Out of town conditioner George Ducharme often brings some of his young horses to Saratoga Casino Hotel to compete, most times early in the year before the start of Sire Stakes season. On Thursday afternoon, Ducharme brought his The Veteran (Muscle Mass) to town to compete in the $9,000 feature for New York sired trotters. The Veteran finished third in last year’s New York Sire Stakes Final on the Night on Champions in October and prevailed in his most recent start heading into Thursday’s tilt as he set a lifetime mark winning in 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs in the Empire Breeders Classic Consolation. Frank Coppola Jr. catch-drove the three year old trotter on Thursday and sat back patiently with the public’s 1-9 betting favorite before making a late move around the final turn. The Veteran made it look easy and cruised to victory in 1:57.2 to move his trainer’s record to four wins and a second in just six local starts at the Spa in 2018. The Veteran is poised to make another run at the New York Sire Stakes and will begin that campaign in the coming weeks.
Live racing continues at Saratoga on Friday evening with a 6:45pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino