Longtime local superstar Artful Way (Artistic Fella) made his return to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night. The Jackie Greene trainee last raced at the Spa in late March when he prevailed in the Open Pace. The ten year old recorded another Open win at Plainridge Park last month but then returned to town off a clunker. Artful Way was one of the 8-5 co-favorites in Saturday’s $15,000 feature and moved right out to the early lead with Billy Dobson guiding the way.
Repeal Or Replace (So Surreal), who took late board support to be the race’s other 8-5 shot, left to sit the pocket to Artful Way as the three-time Saratoga Pacer of the Year set fractions of 27.2 and 57 seconds in the first half. Leading driver Jimmy Devaux popped the pocket around the final turn and the battle was on as the co-favorites traded strides in the stretch before Repeal Or Replace took over under the shadow of the wire. Artful Way came up second best while longshot Somebeach Baron (Shawn Gray) finished third in his local debut.
Repeal Or Replace is owned by Karma Racing Inc of Parkland, FL and trained by John Podres. The win in the Open Pace wasn’t the first in the local career of the five year old who scored in the Spa’s featured race for pacers last November. Paying $5.30 to win on Saturday night, Repeal Or Replace led an exacta and triple that returned $19.40 and $78, respectively. The win in the Open was one of four on the evening for Jimmy Devaux as he padded his lead in the local driver standings while seeking to repeat as the track’s leading driver after winning his first Spa title in 2021.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time of 12 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser