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Major Escape edged clear on the end of a front-end trip on Thursday to take the Monticello Raceway harness racing feature pace.   Driver Jim Devaux was intent on getting the lead with the gelding, and he did so by advancing on the rim from post three through the first quarter in :29. Major Escape then led to the half in :59.3 and three-quarters in 1:29.3, after which he drew the encouragement of Devaux as the field of eight inched closer.   Major Escape turned for home with the lead and outpaced two challengers to score by a length and a quarter in 1:58.2. Kj Michael Gary (Jim Taggart Jr.) found a seam up the rail and took second. Pocket-sitter Uncle Qwackers (Michael Merton) finished third. The winner paid $2.80.   MAJOR ESCAPE REPLAY     Major Escape took his fourth win in his 80th lifetime appearance and increased his earnings to more than $90,000. Dawn Devaux trains the five-year-old son of Art Major for Lisa Zabielski of Ballston Spa.   Monticello will adjourn for the weekend and return on Monday, May 10 with eight dashes starting at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux had a strong week at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Wednesday, the veteran reinsman drove the feature winner for the second consecutive afternoon. Devaux sat behind the Brett Derue-trained Misty Memory N (Real Desire) who wound up repeating on the lead in the matinee's $10,000 featured race for fillies and mares. Misty Memory N cruised to an easy lead once again this week and never faced much of a challenge before completing a coast-to-coast score in 1:54.1, a new career-best win time. Thats Incredible (Shawn Gray) fought through a trip that saw her close into a final half of 56.3 to finish second to the favorite while Hereslooknatyou N (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. MISTY MEMORY N REPLAY   Misty Memory N was the public's 4-5 top choice in the wagering on Wednesday as she secured her third win of the season and the 20th of her career. She led an exacta and triple that paid $8.70 and $17.80. Misty Memory N, who was owned in partnership by Brett Derue, Steve Picarazzi and Scott Petillo of NY, was claimed out of Wednesday's race. The victory for Devaux in the feature for distaffers came one day after he enjoyed a three-win Tuesday afternoon at the Spa which was highlighted by him guiding Sports Obsession to a score in the $14,000 Open Pace. Live racing will resume on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with first post time set for Noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

On Monday afternoon, we had a first-time Open winner at Saratoga Casino Hotel as Gigfy parlayed a pocket ride to prevail in the Open Trot en route to his first ever victory in the local trotting feature. On Tuesday, Sports Obsession (Sportwriter) came into the $14,000 Open Pace seeking to be the next horse to prevail in an Open for the first time at the Spa. Jimmy Devaux piloted the Jimmy Nickerson-trained pacer to a second-place finish in last week's (April 27) Open. On Tuesday, Sports Obsession returned to the front-end and Devaux gave the four year old a bit of breather after reaching the quarter in 27.4. After getting a half in 57 seconds, Sports Obsession was tested only mildly to three-quarters before checking-in in 1:24.4. Sports Obsession, who went off at odds of 4-1, was then met with the challenge from pocket-sitting favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) but rebuffed that bid in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:53 to register his first Open win at the Spa. Crockets Cullen N had to settle for second while longshot Juxlivin My Dream (Shawn Gray) finished third. SPORTS OBSESSION REPLAY   Sports Obsession paid $10.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $23.40 and $151.50, respectively. For Sports Obsession, while it was his first score in a local feature, it was victory number five on the season. The young pacer, who is owned by Joseph Trice, of Hampden, ME, accounted for one of the three winners for Devaux on the Tuesday card. Nobody hit the Pick Five on Tuesday so there will be a carryover of $4,162 for Wednesday's Pick Five that begins in the first race. The jackpot has built up to $6,952.27 in the Jackpot Pick Six wager that kicks off in the afternoon's sixth race. First post time is set for Noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

With no Fillies aand Mares Open on the docket on Wednesday afternoon, a $10,000 conditional event for the ladies served as the harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Misty Memory N (Real Desire) took her shot in the Open last week and despite getting some support from the bettors never factored much in the big race for distaffers. On Wednesday, the Brett Derue trainee drew the rail off the class drop and wound up as the 8-5 public choice in the wagering. Driver Jimmy Devaux piloted Misty Memory N and the meet's second leading driver was aggressive from the get-go in the feature powering out to the early lead. The eight year old New Zealand invader never faced a legit challenge before pouring it on late to prevail by five and a half lengths in 1:55. MISTY MEMORY N REPLAY   Hereslooknatyou N (Phil Fluet) raced parked throughout the majority of the mile but still held strong to finish second while Glenferrie Blade A (Billy Dobson) came on to be third. Misty Memory N paid $5.40 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $17.40 and $83.50, respectively. The victory was the second of the season for Misty Memory N who has hit the board in nine of her twelve starts in 2021 for owners Picarazzi, Petillo and Derue, all of NY. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon starting at Noon. For full race results, click here. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

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          

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