Little Santamonica (Little Steven) made her return to Saratoga in style on Friday night. The veteran pacing mare has enjoyed a lot of success in past years while squaring off against the top lady pacers at the Spa and returned to town on Friday to compete in the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Jimmy Devaux piloted Little Santamonica and moved her out early before settling the nine year old mare in third going to the opening quarter. Little Santamonica came first over after a first half paced in 56.2 and proved gutsy as she toughed out a win in 1:53.3 in a race that saw a blanket finish. The six pacing mares were only separated by a total of two lengths at the wire but it was the Jordan Hope-trained Little Santamonica who proved to be fastest of all. Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) was the runner up while Our Els Dream N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. The race’s longshot returned $29.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $89.50 and $430, respectively. While it was the first local start in 2017 for Little Santamonica, the veteran distaffer has already piled up five wins on the year. With the earnings from the victory, Little Santamonica moved her career bankroll to over the $400,000 mark.
Live racing continues on Saturday evening with a 6:45pm first post.
Photo: Michael A. Panzarino