A pair of claimers led veteran conditioner Jim Martuscello to a training double on Saturday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Martuscello runs a small stable at the Spa and added two new members to his barn a few weeks ago when owner Pasquale Baia, of Amsterdam NY, claimed pacers Better Moonon Over and Gibus. Better Moonon Over made a break in his first start off the claim but the six year old has since rebounded in style. Following a second-place finish, Better Moonon Over was a decisive in his next start leading up to Saturday’s try in the $5,000 claiming ranks. Jimmy Devaux powered Better Moonon Over out to the early lead and from there, it was over. The claiming pacer cruised away to win by better than six lengths in 1:55.1 to complete his back-to-back jacks.
Gibus was claimed for $12,500 by Baia and Martuscello last month and finished second in his first start for new connections in late February. After a three week layoff, it was back to the track on Saturday for Gibus who moved up into the $15,000 claiming ranks for the first time. Reinsman Brett Beckwith sat patiently with Gibus throughout the first five-eighths of a mile before unleashing him approaching the three-quarter pole. The seven year old put one in the win column for the first time this year when he surged past the front-runner before powering away to prevail by two and a quarter lengths in a mile clocked in 1:55.2 to complete a double for his owner and trainer. Gibus paid $10.000 to win in the mild Saturday upset. Martuscello had started out his ’22 campaign with four wins and four seconds in just ten seasonal starts.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser