Apex Seelster (Big Jim) is in the midst of a career year and on Saturday night, the Monticello invader looked to prevail in Saratoga Casino Hotel’s Open Pace for the first time. The Ken Koch-trained pacer came to town as a winner of three consecutive tries in the Monticello Open and after scoring in the $13,000 Winners Over in his Spa debut, Apex Seelster finished second in last weekend’s Open despite making a break before the start. On Saturday, the six year old drew post five in the eight-horse Open and wound up coming first-over on the race’s leader Lake Charles (Leon Bailey).
The winningest Open horse in the 2022 campaign at the Spa, Lake Charles left to overcome post eight and after getting a first half in 56 seconds was approached by Apex Seelster who looked to grind the leader into submission. In the meantime, Mikibytheseaside (Luke Hanners), who came into the race off an Open win of his own, sat the pocket behind the dueling leaders who brought their battle into the homestretch.
Those three fought it out to the wire where Apex Seelster emerged victorious in a mile clocked in 1:52.1 on a chilly evening in the Spa City. Mikibytheseaside finished second at odds of 12-1 while Lake Charles held third. The winner paid $4.60 and led an exacta and triple that returned $52.50 and $312, respectively. Apex Seelster is owned by Tom Milici of Montgomery, NY.
Live racing at Saratoga continues on Sunday afternoon with a Noon start to the Father’s Day matinee.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy