The 7th annual Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series was a short one this year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. With only enough fillies and mares entered to comprise one leg, the series concluded with Monday’s Final which consisted of just four lady pacers. New Zealand invader Alittlesidehustl N (He’s Watching) has been a monster in her first season in the U.S. and came into the series a winner of four of her five local starts. In her race leading up to the O’Brien Series, the Jackie Greene-trained Alittlesidehustl N won by seven lengths and paced in a career-best 1:53.4. In the lone leg of the series, the four year old got up in the final stride to score in 1:54.1 to end the impressive win streak of rival Watermelon Sugar (Brian Cross) who wound up as the runner-up. On Monday, those two squared off once again in a four-horse series Final that went for a purse of $32,000 and drew posts one and two, respectively.
Alittlesidehustl N continued her trend of being the betting favorite of odds of 2-5 or less in each of her local starts as she was the public’s 2-5 choice in Monday’s Final when she sat the pocket to upset minded Zebs Watching (Jimmy Devaux). Watermelon Sugar (Brian Cross), the runner-up to Alittlesidehustl N in the lone leg of the series, charged hard at Zebs Watching around the final turn while longshot Allboutthematerial was unwinding on the outside for driver Wally Hennessey. Alittlesidehustl N got loose late in the stretch and surged up the passing lane. The favorite got up in time to score in 1:54.1 to move her seasonal record to six for eight while scoring the biggest victory of her young career. Allboutthematerial closed to finish second and complete an exacta that paid $25.40. Watermelon Sugar finished third while Zebs Watching rounded things out. Alittlesidehustl N is owned in partnership by the Kellogg Racing Stables and Jackie Greene Stables.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 5PM first post.
Photo: Cheyanne Mandy