Saturday night featured two divisions of the second leg of the JP Morel Memorial Pacing Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Each division for five year olds and younger went for a purse of $10,000. Leading driver Billy Dobson and trainer Monica Krist teamed up with winners of both divisions, scoring open-length romps with their three year old geldings. Mantario (Sportswriter) became the only repeat winner in the series as he scored a decisive victory in 1:55.1 on a chilly evening in the Spa City. Mantario’s 1:54.2 leg one win was by far the fastest of the series heading into next week’s final. Energyzone Hanover (American Ideal) was a beaten favorite in leg one of the Morel Memorial but had little difficulty recording a four length win in a career-best 1:55 with Dobson in the sulky. Energyzone Hanover came into the series three-for-three in the win column in 2019 before suffering a rare defeat in leg one as rival Super Roll (Jimmy Devaux) got past him in the final strides to pull off the mild upset. Super Roll reversed roles in leg two as he ended up as the runner-up to Energyzone Hanover in leg two. The final of the 7th annual JP Morel Memorial Pacing Series will take place next Saturday night (May 4th) and is set to be contested for a purse of $32,000.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino