm.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

Control Tower Wins Claiming Series Finale

Control Tower put the finishing touches on a terrific Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Jared Bako claimed the veteran pacer out of the first leg of the series and saw the eleven year old score victories in leg two and three heading into his try in the $33,100 Saturday Final. Leading driver Jimmy Devaux sat behind Control Tower in his pair of wins leading up to the Final in which he drew post seven in the eight-horse field. Devaux again blasted Control Tower off the gate and surged him up into the early lead, a lead he would never relinquish. The Bako trainee went coast-to-coast in 1:56 to conclude a massively successful series for the claiming pacer. Longshot Fatheroftheyear (Shawn Gray), the only participant of the Final to not have recorded a win in the three-leg series, closed well to finish second on Saturday while Nerve Of Steel N (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Control Tower moved over the half million dollar mark in lifetime earnings with the win. He was the race’s 9-5 betting favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $34.40 and $99, respectively.

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

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

American Tour N & Jim Devaux

Tuesday afternoon’s program at Saratoga Casino Hotel consisted of three divisions of the Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series for fillies and mares. Early on, it wasn’t looking like a day for the favorites in the series as the public’s odds-on favorites were defeated in the first two divisions. The first $17,500 division of leg three saw Nora Tova (Western Terror) post the fastest win the day as the Phil Fluet-trained and driven five year old outclosed her rivals to score in 1:56.2. Paying $8.20 to win, Nora Tova got the best of two-leg series winner Ol Little Shift (Leon Bailey) who had to settle for second-best on Tuesday. Nora Tova likely punched her ticket to next week’s Series Final which is set to go for a purse of upwards of $30,000. The distaffer is owned by Joe Stanislowsky of Queensbury, NY.

Doyoukissfirstdate (American Ideal) sprung a mild upset on Tuesday aided by a break made by the race’s favorite. Jaymes McAssey trains the six year old Doyoukissfirstdate who got the early lead and never looked back before stopping the timer in 1:57.1. It was the second start for the mare out of the stable of McAssey who currently sits in the top three in the local trainer standings. Doyoukissfirstdate, who was driven to victory by Luke Hanners, paid $12 to win in the mild upset. The winner is owned by Lases Racing of Sheridan, MI.

A favorite finally prevailed in the final division of the day and prevailed decisively. American Tour N (American Ideal) came in off a victory in leg two of the series which saw her put the swoop to the group to score at odds of 4-1. On Tuesday, the Brett Derue trainee grabbed the early lead and made it look easy going coast-to-coast in 1:54.3 to record the fastest win of any division of the series in the three legs leading into next week’s Final. American Tour N, who is owned in partnership by Derue and Steve Picarazzi, was piloted to the Tuesday romp by Jimmy Devaux while the overwhelming betting choice at odds of 2-5.

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

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino HotelSaratoga Springs, New York

Mr Cool Seaeyre N Wins Claiming Series Trot Final

Mr Cool Seaeyre N (The Pres) has had a great year under the guidance of trainer Brett Derue at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Monday afternoon, the eleven year old scored the biggest win maybe of his career when he went coast-to-coast in the $31,500 Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series Final for trotters. Brett Beckwith piloted Mr Cool Seaeyre N to each of his three victories in 2023 heading into Monday including a leg two score which came in 1:57. On Monday, the young reinsman powered the New Zealand-bred high-stepper out to the early lead and never looked back. Shadowed every step of the way by the race’s favorite Life Well Lived (Phil Fluet), Mr Cool Seaeyre N cruised unopposed through a first half in 58 seconds and encountered just a brief bid from the favorite in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:58 for the series win. Life Well Lived, the 6-5 public choice in the wagering, came up second best while Esa (Luke Hanners) concluded his successful series with a third-place finish in the Final. Mr Cool Seaeyre N, who paid $5.90 to win, is owned by Picarazzi, Derue and Bullard of NY. The exacta paid $13.20 in the matinee’s feature while the triple returned $51.50.

Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee starting at noon.

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York