Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) became the first horse at Saratoga Casino Hotel to win the Open Pace four times in 2019 when he went coast-to-coast on Saturday night with Jay Randall in the sulky. Trainer Jackie Greene has taken home three consecutive Pacer of the Year awards with her Artful Way who is again enjoying a strong ’19 campaign but on Saturday evening, it was Artful Way’s stablemate who took the lead among local Open pacers after recording his fourth victory in the $15,000 feature this year. Assigned the outside post in the field of seven, Hudson Phil powered out to the lead in a first quarter of a snappy 26.4 but really never faced a solid threat before checking in at three quarters in 1:23.4. When the race’s pocket-sitter made a break turning for home, the lead became insurmountable for Hudson Phil who opened up before winning by two and a half lengths in 1:52. Kiwi Tintin N (Jimmy Devaux) came on to finish second while veteran pacer Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) earned the show spot. The exacta and triple paid $21.00 and $56.00 led by the race’s even money favorite Hudson Phil whose win was the 16th of his career in just his 49th lifetime start.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 Noon first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino