La Bella Vita N (Changeover) has been a force in the Fillies and Mares Open since coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel this summer. The Alicia Gray trainee won the ladies’ Open three times from the beginning of August through the start of October despite competing out of town in a good chunk of her starts over the course of that span.
On Monday afternoon, La Bella Vita N came into the feature off back-to-back runner-up tries while a beaten favorite in each of those second-place finishes. She was once again the public’s top choice in Monday’s $16,000 Open when reinsman Shawn Gray sat patiently in the early going. Getting away last in the six-horse feature, she remained last in a first half that went in 56.4.
With last week’s Open winner Sea Shadows (Brett Beckwith) on the lead, La Bella Vita N revved up the engine and powered up first-over before taking over the lead turning for home. The favorite made good at odds of 3-5 when she stopped the timer in 1:55.2 to record her fourth victory in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa.
Fond Memories A (Larry Stalbaum) finished second in her debut in the ladies’ feature while Sea Shadows (Brett Beckwith) held on to earn the show spot. La Bella Vita N is owned by Bowie Racing and Michael Goldberg Racing. Trainer Alicia Gray and driver Shawn Gray also teamed up for the winner of Saturday night’s Open Pace for the boys as their Alluneedisfaith N overcame post eight to record his fourth win in the local feature since coming to town late in the summer.
Photo: Melissa Simser