Little Santamonica (Little Steven) was just a fifth of a second off the all-time track record for aged pacing mares as she prevailed in the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jordan Hope-trained distaffer sat the pocket to the race’s favorite Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) and swung out of the two-hole around the final turn. Those two speedy mares hit the wire nearly together but it was Little Santamonica who got the job done in 1:51.4 in the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Jimmy Devaux piloted the nine year old mare to her sixth win of the season and second in the local Open. Her Own Land was the runner-up in the feature for the third consecutive Friday night while invader Betabcool N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Little Santamonica returned $10.80 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that paid $18.60 and $55.50, respectively. The final time was just shy of the 1:51.3 paced last year by Velocity Vespa as the fastest in track history for an aged pacing mare. In that start, Velocity Vespa was also piloted to victory by Devaux.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.
Photo: Michael A. Panzarino