Keystone Dakota (Art Major) is in the midst of his breakout year and the Melissa Beckwith trainee continued his strong spring on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The five year old was purchased back in March and moved to the Beckwith stable where he has completely thrived. Just a few weeks removed from a lifetime best win in 1:51.4 at Yonkers Raceway, Keystone Dakota returned to Saratoga where he took part in Tuesday’s $10,250 feature for pacers. Mark Beckwith piloted the rising star and moved him out to the early lead. The 8-5 morning-line favorite went off at odds of 5-2 and wound up making every pole a winning one before stopping the timer in 1:54 in a mile highlighted by a 27.3 final quarter. The victory was Keystone Dakota’s fifth in eight starts since moving to the Beckwith barn. Mr Big Wig (Billy Dobson) made his local debut and sat the pocket to Keystone Dakota before finishing as the runner-up on Tuesday while Sassy Hanover (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot. Keystone Dakota, who is owned by Howard Jacobs of West Orange, NJ, paid $7.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $19.40 and $65.50, respectively.
Live racing continues on Wednesday afternoon with a first post set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino