Just Make Believe (Kadabra) was a nominee for Trotter of the Year last season at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the John Di Stefano trainee was a force in the local feature in 2016. On Sunday afternoon, the seven year old made his return to the Spa to compete in the $12,000 Open Trot and driver Jim Devaux moved Just Make Believe early. Released at odds of 3-1, Just Make Believe wound up sitting the pocket to the favored On The Podium (Bruce Aldrich Jr) as that one battled last week’s Open winner Slugfest (Jay Randall) who was first over. Just Make Believe became a reality in the stretch when he surged by to take over the lead under the shadow of the wire, coming on to win it by a head in 1:57.4 on another cold afternoon in Saratoga. Slugfest came up second best while On The Podium had to settle for the show spot. It was the first victory in two starts in ’17 for the Just Make Believe coming off of a year in which he piled up thirteen wins. The winner paid $8.00 and led an exacta and triple that returned $32.40 and $95.50, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee set to begin at 12:15pm.
Photo: Michael A. Panzarino