Just Make Believe (Kadabra) paid immediate dividends for his new connections on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the six year old prevailed in the $15,000 Open Trot. Just Make Believe was assigned post position one in the 1 1/16 mile feature as he was moving up in company off a claim for trainer John DiStefano. Jimmy Devaux got the driving assignment and got the razor sharp trotter away well early. Just Make Believe sat the pocket to Stirling Cadet (Frank Coppola Jr), last week’s Open winner, who was setting sizzling fractions on the lead. Softened a bit by an opening quarter of 26.2, Stirling Cadet tired late and Just Make Believe slid out of the pocket around the final turn. The favored Boli (Wally Hennessey) was closing sharply but after getting away last had them all to beat if he was going to secure his second victory in the local Open. Just Make Believe stopped the timer in 2:03.1 to prevail in the 1 1/16 Open at odds of 18-1. Boli closed sharply for second while Stirling Cadet held on for third. Just Make Believe returned $38.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $145 and $714, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with a 4:00pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino