It’s been a hot stretch at Saratoga Casino Hotel for trainer Alicia Gray and driver Shawn Gray and on Monday, the tandem teamed up for their second Open Pace win in the last three days at the Spa. Their Alluneedisfaith N won the Open Pace on Saturday night on an evening that saw Shawn Gray pilot five winners. In Monday’s matinee, the Alicia Gray-trained La Bella Vita N (Changeover) was the public’s overwhelming favorite in the wagering after the would-be favored Sea Shadows got scratched.
Gray took the 1-5 shot La Bella Vita N back in the early going in what was a field of five in the $16,000 Fillies and Mares Open. The big favorite sat patiently in a first half that went in 56.3. Gray picked up cover with his seven year old distaffer and in a matter of just a few strides, she put the swoop to the group pacing away from her rivals to score in 1:52.2. For La Bella Vita N, it was victory number nine on the season and her second in the local Fillies and Mares Open. With the earnings from Monday’s score, La Bella Vita N went over the $100,000 mark for the ’22 campaign. The New Zealand invader is owned by Bowie Racing of Shorewood IL and Michael Goldberg RacingLLC of Massachusetts.
Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with will feature some intriguing carryovers. The Pick Five, which begins in race 1, has a carryover of $2,453. The Jackpot in the Pick Six has climbed to $10,071 while the Super High Five Jackpot in the evening’s finale will carry $3,611.
Photo: Melissa Simser