It was a big afternoon on Tuesday for trainer Amanda Kelley and driver Greg Merton at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Not only did the pair win the $13,000 Open Pace together but they teamed up for a couple of victories on the card. Some Waratah A (Somebeachsomewhere) has been terrific since coming over from Australia this winter. The Kelley trainee came into Tuesday’s Open with three wins and two seconds in six starts since the move to the U.S. This week, Some Waratah A was assigned post six in the six-horse feature and driver Greg Merton put the 2-5 betting favorite in gear in the early going. Rival Sports Obsession (Jimmy Devaux) was also aggressive at the start and forced the favorite into the pocket. After cruising through the first quarter in 27.3, Sports Obsession got a breather before getting to the half in 57.1. The tempo quickened a bit heading towards three-quarters and the top two got a bit of separation from the remainder of the rivals. Some Waratah A got revved up around the final turn and powered past Sports Obsession in the lane before coming on to win in 1:53.2. After having to settle for second-best in two straight tries, Some Waratah A was able to return to the winner’s circle for his second local Open Pace victory. Sports Obsession held strong to be second while Waimac Attack N (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Some Waratah A led an exacta and triple that paid $6.70 and $19.60 in the feature. The victory in the Open was the second on the card for Kelley and Merton who teamed up to win a claiming pacing event with Gunpowder N (Bettor’s Delight) who moved his local record to two-for-two after recording an “off the pace” score.
Live racing continues on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino