Saratoga Springs, NY — Abruzzo (Walner) won the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the first time on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 19) to complete a double for his connections.
The 4-year-old trotter, who made his Spa debut last fall when he joined the stable of trainer Kevin McDermott, has been a force in his limited local starts. On Sunday, he wound up drawing post position two for his second start in the Open and first this season.
Young reinsman Brett Beckwith wasted no time moving Abruzzo out to the early lead in the $17,000 feature, a lead he would never relinquish. Abruzzo cruised untested through a first half of :58 and appeared comfortable throughout the mile before stopping the timer in 1:55.4 to record the Open score.
Pocket-sitter Home’n Dry (Billy Dobson) finished second while Big Box Hanover (Matt Athearn) lengthened his on the board streak to five when he earned the show spot.
Abruzzo was the 9-5 betting favorite in his first Open score and led an exacta and triple that paid $68 and $212.50, respectively.
The other star trotter out of McDermott’s stable also prevailed on Sunday as Reign Of Honor took advantage of dropping out of the Open by scoring in the $14,500 Winners Over for trotters. The victory was the first of the season for the 2022 local Trotter of the Year nominee who like stablemate Abruzzo is owned by Randy Zane.
Brett Beckwith piloted both McDermott trainees to their Sunday scores.
Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a President’s Day matinee that begins at noon.