There were co-features on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Fillies and Mares Open joined the regular Saturday feature the Open Pace to highlight the evening’s thirteen race card. Each of the co-features went for a purse of $14,500 and each saw the favorite prevail. The Open Pace was won by Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) who was offensive minded from the get-go on Saturday night. Wally Hennessey overcame the outside post with Carolina Beach, the race’s 4-5 betting favorite, as he moved the Melissa Beckwith-trained pacer out to the early lead. Laying down fast fractions of 27 and 55.4 in lap one, Carolina Beach had something left for the stretch run to prevail in 1:52.1 while holding off Texas Terror N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and securing his second consecutive win in the Open and eleventh victory overall in the 2018 campaign. Texas Terror N was the runner-up while longshot Rise Up Now (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot.
The Fillies and Mares Open, the regular Friday night feature at the Spa, was pushed back a night due to a New York Sire Stakes-filled card on Friday. Rene Allard’s Eclipse Me N (Real Desire) swooped the group to win the local Open for the first time. Leading driver Billy Dobson worked out a cover trip for the 6-5 favorite as Eclipse Me N drafted second-over behind the track’s defending Pacing Mare of the Year Truth And Liberty who was making her first local start of the season. Eclipse Me N made a powerful move around the final turn and drew out to win by a length and half, stopping the timer in 1:53.2 for her sixth victory on the campaign. Regular Open star Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) came from last in the Open for distaffers before finishing second while longshot Better Said (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with New York Sire Stakes competition highlighting the thirteen race card. Two year old pacing colts and geldings will be featured in stakes action. First post time is set for 7:05pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino