Back to back Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Panocchio (No Pan Intended) scored his second victory of the year in the local Open Pace on Saturday night. The Jimmy Mattison-trained pacing star moved out to the early lead in a fast 27.1 in the $15,000 feature over a track labeled “good.” Panocchio didn’t get much of a breather in fact he was confronted by and passed by Yonkers invader Idealbeach Hanover (Billy Dobson) approaching the half mile pole. After that rival tired, Panocchio swung to the outside but had the daunting task of trying to reel in JK Panache (Wally Hennessey) who had taken over the lead heading to three quarters. JK Panache and Panocchio then engaged in a sensational stretch drive which resulted in Panocchio getting up to win in 1:52.2. JK Panache had to settle for second for the second consecutive week while longshot All Steinam (Shawn Gray) came on for third. It was the sixth victory on the year for Panocchio who spent the winter and spring competing at Pompano Park in Florida. Panocchio, the race’s 3-5 favorite, led an exacta and triple that paid $11.80 and $89, respectively.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino