Artful Way (Artistic Fella), the defending Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel, recorded the fastest mile of the year on Saturday (June 3) night when he won the Open Pace in 1:50.1.
Frank Coppola Jr. went pedal to the metal in the early going with the 7-5 betting favorite in the $14,500 Open and Artful Way hit the quarter in :26.3. The tempo didn’t slow much and after checking in at three-quarters in 1:22.3, the star pacer had enough left to draw away and win in 1:50.1. Don’tcallmefrancis (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the runner-up for the second consecutive time in the Open while JK Panache (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot.
For Artful Way, it was the third victory in the local Open Pace this year. His trainer Jackie Greene now has recorded six wins in the regular Saturday feature at the Spa this season. It was the 26th win in just 80 career starts for the 5-year-old Artful Way whose 1:50.1 final time served as a new lifetime mark. Artful Way, who paid $4.80 to win, led an exacta and triple that came back $16.40 and $32, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15 p.m.
At Vernon Downs, Golden Gun (Justin Huckabone) shocked a field of six in Vernon Downs Pace feature ($8,400) on Saturday night (June 3).
Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone Jr) set the pace with fractions of :27, :56.4, 1:24.4. Golden Gun who is a 7 year-old Headmaster gelding followed in the pocket before taking over in the stretch winning in 1:52.1. Owned by The Wiz Kids Stable and trained by Misty Carey, Golden Gun paid $32.60 for the win. The big favorite Dude's The Man (Chris Lems) charged late to finish second. Sassy Hanover hung on for third.
John MacDonald would add another four win night to his resume. MacDonald would take race three with Fox Valley Cadet ($2.60) in 1:54.1. In race number six he would guide All Stienam ($4.00) to a stretch drive win in 1:53.3. Race number nine he would drive Forty Carrots ($5.40) to victory in deep stretch just nipping Cam's Lucky Man (Andy Gardner) in 1:53.3. His fourth win would come in race 11 with Jojo Jove ($6.70) going gate to wire in (1:52). (Vernon)