Sheikh Yabooty N (Big Jim) made her debut in the Fillies and Mares Open on Monday Saratoga Casino Hotel. The nine year old distaffer drew post position two for her try in the $17,000 ladies’ feature while coming off an impressive off-the-pace score in 1:53.3 in her last start. On Monday, she went off at odds of 5-1 and exhibited early speed to wind up sitting the pocket to the race’s odds-on favorite Probert (Brett Beckwith).
The fractions in the feature seemed to work to the favor of Probert who reached the half in a reasonable 57.1 and remained unopposed before Sheikh Yabooty N popped the pocket around the final turn. The Bob Leslie-trained nine year old surged up and past the favorite before drawing away to win for the third time six starts since coming to the Spa in May. Alittlesidehustl N (Jay Randall) worked her way up on the outside and, as she usually is, was a factor at the finish in the Open closing to be the runner-up on Monday.
American Tour N (Wally Hennessey), who, like the winner, was competing in the Open for the first time in her career, earned the show spot in a mile clocked in 1:54.1. Sheikh Yabooty N paid $12 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $52.50 and $155.50, respectively.
The winner, who is owned by Robert Devine of Freehold, NJ, gave her trainer and driver a double on the card as the Bob Leslie-trained Dancethebigdance N set a lifetime mark prevailing in 1:55.2 with reinsman Mitch Cushing at the controls.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening when the New York Sire Stakes for three year old pacing colts and geldings are featured on a fifteen race card. First post time is set for 5pm.
Photo: Jessica Hallett