Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) won last week’s Open Pace in career best fashion at Saratoga Casino Hotel and was subsequently assigned the outside post in Saturday’s most recent installment of the $14,500 feature. On Saturday night, Wally Hennessey picked up the catch drive behind Carolina Beach whose primary game is early speed. Hennessey had thoughts of leaving but with too much speed inside of him, backed off with the four year old and settled in fifth in the six-horse Open. Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) made the early lead but was confronted almost immediately by parked out rival O’sundland (Larry Stalbaum) who finally made it to top in a sizzling half paced in 54.3. Panocchio didn’t sit for long and was quickly back out to confront the weary O’sundland who started to fade past three-quarters in 1:22.3. All the while, the race’s odds-on favorite Carolina Beach was patiently waiting to pounce. Hennessey pulled up the backstretch and Carolina Beach swooped the group before drawing away to win in 1:51.3 for his third Open Pace victory of the year and second in as many weeks. Panocchio was the runner-up on Saturday while longshot Babinga Wood (Jimmy Devaux) came on to be third. Carolina Beach, who is trained by Melissa Beckwith, paid $3.00 as the race’s big favorite and led an exacta and triple that came back $9.90 and $62, respectively.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm start to the matinee.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino