The field in Saturday night’s Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel was shrunk to five following a scratch but the feature still wound up being one of the evening’s best races. The quintet, which went for a purse of $14,500, was led throughout by veteran JK Panache (Jim Devaux) who was seeking his third Open Pace victory already on the young season. After putting up fractions of 26.4 and 56 in lap one, JK Panache fought gamely when confronted by a first-over rival and following a third quarter of 27.3, JK Panache was still standing his ground. That was until midway through the stretch when invader Americanprimetime (American Ideal) fanned off his cover and charged down the center of the track before stopping the timer in 1:52.2 for his first local Open victory. Americanprimetime, who returned $5.90 to win, is trained by Rick Dane Jr. and was piloted by Phil Fluet. JK Panache was the runner-up in the feature for the third time already in 2018 while Some Attitude (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino