St Lads Moonwalk (Mach Three) prevailed in the Open Pace as part of the double feature on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Trainer Jackie Greene had last year’s local Pacer of the Year as Artful Way took home top honors after being the winningest participant in the Open Pace in 2016. This year’s version for Greene could be St Lads Moonwalk who was aggressively piloted by Frank Coppola Jr. in the $13,000 Open on Sunday. The race’s 5-2 second choice pocketed the favored Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) and held on to beat him in the stretch in a mile paced in 1:54.2. Sassy Hanover was second best while longshot Starzheaven (Jordan Derue) earned the show spot. The $12,000 Open Trot was won by Slugfest (Conway Hall). The Trotter of the Year at the Spa in both 2014 and 2015, Slugfest again had a solid ’16 campaign and started out his season in style on Sunday afternoon. Always seeming to thrive in the colder months of the year, Slugfest was at his best in the second half of the double feature as driver Jay Randall marched the veteran out to the early lead, a lead he would never relinquish. The Maureen Salino trainee went coast to coast in 1:56.2 at odds of 5-2 on Sunday to record his first victory of the year. Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) came up second best while No Recess (Jim Devaux) finished third.
Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a matinee first post of 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino