Sunday’s card at Saratoga Casino Hotel had a bit of a “halftime show” as a Racing Under Saddle event was featured in the middle of the matinee program. Seven trotters took part in the $5,600 event which was named the “Race to End Breast Cancer” in conjunction with breast cancer awareness month. The racing under saddle or “RUS” is also known as Monte Racing and is wildly popular in Europe. Instead of racing with the sulky attached, horses in RUS have the riders on top similar to thoroughbred racing. The seven trotters who participated in the event split the purse equally but it was Winneress who prevailed with rider Stephanie Jacobs guiding the seven year old trotter to victory in a mile clocked in 2:04.3. Winneress flashed early speed but sat patiently behind leader Slated To Win (Maria Buchanan) throughout before making his move approaching three quarters. At that point, Winneress and Slated To Win traded strides until the former drew clear in the stretch to prevail. Winneress, who is owned by Anthony Verrusso of Whitesboro, NY and trained by Symon Spicer, was presented in the winner’s circle with a black and pink blanket in recognition of his victory in the “Race to End Breast Cancer”. Slated To Win was second while Armbro Hall (Cathy Gearwar) finished third in the non-betting event. Other participants, in order of finish, were Lugar (Vanessa Karlewicz), Pine Tab (Ashley Eldred), Railroad Lane (Sietske Dijkhof) and Summer Storm (Sophie Engerran).
Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino