Innisfallen & Jordan Derue
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Big Box Hanover & Larry Stalbaum
After getting away fourth, Larry Stalbaum pulled first up at the half mile marker with Big Box Hanover and took the lead, winning by 3 lengths in 1:56.
Perfect Vixen & John Stark Jr.
Perfect Vixen (Muscles Yankee) wins the 2022 New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Saratoga Casino Hotel hosted the 2022 NYSS (New York Sire Stakes) Excelsior Series finals on Sunday afternoon. All 8 finals went for a purse of $50,000.
Sea Shadows & Brett Beckwith
Sea Shadows (Shadow Play) became the second distaffer to win the Fillies and Mares Open five times in 2022 when on Sunday evening she went coast-to-coast in the $16,000 feature. The Melissa Beckwith trainee drew post seven in the seven-horse Open but driver Brett Beckwith was undaunted by the post draw and marched the classy mare out to the early lead.
The seven year old paid a stiff price to get to the engine, posting a first quarter in 27.4 before reaching the half in 56.2 while traveling unopposed once she got to the front-end. Sea Shadows saw very little pressure before turning for home with a commanding lead. Pocket-sitter Demeter N (Larry Stalbaum) put in a solid effort to be second but was no match for the favored Sea Shadows who paced away to stop the timer in 1:53.2 for her second consecutive win in the Fillies and Mares Open and fifth score since coming to town in early June.
The race’s longshot Unstoppable Hall (Steve Rybka) earned the show spot. For Sea Shadows and her owner Paul O’Neil of Saratoga Springs, it was victory number twelve on the season which put her over the $100,000 mark in earnings on the ’22 campaign. The exacta with the 3-5 betting favorite on top paid $7.60 while the triple came back $64.50. Sea Shadows’ five Open wins ties her with Chasethecloudsaway for most among fillies and mares.
Live racing resumes on Friday evening in Saratoga with a first post time set for 5PM. The post-Labor day schedule for the month of September will include Friday and Saturday evening racing at 5PM at Saratoga Casino Hotel while Sunday and Monday matinees begin at Noon.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy
Birch Island Betty & Luke Hanners
Birch Island Betty (Big Jim) won the Fillies and Mares Open for the fourth time of the season at Saratoga Casino Hotel when the Eve Bergeron-trained pacer went coast-to-coast on Sunday night. They powered out to the early lead and driver Luke Hanners rated the mile well, getting a half in 57.2 before clicking off three-quarters in 1:25.4.
The seven year old distaffer got tested in the stretch when last week’s Open winner Demeter N (Larry Stalbaum) tried to complete a last-to-first move to repeat in the ladies’ feature. They held off that late bid and stopped the timer in 1:54.2 to record her fifth victory of the season and fourth in Open company. Demeter N finished second while Luck B Mine (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot in the $16,000 feature.
Birch Island Betty, who paid $11.80 to win in the mild upset, is owned by Dany Grenier of Quebec, Canada. The exacta and triple in the race came back $51 and $313, respectively. With the win, Birch Island Betty moved her career bankroll to over the quarter million dollar mark.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy