Friday, March 24
Crystal Sphere (Conway Hall) prevailed in Friday night’s co-feature for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Dave Spagnola-trained six year missed all of 2016 and before last week, hadn’t raced since September of ’15. Crystal Sphere finished third in his return and on Friday night was the 4-5 betting favorite in the $8,030 co-feature. Driver Frank Coppola Jr. got a pocket trip for the rejuvenated trotter who cruised right by Gotalottacredit (Mark Beckwith) who bested him when they squared off last week. The win for Crystal Sphere came in 1:59.2. Gotalottacredit came up second best while Cherry Cola (Ray Schnittker) earned the show spot.
Saturday, March 25 (featured photo)
In The Huddle (American Ideal) paced the fastest mile of the year thus far at Saratoga Casino Hotel as he made his return to town a winning one. The Joe DeCarlo-trained pacer scored a wire-to-wire win in the $12,000 Open Pace as he put up fast fractions throughout. After first half fractions of 27.1 and 56.2, In The Huddle went a back half in 55.4 en route to victory in 1:52.1, the fastest time of the season thus far at the Spa. Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket and finished as the runner-up for third time in five starts in the Open this year while Don’tcallmefrancis (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. In The Huddle had spent his entire 2017 campaign racing at Yonkers Raceway previous to his start in Saturday’s local Open. Chris Long piloted the winner who recorded ten victories in 23 starts last season. In The Huddle, who paid $7.60 to win, is owned by the Bigshow Racing Stable of Saratoga Springs.
Sunday, March 26
Slugfest (Conway Hall) continued his cold weather dominance at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday afternoon. The two-time Trotter of the Year at Saratoga has done his best work in the first few months and last few months of the calendar year in seasons past and that trend has continued in 2017. The Maureen Salino trainee once again thrived in the Open Trot on Sunday as the eight year old’s regular driver Jay Randall moved him out to the early lead in a fast first quarter of 27.4. The classy veteran never relinquished the lead and stopped the timer in 1:56.2 for his third Open win in five tries this season. Longshot Gaelic And Garlic (Mark Beckwith) sat the pocket to Slugfest and was the runner-up to him while Armor Hanover (Billy Dobson) finished third in the $12,000 feature. Slugfest was dismissed at odds of 5-1 and led an exacta and triple that paid a hefty $127 and $781, respectively. Slugfest now owns 38 career victories in 152 starts amassing earnings of almost $575,000.
Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with a first time of 12:15pm.