Thursday afternoon’s matinee at Saratoga Casino Hotel featured three divisions of the second leg of the Holiday Trotting Series. Horses had their final chance to secure points towards next week’s $20,000 Series Final. Each of the three divisions on Thursday went for a purse of $7,500. The Royal Harry (RC Royalty) stole the show in leg two as he cruised to a wire-to-wire romp for the second consecutive week. Leading driver Billy Dobson has piloted The Royal Harry, who returned to the stable of trainer Andy Sardella a couple of weeks ago, to the back-to-back jacks. On Thursday, the young trotter, who participated in the 2016 Hambletonian, never had an anxious moment as he romped in 1:57.4, the fastest of the leg two divisions to stamp himself as the one to beat in next week’s Final. In the victory, The Royal Harry bested the race’s favorite JS Trotting Bob (Phil Fluet) who was a fellow leg one winner but came up second best on Thursday.
Sweet Royalty (Shawn Gray) went coast-to-coast as his division’s 1-5 betting favorite on Thursday as the leg one runner-up jogged in 1:59 on a chilly December afternoon in Saratoga. The final division of the day went the way of The Cuse Is Loose (Brian Cross) who became the second repeat winner in the legs of the series behind an open length score in the matinee’s finale. The Andy Byler-trained The Cuse Is Loose cruised to victory despite drawing the outside post and did so in 2:00.3 while the public’s 2-5 betting favorite. The third annual installment of the $20,000 Holiday Trot Final will take place next week during closing week of the 2018 racing season at the Spa.
Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa SImser-Iovino