Take A Gamble wins opening night feature at Saratoga

Saratoga Springs, NY — It was opening day for the 2023 campaign on Saturday evening (Feb. 4) and an 11-race card got the season started on a cold night at Saratoga Casino Hotel.

Take A Gamble scored in the $18,200 Open Pace. Melissa Simser photo.

Invader Take A Gamble (Bettor’s Delight) came to town off back-to-back wins at Yonkers and drew the outside post in the $18,200 Open Pace on Saturday.

Leon Bailey piloted the Jared Bako-trained pacer who cut the mile in the season’s first feature. Leading in a first half of :56.4, Take A Gamble was met with the challenge of Spa first timer Rocknroll Runa A (Larry Stalbaum) who got past the leader turning for home.

In the stretch though, Take A Gamble rallied back and reclaimed the lead late in the mile before hitting the wire first in 1:54.2. Longshot Optical Illusion N (Chris Long) shook loose in the lane and charged hard to be second while Rocknroll Runa A tired late and wound up as the third-place finisher.

Take A Gamble, who is owned by Stephen Klunowski, paid $6.40 as the race’s favorite and led an exacta and triple that returned $112 and $424, respectively.

Live racing will take place on both Sunday and Monday afternoon with first post time set for noon for each of the matinees.

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