Winning the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel is nothing new for the Kellogg Racing Stables and their trainer Jackie Greene. Led by track superstar Artful Way and pacer Hudson Phil, no one has won more Opens at the Spa over the course of the last decade than Kellogg and Greene. On Sunday afternoon, they added another to their bulky total when Moonshine Kisses (Sunshine Beach) made his return to the Spa a winning one. The five year old pacer had a pair of runner-up tries in the pacing feature this spring but took three months off to heal from an injury suffered in May. Reinsman Billy Dobson sat behind Moonshine Kisses in each of his three qualifiers that were used as preps for his return to Open company and off a resounding victory in 1:52.2 in his most recent qualifier was aggressive with the Greene trainee in the early going on Sunday. Moonshine Kisses captured an easy lead in the $15,000 feature before cruising through a first half in 56.3. Bet down as the race’s 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Moonshine Kisses never faced much of a challenge and in fact powered away from the competition around the final turn. The Greene trainee stopped the timer in 1:52.1 in what was the fastest of his four wins on the season and his first Open score in ’21. Last week’s Open winner Quagmire Bluechip (Brett Beckwith) closed to finish second to extend his streak of hitting the board in the feature to eight straight while Matticulous GB (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. Moonshine Kisses, who wound up prevailing by better than three lengths, paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple in the six-horse Open that paid $31.20 and $54.50, respectively.
Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for noon. The Pick Five will have a carryover of better than $2,000 on Monday and begins in the first race on the matinee card.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy