Carolina Beach wins Saratoga Saturday feature
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With the scratch of two-time defending Horse of the Year Artful Way, the field in Saturday night's Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel was down to six participants. Despite the smaller size group, the race on paper looked to be a good one and it certainly played out that way.
Melissa Beckwith's Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) recorded the second most wins in the Open Pace in 2018 at Saratoga with six. On Saturday night, the five year old was making his third start of the season in the feature and wound up getting a pocket ride behind fellow Open star of years past (and present) JK Panache (Jimmy Devaux).
JK Panache set the fractions and was met with a two-pronged challenge in the stretch as the race's 9-5 co-favorites converged on him. Carolina Beach and invader Western Fame (Billy Dobson), who was making his first start of the '19 campaign, closed in on the leader and a three-horse stretch drive ensued. It was Carolina Beach and driver Mark Beckwith who emerged victorious in a mile clocked in 1:53.4. JK Panache held on for second while Western Fame had to settle for third in the $15,000 feature.
Carolina Beach paid $5.90 to win and led an exacta and triple in the six-horse field that returned $29.60 and $82.50, respectively. The victory was one of three on the night for Beckwith trainees all driven to their scores by Mark Beckwith.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00pm.