Chasethecloudsaway & Luke Hanners

Chasethecloudsaway (Sunshine Beach) was a winning machine in 2021 scoring an impressive sixteen times over the course of the year. While most of the Chris Petrelli-trained mare’s victories took place at Monticello, the then four year old did thrive at Saratoga Casino Hotel as well. A four-time winner of the local Fillies and Mares Open in ‘21, Chasethecloudsaway made her seasonal debut on Tuesday afternoon with just one winning qualifier under her belt. Luke Hanners was the regular driver for the talented distaffer late last year and sat behind her for Tuesday’s try in the $15,000 feature. Hanners flashed some early speed with the race’s 8-5 betting favorite but had to settle for fourth in the early going as Somebeachsomefra (Jimmy Devaux) set honest fractions on the front end. Chasethecloudsaway made her move just past the half and marched up first-over before grinding the leader into submission in the stretch and prevailing by three quarters of a length in a mile clocked in 1:56.1. Somebeachsomefra finished second while Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum), the runner-up in last week’s ladies’ Open, had to settle for third on Tuesday. Chasethecloudsaway paid $5.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $19.60 and $83.50, respectively. The trip to the winner’s circle in the feature was one of three consecutive on the card for young reinsman Luke Hanners who scored a natural hat trick on the matinee card.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 13 race card set to begin at 5:00pm.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

All SPeed Rising & Shawn Gray

All Speed Rising (All Speed Hanover) has thrived out of the stable of trainer Andy Gardner this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The six year old mare came into her try in Tuesday’s feature off a victory in a $12,300 conditional race last week. Shawn Gray got the driving assignment behind All Speed Rising on Tuesday and moved the distaffer out to the early lead in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open. After cruising through a fast first quarter of 27.2, Gray backed things down with the 11-1 outsider and got a half in 58 seconds. All Speed Rising didn’t face much of a challenge before trying to open up around the final turn. The race’s longshot The Fun Marshall (Alek Chartrand) sat the pocket and tried to get to the leader in the stretch. Her chase proved futile as All Speed Rising held on to win her first Open of the year in 1:55.2. 23-1 shot The Fun Marshall finished second while Shecandance N (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot in the Open for the second straight week. All Speed Rising, who is owned by George Tackley and Wendy Storrier, paid $25.60 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $277.50 and $1,958, respectively. The win was one of three on the day for Andy Gardner who has surged into second place in the trainer standings with one week remaining in the 2021 campaign.

Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Chasethecloudsaway & Luke Hanners

Chasethecloudsaway (Sunshine Beach) has become an instant star at Saratoga Casino Hotel in a very short period of time. The Chris Petrelli-trained mare prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open on Tuesday for the fourth time in just five starts in the $15,000 feature for lady pacers. Luke Hanners has been the regular reinsman for the four year old who has displayed versatility in winning her races and hit the wire first for the incredible sixteenth time of the season overall. Chasethecloudsaway was the 1-5 betting favorite on Tuesday in the six-horse Open and left a bit to get away fourth in the early going. Hanners moved the star distaffer first-over at the half and she chipped away at the lead of rival Birch Island Betty (Billy Dobson) before putting her away once and for all at the head of the stretch. Chasethecloudsaway stopped the timer in 1:55.1 to continue her winning ways. Birch Island Betty extended her streak of hitting the board in the Open to eight by finishing as the runner-up on Tuesday while invader Shecandance N (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. The exacta and triple in the race paid $5.90 and $13.20, respectively, with the big favorite on top. Chasethecloudsaway is owned by David Del Pozzo of Methuen, MA.

Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at noon. Prior to the race card, there will be an awards presentation taking place in the winner’s circle followed by a retirement ceremony for several 14 year old horses as the season begins to wrap up.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy

Birch Island Betty & Brett Crawford

Birch Island Betty (Big Jim) rode a mini win streak into the Tuesday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Eve Bergeron trainee was assigned the rail for her try in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open after rattling off back-to-back jacks in the conditional ranks. Brett Crawford picked up the catch-drive behind the six year old mare who secured a pair of Open victories last season at the Spa. Almost a year to the day of her first feature score, Birch Island Betty sat patiently in the early going on Tuesday and even got shuffled back a bit in the six-horse Open for distaffers. Rival Thats Incredible (Shawn Gray) surged first-over on the race’s favorite approaching three quarters and those two looked like they would decide it before the backfield got in motion around the final turn. Birch Island Betty, who surged in the stretch to record each of her successive victories that led up to Tuesday’s tilt, shook loose and flew home in the lane before coming on to win in 1:54.1. Thats Incredible finished second while Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) closed to be third. The winner is owned by Dany Grenier of Quebec, Canada. Paying $12.40 to win in the mild upset, Birch Island Betty led an exacta and triple that returned $74 and $296, respectively.

Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at Noon.

 

Mike Sardella
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

Bontz N & Billy Dobson

Last Tuesday afternoon (Sept 14), Bontz N outclosed the group of distaffers in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Gary Levine trainee, who has been one of the top mares at the track for the last few years, was disqualified from first and placed fifth in that start after causing interference while making a break past the three-quarter pole. This week, Bontz N again drew post four for her try in the $15,000 feature and driver Wally Hennessey didn’t waste any time getting her to the lead. The ten year old mare had to pace her first quarter in 26.4 to get to the front but got a nice breather once she settled in. After completing her first lap in 57 seconds, Bontz N was tested first-over by a longshot who took the lead at three quarters but never got clear of the stubborn and gusty Bontz N who rallied on the rail to reclaim the lead heading for home. The six pacing mares in the Open were separated by a total of about three lengths from leader to last at the head of the stretch but late in the game, it was still Bontz N who had enough left to prevail in 1:53.4, a seasonal best-matching time for the Levine trainee. The winningest mare in the local feature over the course of the last three seasons, Bontz N’s Tuesday score was her first in the Open this year. Invader Stowaway Hanover (Mark Beckwith) came from last to finish second to Bontz N while Somebeachsomefra (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. Bontz N paid $8.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $43.40 and $169.50, respectively. The winner, who is owned by April Aldrich of Greenfield Center, NY, accounted for one of two victories on the card for defending leading trainer Gary Levine. Hennessey piloted three winners on the matinee card.

Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for noon.

 

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

Cash Me Out & Phil Fluet

For the second week in a row and the eighth time this season, Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) won the local Open Trot on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Kyle Spagnola trainee moved his career earnings to over the $1.3 million mark after recording his 67th lifetime victory. Drawing post eight for the Tuesday installment of the $15,000 Open, Cash Me out flashed early speed and cruised to the top. Though the ten year old had to work hard to get the lead in a first quarter of 27.2, driver Phil Fluet gave him a breather before reaching the half in 57.2.  With the favored Bridge Works (Wally Hennessey) getting the pocket ride, Cash Me Out fended off a challenge from Gettin Messi (Chris Long) around the final turn before holding off Bridge Works in the stretch to prevail in 1:55.2, a seasonal best-matching win time. Cash Me Out’s victory came in what was his 250th career race so it was only fitting that the former Trotter of the Year at the track (at the current favorite for the honor once again this season) added another win to his tally on Tuesday. Dismissed at odds of 9-1, Cash Me Out paid $21.20 in his most recent victory and led an exacta with the favored Bridge Works second that came back $61. The triple with Gettin Messi hanging on for third returned $303. Cash Me Out is owned by Mike Traylor of Ballston Spa, NY.

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

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

Onseed N & Wally Hennessey

Alek Chartrand had a training double on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A top ten driver this season at the Spa, Chartrand is healing up from a minor injury and thus has handed over driving duties to others this week. In Tuesday’s feature, Chartrand trainee Onspeed N (Bettor’s Delight) was in the hands of Wally Hennessey when she drew the rail in the $10,000 feature for fillies and mares. Onspeed N is just two weeks removed from recording a victory in a career-best 1:53.4 with Chartrand in the sulky. Following a hard-charging third when coming from off the pace last week, Onspeed N cut the mile on Tuesday after reclaiming the lead from rival All Speed Rising (Billy Dobson) approaching the quarter pole. The seven year old New Zealand invader didn’t face much of a challenge before pacing away from her rivals to win in 1:54 with Hennessey at the controls. All Speed Rising sat the pocket and finished second to the 3-5 betting favorite in the feature for distaffers while Pammy Jo (Mark Beckwith) closed sharply to be third. The win was one of two on the day for Chartrand trainees who are owned by Michael Moore of Old Westbury, NY and one of four for Wally Hennessey who hit a grand slam on the matinee card. Chartrand and Moore’s  other victory on Tuesday came with Special Olivia (Roll With Joe) as that three year old filly put in a big effort to score in a career-best 1:55.2 with leading driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Devaux, like Hennessey, piloted four winners on the card. Chartrand, who is expected to return to driving soon, now sits in the top ten in both the driver and the trainer standings for the 2021 campaign.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

Ahundreddollarbill & Andrew Mccarthy

The richest race of the season at Saratoga Casino Hotel yielded a track record performance on Tuesday afternoon. There was one division of the New York Sire Stakes for three year old colt and gelding trotters and the $156,600 race saw the favorite not only thrive but make history. Ahundreddollarbill (Chapter Seven-Swinging Royalty- RC Royalty) drew post seven in the eight-horse stakes event but driver Andrew Mccarthy wasted very little time moving the 1-5 betting favorite out to the front end. The speedy sophomore powered through a first quarter in 27.1 before reaching the half in 56.1. The Tony Alagna trainee made it look easy as he cruised to a well-measured length and a half victory to record his sixth win in seven starts in 2021. Dewey Arnold (Jason Bartlett) sat the pocket to the winner and finished a strong second to continue his breakout campaign while Balenciaga (Wally Hennessey) earned the show spot. Ahundreddollarbill now has seasonal earnings of over $310,000 for owners Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY and James Crawford IV of Erieville, NY. The final time of 1:54 serves as a new track record for a three year old gelding trotter as it lowers the previous mark set by Dayson and Yannick Gingras in August of 2016. It is the third different performance this season in which he has set a track record as he lowered the mark at Vernon Downs and at Yonkers Raceway previous to Tuesday’s record-setting performance at the Spa.

Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga when the 12th annual Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace highlights a fifteen-race program. The Gerrity attracts some of the top pacers in North America and will be contested for a purse of $150,000. First post time is set for 6:45pm.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

Gertrude & Andy Miller

Tuesday afternoon’s card at Saratoga Casino Hotel featured New York Sire Stakes action for two year old trotting fillies. There were three divisions for the freshman trotters that went for purses of between $47,000 and $49,000. Gertrude (Devious Man- Ophelia- Broadway Hall) made her lifetime debut a winning one in impressive fashion in the first stakes race of the day. Andy Miller piloted the freshman filly for trainer Julie Miller and wasted no time moving out to the early lead with her. The race’s 3-5 betting favorite, Gertrude went coast-to-coast in 1:57.4 highlighted by a final half in 57.4 en route to breaking her maiden in her first career start. The talented high-stepper had to hold of formidable foe Seven On The Rocks (John Stark Jr.) in the stretch before reporting home a length and a quarter winner. Gertrude is owned by the Andy Miller Stable Inc. of Millstone Township, NJ.

Bomb Hugger (Chapter Seven- Stylemaker- Cantab Hall) remained undefeated on Tuesday when she went coast-to-coast to secure her first career stakes victory and move her lifetime record to two-for-two. Driven by Anthony Macdonald, Bomb Hugger made her first start out of the stable of trainer Melissa Beckwith in the $47,966 division of the NYSS and had little difficulty going the distance on the engine. Gettinmystepsin (Andy Miller) sat the pocket to the winner and put in a bit of a threat in the stretch before settling for second in her first career start while Cranberry Lake (Wally Hennessey) earned the show spot. Bomb Hugger stopped the clock in 1:58.2 in her first stakes victory for owners Thestable Bomb Hugger of Guelph, ON, Canada.

The final NYSS race for two year old fillies went the way of Joviality S (Chapter Seven-Pasithea Face S- Muscle Hill) who wound up being the fastest filly of the day after scoring in 1:56.4 in her $48,867 division. Brian Sears was in to pilot the Marcus Melander-trained filly who left no doubt as she secured a decisive victory as her race’s 7-5 betting favorite. Joviality S made her lifetime debut on Tuesday and moved out to the front end at the get-go and appeared comfortable every step of the way. The freshman filly is owned by Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, FL.

The next installment of the NYSS to be contested at Saratoga is set for Wednesday July 14th when three year old colt pacers come to town. Live harness racing continues at Saratoga Wednesday (July 7) afternoon with a Noon first post.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino

Cash Me Out & Phil Fluet

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) has been winning Opens for years at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The ten year old trotter was at it again on Tuesday afternoon as the Kyle Spagnola trainee went coast-to-coast in the $14,000 Open Trot. Cash Me Out worked hard in the early going on Tuesday making the lead in a 27.1 first quarter. After reaching the half in 57 seconds, Cash Me Out traveled largely unopposed through three quarters that went in 1:26.2. A first-over Brady Bunch (Steve Genois) fought gamely but proved to be no match for the winner who stopped the timer in 1:55.2 to record his sixth win of the season. The final time set a new seasonal mark for Cash Me Out who moved his career earnings to over the $1.26 million mark. Brady Bunch toughed it out to be second while Exarch (Jimmy Devaux), who won the previous two installments of the Open Trot, closed to finish third. Cash Me Out was the 3-5 betting favorite on Tuesday and led an exacta and triple that paid $17.40 and $65.50, respectively. The victory vaulted Cash Me Out into the lead among local Open trotters this season as it was his fourth against the Spa’s top high-steppers. Phil Fluet piloted the Open winner for owner by Mike Traylor of Ballston Spa, NY.

Live racing continues on Wednesday at Saratoga with a first post time set for Noon. The Jackpot in the Pick Six sits at $4,076 while the Jackpot for the Super High Five is $6,926.

 

Mike Sardella
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy