Defending Horse of the Year Artful Way (Artistic Fella) was at it again on Saturday night (March 10) at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene trainee won last week’s Open Pace, riding a final half of :54.2 to victory for his first win of 2018.
On Saturday night, Artful Way was the public’s 1-5 betting favorite in the $12,000 Open as he sought to repeat, and repeat he did. With Frank Coppola Jr. sitting behind him, Artful Way cruised to the Open score, going wire-to-wire in 1:52.1, the fastest mile for any horse thus far in the young season at the Spa.
JK Panache (Jim Devaux) kept his lengthy "on the board" streak going as he finished second in the feature while Chevals Clivesdale (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) earned the show spot.
Chevals Clivesdale’s connections, trainer Jose Godinez and driver Bruce Aldrich, teamed up for four winners on Saturday, including three straight at one point on the card.
Mach Stockn Barrel saved his best for last in Buffalo Raceway's featured $8,800 Open II Pace on Saturday night (March 10) in beating Im So Handsome by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:57.3 over the sloppy track. Shawn Gray, who drove Mach Stockn Barrel to the victory, was also on top of his game as he found the winner's circle six times on the 12-race program.
The front-stepping Mach Stockn Barrel ($3.40) put up fractions of :29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:29.1 but a final split of :28.2, his fastest quarter in the mile, sealed the deal against his other seven competitors.
Im So Handsome (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the place position while Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) finished in third.
Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr, the 7-year-old Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic) has now won four times in seven attempts in 2018. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $21,626 and $142,230 lifetime.
Billy Davis Jr. completed the evening with a triple in the sulky while Clouser Jr. conditioned four winners and Maria Rice added two.
Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.