Mikibytheseaside & Billy Dobson

Mikibytheseaside (Always B Miki) was a winning machine upon coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel late last season. Trainer Andy Sardella acquired the young pacer in the fall of 2021 and wound up resting the then three year old after he scored victories in his first three local starts. After beginning his ’22 campaign with yet another victory in early April, Mikibytheseaside entered the Open. The rising star was the runner-up in his first three starts in the $15,000 Open Pace before hitting a brief lull. The four year old Sardella trainee drew the rail for Saturday’s installment of the feature for pacers and despite being installed as the 3-1 second choice in the morning line was dismissed at odds of 7-1. Yonkers invader Picard A (Jimmy Devaux) set sizzling fractions on the front end and although Mikibytheseaside was part of the early speed tussle, he popped the pocket heading towards the three-quarter pole. The young pacer ground the leader into submission turning for home before holding off a late charge from rival Belmont Major N (Leon Bailey) in the stretch to record his first Open victory. Belmont Major N closed to finish second while the favored Points North (Luke Hanners) earned the show spot. Mikibytheseaside paid $16.00 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that came back $46.20 and $108, respectively. The winner is owned by Mike and Bill Pozefsky of NY who recorded double on the card as their Gokudo Hanover (Shawn Gray) prevailed in a $9,350 event for claiming pacers.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for 12 Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Lake Charles & Leon Bailey

Lake Charles (Well Said) continued what has been a terrific start to the season in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel for trainer Amanda Kelley when the five year old pacer won the featured race on Saturday evening. Lake Charles enjoyed a strong 2021 campaign at the Spa winning the Open three times in his first local season out of the Kelley stable, including two of the final three installments of the feature for pacers on the year. His successes spilled right over to ’22 as Lake Charles scored an Open win in both February and March at Saratoga before stopping the timer in 1:51.4 for a victory in a $22,500 race for top-flight pacers at Plainridge a couple of weeks ago.

On Saturday night, driver Leon Bailey powered Lake Charles out to the front end and despite posting first-half fractions of 27.1 and 56 seconds had plenty left for the final half en route to a wire-to-wire win in the $15,000 Open. Somebeach Baron (Shawn Gray) sat the pocket and finished second while Mikibytheseaside (Jay Randall) earned the show spot in a sizzling mile paced in 1:513. Lake Charles paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite and led an exacta and triple that returned $27.20 and $82.50, respectively. The Open Pace win was the fifth for the Kelley stable who secured victories this season with Mach Le More and Belmont Major N in addition to three Open scores with Lake Charles in the first few months of the ’22 campaign at Saratoga. Lake Charles is owned by Scheigert and allies racing LLC of Saratoga Springs.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at 12 Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Repeal Or Replace & Jimmy Devaux

Longtime local superstar Artful Way (Artistic Fella) made his return to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night. The Jackie Greene trainee last raced at the Spa in late March when he prevailed in the Open Pace. The ten year old recorded another Open win at Plainridge Park last month but then returned to town off a clunker. Artful Way was one of the 8-5 co-favorites in Saturday’s $15,000 feature and moved right out to the early lead with Billy Dobson guiding the way.

Repeal Or Replace (So Surreal), who took late board support to be the race’s other 8-5 shot, left to sit the pocket to Artful Way as the three-time Saratoga Pacer of the Year set fractions of 27.2 and 57 seconds in the first half. Leading driver Jimmy Devaux popped the pocket around the final turn and the battle was on as the co-favorites traded strides in the stretch before Repeal Or Replace took over under the shadow of the wire. Artful Way came up second best while longshot Somebeach Baron (Shawn Gray) finished third in his local debut.

Repeal Or Replace is owned by Karma Racing Inc of Parkland, FL and trained by John Podres. The win in the Open Pace wasn’t the first in the local career of the five year old who scored in the Spa’s featured race for pacers last November. Paying $5.30 to win on Saturday night, Repeal Or Replace led an exacta and triple that returned $19.40 and $78, respectively. The win in the Open was one of four on the evening for Jimmy Devaux as he padded his lead in the local driver standings while seeking to repeat as the track’s leading driver after winning his first Spa title in 2021.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time of 12 Noon.

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Record Year & Billy Dobson

Record Year, trained by Jaymes McAssesy and driven by Billy Dobson, won Saturday night’s feature at Saratoga in 1:53.2

Melissa Simser

Keystone Dakota & Wally Hennessey

photo by: Cheyanne Mandy

Hudson Phil & Billy Dobson

Hudson Phil prevailed in the first installment of the Open Pace this season at Saratoga Casino Hotel in early February. The Jackie Greene trainee has been a force at the Spa for the last few years and is once again establishing himself as a top-flight pacer in the early stages of the ’22 campaign. After springing an upset on opening weekend, Hudson Phil had a second, a third and a fourth in the local Open before hitting the board in consecutive starts at Yonkers Raceway. On Saturday night, the seven year old was back in town and wound up as the 8-5 betting favorite in the $15,000 Open Pace at the Spa. Billy Dobson piloted the Greene-trained pacer who sat back in the early going as several rivals slugged it out in the first half. After watching the first half go in 56 seconds, Hudson Phil started to make his move and tipped three-wide approaching the three-quarter pole before swooping the group and opening up a big lead. Hudson Phil drew away from the competition to win by almost seven lengths in 1:53 to record his second Open win of the season. Mikibytheseaside (Jay Randall) made his Open Pace debut on Saturday and finished second despite drawing post eight while Elite Retreat (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. Hudson Phil paid $5.30 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $17 and $164.50, respectively. The winner is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY who now have four victories in the Open Pace this year, two with Hudson Phil and two with local superstar Artful Way. While Dobson scored the victory in the Open, Leon Bailey was the evening’s driving star as Vernon Downs’ back-to-back top reinsman drove five winners on the Saturday card.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon. There is a Pick Five carryover of $2,460, a Pick Six jackpot carryover of $1,624. First post time is set for Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Artful Way & Billy Dobson

Artful Way was named Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel in three consecutive seasons from 2016-2018. The Jackie Greene-trained standout was a bit lightly raced for a time following the three award-winning campaigns but any thoughts that his “Open career” was over were put to bed last year when the veteran won seven times en route to a $116,032 season. Heading into Saturday’s start in the Open Pace, Artful Way owned a pair of victories on the year, one of which came in the Saturday night featured race. Leading driver Billy Dobson sat behind the ten year old pacer who was the public’s 4-5 betting favorite in the $15,000 feature. After cruising unopposed through a first half that went in 57 seconds, Artful Way was met with the challenge of Skyway Victor (Jay Randall) who had a win and a second in his last two starts in the Open. That rival fought gamely on the outside but proved to be no match to the two-time Horse of the Year at the Spa. Artful Way held strong in the stretch to score in 1:53.3 for his second Open victory in ’22. Skyway Victor was the runner-up while Elite Retreat (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. In his 69th career victory, Artful Way paid $3.70 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $12.80 and $51.50, respectively. The winner is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Skyway Victor & Jay Randall

Skyway Victor (Tellitlikeitis) has been impressive for his new connections in the early stages of the 2022 campaign at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Acquired this offseason by owners Mark Eaton and Robert Griffin, Skyway Victor won his Spa debut when he went coast-to-coast in 1:55 to prevail in a $13,000 Winners Over for pacers on February 19th. After not factoring while starting from post eight in his first try in the Open, Skyway Victor drew post six for Saturday’s start in the $15,000 Open Pace. Driver Jay Randall found early speed from the four year old pacer who got to the first quarter in 28 seconds before reaching the half in 57 seconds flat. The race’s favorite Belmont Major N (Shawn Gray) was making his local debut and he stormed up to challenge the leader approaching the three quarter pole but Skyway Victor would not be denied. The Eaton trainee dug in and finished in a 27.3 final quarter en route to victory in 1:53, the fastest mile of the season for any horse at the Spa thus far. Belmont Major N was the runner-up in his first local try while Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) earned the show spot. The winner paid $6.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $14 and $49.20, respectively.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that kicks off at Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser

Keystone Dakota & Brett Beckwith

Keystone Dakota, and mother and son team Melissa and Brett Beckwith won Saturdays open pace in 1:55.1

-Melissa Simser

Artful Way & Billy Dobson

As has been the case dozens upon dozens of times over the course of the last five years, Artful Way (Artistic Fella) won the Open Pace on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The three-time Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Artful Way made his first start in the Open in 2022 on Saturday while coming off a win in the $13,000 Winners Over. The Jackie Greene-trained superstar was the 2-1 second-choice in the betting when driver Billy Dobson blasted him out to the front end in the $15,000 feature. The ten year old carved out first half fractions of 27.1 and 57.2 on a cold and snowy evening in Saratoga Springs before being met with the challenge of the race’s odds-on favorite Lake Charles (Leon Bailey). The veteran leader dispatched the first-over bid by the public’s top choice with relative ease and just needed to hold off fellow past Pacer of the Year Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) in the stretch, a task that he was more than prepared for. Artful Way stopped the timer in 1:55 for his second victory in three seasonal tries. Paying $6.00 to win, Artful Way led an exacta with Crockets Cullen N that paid $36 in a five-horse feature while the triple came back $67.50 with the favored Lake Charles earning the show spot. Artful Way is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at Noon.

 

Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser