Talbotcreekwhiskey (Somebeachsomewhere) emerged victorious in the final Open of the season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday. In what may have been the best race of any local Open this year, the Justin Sodano-trained Talbotcreekwhiskey got parked the mile to the outside of the favorite Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum). The defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa, Crockets Cullen N gave the cold shoulder to the invader in a race that featured first-half fractions of 26.4 and 55.3. While those two slugged it out, Olde Broadside (Alek Chartrand) came from last in the six-horse co-feature and dropped back to the inside around the final turn. It looked as if Talbotcreekwhiskey had finally had enough after being parked every step of the way but his pursuit of the leader continued in the stretch before he reached up to take over in the final strides. Talbotcreekwhiskey overcame the journey and stopped the timer in 1:54.3 to be an unlikely Open winner with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Olde Broadside closed for second while Crockets Cullen N earned the show spot in the $10,000 Open. Talbotcreekwhiskey paid $4.90 to win as the second-choice in the wagering and led an exacta and triple that came back $41.80 and $128.50, respectively.
The co-featured trotting race on the card went the way of Winning Legends (Winning Mister) who went coast-to-coast for trainer-driver Justin Huckabone. The four year old trotter had one win in his two local tries in the Open this season heading into Monday’s try in which he had little difficulty scoring in 1:56.3. Gruden (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket and finished second after winning a place photo with Stone In Love (Brian Cross) who came up third-best. Winning Legends was the 3-5 betting favorite in the final installment of the $10,000 Open Trot for the 2020 campaign. The exacta and triple paid $8.10 and $25, respectively, in the trotting feature.
Tuesday afternoon is closing day at Saratoga. Billy Dobson and Gary Levine will be recognized in the winner’s circle with plaques recognizing their seasons as the leading driver and trainer, respectively. First post time for closing day is set for Noon.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy