With no Fillies and Mares Open to headline the card, the $9,500 pace for conditional or claiming mares was featured on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Bye Bye Michelle (Stonebridge Regal) was dropping out of the Open Pace for distaffers when she drew the outside post in the six-horse feature. The veteran mare was the public’s even money favorite on Friday evening and the Melissa Beckwith trainee moved out to the early lead in a fast first quarter of 27.1 before getting a big breather in the race’s middle half. Pocket sitter Robin J (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came out of the two-hole and came after Bye Bye Michelle in the final furlong but to no avail. With Mark Beckwith in the sulky, Bye Bye Michelle held on to win by a half length, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 for her third win of the season. Robin J had to settle for second while Squeeze This (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Bye Bye Michelle paid $4.00 to win and led a chalky exacta and triple that returned $9.00 and $20.60, respectively.
Live racing continues on Saturday night with a $14,500 Open Pace as the evening’s feature. First post time is set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino