Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall) was the betting public’s favorite on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel despite the fact that he was making his first start of the 2018 campaign. The Rene Allard trainee recorded eight wins in sixteen starts last season but hadn’t raced since December at Yonkers when he made a break. Following a winning qualifier at Pocono, Smalltownthrowdown was assigned the outside post in the six-horse Open on Sunday and got away fifth when one of his top competitors made an early break. Leading driver Billy Dobson elected to come from off the pace with the five year old former NY Sire Stakes star and Smalltownthrowdown wound up encountering some traffic trouble after getting a third-over trip. The talented trotter shifted gears around the final turn and powered past his rivals in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:56.2 in the $14,500 feature. Front-runner Ulster (Jay Randall) held on for second while Zlatan (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. Smalltownthrowdown was the even money favorite in Sunday’s tilt and led an exacta and triple that returned $13 and $44.80, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino