With no Open Pace on the Saturday night (March 18) card at Saratoga Casino Hotel, a pair of Winners Over Pace events served as co-features with Willie Go West N and Mach Le More A claiming victory.
Trainer Amanda Kelley had the favourites in each one, although both of her speedy pacers found themselves in much different positions. Willie Go West N moved up into the $14,500 Winners Over off a victory in the U.S. debut two weeks ago, a race that saw him secure a wire-to-wire score in 1:52.4. On Saturday, the Kelley trainee drew post eight for his big test against strong competition and leading driver Jimmy Devaux found some early speed from the New Zealand invader, who landed in third in the early going. When Devaux gave Willie Go West N his cue approaching the half, the rising star powered impressively past his rivals before drawing away to again win in 1:52.4 to match the lifetime mark he set in his Spa debut two weeks ago. Kelley owns and trains the seven-year-old pacer.
Kelley again teamed with Devaux with Mach Le More A, who drew the pylons in the $15,525 second division of the Winners Over races. The runner-up after sitting the pocket in last week’s try at the same level, Mach Le More A controlled his own destiny this week and set pretty leisurely fractions on the engine before facing a stiff challenge in the stretch from pocket-sitting Hespoisedtopounce A. Mach Le More A dug in and survived a photo to score his second win of the year to complete a sweep of the features for his connections, stopping the clock in 1:55.4. Mach Le More A is owned by the S &K Misfit Racing stable of Greenfield Center, N.Y.
Continuing what has been a terrific start to his 2023 season, Devaux piloted five winners on the Saturday card.
Live harness racing continues on Sunday afternoon (March 19) at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at 12 p.m. (EDT).
(Saratoga Casino Hotel)