Happy Heart (Woodstock) was the longest shot on the board in Friday night’s feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith trainee was making her third consecutive start in the Fillies and Mares Open and was dismissed at odds of 26-1 despite having won the Open two weeks ago. Mark Beckwith piloted Happy Heart and moved her first over on leader Sally Fletcher A (Bruce Aldrich Jr) heading to the half. When the pocket sitter could not keep up, Happy Heart found her way into the two-hole and rode the coattails of Sally Fletcher A who paced three quarters in 1:24.4. While the co-favorites in the race were not making up much ground while coming from the back of the pack, Sally Fletcher A and Happy Heart wound up squaring off in the stretch and were noses apart at the wire. Happy Heart got up in time to spring the upset in a mile clocked in 1:53.1, a new lifetime mark for the five year old mare. In her seventh win of the season, Happy Heart paid $54.50 to win, the biggest price of any winner in a Filly and Mare Open contested at Saratoga this year. Sally Fletcher A was second in a $219.50 exacta while co-favored Spreester completed a $420.50 triple in the six-horse feature.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino