Saratoga Springs, NY – Different horse, same result for Larry Stalbaum in the Monday (Nov. 2) Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The dominant force in the local Open in the last couple of seasons has been Crockets Cullen N. That veteran campaigner has thrived for Stalbaum and won the Open last week (Oct 26).
On Monday, Stalbaum unveiled his American Zest A (American Ideal) at the Spa for the first time. The Aussie invader was winless in five starts since coming to the U.S. but came in off his strongest effort, a second-place finish at Pocono Downs. Stalbaum powered American Zest A out to the front-end on Monday and the race’s 2-5 betting favorite moved quickly on a windy day in Saratoga.
After a first quarter in a demanding :27.2, American Zest A got a half in :57.2 without facing a challenge. Perennial local star Artful Way (Billy Dobson) powered up first-over on the favorite and those two went toe-to-toe in the stretch before American Zest A held on to win in 1:54.2. Artful Way was the runner-up while No Ordinary Man (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot in the $9,350 co-feature. American Zest A is owned, trained and was driven to victory by Stalbaum.
The Open Trot was won by a familiar face on Monday as Kyle Spagnola’s Waiting On A Woman (Mike Polansky) went coast-to-coast with Phil Fluet in the sulky. The 12-year-old Waiting On A Woman returned to the Spa off a victory at Plainridge and was back into the local Open where he had a win and a second in his last two tries.
Enjoying comfortable fractions on the engine, Waiting On A Woman cruised through a first half in :59.3 without facing a challenge. The backfield was in motion heading to three quarters as Stone In Love (Brian Cross) and Gruden (Billy Dobson) began making progress from the back of the pack. Waiting On A Woman held off those rivals to win in 1:59 while Gruden closed to be second. Stone In Love earned the show spot in the $9,350 Open for trotters. Waiting On A Woman, whose win was his third in a local Open in 2020, is owned by Mike Polansky of Loudonville, NY.
Live racing continues on Tuesday (Nov. 3) afternoon at Saratoga with a noon first post.