Larry Stalbaum won the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the fifth time in the last seven Saturday nights when his Lord Willoughby A (Mach Three) went last to first in the $18,000 feature. Lord Willoughby A was assigned post six in the six-horse Open but benefited from an early speed duel on Saturday. With a pair of rivals going toe-to-toe in a fast first half of 55.2, Lord Willoughby A got underway past the half and moved third over heading to three-quarters. He wound up four-wide around the final turn but once he straightened up in the stretch, Lord Willoughby A had enough to come on and win in 1:53.1. The Tracy Tarantino trainee paid $8.30 in what was his second consecutive victory in the Open and his fifth win in the last six local starts. The favored Vasari N (Jimmy Devaux) made his debut in the local Open and was tested from the start of the race while on the engine before digging in to finish second. Betterlatethnnever (Mitch Cushing) closed to be third in the $18,000 feature. The exacta and triple came back $27.80 and $119, respectively. Lord Willoughby A’s two Open wins come just a few weeks after Stalbaum and Tarantino’s Crockets Cullen N scored victories in three of four tries in the Open Pace.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino