A couple of familiar faces made trips to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s co-features at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Artful Way (Artistic Fella) is the back-to-back Pacer of the Year at the track and scored his third consecutive victory in the local Open Pace on Saturday night. Frank Coppola Jr. sat patiently with the Open Pace’s 1-5 favorite before unleashing him in the final 3/8 of a mile. The Jackie Greene trainee swooped the group before stopping the timer in 1:52.3 for the 38th win in 108 career starts. While Artful Way has already taken home plenty of hardware, winning numerous awards in the last couple of seasons at the Spa, Ulster (Glidemaster) has just emerged as the track’s top trotting force this year. The Amanda Facin-trained trotter was the betting public’s 1-2 favorite and wasted no time marching out to the early lead in the Open Trot, a race normally contested on Sunday afternoons but which went on Saturday night instead due to the Easter holiday. Ulster went coast-to-coast in 1:55.4 with Jay Randall in the sulky, never encountering an anxious moment en route to his fourth Open victory in six starts in 2018. Artful Way and Ulster, Saratoga’s most dominant pacer and trotter, respectively, this season continued their local dominance in a rare double feature of Opens on Saturday at the Spa.
Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino