Birch Island Betty (Big Jim) rode a mini win streak into the Tuesday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Eve Bergeron trainee was assigned the rail for her try in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open after rattling off back-to-back jacks in the conditional ranks. Brett Crawford picked up the catch-drive behind the six year old mare who secured a pair of Open victories last season at the Spa. Almost a year to the day of her first feature score, Birch Island Betty sat patiently in the early going on Tuesday and even got shuffled back a bit in the six-horse Open for distaffers. Rival Thats Incredible (Shawn Gray) surged first-over on the race’s favorite approaching three quarters and those two looked like they would decide it before the backfield got in motion around the final turn. Birch Island Betty, who surged in the stretch to record each of her successive victories that led up to Tuesday’s tilt, shook loose and flew home in the lane before coming on to win in 1:54.1. Thats Incredible finished second while Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) closed to be third. The winner is owned by Dany Grenier of Quebec, Canada. Paying $12.40 to win in the mild upset, Birch Island Betty led an exacta and triple that returned $74 and $296, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino