Panocchio climbs ladder to success at Saratoga

03:10 PM 29 Jun 2014 NZST
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Panocchio, harness racing
Pannocchio wins Open Pace at Saratoga
Photo by Melissa Simer

Panocchio (No Pan Intended) recorded his first local Open Pace victory on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

The four-year-old pacer won the undercard to the Open two weeks back and last Saturday finished a close second in the $17,000 feature.

This week, driver Gerry Mattison moved Panocchio out to the early lead before giving way to the race's favorite Anderlecht (Billy Dobson). Patiently sitting In The Pocket throughout brisk fractions, Panocchio pounced in the passing lane and surged by the leader under the shadow of the wire to register the win in 1:52.

It was the sixth victory in ten starts in 2014 for the Jimmy Mattison-trained pacer. Andelecht finished a strong second in his local debut while Island Jet (Stephane Bouchard) came on for third. Panocchio, who paid $13.60 to win on Saturday, becomes the 14th different horse to win the Open Pace in 17 installments this year.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:45pm.

by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

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