The Monica Krist stable had two horses in on trotting day at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday afternoon. Gruden led the charge from her stable and was the public’s 8-5 betting favorite in the matinee’s $12,000 Open Trot. Gruden got the pocket trip behind Gigfy (Alek Chartrand), a razor-sharp trotter who was aggressive in the feature and did prove up to the task. Gigfy cut the mile but was hounded throughout, parking out a rival in a first half that was clocked in 56.2. All the while, Gruden was in behind the dueling leaders and when he got clearance after three quarters in 1:26, popped the pocket and cruised past Gigfy before drawing away in the stretch. Billy Dobson piloted Gruden to the better than four-length victory in the feature. Gruden paid $5.40 to win and led an exacta with Gigfy second that came back $26. Stone In Love (Brian Cross) made a break behind the gate but rallied late to finish third and complete a $69.50 triple. The win for Gruden was one of two on the day for his connections. Owner Rick Dobson, of Howell, MI, had a double as his Lazzaro (Explosive Matter) was a repeat winner earlier in the card in a $6,600 trotting event for Krist with leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino