Summit City Sonny Wins Five In A Row

Summit City Sonny (Dover Dan) came into Sunday’s Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel riding as long of a win streak as any horse has had in the young season. The Jesse McAssey trainee debuted at the Spa last year and enjoyed a good amount of success racing. The 2023 campaign started with a second-place finish for Summit City Sonny who quickly got into the win column the following week while competing in the winner of two but not more than five race lifetime condition. From there, the four year old rattled off a total of four consecutive victories before stepping up into the Open for the first time on Sunday afternoon. Leon Bailey has been the regular reinsman for Summit City Sonny this season and piloted him aggressively in the $17,000 feature pulling first-over on Beerthirty K (Jimmy Devaux) who cruised through a comfortable first half of 58.3. Summit City Sonny didn’t seem to pose much of a threat to the leader who clicked off three-quarters in 1:27.1. The McAssey trainee would not give in though and just kept plugging away on the outside before wearing down Beerthirty K late in the game to prevail in his debut in the Open. Beerthirty K was the runner-up while Big Box Hanover (Matt Athearn), the winner of the previous two installments of the Open Trot, came from the back of the pack to finish third on Sunday. Summit City Sonny, who is owned by his trainer Jesse McAssey in partnership with Adam Friedland, paid $23.60 to win in the upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $76.50 and $278.50, respectively.

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

Photo: Jessica Hallett

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

Big Box Hanover & Larry Stalbaum

Big Box Hanover (Uncle Peter) was a nominee for Trotter of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel in 2022 after the classy high-stepper enjoyed a six-figure campaign by way of four victories in the local Open Trot. Larry Stalbaum owns, trains and drives the now six year old who drew post seven for his try in the first Open Trot of the ’23 season on Sunday afternoon.

Big Box Hanover came into the start off a win in the Batavia Open just a few weeks back and on Sunday, Stalbaum wasted little time powering his barn’s top trotter out to the front end. After enjoying a comfortable first half that was clocked in 58.4, they were met with the challenge of pocket-pulling rival Grinder (Leon Bailey). That one put in a brief bid but came up short as Big Box Hanover prevailed in 1:58.1 to record the victory in the first Open for trotters. Grinder came up second-best while Reign Of Honor (Brett Beckwith) earned the show spot in the $17,000 feature.

Big Box Hanover, the morning line favorite, paid $10 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $136 and $1,027, respectively.

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

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York

Mass Confession & Billy Dobson

Mass Confession (trained by Kari Finn) and driver Billy Dobson won Sunday’s final for The Bullet Bob Meyer Memorial Trot in impressive fashion. After easily making the front, the 7 year old gelding by Muscle Mass went wire to wire in 1:57.3. He was also the winner of the second leg of the series last week, trotting in 1:59.1.  Today’s final went for a purse of $21,400. Mass Confession paid $2.70 to win.

Racing continues tomorrow, first post is set for noon. | Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York
Melissa Simser

Gigfy & Alek Chartrand

On a weekend in which Gigfy (Broadway Hall) was announced as a nominee for the Trotter of the Year Award at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the Brian Mattison trainee recorded his third Open win of the season. Gigfy drew the rail for his try in the $16,000 Open Trot and took full advantage of his inside post to cut the mile in the feature.

The eight year old high-stepper cruised unopposed through a first half of 58.4 and held strong in the race’s back-half before stopping the timer in 1:56.4 for the third Open score in his ’22 campaign. Innisfallen (Jordan Derue) sat the pocket and finished second while the favored Angel Nation (Brett Beckwith) came on to be third. Gigfy was piloted by Alek Chartrand and was dismissed at odds of 9-1, paying $21.40 for win. The exacta and triple returned $160 and $616.

Gigfy is owned by Gerald D’Allessandro of Ocala, FL and Bridgette Mattison of Watervliet, NY. Gigfy now has earnings of over $97,000 in what has been a terrific season for the veteran trotter in a season that has resulted in him being named one of five nominees for the track’s top honor for trotters.

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

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

Perfect Titan & Jimmy Devaux

Perfect Titan (trained by Amanda Kelley) scored an impressive victory in today’s Jim Derue Memorial Trot final, winning by 8 lengths and trotting in 1:57.1. The three year-old gelding by E L Titan was driven to the win by Saratoga’s leading driver Jim Devaux. Perfect Titan is owned by Scheigert & Allies Racing and Gmp Stables.

Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, NY

-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