Sports Obsession (Sportswriter) made his return to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday to compete in the Open Pace. The Jimmy Nickerson-trained pacer raced at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts for the last month after a strong stint at the Spa in which he had a first, a second and a third in three tries in the local feature. On Monday, Sports Obsession drew post four in the $14,000 Open and driver Jimmy Devaux powered the four year old out to the early lead. The Nickerson trainee sizzled on the engine hitting the quarter in 26.3 before reaching the half in 55.4. The race’s 1-5 betting favorite put in his bid first-over but never got close to the leader before fading from the scene. Sports Obsession, who went off at odds of 9-1, clicked off three quarters in 1:24 before holding firm in the stretch to prevail in 1:53.1 to record his second win in the local Open this season. Macheasy A (Chris Long) sat the pocket to the winner and finished second while longshot Wyatt J (Billy Dobson) closed to be third in the five-horse feature. Sports Obsession paid $20.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $86 and $343, respectively. The four year old boosted his career earnings to over the quarter million dollar mark on Monday for owner Joseph Trice of Hampden, ME. The final four races on Monday’s card were canceled.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino