Last Tuesday afternoon (Sept 14), Bontz N outclosed the group of distaffers in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Gary Levine trainee, who has been one of the top mares at the track for the last few years, was disqualified from first and placed fifth in that start after causing interference while making a break past the three-quarter pole. This week, Bontz N again drew post four for her try in the $15,000 feature and driver Wally Hennessey didn’t waste any time getting her to the lead. The ten year old mare had to pace her first quarter in 26.4 to get to the front but got a nice breather once she settled in. After completing her first lap in 57 seconds, Bontz N was tested first-over by a longshot who took the lead at three quarters but never got clear of the stubborn and gusty Bontz N who rallied on the rail to reclaim the lead heading for home. The six pacing mares in the Open were separated by a total of about three lengths from leader to last at the head of the stretch but late in the game, it was still Bontz N who had enough left to prevail in 1:53.4, a seasonal best-matching time for the Levine trainee. The winningest mare in the local feature over the course of the last three seasons, Bontz N’s Tuesday score was her first in the Open this year. Invader Stowaway Hanover (Mark Beckwith) came from last to finish second to Bontz N while Somebeachsomefra (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. Bontz N paid $8.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $43.40 and $169.50, respectively. The winner, who is owned by April Aldrich of Greenfield Center, NY, accounted for one of two victories on the card for defending leading trainer Gary Levine. Hennessey piloted three winners on the matinee card.
Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino