The Friday night Open for fillies and mares featured just a field of five at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The group of top-flight distaffers slugged it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and proved to be a romp for the race’s favorite. Clear Idea (American Ideal) was a New York Sire Stakes star and has emerged as a top quality aged mare after following up a four year old campaign that saw her earn more than $100,000 with another season in 2019 in which she is set to eclipse that tally. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare was the public’s 3-5 betting favorite on Friday night with driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Clear Idea surged out to the early lead in the feature and once she got there, it was lights out. After cruising through a first half in 57.1, Clear Idea powered away from her competition before stopping the timer in 1:53 for an open-length romp in the Open. Fellow invader Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the race’s longshot but got the pocket trip behind the winner and parlayed it to a second-place finish while Itty Bitty (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Clear Idea’s win was the 19th in 79 lifetime starts and moved her career earnings to over $528,000.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga. There will be a $1,438 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the evening’s first race. First post time is set for 7:05pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino