Rocknroll Runa A (Rock N Roll Heaven) came up just short in his debut in the local Open Pace on opening weekend at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Fast forward two weeks to Saturday night and the Larry Stalbaum trainee drew the rail for his second try in the $17,000 feature. Young reinsman Matt Athearn picked up the catch-drive behind Rocknroll Runa A who got away second behind Take A Gamble (Leon Bailey). That invader was the winner of the lone Open Pace contested on the young season at the Spa heading into Saturday’s tilt. This week, Take A Gamble’s first half fractions of 26.3 and 55.3 took their toll late and after going toe-to-toe with the favored Moonshine Kisses (Jay Randall), the leader faded. Rocknroll Runa A shook loose around the final turn and came charging hard on the outside in the stretch before coming on to win in 1:52, the fastest time for any horse in the ’23 campaign at the Spa. The longest shot on the board Belmont Major N (Jimmy Devaux) closed up the inside to finish second while Moonshine Kisses had to settle for third in his first try in the local Open this season. Rocknroll Runa A paid $13.60 to win in the mild upset and led big-priced exotics. The exacta returned $242.50 while the triple came back $444. Rocknroll Runa A is owned and trained by Larry Stalbaum whose barn had a pair of victories on the Saturday card. His former Spa Pacer of the Year Crockets Cullen N went coast-to-coast on Saturday with young pilot Brett Beckwith in the sulky.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that starts at noon. There is a Pick Five carryover of $2,609 in the matinee’s early Pick Five and a carryover of $2,017 in the late Pick Five.
Photo: Jessica Hallett
Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York