As the summer starts begins to wind down, Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) has emerged as the clear-cut front-runner for Horse of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene-trained pacer has been the track’s superstar in 2019 and on Saturday night, the four year old won the Open Pace for the eighth time this season. Jay Randall has been the regular driver for Hudson Phil in his local starts this year and the veteran reinsman wasted no time powering the standout pacer out to the early lead in Saturday’s $15,000 Open. Hudson Phil sizzled through a first quarter of 26.2 before clicking off a half in 55.2 but didn’t face his first challenge until checking in at three quarters in 1:23.3 when Major Crocker A (Billy Dobson) drew alongside to confront the big favorite. Hudson Phil rebuffed him around the final turn but Major Crocker A had one surge left in him and closed again in the stretch before coming up second-best in the 1:51.1 mile. Lockton Luck A (Mark Beckwith) finished third to extend his “on the board” streak to six. Hudson Phil’s ten wins have led to over $100,000 in earnings in his monster 2019 campaign.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino