Saturday night’s Open Pace featured the return of Artful Way (Artistic Fella) at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The three-time defending Pacer of the Year at the track suffered a minor injury that forced him to be scratched a couple weeks ago following a victory in his 2019 debut. Despite coming in off a three week layoff, Artful Way was the public’s betting favorite in the $15,000 Open while starting from the outside post. Fellow veteran JK Panache (Art Major) was the one who stole the show on Saturday though. The Dave Dewhurst trainee moved first over approaching the half and continued to plug away on the outside while the backfield was set in motion. Artful Way made his move and a scramble in the stretch ensued. Despite appearing to tire around the final turn, JK Panache just kept fighting on and wound up prevailing by the slimmest of margins. The win that looked unlikely at the top of the stretch was the second of the year in the Open for JK Panache who was once again piloted to victory by Jimmy Devaux. Artful Way came charging hard but had to settle for second while In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) finished third. The incredible JK Panache paid $8.90 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $46 and $186, respectively. Jimmy Devaux drove four winners on the Saturday card.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino