Heading into Saturday night (July 21), in two of the previous five installments of the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. A standard was not established in this edition, but Evenin Of Pleasure did pace the third fastest time (1:49.2) in track history.
In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin' Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season’s biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the race that memorializes the longtime former chairman of the board of Saratoga Harness Inc. This was the 10th year it has been contested.
The winner of the 2017 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and was as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras), who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of :26.2 and :53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three-quarters.
Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure’s romp came by a margin of 5-1/2 lengths.
Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the 8-year-old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal.
Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively.
Saturday’s star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing’s richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner’s circle after his second place finish in conditional race at the Spa. (Saratoga)