St Lads Moonwalk (Mach Three) prevailed in his local debut on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Jackie Rousse trainee went coast to coast in the evening’s Open Pace. St Lads Moonwalk joined the Rousse stable a few weeks ago and following a win and a third place finish at Vernon Downs took part in the $18,000 Open at the Spa over a sloppy track on Saturday. The three year old pacer marched out to the early lead and after posting honest first half fractions of 27 and 56.1 felt pressure for the first time as he paced towards three quarters. St Lads Moonwalk held off the late surge from pocket sitter RU Ready To Rock (Jay Randall) before stopping the timer in 1:52.2. RU Ready To Rock was the runner up while longshot Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) finished third. The early speed held in the Open and resulted in a line-up number that paid $54.50 (exacta) and $341.50 (triple) in the exotics. St Lads Moonwalk is the third Rousse trainee to win the Open Pace this year at Saratoga joining stablemates Artful Way and Titus Seelster. St Lads Moonwalk returned $11.20 to win in the mild upset with leading driver Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino