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Miss Irish Rose A (McArdle) sprung the upset in Thursday's harness racing feature pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino-trained distaffer who wound up getting a pocket ride in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Miss Irish Rose A sat the two-hole to Yonkers invader Sandy's Beach (Billy Dobson) who made an early beeline to the lead in the feature. The race's favorite, The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall), was last of the five pacing mares when she made her move approaching the three quarter pole but her chase proved futile. Miss Irish Rose A popped the pocket on Sandy's Beach around the final turn before coming on to score the upset at odds of 16-1. Sandy's Beach held second while Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith) came on to finish third. Miss Irish Rose A paid $34.60 in her upset win and led an exacta that returned $93.50. The win was one of two on the day for Stalbaum and Tarantino as their Gina Grace N (Bettor's Delight) made good at odds of 1-5 to record her first victory of the season. Miss Irish Rose A joins stablemate Crockets Cullen N as Tarantino trainees to win an Open during the first week of the 2020 campaign at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were co-features on the Wednesday afternoon harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel for New York sired trotters. Each division went for a purse of $9,000. Monticello invader Chip Chip Conway (Conway Hall) was the afternoon's most decisive winner as defending leading driver Billy Dobson piloted the Gary Messenger-trained trotter to a four-plus length victory in 1:59.4 in the first of the co-features. Chip Chip Conway wrapped up his 2019 campaign with back-to-back victories at Monticello and didn't wait long to put one in the win column in his '20 season as he made good at odds of 2-5 on Wednesday. The second co-feature saw Blackjack (Credit Winner) go coast-to-coast in his first start since joining the stable of Jordan Derue. Blackjack prevailed in five of the last six tries to wrap up his '19 campaign and cruised to a wire-to-wire win in 2:00.4 in his $9,000 division on Wednesday with Derue in the sulky. Blackjack paid $6.50 to win as his race's second choice in the wagering. The favored Guilty Desire (Billy Dobson) made a break after the start and wound up closing to be the runner-up to Blackjack despite coming from last following the early miscue. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratofa Raceway  

The President's Day matinee card at Saratoga Casino Hotel was highlighted by the season's first Open Pace. The $15,000 Open featured a field of five with all of its participants coming from Australia or New Zealand. A familiar face emerged victorious as Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) lengthened his unprecedented win streak in the local Open prevailing for the tenth consecutive time in the Saratoga feature. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino trainee who was named Pacer of the Year at Saratoga in 2019 after winning the Open Pace in nine consecutive starts. Assigned the outside post on Monday, Crockets Cullen N got away last but wound up dropping in second behind leader Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) who paced a first half in 55.3. Crockets Cullen N benefited from some confusion in the race where two rivals interfered with each other allowing the track's defending top pacer to tuck into the pocket before breezing by to win in 1:54.2. Bettors Fire N finished second while Don Domingo N (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot to compete a top trio of New Zealanders. Crockets Cullen N paid $6.90 to win as his local streak grew to ten. The exacta with Bettors Fire N second returned $16.40. Live racing takes place this week on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon beginning each day at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Sunday marked the start of the 2020 harness racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A ten-race program was highlighted by the $15,000 Open Trot on a day that included a long sleeve t-shirt giveaway at the track. The Open featured a field of just five participants, one of which was the track's defending Horse of the Year Cash Me Out. The millionaire trotter was assigned post position five for his first start of the season and wound up making a break after suffering broken equipment. Invader Shorething Fashion (Andover Hall) drew the rail for the season's first feature and though the Mike Eaton trainee got away third in the early going, the six year old came storming home in the stretch to record the win in 1:58.1 on a pleasant February afternoon in the Spa City. Mister Muscle (Mark Beckwith) carved out reasonable fractions on the lead in the Open but wound up having to settle for second-best while Mr Cool Seaeyre N (Larry Stalbaum) finished third. Shorething Fashion's driver Jay Randall piloted a pair of winners on opening day as he sat behind Certify (Credit Winner) who was the winner of the first race of the 2020 racing season. In the Open, Shorething Fashion paid $8.60 to win and led an exacta with Mister Muscle that returned $31.20. Live racing continues on Monday with a President's Day matinee that is set to kick off at 12 Noon. The afternoon will feature several $1 food and beverage specials as well as a $5,000 guarantee in the Pick Five pool. The Pick Five begins in the matinee's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (Feb. 12) at 10:30 a.m. The show will be highlighted by Jim Miller, Jessica Otten, and Mike Sardella. Miller joins the program to discuss the ongoing renovations at Hawthorne Racecourse and the upcoming extended harness racing season that is set to open on Saturday (Feb 15.). Miller will discuss some of the changes to the wagering menu and what fans on track can expect to see and participate in. Otten, from Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, will join to discuss the changes in post time and wagering menu that took place this past weekend. The pair will discuss with her the value that has been added to the pools at The Meadowlands with the recent changes. Saratoga Hotel Casino opens its 79th season of racing on Sunday (Feb. 16). Track Announcer Mike Sardella joins to discuss the changes that have taken place entering open weekend. Saratoga features a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-5 on Sunday and Monday, giving bettors extreme value to kick off the meet. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time  

Cash Me Out finished up what will likely be an award-winning harness racing season in style on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The eight year old went coast-to-coast to win his ninth local Open Trot of the campaign as driver Brett Crawford powered the classy Kyle Spagnola trainee out to the early lead, a lead the millionaire trotter would never give up. Despite posting a sizzling first quarter of 27 seconds, the classy Cash Me Out never relinquished his lead and held on to prevail in 1:58.2 in the season's final feature on closing day of the 2019 meet. Gemologist (Jordan Derue) was the runner-up for the second straight week in the $18,000 Open for trotters while Cartier Volo (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Cash Me Out's win was number 50 in 200 starts in the illustrious career of the trotter owned by the Traylor Racing Stable of Ballston Spa, NY. The Spagnola trainee is the clear favorite for the Trotter of the Year award which will be announced at the annual holiday banquet scheduled for December 21st. In Sunday's win, Cash Me Out was the 6-5 betting favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $21.60 and $143.50, respectively, on closing day. The 2020 racing season will kick off in February.   Mike Sardella

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  

Invader Robyn Camden (Art Professor) added one to her already bulky win total for the 2019 harness racing season as she prevailed in the Thursday feature for fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rene Allard trainee was assigned post position five in the five-horse Open which went for a purse of $18,000. Robyn Camden got away last in the feature but with the grueling pace being set wound up getting a nice trip to come from off-the-pace. Billy Dobson piloted the four year old mare who was the 6-5 second choice in the wagering as she circled the compact field before drawing away in 1:54.1 to record her fourteenth victory of the season. The race's favorite The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall) wound up first-over in a 27.4 third quarter and that trip took its toll on the talented New Zealand invader who wound up finishing third after being passed in the stretch by Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith). Robyn Camden became the third Allard-trained distaffer to win the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga in 2019 as she won the season's final ladies' feature on Thursday. She paid $4.60 to win and led an exacta with Bye Bye Felicia second that returned $36.80. The win in the feature was one of three on the afternoon for Dobson who will own seven driving titles at the Spa at the conclusion of the meet this weekend. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Barn Star (Conway Hall) completed a sweep of the Holiday Trot Series when on Wednesday afternoon, the four-year-old parlayed a pocket trip to his third consecutive victory. Phil Fluet trains and drives Barn Star who scored in 1:58.2 in each of the two legs of the series leading up to Wednesday's $20,000 Final. CC Bank (Jimmy Devaux) cut the mile and cruised through a first half in 58.2 as Barn Star lurked in the two-hole. The race's 3-5 betting favorite closed quickly up the inside and powered past CC Bank to stop the timer in 1:59.3 and complete the series sweep. Longshot Duluth (Frank Coppola Jr) came on late to be second while CC Bank earned the show spot. Barn Star, who is owned by the Tommy N Dakota and Phil Fluet Stables, paid just $3.20 to win but led an exacta and triple that returned $33.60 and $118, respectively. The $10,000 Consolation of the Holiday Trot went to Kari-Sue Finn's Grandpa Erv who pulled off a mild upset at odds of 9-2 with Billy Dobson in the sulky. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon with first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Saturday evening's harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel consisted of three divisions of the second leg of the Holiday Pacing Series. Participants had their final chance to accrue points towards next Saturday's (December 14) Series Final. Bob Uhl's Babinga Wood (Dragon Again) became the only repeat winner in the two legs of the series as the 2-5 betting favorite in his division of the Holiday Pace came from last before circling the field to win a photo in 1:56.3. Mitch Cushing piloted the Uhl trainee and now has three wins and a second place finish while sitting behind the track's Claiming Pacer of the Year from 2017. Babinga Wood will likely head into next Saturday's Final as the one to beat. Blueberry Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven) went coast-to-coast in his $7,500 division of the series on Saturday as leading driver Billy Dobson piloted the Gary Levine-trained pacer to victory in 1:56.4. Levine claimed Blueberry Heaven last month and finished third with him in the series' first leg before stamping his ticket to next week's Final behind his leg two score. The final division of the night went to Santanna One (Santanna Blue Chip) who lasted on the lead for trainer Jessica Derue and reinsman Chris Long. Santanna One, a fourth-place finisher in leg one, posted the fastest time of the series thus far with his 1:55.1 score which came as his race's 1-2 betting favorite. The $20,000 Final of the fourth annual Holiday Pacing Series is set for next Saturday night. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee set to kick off at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Lady Dela Renta A (Well Said) brought her two-for-two local record back to Saratoga Casino Hotel to compete in Thursday's Fillies and Mares Open. The Jose Godinez-trained mare had little difficulty rattling off back-to-back wins in the $18,000 Open when she came to town in October. On Thursday, Lady Dela Renta A returned to the Spa looking to stay undefeated against the track's top distaffers. The race's 3-5 betting favorite drew inside her major danger The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall) in the five-horse feature but unlike in her previous pair of local tries, Lady Dela Renta A took back in the early going and opted to come from off the pace. Leading driver Billy Dobson sat patiently with the five year old mare as the first lap went in 57 seconds. Lady Dela Renta A made her move just past the half and powered-up first over to overtake the leader past three quarters in 1:25 but in the meantime towed The Charging Moa N into contention as that one drafted behind the cover of the favorite. Those two drew off from their rivals in the stretch before Lady Dela Renta A held off the charge from The Charging Moa N and reported home in 1:54.2 to move her record at the Spa to three-for-three. The Charging Moa N was a strong second to complete a $5.20 exacta. Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. The victory in the feature was one of three on the card for Dobson. Lady Dela Renta A's win was her eleventh of the season and moved her '19 bankroll to over the $150,000 mark. Godinez won the previous two installments of the local Open for pacing mares with his Dibaba N who scored impressively in her pair of Saratoga starts. With Thursday's victory, Godinez now has nine wins in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa in the 2019 campaign. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were three harness racing divisions of the second leg of the Holiday Trot Series contested on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Each division went for a purse of $7,500 as the participants had their last chance to accrue points towards next Wednesday’s $20,000 Final. Jimmy Nickerson’s Awol Hanover (Donato Hanover) and Phil Fluet’s Barn Star (Conway Hall) became two-leg winners as they each completed back-to-back jacks on Wednesday. Barn Star could well head into next week’s Final as the one to beat after prevailing in 1:58.2 for the second straight start. Fluet trains and drives the four year old who came into the series with just one win on the season but now owns three following a pocket-sitting victory on Wednesday. The fastest winner in each leg, Barn Star is poised to square off with Awol Hanover in the $20,000 Final after that one cruised to the front-end in leg two and never looked back. Jay Randall piloted the Nickerson-trained trotter who held off a late charge from rival JS Trotting Bob (Fluet) to secure his second victory in as many tries in the series, stopping the timer in 2:00 on Wednesday. The final division of the day saw a mild upset as Aventure (Muscle Mass) came from off the pace to prevail with leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky. Aventure had been winless in 2019 before a surge in the stretch on Wednesday saw him score a victory in 2:00 and punch his ticket to next week’s Final. The win for Aventure came at odds of 6-1 and served as the third on the card for Dobson. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon.      Mike Sardella

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) is the favorite for the Trotter of the Year award this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel and has a chance to be the Horse of the Year as well. On Sunday afternoon, the millionaire won the Open Trot for the eighth time this season. Brett Crawford sat behind the Kyle Spagnola trainee who cruised to an easy lead to overcome his assigned outside post position. After making it to the top with ease, the eight year old traveled unopposed in a first half that went in 58 seconds. Never facing much of a challenge, Cash Me Out checked in at three quarters in 1:26.4 and began to expand his lead around the final turn. Cartier Volo (Frank Coppola Jr), another nominee for Trotter of the Year this season, sat the pocket to Cash Me Out and finished second in the mile that was clocked in 1:55.4 on a snowy afternoon in upstate New York. Cash Me Out paid $7.90 to win and led an exacta with Cartier Volo second that returned $28.80. Trixie Dust (Alek Chartrand), the runner-up to Cash Me Out last week, finished third on Sunday and completed a triple that came back $116.50. Cash Me Out, who is owned by the Traylor Racing Stable of Ballston Spa, NY, has piled up twelve wins in 2019 and now has 49 victories in his 198 lifetime starts en route to over $1.1 million in earnings. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon. There will a $1,396 carryover in the Pick Five pool. The Pick Five is a 50 cent minimum wager and starts in the matinee's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Redbank Blaze A (Rocknroll Hanover) made his first start outside of Open company at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night. The Jose Godinez trainee had three races under his belt at the Spa and all three had come in the $18,000 Open Pace. On Saturday, the six year old dropped down to the $15,000 Winners Over, a race that with no Open on the docket served as the evening's feature. Redbank Blaze A drew the rail and was subsequently the public's 3-5 betting favorite with Frank Coppola Jr. sitting behind. The favorite wasted little time moving out to the front-end after retaking the lead from In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) approaching the quarter. Redbank Blaze A cruised unopposed for the majority of the mile and started to pad his lead past three quarters. In A Single Bound began to tire a bit in the pocket as longshot Shady City came on in the stretch in what turned out to be a battle for the place spot as Redbank Blaze A drew away to win decisively in 1:53.2. Shady City went off at odds of 41-1 and endured a difficult trip from post eight to be the runner-up in the feature while In A Single Bound held on for third. Redbank Blaze A, who is owned by Marissa Godinez of Bloomingburg, NY, led an exacta and triple that paid $100.50 and $473.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that kicks off at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

The Fillies and Mares Open was contested as the feature on Wednesday's program at Saratoga Casino Hotel. After a scratch, the field was reduced to five members but what a strong group of distaffers it was. Dibaba N (Shadow Play) made her local debut a winning one last Thursday (November 21) and was the public's even money favorite on Wednesday as she looked to go back-to-back in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Driver Billy Dobson flashed speed with the Jose Godinez trainee who wound up yielding to fellow invader Tequila Monday (Mark Beckwith) to get a pocket trip. Those two mares squared off just two weeks ago at Dover Downs in Delaware with Dibaba N pacing past Tequila Monday in the final strides to secure the victory. The rematch wound up as a near carbon copy of the first battle between them as Dibaba N pounced out of the pocket and rolled past Tequila Monday to secure her third win in a row. Now two-for-two at Saratoga, Dibaba N stopped the timer in 1:52.4 in what was her seventh victory of the campaign. Tequila Monday was the runner-up and completed a $9.50 exacta. Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) finished third. Dibaba N is owned by the Blindswitch, Robert Cooper, VIP Internet and J&T Silva Stables. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening and will feature a Pick Five carryover of $3,819. The Pick Five is a 50 cent minimum wager and starts in the evening's first race. First post time is set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Another Saturday night and another harness racing victory in the Open Pace for Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) who lengthened his sensational win streak at Saratoga Casino Hotel to eight. The veteran New Zealander has become a superstar this year in the Open and has thrived in recent months despite starting from outside posts every week and navigating through a variety of different trips. On Saturday night, Crockets Cullen N was assigned post six in the $18,000 six-horse feature and his owner-driver Larry Stalbaum flashed early speed with the Tracy Tarantino stable's star. Crockets Cullen N wound up in the pocket behind Hudson Phil (Frank Coppola Jr), an eight-time Open winner this year and runner-up to Crockets Cullen N last Saturday. Hudson Phil posted honest fractions of 27.1 and 55.4 in lap one and all the while, Stalbaum sat patiently in the pocket before springing the two-hole around the final turn. Crockets Cullen N slugged it out in the stretch with Hudson Phil before putting him away to prevail in 1:53. The win was the 14th of the season for Crockets Cullen N who has now won eight consecutive tries in the local Open. Hudson Phil was the runner-up to the track's new superstar for second straight Saturday evening while Bettor Notbitter A (Jay Randall) came on to earn the show spot. Crockets Cullen N paid $5.00 to win in his most recent score and led an exacta and triple that returned $22 and $32.60, respectively. Crockets Cullen N and Hudson Phil are joined by In A Single Bound and Century Endeavor as nominees for Pacer of the Year at Saratoga, an award that will be given out at the conclusion of the meet next month. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon. Mike Sardella

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