Tuesday afternoon’s program at Saratoga Casino Hotel consisted of three divisions of the Step Up To The Plate Claiming Series for fillies and mares. Early on, it wasn’t looking like a day for the favorites in the series as the public’s odds-on favorites were defeated in the first two divisions. The first $17,500 division of leg three saw Nora Tova (Western Terror) post the fastest win the day as the Phil Fluet-trained and driven five year old outclosed her rivals to score in 1:56.2. Paying $8.20 to win, Nora Tova got the best of two-leg series winner Ol Little Shift (Leon Bailey) who had to settle for second-best on Tuesday. Nora Tova likely punched her ticket to next week’s Series Final which is set to go for a purse of upwards of $30,000. The distaffer is owned by Joe Stanislowsky of Queensbury, NY.
Doyoukissfirstdate (American Ideal) sprung a mild upset on Tuesday aided by a break made by the race’s favorite. Jaymes McAssey trains the six year old Doyoukissfirstdate who got the early lead and never looked back before stopping the timer in 1:57.1. It was the second start for the mare out of the stable of McAssey who currently sits in the top three in the local trainer standings. Doyoukissfirstdate, who was driven to victory by Luke Hanners, paid $12 to win in the mild upset. The winner is owned by Lases Racing of Sheridan, MI.
A favorite finally prevailed in the final division of the day and prevailed decisively. American Tour N (American Ideal) came in off a victory in leg two of the series which saw her put the swoop to the group to score at odds of 4-1. On Tuesday, the Brett Derue trainee grabbed the early lead and made it look easy going coast-to-coast in 1:54.3 to record the fastest win of any division of the series in the three legs leading into next week’s Final. American Tour N, who is owned in partnership by Derue and Steve Picarazzi, was piloted to the Tuesday romp by Jimmy Devaux while the overwhelming betting choice at odds of 2-5.
Live racing resumes at Saratoga on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 5pm.
Photo: Jessica Hallett