The defending Saratoga Casino Hotel Horse of the Year made his return to the winner’s circle on Saturday night as he prevailed for the first time in 2018. Artful Way (Artistic Fella) was a beaten favorite in his first two starts of the season but on Saturday night would not be denied in the $12,000 Open Pace. Frank Coppola Jr. had thoughts of leaving with Artful Way but after a host of leavers moved out to his inside took the superstar pacer back to fourth. Poisonous (Mark Beckwith) cut the mile in the feature and after posting a fast first quarter of 27 seconds got a second quarter breather. Coppola then made his move with Artful Way as the track’s defending driving champion unleashed the 1-5 favorite. Artful Way put away Poisonous around the final turn before drawing away to win by two lengths in 1:52.2, the fastest mile of the year thus far at Saratoga which was highlighted by a final half paced in 54.2. Lachie Maguire N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) got up for second while Poisonous earned the show spot. With the winnings, the Jackie Greene-trained Artful Way moved his career bankroll to over the $400,000 mark, just three starts into his six year old campaign.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino