Alluneedisfaith N (Art Major) has been a force since joining the stable of trainer Alicia Gray this August. On Saturday, the New Zealand invader won the local Open Pace for the second time and extended his streak of finishing first or second to five weeks. Alluneedisfaith N was the 4-5 betting favorite in Saturday’s Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel and driver Shawn Gray marched the public’s choice out to the lead in a first quarter in 28.1.
As if that fraction wasn’t soft enough, the veteran got even more of a breather before clicking off a half in 59.1 and from there the race seemed like it was over. Optical Illusion N (Chris Long) drew post seven in the seven-horse feature and had the daunting task of trying to close in a race with such soft fractions up front. Optical Illusion N drew even with Alluneedisfaith N late in the mile and those two squared off in the stretch before the favorite held strong to prevail in a mile paced in 1:54.3.
Optical Illusion N hit the board for the sixth time in his last seven tries in the Open when he finished second on Saturday to complete a $24 exacta. Keystone Dakota (Brett Beckwith) earned the show spot to round out a $76.50 triple. Alluneedisfaith N now has four wins and two seconds in seven starts since joining the Gray stable. The eight year old is owned by Doug Overhiser of Florida.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee starting at noon. There will be a $1,486 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the afternoon’s first race.
Photo: Melissa Simser