On Monday afternoon, we had a first-time Open winner at Saratoga Casino Hotel as Gigfy parlayed a pocket ride to prevail in the Open Trot en route to his first ever victory in the local trotting feature. On Tuesday, Sports Obsession (Sportwriter) came into the $14,000 Open Pace seeking to be the next horse to prevail in an Open for the first time at the Spa. Jimmy Devaux piloted the Jimmy Nickerson-trained pacer to a second-place finish in last week’s (April 27) Open. On Tuesday, Sports Obsession returned to the front-end and Devaux gave the four year old a bit of breather after reaching the quarter in 27.4. After getting a half in 57 seconds, Sports Obsession was tested only mildly to three-quarters before checking-in in 1:24.4. Sports Obsession, who went off at odds of 4-1, was then met with the challenge from pocket-sitting favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) but rebuffed that bid in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:53 to register his first Open win at the Spa. Crockets Cullen N had to settle for second while longshot Juxlivin My Dream (Shawn Gray) finished third. Sports Obsession paid $10.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $23.40 and $151.50, respectively. For Sports Obsession, while it was his first score in a local feature, it was victory number five on the season. The young pacer, who is owned by Joseph Trice, of Hampden, ME, accounted for one of the three winners for Devaux on the Tuesday card.
Nobody hit the Pick Five on Tuesday so there will be a carryover of $4,162 for Wednesday’s Pick Five that begins in the first race. The jackpot has built up to $6,952.27 in the Jackpot Pick Six wager that kicks off in the afternoon’s sixth race. First post time is set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino