La Bella Vita N & Shawn Gray

La Bella Vita N (Changeover) drew post position seven in a seven-horse featured field on Sunday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Alicia Gray trainee was making her debut in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa following a successful stint at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts. La Bella Vita N advanced a bit in the early going in Sunday’s $16,000 Open as Shawn Gray got her away fourth. Like La Bella Vita N, Always Watching (Jordan Derue) was in the local Open for the first time in her young career and drew the rail for Sunday’s try. That longshot was aggressive from the get-go and the 11-1 shot carved out first half fractions of 27.1 and 56.4 before rebuffing a first-over bid from the race’s favorite. All the while, La Bella Vita N drafted behind the cover of the favorite before fanning three-wide around the final turn. The seven year old New Zealand invader surged in the stretch and completed her swoop of the group to score in 1:53.1 in her first ever Open win at Saratoga. Always Watching finished a strong second while Birch Island Betty (Billy Dobson) came on to be third. La Bella Vita N, who is owned by Bowie Racing and Michael Goldberg Racing, paid $10.20 to win in the mild upset. The exacta returned $83 while the triple came back $364. The victory in the Open was one of two on the card for Alicia Gray and Shawn Gray whose Spicytuna Bluechip (Roll With Joe) scored earlier in the night.

Live racing will resume on Friday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post time. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $2,326 starting in the evening’s first race.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Renée Casavant

Reign Of Honor & Shawn Gray

Reign Of Honor won his second open trot this year with Shawn Gray in the bike on Sunday afternoon. He also earned a new lifetime mark on a half mile, trotting to the win in  1:55.2. Reign Of Honor is trained by Kevin McDermott.

Melissa Simser
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Twin B Deluxe & Jason Bartlett

Saratoga Harness hosted the NYSS 3year old colt pacers today. Twin B Deluxe, trained by Andrew Harris, won the first of three New York Sire Stakes races each with a purse of $58,000. Driver Jason Bartlett steered Twin B Deluxe to the win in 1:53.

The fastest mile of the day was in a division of the New York Excelsior series, when Kingsville paced in 1:52.3. Kingsville is trained by Gareth Dowse and was driven by Scott Zeron.

Melissa Simser
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Dewey Arnold & Jimmy Devaux

Dewey Arnold, trained by Dave Dewhurst, with regular driver Jim Devaux won Saratoga’s open trot on Sunday afternoon in 1:55.1

Melissa Simser

Remember Titans & Jay Randall

Remember Titans, trained by Jackie Greene, won Sunday’s open trot in 1:54.1. Jay Randall was the winning driver.

Melissa Simser
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Perfect Vixen & John Stark Jr.

The start to the season hasn’t been perfect for the Scott Mongeon-trained Perfect Vixen (Muscles Yankee) but it’s been close. The three year old filly came into the John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series as the one to beat after winning four races in five starts in the 2022 campaign. The clear favorite in the ninth annual installment of the Mongeon Memorial Series, Perfect Vixen set a lifetime mark in leg one scoring in 1:56.2 with John Stark Jr. in the sulky. After drawing post eight, the filly had to settle for a third-place finish in leg two while squaring off against a strong group of competitors. On Sunday, Stark wasted very little time moving the race’s 1-5 betting favorite out to the lead where she never encountered an anxious moment before scoring in 1:56.3 to cement her role as the one to knock off heading into next Sunday’s Series Final. Titan On the Rail (Mickey McGivern) closed well to be second and finished his legs of the series with a win and a pair of seconds. Gavinator (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot.

In the other $10,000 division of the series’ third leg, Charlatan Hanover (Uncle Peter) powered out to the early lead and the leg two runner-up rolled to victory from there. Wally Hennessey piloted Charlatan Hanover to the front-running win as the Gary Levine trainee punched his ticket to next Sunday’s Final behind a 1:58 score. The win was one of four on the afternoon for Hennessey.

Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga and will feature a Jackpot in the Pick Six that sits at $6,358 beginning in race eight. First post time is set for Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Dewey Arnold & Jimmy Devaux

Dewey Arnold (Deweycheatumnhowe) scored his second consecutive victory in the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday when the Dave Dewhurst trainee gutted out a first-over journey to secure the win. After a bit of a slow start to his 2022 campaign, Dewey Arnold has now toughed out back-to-back difficult journeys en route to his consecutive victories in the $15,000 Open Trot. Jimmy Devaux piloted the four year old former New York Sire Stakes star who toughed out Sunday’s win in 1:56.1 despite drawing the outside post in the feature. Gigfy (Alek Chartrand) held on to finish second while Gettin Messi (Shawn Gray) came on to earn the show spot. Dewey Arnold, who is owned by Philip Hale and Dave Dewhurst, paid $6.00 to win as the race’s second choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that came back $38.60 and $177, respectively.

Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga beginning at noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Dewey Arnold & Jimmy Devaux

Dewey Arnold (Deweycheatumnhowe) was a winning machine in 2021. Competing primarily in the New York Sire Stakes all spring and summer, the Dave Dewhurst trainee rattled off victory after victory before becoming an Open trotter late in the season. When racing in the local trotting feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Dewey Arnold enjoyed a strong stretch in the fall before being shut down in mid-October. All told, in his sophomore season Dewey Arnold piled up over a quarter million dollars in earnings by way of twelve wins.

The ’22 campaign didn’t get off to as good of a start for Dewey though and he didn’t have much to show for his first three starts back. On Sunday afternoon, the four year old drew post three for his try in the $15,000 Open Trot. The track’s defending leading driver Jimmy Devaux asked Dewey Arnold for some early speed and things looked grim after the start as the talented trotter wound up being parked out.

Bridge Works (Luke Hanners) was on the front-end and felt mild pressure from Dewey Arnold who took a ride on the rim in a first half that was clocked in 57.3. Squee Hanover (Billy Dobson) pulled behind the parked out rival before tipping three wide around the final turn. Bridge Works began to tire though and Dewey Arnold just kept plugging away before taking the lead turning for home. Squee Hanover charged at him late in the game but the chase proved to be futile. Dewey Arnold registered his first victory of the season and did so in 1:56.2 to match the fastest trotting mile of the young season at the Spa. Squee Hanover finished second while Bridge Works held on for third. In his first score of the year, Dewey Arnold paid $4.30 to win as the favorite and led an exacta and triple that came back $22.60 and $62.50, respectively. Dewey Arnold is co-owned by his trainer Dave Dewhurst and Philip Hale of New Hartford, NY.

Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a Noon start to the matinee.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Powerscourt & Mickey McGivern

Powerscourt (Credit Winner) won his first ever Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The six year old was a New York Sire Stakes star early on in his career and in recent seasons has taken to facing top-level trotters at the Spa. Just two weeks removed from a mild upset victory in a $13,000 Winners Over trot, Powerscourt drew post two for Sunday’s try in the $15,000 trotting feature. Mickey McGivern pilots Powerscourt for trainer Cheryl McGivern and sat fourth throughout the first 5/8 of a mile on Sunday before taking his shot at local trotting stalwart Squee Hanover approaching three-quarters. Powerscourt, who was dismissed at odds of 28-1, charged past the leader before holding off a late bid from fellow longshot Hot Wheelz (Luke Hanners) in the stretch to score in 1:57.4. Xcuseme (John Stark Jr), who finished second in last Sunday’s Open, earned the show spot to continue his strong start to the 2022 campaign. Powerscourt paid $59.50 to win in the big Open upset and led a hefty exacta and triple that came back $592 and $2,346, respectively. The winner is owned by Charles Foster, William Carroll and Mike Sentiwany, all of New York. A McGivern double was completed when young trotter Titan On The Rail ( E L Titan) went back-to-back on Sunday. The four year old matched his win time from last week when he stopped the timer in 2:02.1 with Mickey McGivern in the sulky. Titan On The Rail’s upset came at odds of 7-1.

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

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser