Clear Idea (American Ideal) returned to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday afternoon to compete in the local Fillies and Mares Open. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare has been a winning machine throughout her career and prevailed in her lone try in the local Open back in August. On Thursday, Clear Idea had Phil Fluet piloting and was the public’s odds-on choice in the wagering despite being assigned post six in the six-horse feature. With several leavers in the race, Clear Idea had to be taken back to last in the early going. She remained there in a first half that went in 57.1. The tempo quickened heading to three quarters and when it did, Clear Idea had a hard time keeping up to her cover while second-over. Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) closed in first-over on the race’s tiring leader and when pocket-sitting Bye Bye Felicia, last week’s Open winner, flew up the passing lane, it appeared those two were poised to tell the tale. Classy distaffer Clear Idea shifted gears a bit again in the stretch and surged up on the outside approaching the wire. When the dust settled, it was Clear Idea that emerged victorious in 1:55.3 over a track labeled ‘sloppy.’ Bye Bye Felicia was the runner-up while Come Get The Cash earned the show spot to keep her sensational “on the board” streak alive. The victory for Clear Idea was number 21 in 83 career starts for the five year old Macintosh trainee and was the second on the day for Fluet who won the undercard to the feature guiding longshot Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) to an upset score in the $14,000 Winners Over for fillies and mares. Surreal Feeling paid $33.40 to win while hanging on in 1:56.1.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino