Artful Way (Artistic Fella) put in as impressive of a performance on Saturday night as you will see in an Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene trainee got away fifth in a six horse field in the $18,000 Open Pace while his co-favorite Dancin Yankee (Mark Beckwith) set up shop on the front end. Dancin Yankee, who holds the all-time track record with a 1:48.4 victory in the Gerrity Pace in 2015, finished third in his return to town last week. Driver Mark Beckwith put that classy veteran on the lead in the early going on Saturday night and despite going a fast first quarter in 26.4, got to back it down a bit en route to going a first half in 56 seconds. Artful Way made his move from the back of the pack with about 3/8 of a mile to pace and when he did so, he meant business. Unleashing an eye-popping move heading to the three quarter pole, Artful Way paced right past Dancin Yankee and drew away to win the Open in 1:51.4. Highlighted by a final half in 54.2, Artful Way became the first five-time Open Pace winner at the Spa this season. Dancin Yankee won the photo for place while last week’s Open winner Deetzy came on to finish third. Artful Way, the track’s defending Pacer of the Year, has already matched his win total from 2016 with ten and is just shy of his earnings from last year of $115,000+. Artful Way was piloted to the Open score by Frank Coppola Jr. Greene and Coppola teamed up for a pair of victories on Saturday night as heavily favored Some Attitude (Somebeachsomewhere) moved his local record to two-for-two.
Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that kicks off at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino