Hudson Phil prevailed in the first installment of the Open Pace this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel in early February. The Jackie Greene trainee has been a force at the Spa for the last few years and is once again establishing himself as a top-flight pacer in the early stages of the ’22 campaign. After springing an upset on opening weekend, Hudson Phil had a second, a third and a fourth in the local Open before hitting the board in consecutive starts at Yonkers Raceway. On Saturday night, the seven year old was back in town and wound up as the 8-5 betting favorite in the $15,000 Open Pace at the Spa. Billy Dobson piloted the Greene-trained pacer who sat back in the early going as several rivals slugged it out in the first half. After watching the first half go in 56 seconds, Hudson Phil started to make his move and tipped three-wide approaching the three-quarter pole before swooping the group and opening up a big lead. Hudson Phil drew away from the competition to win by almost seven lengths in 1:53 to record his second Open win of the season. Mikibytheseaside (Jay Randall) made his Open Pace debut on Saturday and finished second despite drawing post eight while Elite Retreat (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. Hudson Phil paid $5.30 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $17 and $164.50, respectively. The winner is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY who now have four victories in the Open Pace this year, two with Hudson Phil and two with local superstar Artful Way. While Dobson scored the victory in the Open, Leon Bailey was the evening’s driving star as Vernon Downs’ back-to-back top reinsman drove five winners on the Saturday card.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon. There is a Pick Five carryover of $2,460, a Pick Six jackpot carryover of $1,624. First post time is set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser