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Ulster (Glidemaster) won his seventh Open Trot of the season on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Amanda Facin trainee went coast-to-coast to spring the mild upset. Ulster marched out to the early lead in the $14,500 feature with regular reinsman Jay Randall at the controls. After going untested in a first half trotted in 57.1, Ulster had plenty left for the final lap. The race's 1-5 betting favorite and last week's Open winner were both uninvolved early and it cost them late as the speed held in the Open. Ulster wired the field in 1:54.3, the fastest of his seven Open scores this season. Longshot Judy The Beauty (Jimmy Devaux) sat the pocket and finished second while Charmed Life (Billy Dobson) came from last to finish third. Ulster, who was Randall's third winner of the day, paid $16.00 in Sunday's score and led an exacta and triple that came back a hefty $131.50 and $728, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm.   Mike Sardella

A veteran presence prevailed in the Saratoga Casino Hotel Open Pace on Saturday night. The back to back defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa Artful Way (Artistic Fella) came into Saturday's tilt as a five-time Open Pace winner this harness racing season but has hit a little cold streak of late, by his standards. Despite the fact that the Jackie Greene trainee hadn't won a local Open since the first weekend of June, the classy veteran was still the public's betting favorite in the feature. Frank Coppola Jr. blasted Artful Way out early and after clearing the lead, gave way to last week's Open winner Carolina Beach (Wally Hennessey). Riding that one's coattails throughout, Artful Way surged up in the inside to score in the $14,500 feature, recording the win in 1:52.1. While the favorite prevailed, the race's longshot was the runner-up as All Artist (Billy Dobson) tipped off cover and ended up second-best in his debut in the local feature while dismissed at odds of 28-1. The winningest horse in the local Open Pace this year, Carolina Beach had to settle for third this week. Artful Way was the 6-5 favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $61.50 and $375, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

With no Fillies and Mares Open on the card, a $9,500 conditional event for distaffers served as the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The race had the look of an Open, though, as a few of its participants were dropping out of top-flight company. Happy Heart (Woodstock) was a nominee for Filly and Mare Claiming Pacer of the Year in 2017 as one of the stars of the Melissa Beckwith stable. While her '18 campaign hasn't quite matched last year's, Happy Heart is enjoying another solid season and on Friday night driver Wally Hennessey sat behind her for the first time. Starting from post two, Happy Heart was aggressive in the early going and powered out to the lead in a sizzling 26.4 first quarter. After getting a breather in the second quarter, Happy Heart was met with the challenge of the race's odds-on favorite who made her move first over though that rival never got close to the leader. Happy Heart seemed to be tiring a bit late in the mile as longshot Pull The Shade (Frank Coppola Jr) motored up the inside in the stretch to come after her. Happy Heart hung in there and recorded her fifth victory of the season, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 to spring the mild upset at odds of 6-1. Pull The Shade was the runner-up while one of the Open droppers Rock N Roll Rosie (Jimmy Devaux) came on for third. Happy Heart paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple, with the favorite out of the number, that returned $121.50 and $530, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Woodside Charm (Chapter Seven-Fireworks Hanover-Muscles Yankee) shattered the harness racing world record for two year old trotting fillies at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday afternoon. Drawing the rail in the $81,750 New York Sire Stakes event, Woodside Charm brought a three-for-three lifetime record into the start. Bet down as the race's 1-5 favorite, the freshman filly played catch me if you can with trainer Verlin Yoder in the sulky. The sensational filly clicked off a first quarter of 27.3 and half in 55.2 and showed no signs of letting up trotting past three quarters in 1:24.1. The previous track record for two year old fillies of 1:57.2 was all but a memory at that point but what the timer said at the conclusion of the wire to wire victory was almost too unbelievable to fathom. Woodside Charm scored in 1:53.4, the third fastest mile in track history for a trotter and a new world record mark for two year old fillies. The previous North American record on a half mile track was 1:55.2 for a freshman filly, a mark easily surpassed in the dazzling Thursday stakes victory by Woodside Charm. 1:53.4, an almost imaginable time for a two year old trotting filly, is now the time to beat for freshman highsteppers moving forward and what a daunting task that will be as Woodside Charm enters the history books en route to staying undefeated. Though her five-for-five record was broken in the record performance on Thursday, Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer) was incredible in defeat, finishing second by only a little more than two lengths in the eye-popping, record-setting mile. The other division of the New York Sire Stakes for two year old trotting fillies went the way of Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse-Cantab Hall) who scored in 1:57.1, a time that heading into the day would have served as a new track record for freshman filly highsteppers. The Erv Miller-trained Quincy Blue Chip cruised out to the early lead for Jim Morrill Jr. and didn't face many anxious moments before recording her fourth Sire Stakes win of the season besting Amal Hall (Andy Miller) who kept her streak of finishing first or second in every career start intact. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) became the first six-time winner of the Open Pace this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night as the Melissa Beckwith trainee came from off the pace to record the win. Carolina Beach was a beaten favorite in last Saturday's installment of the $14,500 Open but was still bet down to odds of 4-5 this week. Wally Hennessey sat off the early speed with Carolina Beach who moved second over after the first half went in a fast 55.2. Drafting behind the defending Horse of the Year Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) who was brushing up first-over, Carolina Beach tipped off the cover around the final turn before storming past his rivals to prevail in 1:51.2. Artful Way was an improved second on Saturday while Somewhere Fancy (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Carolina Beach's win was his twelfth of the year and his sixth in the local Open as the four year old gelding continues to bolster the resume in what has been his career season. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm start to the matinee. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

While the heavily favored Ake Svanstedt stable harness racing entry was defeated in the first of the two New York Sire Stakes races at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Friday night, the second of the big stakes events went the way of Ake's stable star Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato-Donato Hanover). Plunge Blue Chip came to town fresh off her victory in the $129,014 Hudson Trot Final at Yonkers when she scored a 1:53.1 win for Svanstedt. On Friday night, she and entry-mate Natalie Hanover (Dan Dube) went off at odds of 1-9 and lived up to the hype. Plunge Blue Chip made an easy lead and cruised to victory in 1:55.3 in her $89,950 division of the NY Sire Stakes for three year old trotting fillies. Tribute To Seven (Wally Hennessey) closed sharply to finish second and breakup what would have been a one-two finish for the Svanstedt trainees as Natalie Hanover ended up settling for third on Friday. The win was the 14thin 20 career starts for Plunge Blue Chip who now has career earnings of more than $750,000 as her standout sophomore campaign continues. The $91,350 division of the NYSS on Friday went to Linda Toscano's Repentance (Chapter Seven-Swan Hot Mama-Donato Hanover). Svanstedt featured another coupled entry of talented fillies as Fury Road and Lucky Ava went off at odds of 1-2, but It was Jim Morrill Jr. and Repentance that would steal the show, going coast to coast with relative ease as the sophomore filly recorded her fifth win in ten seasonal starts. A Gift For You (Marcus Miller) closed quickly to finish second while stablemates Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) and Fury Road (Dan Dube) had to settle for third and fourth, respectively. Repentance stopped the timer in 1:57 for the third win in her last four starts in New York Sire Stakes competition. Repentance went off at odds of 9-5. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Thursday afternoon harness racing returned this week at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the thirteen race matinee was highlighted by a $9,630 event for New York sired trotters. John Stark Jr's Jeter's Way (Muscles Yankee) is in the midst of a successful sophomore season but has been feast or famine of late. The three year old recorded two wins in his last six starts heading into Thursday's feature, including a career-best 1:57 victory in July, but also made a pair of breaks in his last handful of starts. On Thursday, Jeter's Way had to come from well off the pace and wound up first over on the race's odds-on favorite All Night Credit (Shawn Gray). The leader enjoyed a tepid tempo in lap one making the task all the more daunting for Jeter who marched up in the two-path and took on the leader first-over before grinding him into submission in the final few feet of the race. Jeter's Way's victory, which came in just 2:01.2, was his fifth on the season, a sophomore campaign that included him setting a 1:57 lifetime mark at Saratoga this summer. All Night Credit wound up second-best while Trotmundo (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Jeter's Way, who is trained and driven by John Stark Jr, paid $13.60 in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $33 and $100.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Friday night with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

In 2017, Babinga Wood (Dragon Again) won the award for harness racing Claiming Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Trainer Bob Uhl acquired Babinga Wood last season and enjoyed immediate success with him. After he was claimed from him, Uhl re-acquired Babinga Wood whose 2018 campaign didn't begin until a bit later in the season than most. The six year old has found his form again and after an open-length romp in a conditional race in July, Babinga Wood moved up to winners over competition where last week he prevailed in a career best 1:52. On Saturday night, it was up into the Open Pace for the Uhl trainee who drew the rail but was dismissed at odds of 10-1. Deetzy (Billy Dobson) moved out to the early lead in the $14,500 feature but was hounded from nearly the get-go. Deetzy posted first half fractions of 27 and 54.3 and just kept rolling as he clicked off three quarters in 1:22.2. All the while, longshot Babinga Wood sat patiently before popping the pocket turning for home. Deetzy dug in but Babinga Wood surged past before stopping the timer in 1:51.4, a new lifetime best for the up-and-comer just a week after setting his previous career mark. Deetzy had to settle for second while Rock On Moe (Brian Cross) earned the show spot. Babinga Wood paid $23.00 in his first Open score and led an exacta and triple that came back $94 and $363.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga as Thursday matinees return starting this week with first post time set for 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

In what was already a magical freshman harness racing season for So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl-Kassa Branca), the two year old filly added a track record to her resume on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Though the Scott Di Domenico trainee came into the $78,750 New York Sire Stakes try for two year old pacing fillies with three victories and almost $110,000 on the campaign, she wasn't the favorite in Friday's race. Tim Tetrick piloted So Awesome and moved the freshman filly out to the early lead. Setting comfortable yet honest fractions of 28.2 and 57 seconds in the first half, So Awesome just kept rolling along. The two year old never faced a legit challenge before pacing away from her rivals in the stretch and winning in 1:53.3. The win time serves as a new track record for two year old pacing fillies, lowering the previous mark of 1:54 set by Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) in 2016. The standout performer appeared to pace the record time with ease as well as Tetrick had So Awesome wrapped up in the stretch. The winner was the 6-5 second choice in the wagering on Friday. The other division of the $78,750 NY Sire Stakes went the way of Money Shot Hanover (Art Major-Marinade Hanover-Bettor's Delight) who powered up first-over and breezed past her rivals to win in 1:55. Tyler Buter drove Money Shot Hanover to the stakes victory for trainer Mark Harder. The score was the second consecutve in New York Sire Stakes action for Money Shot Hanover. Live racing continues at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Too Much Man (Deweycheatumnhowe) proved too much for his competition in Wednesday's co-feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The four year old harness racing trotter came to the Spa for the first time earlier in the month after a connection change to trainer Scott Mongeon. Too Much Man scored in his local debut in the conditional ranks on August 7th before moving to the level where he competed on Wednesday night. The co-feature for New York sired trotters went for a purse of $9,630 and Too Much Man wound up as the public's 6-5 second choice in the wagering while riding a three-race win streak. Driver Brian Cross moved the up-and-comer out to the early lead in the feature and enjoyed pretty comfortable fractions throughout. Too Much Man drew away a bit around the final turn before checking in at the wire in 1:57.4 for his fourth consecutive victory. Miss Muscle (John Stark Jr) surged late to be second while the race's favorite Alex The Great (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. The win time matched the seasonal mark for Too Much Man who is now four-for-four since coming to the Spa. The other co-feature on Wednesday night was won by Video Chic who held on to prevail in 1:59. The three year old filly was one of two winners on the card for trainer Homer Hochstetler and driver Bruce Aldrich Jr as they also teamed up for a victory earlier in the evening with young trotter If I Must. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Hug The Wind N (Bettor's Delight) made his local debut on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel while competing in the evening's feature. The Rich Banca trainee started from post position four in the eight-horse Open Pace with driver Jay Randall in the sulky. The action came fast and furious in the $14,500 feature as rivals slugged it out early to the tune of first-half fractions of 26.1 and 54 seconds. All the while, closers like Hug The Wind N waited patiently and when Randall gave the seven year old the cue, the response was instant. Maxdaddy Bluechip (Billy Dobson) was also coming from the back of the pack in the Open when he surged up three wide. It appeared it would be that one who would swoop the group but Hug The Wind N shifted gears and breezed by that Maxdaddy Bluechip and a host of others in the stretch before coming on to win in 1:51.3. Maxdaddy Bluechip finished second while Americanprimetime (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. For Hug The Wind N, who went winless in 2017, it was victory number four on the season and his first at Saratoga. The invader paid $14.00 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $236.50 and $1,886, respectively. With the earnings from the Open score, Hug The Wind N moved his career bankroll to just shy of the $400,000 mark. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Rock N Roll Rosie (World Of Rocknroll) made an immediate impact upon coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel this spring. The five year old mare won her first three local starts and went on to prevail in five of her first six tries at the Spa for trainer Dolores Basilone and driver Jimmy Devaux. Following her win on June 29th, Rock N Roll Rosie tested the waters in the local Open. She went on a cold streak for a month and on Friday night, Rock N Roll Rosie drew the rail in the $9,500 feature at Saratoga. The early tempo in the feature was sizzling from the start and after fractions in the first half went in 26.2 and 55.3, the leader in the race faded and the backfield was set in motion. Open dropper Culinary Delight N (Larry Stalbaum) powered up first-over and cleared going to three quarters but all the while, Rock N Roll Rosie was closing in. Those two distaffers squared off around the final turn and took their battle into the stretch before Rock N Roll Rosie emerged victorious in 1:52, the fastest mile of the year for a pacing mare at the Spa. The win time also set a new lifetime mark for the mare who has now recorded six wins in her eleven local starts. Culinary Delight N was the runner-up while the favored Frost Damage Blues (Phil Fluet) was late on the scene to finish third. Rock N Roll Rosie was the second mare to set a new career mark on the evening for Basilone as she also teamed up with Devaux for a win with mare Wonderful World who stopped the timer in a lifetime best 1:53.2. Rock N Roll Rosie paid $12.20 in her mild upset on Friday night. Live racing continues on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

A former Horse of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel was back in the winner's circle on Wednesday night. Slugfest earned top honors at the track in 2015 when he was named Horse of the Year in the same season in which he took home the Trotter of the Year award for the second consecutive campaign. The Maureen Salino trainee was still among the track's top trotters in '16 but was lightly raced last season. With his 2018 campaign starting just a month ago, Slugfest is still on the comeback trail and while not the same kind of top echelon trotter he once was, the veteran dug in to record his first win of the year on Wednesday night. Brett Crawford piloted the nine year old in the $6,420 conditional race on Wednesday and moved the classy vet out to the early lead. Things appeared dicey when another former award winner at the Spa Coastal Region (Wally Hennessey) surged three wide and actually took the lead away from Slugfest heading to three quarters. The back-class of the former Saratoga star shined at that point, though, and Slugfest wouldn't let the track's defending Three Year Old Trotter of the Year clear him. Slugfest rallied and reclaimed the lead before drawing away late to prevail in 1:58.1 for his first victory of the season. Coastal Region had to settle for second. Slugfest was the race's co-favorite but still paid $7.10 to win in his first score of '18. The win was the 39thin the career of Slugfest, a career that has seen him earn close to $585,000. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Buff (Credit Winner) cruised to victory in the Tuesday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Jackie Greene trainee went wire-to-wire in the $14,500 Open Trot. Buff won back to back Opens in July and after not factoring in his two most recent starts was offensive minded in the early going on Tuesday, powering out to the lead in a 27.1 first quarter. The five year old never got much of a breather, trotting a half in 56.2 before checking in at three quarters in 1:25.2. Never facing a serious challenge, Buff had plenty left for the stretch run and drew away late before stopping the timer in 1:54.3. The win time not only served as a seasonal mark for Buff but matched the fastest time for any trotter this season at Saratoga. Previously, Tropical Storm Bi and New York Sire Stakes star The Veteran recorded victories in 1:54.3. Buff, who was driven to victory by Frank Coppola Jr, was the 4-5 public choice on Tuesday night as he registered his third win of the season in the local Open and eighth overall. Longshot Dragin The Wagon (Phil Fluet) sat the pocket in the feature and finished second while Piercewave Hanover (Jordan Derue) came from last to earn the show spot. Buff won ten races in 2017 and is on pace to have an even bigger campaign in '18 for trainer Jackie Greene who currently sits fourth in the local trainer standings. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Mister Daytona N (American Ideal) made his local debut on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as trainer-driver Mike Simons brought the six year old to town to compete in the $14,500 Open Pace. Mister Daytona N, who has been a regular at Yonkers this season, flashed some uncharacteristic early speed in his debut at the Spa as Simons marched him out to the early lead in the feature. After putting up a first quarter in 27.2, Mister Daytona N slowed things down significantly before reaching the half in 57.2. From there, the talented invader accelerated and never stopped. With veteran local star Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) closing in heading to three quarters, Simons stepped on the gas and Mister Daytona N responded. All the while, Deetzy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) got the pocket ride and those three pacers drew away turning for home before Mister Daytona N stopped the timer in 1:51.4 to win by a length and a half. Deetzy was the runner-up in the Open while the favored Artful Way had to settle for the show spot. Mister Daytona N, who was the public's second choice in the wagering at odds of 9-5, paced his final half in 54.2 highlighted by a 26.4 last quarter en route to what was his fourth win of the season. The exacta paid $29.80 while the triple returned $104 in the Saturday feature. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Sally Fletcher A (American Ideal) was offensive minded from the get-go in Friday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Bruce Aldrich Jr. powered the Jose Godinez-trained distaffer out to the early lead in the $14,500 Fillies and Mares Open and the speedy mare never stopped. After posting a sizzling first quarter in 26.3 over the sloppy going, Sally Fletcher A did get a second quarter breather before reaching the half in 56.3. The seven year old distaffer then went pedal to the metal in the third panel as the race's favorite came calling first-over. Sally Fletcher A posted a 27.2 third quarter before pacing off to win in 1:52.2, matching the fastest time of the year for a lady pacer at the Spa. The track's top mare in 2018 is Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) and that Paul Zabielski trainee nearly overcame her outside post on Friday as she finished second in the feature. Longshot Stylish Beachwhere (Jordan Derue) earned the show spot. Sally Fletcher A was the second-choice in the wagering while going off at odds of 2-1. The exacta with Spreester second paid $30.60 while the triple returned $189. The win was the second in the local feature in the career of Sally Fletcher A who also scored in a December installment of the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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