Two year old pacing fillies took center stage on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel when the New York Sire Stakes were featured as part of the fourteen race matinee. There were two divisions of the Sire Stakes that went for purses of more than $70,000 and while each race consisted of a big favorite only one of them saw the favorite prevail. Freshman filly Gotthegreenlight (American Ideal) came into the day on a four-race win streak and the Nifty Norman trainee wound up as the 1-5 betting favorite in the $71,600 division of the NYSS. Gotthegreenlight wound up having to come first-over with Mark Macdonald at the controls and while she made a big push on the outside got passed in the stretch by rival Hamptons Babe (American Ideal-Anndrovette-Riverboat King) who surged in the passing lane and got up to win for the first time in her young career. The Tony Alagna trainee stopped the timer in 1:53.4 to break her maiden in resounding fashion and paid $13.20 to win in the mild upset. The favored Gotthegreenlight had to settle for second while Wine N Dine Me (Joe Bongiorno) finished third. Hamptons Babe, who was the runner-up in her first two tries in Sire Stakes competition before recording Tuesday’s win, is owned by Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY.
While the 1-5 favorite came up second-best in the first of the two divisions of the NYSS on Tuesday, the public’s odds-on favorite thrived in the $72,900 race for freshman fillies. Just Divine (Huntsville-Divine Caroline-Rock N Roll Heaven) came in as a winner of both starts in NY Sire Stake competition and was well positioned for the stakes hat trick as she drew post three on Tuesday. Matt Kakaley piloted the Ron Burke-trained filly who moved to the lead in the early stages and just powered away from her rivals before recording a decisive victory in 1:55 while under wraps at the wire. The heaviest of favorites at 1-9, Just Divine remained undefeated in NYSS competition and continued to make her case as the one to beat among freshman fillies this season. Just Divine is owned by Donovan, Sbrocco, Henderson and Purnell & Libby. A Girl That Twirls (Dan Dube) closed sharply to be second while Symphony Girl (Jason Bartlett) earned the show spot.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino