Bontz N (American Ideal) recorded her second consecutive win in the local Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday. On a chilly fall-like afternoon, the Gary Levine-trained Bontz N went off as the public’s 3-5 betting favorite as she looked to follow-up last week’s win in the $15,000 Open for distaffers with another victory. Leading driver Billy Dobson was in the bike behind Bontz N who showed early speed in each of her first three starts at the Spa leading up to Thursday’s try in the feature. Though the eight year old New Zealand-bred did leave a bit, she was forced to take a seat in the fourth spot in the early going which led to what would be a first-over bid in the Open. Closing in first-up on a tiring leader, Bontz N took over command past three quarters in 1:24.3 and was immediately met with the challenge of rival Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith) who followed the favorite’s cover to get into a striking spot in the final quarter of a mile. Bontz N was headed by Happy Heart in the stretch but she dug in to turn that one away late before winning a photo in 1:53.4. Happy Heart was a strong second to the back-to-back Open victor while Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Bontz N paid $3.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $16 and $52, respectively. The win was one of four on the day for Dobson who is having another sensational season at the Spa while in pursuit of what would be his seventh local driving title.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time of 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino