from harness publicists across North America
The Friday (Oct. 12) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Saratoga Casino Hotel, Vernon Downs and Batavia Downs.
Sally Fletcher A captures mares feature at Saratoga
Saratoga Springs, NY — The Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel consisted of just five participants as the track’s top distaffers slugged it out for their share of a $16,000 purse.
The Fillies and Mares Open proved to be a rematch in the stretch from last week between Sally Fletcher A (American Ideal) and Happy Heart (Woodstock). Last weekend, Happy Heart got up in the final stride to prevail at odds of 26-1 while Sally Fletcher A had to settle for second.
In Friday’s installment of the $16,000 Open, Sally Fletcher A (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) moved first-over and powered past the race’s leader before again being confronted by Happy Heart (Brian Cross) in the stretch. This week, though, it was the Jose Godinez-trained Sally Fletcher A who would hit the line first, scoring in 1:53.4 for her sixth win of the season.
Returning $11.60 to win, Sally Fletcher A started an exacta which was rounded out by Happy Heart that paid $62.00. YS Tallia (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot.
The win was the second of the season in the local Fillies and Mares Open for Sally Fletcher A and fifth for Godinez who scored three victories in the Friday feature earlier in the meet with distaffer Betabcool N.
Live racing continues on Saturday evening at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45 p.m.
— Mike Sardella
Taco Tuesday (Leon Bailey) easily took the $6,500 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday. Taco Tuesday ($5.30) flew out of the gate and led to a first quarter in :27.1. Pier Ho Exotic (Jimmy Whittemore) followed in the pocket second. Taco Tuesday, who is owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Don Hoover, easily took the group to the half in :55.4. As he went around the last turn his lead got larger hitting three-quarters in 1:24.1. As he reached the top of the stretch it was apparent that the race was for second. Taco Tuesday won by nearly six lengths in the end, hitting the mile in 1:54.1. First Call (Homer Hochstetler) was second best with McKenzie’s Star getting third money. Taco Tuesday is a 5-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall. It was his fifth win this year. He now has 17 career trips to the winner’s circle. Blameitonthenight (Jimmy Whittemore) captured the top $6,000 fillies and mares pace. Blameitonthenight ($4.70) charged out of the gate and never looked back, putting up all the fractions (:28.2, :57.4, 1:26, 1:54). Owned by Scott Dillon and trained by Whittemore, she withstood the late pressure from second place finisher Mydelight Bluechip (Ben McNeil) with a :28 last quarter to secure the win. Heart Crusher (Josh Kinney) finished third. Blameitonthenight is a 4-year-old mare by Mach Three. It was her fourth win of the season and the ninth victory of her career. Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore won three on the night to give him 104 wins on the season. He got his wins with Pegasus Point ($7.30), Blameitonthenight ($4.70), and Star Flyer ($4.50). John MacDonald, who is currently second, drove his 100th winner of the season with Mean Leen ($3.30). Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (Oct. 13) with a 13-race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.
It was a big night for Ray Fisher Jr. at Batavia Downs on Friday night as he won four races including both feature races. First in the $10,400 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace, Fisher sent Kaitlyn Rae off the wings and right to the front where she dominated her rivals all the way. With an open two length lead, Kaitlyn Rae set fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.1 before rounding the far turn and skating away to a six length win in 1:54.3. It was the 59th career victory and 11th win of the year for Kaitlyn Rae ($21.60) who is owned and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum. Then one race later in the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot, Fisher took Lougazi off the gate and settled in second to the quarter before pulling at the three-eighths pole to take the lead past the half. From there he called the shots as he got to the three-quarters in 1:27.4 and then trotted home sharply while holding off a late challenge from Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) to win by a length in 1:57.2. Owner Mary Warriner enjoyed watching Lougazi ($7.80) get his seventh win of the year under the tutelage of Fisher’s wife, Ryan Swift. Fisher also won with Susie’s Delight (1:55.2, $4.10) and Bands Ariston (1:59.3, $9.60) to round out the grand slam. Both of these horses are trained by Swift as well, giving her the hat trick. Fisher is currently fourth in the standings for wins on the meet with 45, behind the leading Drew Monti who has 74, Kevin Cummings with 67 and Billy Davis Jr. with 54. Please note that when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 13) it will do so with a very early post time of 4:15 p.m.