Southwind Amazon (Camluck) made his local debut on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel and what an impression he made. The Paul Holzman-trained pacer showed some impressive lines in his races from the last few months but drew the outside post position in his debut in the $16,000 Open Pace. Driver Billy Dobson powered Southwind Amazon out early and didn’t stop until he reached the top. After an opening quarter in 27 seconds and a half in 55, the six year old star sped away from his rivals to build an insurmountable lead. Clicking off three quarters in 1:22.3, Southwind Amazon had plenty left in the stretch and stopped the clock in 1:50.4, the fastest time for any horse at the Spa this year. The race’s favorite Givenupdreaming (Stephane Bouchard) shook loose late but it was to no avail as he had to settle for second while Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Southwind Amazon returned $7.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $25.20 and $68, respectively. It was the 11th victory in 29 seasonal tries for Southwind Amazon who posted the fastest mile of 2016 at Saratoga in a year that featured defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit (he prevailed in 1:51 in July’s $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace).
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that kicks off at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino