The Open Pace has been the most wide open among the featured races at Saratoga Casino Hotel this season. No horse has been a dominant force this year in the regular Sunday feature and this week another unique winner prevailed in the $15,000 Open. Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) was a regular winner in the Open Pace a few years ago at Saratoga but has spent much of his season competing out of town in 2021. Following a third-place finish in last week’s feature, Hudson Phil was the even money betting favorite in Sunday’s installment of the Open. The Jackie Greene trainee wound up first-over while in pursuit of front-running Andreios Kardia (Larry Stalbaum). Hudson Phil didn’t remain overland for long as he powered right up and past the leader approaching the three-quarter pole before drawing out to what turned out to be an insurmountable lead. The six year old pacer, who recently became a half millionaire, proved best on Sunday winning in 1:53.2 to boost his seasonal earnings to over the $100,000 mark. Macheasy A (Jay Randall), a four-time winner of the Open this year, was the runner-up to Hudson Phil on Sunday while Andreios Kardia (Larry Stalbaum) had to settle for third. Hudson Phil, who was piloted to victory by Billy Dobson, became the fifth different winner of the Open Pace in the last five installments. He is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY whose Moonshine Kisses is another four-time winner in the Open in the ’21 season at the Spa. Hudson Phil paid $4.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $12.20 and $68, respectively.
Live racing continues on Monday afternoon with a matinee starting at noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser