Southeaster (RC Royalty) became the sixth different horse to win the Open Trot in the last six installments of the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel when he sprung the upset. The John Roach-trained trotter went over the $100,000 mark in career earnings last week in his first start in the local Open. On Friday night, Southeaster drew post five in the eight-horse feature and was put in gear early on by driver Chris Long. Southeaster looped the field into the first turn and cruised unopposed through a first half that went in 56.4.
The race’s favorite never posed much of a threat to the leader who clicked off three quarters in 1:26.1 and had enough in the stretch to hold off the late challenge from Gettin Messi (Shawn Gray) who finished second. The upset-minded ER Sophia (Jimmy Devaux) closed sharply to be third in the $16,000 Open. Southeaster paid $20.40 to win in the upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $122.50 and $502, respectively. The Roach trainee became the fourth trotter in as many weeks to be a first-time Open winner at the Spa. Southeaster is owned by William Miller II of Bluffton, SC.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy