Artful Way (Artistic Fella), the defending Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel, recorded the fastest mile of the year on Saturday night when he won the Open Pace in 1:50.1. Frank Coppola Jr. went pedal to the metal in the early going with the 7-5 betting favorite in the $14,500 Open and Artful Way hit the quarter in 26.3. The tempo didn’t slow much and after checking in at three quarters in 1:22.3, the star pacer had enough left to draw away and win in 1:50.1. Don’tcallmefrancis (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the runner-up for the second consecutive time in the Open while JK Panache (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. For Artful Way, it was the third victory in the local Open Pace this year. His trainer Jackie Greene now has recorded six wins in the regular Saturday feature at the Spa this season. It was the 26th win in just 80 career starts for the five year old Artful Way whose 1:50.1 final time served as a new lifetime mark. Artful Way, who paid $4.80 to win, led an exacta and triple that came back $16.40 and $32, respectively.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino