St Lads Sterling (Control The Moment) won his first Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel on May 27th of this year. The Jackie Greene-trained pacer pulled off the upset that evening while dismissed at odds of 23-1. The four year old was no factor in last week’s installment of the $17,000 Saturday feature at the Spa and this weekend he drew post eight for his assignment against the track’s top pacers.
Jay Randall pilots St Lads Sterling who usually does his best work when coming from off the pace. This week, Randall unleashed the Greene trainee in the early going and made the lead into the first turn. The longest shot on the board at odds of35-1, St Lads Sterling blazed a trail behind him in a first lap that went in 55 seconds before clicking off three quarters in an eye-popping 1:22.3.
The upset-minded leader showed no signs of letting up and in fact held strong in the stretch to score in 1:52.1 for his second Open Pace victory in his last three starts. Wyatt J (Luke Hanners) finished second while Talking Tom (Chris Long) earned the show spot. St Lads Sterling, who is owned by Janie Kellogg and the Jackie Greene Stables of Fort Ann, NY, paid $73.50 to win while pulling off the biggest upset in an Open thus far in 2023 at the Spa.
He led an exacta and triple that returned $439 and $4,009, respectively. St Lads Sterling’s win was his fifth in sixteen starts on the season. Randall and Greene didn’t stop there. They teamed up for a victory with Im No Outlaw N (Bettor’s Delight) in a $12,500 conditional race on Saturday evening.
The New Zealand invader also was all but ignored by the bettors, paying $39.40 to win and complete a double for Greene and a hat trick for Randall who piloted three winners on the card.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that begins at noon.
Photo: Jessica Hallett