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Harness racing owners Chris and Dale Lawton have thrived in the ladies' features in the early stages of the 2021 racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Central New York-based ownership team owns both top-flight mares Racine Bell and Surreal Feeling. Over the course of the last three Wednesdays at the Spa, those distaffers have recorded victories in a trio of features. Racine Bell, who is trained by Dave Dewhurst, won the local Open on March 17 when she scored with Brian Cross in the sulky. Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) has always enjoyed success at the Spa and the Dale Lawton trainee returned to town last Wednesday (March 31th) to compete in the $10,000 Winners Over for pacing mares. She had little difficultly going wire-to-wire in that one with Jimmy Devaux at the controls. This week, the six year old was assigned post six in the six-horse feature for the ladies but wasted no time moving out to the early lead. Surreal Feeling was hounded throughout the entire second-half of the mile by rival Berazzled (Billy Dobson) who was making her debut in the local Open but held strong in the stretch to prevail in a win photo scoring in 1:54 in the feature. SURREAL FEELING REPLAY   For Surreal Feeling, it was victory number 24 in 71 lifetime starts. Berazzled was a strong second while Thats Incredible (Jay Randall) finished third. The exacta and triple in the feature paid $8.90 and $27.20, respectively, with the 1-5 favorite on top. The win in the feature was one of three on the card for Jimmy Devaux who currently sits third in the driver standings for the '21 season. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of Noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There are two things that the harnes racing pacing mare Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) seems to really like. The six year old loves to win and she loves Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Wednesday, those two things came together and the Dale Lawton-trained distaffer recorded a wire-to-wire win in the $10,000 featured race for fillies and mares. Surreal Feeling came to town off a career-best victory last week at Pocono Downs where she romped in 1:51.1, a new lifetime mark. This Wednesday, the mare who has won a local Open in each of the last two seasons worked hard early showcasing her speed in a 27.2 first quarter. From there, she didn't face much of a challenge in a half of 57.2 before clicking off three-quarters in 1:25.4. Driver Jimmy Devaux asked the classy mare for her best around the final turn and though rival Pammy Jo (Shawn Gray) made progress in the stretch, the chase was futile. Surreal Feeling stopped the timer in 1:54.2 to record what was her 23rd win in 70 career starts. SURREAL FEELING REPLAY   The 2-5 betting favorite, Surreal Feeling led an exacta with Pammy Jo second that returned $8.40. Longshot Thats Incredible (Billy Dobson) finished third to round out a $41.40 triple in the six-horse feature for the ladies. Trainer Dale Lawton co-owns Surreal Feeling with Chris Lawton of Vernon, NY. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga and will feature a growing jackpot in the Jackpot Pick 6. The Pick 6 jackpot is up to $7,534 and will be awarded to whoever holds the unique pick 6 ticket that day. If no one is the lone winner, a portion of the pool will be paid out to anyone who hit the pick 6 and the remainder will go to the jackpot as that continues to build. First post time on Monday is set for noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Walkinshaw N (Mach Three) came to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Tuesday off of an impressive victory at Yonkers Raceway. The Lance Hudson-trained pacer owned three wins in five starts in 2021 when he arrived to take part in the first installment of the $11,000 Open Pace on the season at the Spa. Walkinshaw N was assigned post five in the five-horse feature but driver Jimmy Devaux didn't waste any time moving the public's 1-9 betting favorite out to the early lead. The nine year old veteran travelled unopposed through a first lap in 57 seconds while being tracked by pocket-sitting Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum). Those two rivals kicked away from the competition around the final turn before Crockets Cullen N's chase of the favorite proved futile as Walkinshaw N cruised home to win in 1:53.2, the fastest time of the young racing season at the Spa. Crockets Cullen N was the runner-up to the favorite and completed a $9.20 exacta. Sgt Papa Daddy (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot.        Walkinshaw N is owned by William Hartt of Carmel, ME. Live racing continues on Wednesday afternoon with a matinee beginning at Noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella

Trainer Kyle Spagnola continued his strong start to the meet on Tuesday at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the top-flight conditioner scored a win in the featured harness racing pacing feature on the card. Rollinwithambition (Roll With Joe) had a solid 2020 campaign in which he hit the board in 19 of his 24 starts and on Tuesday, the five year old gelding drew the rail in the $8,000 featured race. Jimmy Devaux sat behind Rollinwithambition who powered out from his inside post to secure the early lead and never looked back making his '20 debut a winning one in 1:57.1 on a cold, windy day in the Spa City. Spagnola, who won a pair of races on Monday's card, continued his strong start to the Saratoga racing season with the victory. Rollinwithambition paid $11.20 to win in the mild upset.   Last year's top connections, driver Billy Dobson and trainer Gary Levine, teamed up for a pair of wins on the Tuesday card with Dobson guiding Levine-trained pacers Furious Beach and Hestherightstuff to victories. Dobson piloted four winners in total on Tuesday's matinee. Last season's leading driver and trainer will team up on Wednesday afternoon in the year's first Open as Bontz N takes center stage to compete among the group of top distaffers in the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Open. First post time is set for 12 Noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Harness racing driver Bruce Aldrich, Jr. is now just one harness racing victory away from his 8,000th career triumph. Competing at Monticello Raceway Friday, Aldrich, a fourth-generation horseman, was able to win the eighth race pace with Dealin Dan for win number 7,999. In the eighth race, Aldrich took Dealin Dan second-over and then shot to the lead by the top of the stretch, winning the race in an upset at 9-1, paying $20.40 to win. Time of the race was 1:59.4 over the good track. Daliocity was second with All Net third. Jim Devaux led all drivers on the day with four winners. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

As harness racing driver Jimmy Devuax was entering the winners circle after his fifth win on the 10 race card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday January 14, track announcer Howard Oil said "When you're hot, your hot" James Devuax has been on fire as of late, the 53-year-old reinsman won four races the prior day. The last time Devuax won five races at Monticello Raceway was almost exactly a year ago, on January 10, 2020. With nine wins in two days, Devaux has a slim lead over Mike Merton atop the leading dash winner leader board of the young 2021 season. The banner day started in race two with Road Untraveled (PP3) 2:00.3 - $6.00, the 13 year old gelding earned his first win of the season for trainer Dave Dziengiel. Thisishowwedoit (PP4) 1:57.4 - $2.60, Giddyallyougot (PP3) 2:00.2 - $14.00, Preacher Ollie (PP4) 1:57.3 - $3.50, who won his third race in four starts. Devaux concluded the afternoon with His Excellence (PP6) 1:57 - $12.20 in race nine for trainer Art Green. Also on the card, Cory Stratton drove two winners and former Monticello Raceway Rising Star, Shane Darish won with Precious Blue Chip, over $656,000 was wagered on the afternoon, live racing continues tomorrow afternoon with a 12:25 Post. Shawn Wiles

Talbotcreekwhiskey (Somebeachsomewhere) emerged victorious in the final Open Pace of the harness racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday. In what may have been the best race of any local Open this year, the Justin Sodano-trained Talbotcreekwhiskey got parked the mile to the outside of the favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum). The defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Crockets Cullen N gave the cold shoulder to the invader in a race that featured first-half fractions of 26.4 and 55.3. While those two slugged it out, Olde Broadside (Alek Chartrand) came from last in the six-horse co-feature and dropped back to the inside around the final turn. It looked as if Talbotcreekwhiskey had finally had enough after being parked every step of the way but his pursuit of the leader continued in the stretch before he reached up to take over in the final strides. Talbotcreekwhiskey overcame the journey and stopped the timer in 1:54.3 to be an unlikely Open winner with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Olde Broadside closed for second while Crockets Cullen N earned the show spot in the $10,000 Open. Talbotcreekwhiskey paid $4.90 to win as the second-choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that came back $41.80 and $128.50, respectively.   The co-featured trotting race on the card went the way of Winning Legends (Winning Mister) who went coast-to-coast for trainer-driver Justin Huckabone. The four year old trotter had one win in his two local tries in the Open this season heading into Monday's try in which he had little difficulty scoring in 1:56.3. Gruden (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket and finished second after winning a place photo with Stone In Love (Brian Cross) who came up third-best. Winning Legends was the 3-5 betting favorite in the final installment of the $10,000 Open Trot for the 2020 campaign. The exacta and triple paid $8.10 and $25, respectively, in the trotting feature. Tuesday afternoon is closing day at Saratoga. Billy Dobson and Gary Levine will be recognized in the winner's circle with plaques recognizing their seasons as the leading driver and trainer, respectively. First post time for closing day is set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Racine Bell (So Surreal) continued a super stretch for her connections at Saratoga Casino Hotel when on Tuesday afternoon the star distaffer won the Fillies and Mares Open. Owners Chris and Dale Lawton won the ladies' Open with Racine Bell two weeks ago (Oct 20) before doing so with their Surreal Feeling last week (Oct 27). The super sophomore sizzled in the backstretch and powered past her rivals to open up a commanding lead before stopping the timer in 1:54.3 to win by a resounding six lengths for driver Jimmy Devaux. Birch Island Betty (Mitch Cushing) was the runner-up to the Lawtons' Surreal Feeling last week and came closing in the final quarter to be second once again on Tuesday. Firstup (Shawn Gray) held on to finish third.   Racine Bell, a New York Sire Stakes star this summer, won for the seventh time in thirteen starts in 2020. Dave Dewhurst trains the star filly who now has just shy of $285,000 in career earnings in just 23 lifetime starts. Racine Bell paid $6.20 to win on Tuesday and led an exacta and triple that returned $24 and $67, respectively. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) continued a super stretch for her harness racing connections on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Raceway as the five year old distaffer prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open. Owners Chris and Dale Lawton won last week's Open with their star sophomore Racine Bell. Dave Dewhurst trains that filly who had another terrific season in the New York Sire Stakes this summer before winning her first local Open last Tuesday (Oct 20). This week, the Lawtons' Lindas In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven) won his fourth consecutive race at Saratoga. The young pacer went coast-to-coast with reinsman Jimmy Devaux in the sulky on Tuesday to complete a grand slam for the three year old colt. In the afternoon's $9,350 feature, Surreal Feeling went wire-to-wire with Devaux in the bike. The five year old was coming off a qualifier in which she won by fifteen lengths. Surreal Feeling, who won her first local Open last July, registered her second local score in decisive fashion stopping the timer in 1:54.3. The mare finished second or third in her three previous tries in the Open contested this summer before heading to race at Yonkers for a month. On Tuesday, the mare proved dominant in recording her fourth victory in eleven seasonal starts. Birch Island Betty (Mitch Cushing) closed to be second while Bontz N (Billy Dobson) lengthened her "on the board streak" when she came on to be third, finishing "in the money" for the sixth consecutive start.   Surreal Feeling paid $9.20 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $43.80 and $223, respectively. Dale Lawton trains both Surreal Feeling and Lindas In Heaven who were two of Devaux's four winners on the Tuesday card. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Americanprimetime (American Ideal) recorded his second consecutive victory in the Open Pace on Saturday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rick Dane Jr trainee broke the lengthy local win streak of rival Crockets Cullen N last Saturday (February 29) when he went coast-to-coast in the $15,000 Open. This weekend, with Jimmy Devaux once again in the sulky, Americanprimetime was the public's top choice in the feature when bet down to odds of 3-5. The favorite wasted little time powering out to the lead and once he got there, he proved to be tough as nails. Americanprimetime paced his first half in 56.3 before being confronted by Crockets Cullen N who suffered his first defeat in his last eleven tries when he was the runner-up to Americanprimetime this week. The journey got the best of Crockets Cullen N on Saturday and the Spa's defending Pacer of the Year faded from the scene around the final turn as Americanprimetime drew away. Going back-to-back, Americanprimetime stopped the timer in 1:52 for the fastest time of the young meet at Saratoga. Betterlatethnnever (Jay Randall) sat the pocket to the winner before finishing second while Topville Olympian (Phil Fluet) came on to earn the show spot for the second straight week in the local feature. The exacta and triple in the Open paid $27.80 and $146.50, respectively. Americanprimetime is owned by the Rock&Roll Stable of Chicago, IL. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon beginning at noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Both harness racing drivers Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Jim Devaux each enjoyed a banner day on Tuesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway as each driver won 4 races on the muddy afternoon. Track Superintendent Anthony Desimone did an excellent job in maintaining the racing oval after 2 days of rain and mud Bruce Aldrich Jr. started off the day by winning the first race with the heavy favorite Always Ya Baby in 2:00.1 - $2.70, Devaux would win the next 2 races, Aldrich came back in race 4 with Safety Second 1:58 - $3.90. 2 races later he visited he winners circle aboard Bootswiththefur in 2:03-$2.50, the Bob Lounsbury trained earned her second win of the season. Devaux won the next 2 races, in the last race of the afternoon Bruce went wire to wire with Julios Girl 1:59.4 -$3.00. Where Bruce Aldrich wasn't, DeVaux was , the 4 bagger started in the second race for Jimmy Devaux with Surface Tension, who scored a 4 length wire to win in 2:04.1 - $2.70, he came right back the following race aboard Gorgeous Partygirl 2:00 - $5.40 for trainer Greg Decker. Gaius Crastinus won race 7 in 1:59.36 - $4.20, last up was Kilkenny in 2:02.2 - $7.90 in the last race of the day. Trainers Jim Doherty Jr. and Art Green each had a training double on the card, Jim Doherty Jr. is in second place with 15 wins behind the leader Bo Sowers with 19 for leading dash winning trainers, Art Green broke into the Top 5. Jim Devaux maintains a slim lead for leading dash winning drivers, the 4 wins on the card gives him 34 wins, with Bruce Aldrich trailing closing behind in second with 33 wins. Greg Merton is 3rd with 28 wins followed by Jim Taggart Jr. with 25 wins, in the 5th spot is the young gun and future dash winner, Brandon Parker with 24 wins who has been on fire as of late. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Harness racing driver Jim Devaux owned the second half of the harness racing card at Monticello Raceway Thursday by sweeping the programs final five races. The win skein started in the fifth race aboard Rockme Socks Off who scored a pocket trip to win by a neck in 1:58- $7.90 from post 4 for his first win of the season for trainer Elisha Lafreniere and owner Wilda Mcdanel. Runhappy Ten was next up, who scored in a 6 length romp pacing the fastest mile of the afternoon in 1:55.4 and paid a paltry $2.90 win pari mutual. The 4 year old gelding by Pet Rock is trained and co owned by Joseph Skowyra and Mo Coo Inc. Devaux and Skowyra teamed up again in the next race with Big Is Better, who scored a 2 length win in 1:57.4 and paid $5.70. Win #4 came aboard Adorabella from the rail in another romp, winning by 9 lengths for trainer Jody Riedel for his first win of the 2020 season in 1:59.1 - $2.50. Devaux capped of the afternoon with Master Faster from post position 4 to score a wire to wire win by 3 lengths in 1:58.2, pacing his last quarter in 28.4 for trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Live racing resumes Monday January 13 with a 12:25 Post Time. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway          

The Final of the fourth annual Holiday Pace Series took place on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The harness racing series had two legs which each went for a purse of $7,500 leading up to Saturday's $20,000 Final. The fastest winner of any division leading up to the Final was Santanna One (Santanna Blue Chip) who scored decisively in leg two in 1:55.1. Drawing post two on Saturday, the Jessica Derue trainee was the public's 1-9 betting favorite. Reckless Rebel (Western Maverick) drew the rail and went off at odds of 9-1 after a second and a fourth place finish in the series' legs. Reckless Rebel yielded to Santanna One in the early going and wound up getting a two-hole trip behind the big favorite. With about 3/8 of a mile to pace, reinsman Jimmy Devaux popped the pocket with Reckless Rebel who powered right past the favorite to open up a big lead past three quarters in 1:26.3 over a track labeled 'sloppy.' Though he tired a bit in the stretch, the George Merton-trained pacer held on to record the win in the Final holding off late bids from Blueberry Heaven (Billy Dobson) and Santanna One, who found a bit of a second wind. Reckless Rebel stopped the timer in 1:56 and paid $21.20 to win in the upset. Blueberry Heaven came on for second to complete a $143.50 exacta while Santanna One had to settle for third and rounded out a triple that came back $199. Reckless Rebel, who is owned as well as trained by Merton, adds his name to the list of previous winners of the Holiday Pace which consists of Moveoutofmyway, Three Handbags and Nitro Glistening. The $10,000 Holiday Pace Consolation went the way of Redhot Romeo who toughed out a first-over journey to win in 1:59.1 with Dylan Huckabone-Miller at the controls. Sunday is closing day for the 2019 racing season and will feature a twelve-race matinee that is set to kick off at 12 Noon. There will be a retirement ceremony for three fourteen year olds that takes place before the races begin on Sunday. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Driver Jimmy Devaux continued his terrific 2019 campaign at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon as the veteran reinsman won three out of the ten races on the matinee card. Devaux swept the early pick-three while piloting pacer Pantheon Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere) to victory after scoring wins with trotters The Magic Number and Entranced. Pantheon Hanover, a Spa veteran pacer, dropped down to the bottom level condition on Wednesday after enduring a bit of a cold streak. The seven year old went coast-to-coast for a pretty decisive win in 1:55.1 on Wednesday in what was his sixth victory of the season for trainer Dave Dewhurst. The Magic Number set a lifetime mark on Wednesday afternoon when he parlayed his pocket trip to a career-best 1:58.3 score for Devaux who was driving for trainer Vern Beachy. Entranced also went start to finish on the engine as the Amanda Kelley trainee made good at odds of 9-5 for one of the three consecutive victories for Devaux who is entrenched in the second spot in the local driver standings for 2019, well behind leading driver Billy Dobson but comfortably ahead of his next closest pursuer Jay Randall. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon starting at 12 Noon. There is a $5,000 guaranteed Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the matinee's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Mugshots Bro (Jailhouse Jesse) won three consecutive installments of the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel back in June. Trained by Lisa Zabielski, the seven year old trotter is enjoying a breakout season in 2019 but after going on a bit of a cold streak this summer Mugshots Bro dropped in class to record a victory in his last start (August 20th). Jimmy Devaux sat behind Mugshots Bro as he was back in Open company on Wednesday night. Dismissed at odds of 6-1, the Zabielski trainee powered out to the early lead in a fast first quarter clocked in 27.3. The favorite Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) wound up second-over but after his cover faded so did his chances. Mugshots Bro had to hold off the challenge of invader Jericho (Jay Randall), who was closing up the passing lane, before stopping the timer in 1:56.1 for his fourth victory in the $15,000 Open Trot this season. Jericho finished second while Wings Of Royalty settled for the show spot. Mugshots Bro paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple in the six-horse feature that returned $121 and $201.50, respectively. With the win, Mugshots Bro moved his career earnings to over the $200,000 mark. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at the Spa with a first post time scheduled for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

The Friday night harness racing Open Pace for fillies and mares featured just a field of five at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The group of top-flight distaffers slugged it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and proved to be a romp for the race's favorite. Clear Idea (American Ideal) was a New York Sire Stakes star and has emerged as a top quality aged mare after following up a four year old campaign that saw her earn more than $100,000 with another season in 2019 in which she is set to eclipse that tally. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Friday night with driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Clear Idea surged out to the early lead in the feature and once she got there, it was lights out. After cruising through a first half in 57.1, Clear Idea powered away from her competition before stopping the timer in 1:53 for an open-length romp in the Open. Fellow invader Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the race's longshot but got the pocket trip behind the winner and parlayed it to a second-place finish while Itty Bitty (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Clear Idea's win was the 19th in 79 lifetime starts and moved her career earnings to over $528,000. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga. There will be a $1,438 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the evening's first race. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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