Saturday evening’s 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.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino