JK Panache (Art Major) has been a force in the Open Pace for years now at both Vernon Downs and at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Dave Dewhurst trainee had just a second place finish in the Saratoga Open this year though before Saturday’s installment of the $14,500 feature. Jimmy Devaux picked up the catch drive behind JK Panache who quarter moved to the lead after an opening panel put up in 26.3. The fractions were sizzling as the eight year old veteran reached the half in 54 seconds over a track labeled ‘good.’ JK Panache checked in at three quarters in 122.1 and still looked to have something left though his rivals were closing in. The classy veteran held tough and held off the late surge from longshot Sporty Spook A (Billy Dobson) who came up second best to JK Panache in what was the 50th win of his illustrious career. Givenupdreaming (Stephane Bouchard) came from last to finish third in the mile clocked in 1:51.4. JK Panache was the race’s 8-5 betting favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $53.50 and $142, respectively. It was the first victory of the year in the Open Pace for the Dewhurst-trained superstar who is quickly approaching the half million dollar mark in lifetime earnings.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm.
Photo: Michael A. Panzarino