Canadian invader Blake Macintosh brought two of his trainees south to Saratoga Casino Hotel to compete on Friday night. The veteran conditioner came to the Spa with four year old pacer Clear Idea (American Ideal) and four year old trotter Just For You (Yankee Glide). Clear Idea has been one of the top stars out of the Macintosh stable, particularly in her 2017 campaign when she finished second in the Empire Breeders Classic in a race that went for a purse of $257,850. In that season, she thrived in the New York Sire Stakes, at one point winning five consecutive races in stakes competition in a campaign that culminated with a second-place finish in the $225,000 Final on the Night of Champions. Clear Idea began her 2018 season already having amassed over $340,000 in her young career. This year, the four year old hasn’t displayed quite the same winning way and in fact was winless in the U.S. leading up to her return to Saratoga on Friday night. Though she had recorded just two wins in ’18 (both in Canada), the mare had almost another $75,000 in earnings this year to add to her already impressive bankroll. Billy Dobson piloted Clear Idea in an $8,000 conditional race on Friday and moved the talented distaffer out to the early lead. Once she got there, Clear Idea poured it on with seemingly every stride before drawing away to win by better than five lengths in 1:53.3. The mile was the fastest of the evening at over a track labeled ‘sloppy’ at the Spa. Macintosh went back-to-back on the card when his Just For You went coast-to-coast for Dobson in a trotting event contested for a purse of $9,000. A new addition to the Macintosh stable, Just For You finished third last week when making her local debut but had little difficultly cruising to a 1:57.3 victory on Friday night. Macintosh now has 10 wins in just 26 starts this season at the Saratoga.
Live racing continues on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa SImser-Iovino