Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) returned to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night to compete in the $15,000 Open Pace. The Jackie Greene trainee won his previous local start which took place last month but was a beaten favorite earlier in the week while competing at Plainridge in Massachusetts. Hudson Phil was the Open’s 1-5 betting favorite on Saturday and certainly raced like that convincing of a public choice. The four year old pacer surged out to the early lead and after going through lap one in 56 seconds, put in a back half that was simply dazzling. Hudson Phil paced his final half in 54.4 to score in 1:50.4, the fastest mile of the year thus far at Saratoga. Jay Randall piloted the rising Open star to the decisive victory. Longshot Nitro Glistening (Brett Crawford) was the runner-up to the favorite while Carolina Beach (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. In four starts in the local Open Pace in 2019, Hudson Phil now has two wins and a second. The big favorite led an exacta and triple on Saturday that paid $18.40 and $56.00, respectively.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 noon first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino