Saturday marked the kickoff of the 2019 edition of the JP Morel Memorial Pacing Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel. There were two divisions for the young colt and gelding pacers, each of which went for a purse of $10,000. The series’ clear favorite heading into it was Energyzone Hanover (American Ideal). The three year old pacer came into the race with a three-for-three record this season and with four consecutive wins overall dating back to last year. The betting public was not deterred when the Monica Krist trainee drew the outside post for leg one of the Morel Memorial Pace and still made the sophomore his race’s 2-5 favorite. Despite getting an easy lead and not facing a challenge until the final turn, Energyzone Hanover (Billy Dobson) was defeated on Saturday night as the Dave Byer-trained Super Roll (Roll With Joe) got the best of him in the stretch. Super Roll, who set a lifetime mark in leg one of the series as he scored in 1:55, paid $13.40 in the mild upset. Jimmy Devaux piloted Super Roll to the career-best victory. Energyzone Hanover had to settle for second-place despite racing well once again.
In didn’t take long for Dobson and Krist to avenge the defeat in the leg one try as their Mantario (Sportswriter) made good in the other division of the $10,000 Morel Pace on Saturday. Mantario was the big favorite while coming in off four consecutive second-place finishes but shook his seconditis as Dobson moved the three year old pacer out to the early lead. They never looked back, stopping the timer in 1:54.2 for the decisive leg one victory. Mantario gave Dobson, the meet’s leading driver, one of his four winners on the Saturday card. Leg two of the seventh annual Morel Memorial Pacing Series will take place next Saturday night with the $30,000+ Final scheduled for the following weekend.
Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 noon first post.