Talking Tom (Artspeak) won the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the first time in his career on Saturday night doing so in upset fashion. The Perry Simser-trained pacer drew the rail just one week removed from a strong-closing third place finish in the $16,000 feature. Driver Chris Long powered out from the rail on Saturday with Talking Tom who was dismissed at odds of 12-1.
As the five year old approached the half-mile pole, rival Velocity Smoke (Phil Fluet) came powering up to his outside and cleared in a half that went in 57.1. Talking Tom then rode the leader’s coattails as the pacesetter was confronted by the race’s 2-5 betting favorite Moonshine Kisses (Jay Randall). Velocity Smoke was holding firm until mid-stretch when his two rivals got the better of him.
Talking Tom charged hard in the passing lane as Moonshine Kisses gave one last surge towards the wire but it was the Simser trainee who emerged victorious in a mile clocked in 1:53, a win time that serves as a new lifetime mark for him. Moonshine Kisses finished second to complete a $55 exacta while Velocity Smoke earned the show spot and rounded out a $194 triple.
Talking Tom, who moved over the $100,000 mark in career earnings with the win, is owned by his trainer Perry Simser in partnership with Dennis Nye of Saratoga Springs.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with eight NY Sire Stakes Excelsior Finals each going for a purse of $50,000. First post time is set for noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser