There were double features on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as both the Open Trot and Open Pace were part of the thirteen race matinee. Waiting On A Woman (Northern Bailey) last recorded an Open win at Saratoga in March of 2015. The veteran trotter has been a staple out of the Kyle Spagnola stable for years and has competed at numerous tracks throughout the northeast over that time. Now at the age of twelve, Waiting On A Woman is back in Open company and was coming off a third-place finish in last week’s feature when he started from post two on Sunday afternoon. Dismissed at odds of 8-1 in the six-horse co-feature, Waiting On A Woman marched out to the early lead and felt no pressure in lap one going down to the half in a leisurely 59.2. At that point, the veteran had plenty left to cruise through a final lap in 55.4 while drawing away to win by more than five lengths in 1:55.1. Waiting On A Woman paid $18.60 to win and bested last week’s Open winner and runner-up Gemologist (Jordan Derue) and Volare (Billy Dobson) who ran two-three in this week’s installment of the $8,500 Open Trot. The exacta and triple returned $45 and $114, respectively. Waiting On A Woman is owned by Mike Polansky of Loudonville, NY.
The other co-feature on Sunday was the $8,500 Open Pace which saw Hudson Phil finally shake his seconditis to record an Open win. The Jackie Greene trainee was an eight-time Open winner in 2019 but finished up his campaign with runner-up tries in three of his final four starts. His ’20 season began in June with three more second-place finishes. This week, reinsman Shawn Gray put Hudson Phil on the front-end, taking the lead just before the quarter pole. The five year old would not have to settle for second-best this week as he dug in to win in 1:53.3 holding off a late charge from Deetzy (Jay Randall) who ended up finishing second. Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum), the winner of two straight Opens heading into Sunday, went a big mile before having to settle for third. Hudson Phil, who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY, was the 4-5 betting favorite in the co-feature and led an exacta and triple that paid $12.40 and $57, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at 12 Noon. There will be a $2,855 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five beginning in race one on Wednesday afternoon’s card.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino