Driver Simon Allard came to town to drive for his brother Rene Allard who had four horses in to go on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Allards teamed up for three victories on the matinee card including one in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open with Lyons River Pride (Somebeachsomewhere). The seven year old distaffer was the public’s 1-5 betting favorite in a race that featured just three betting interests (it was a four-horse field with one mare racing for purse money only.) Lyons River Pride cruised out to an easy lead and coasted through a first half in 58.1 on a windy, cold day in Saratoga Springs. The favorite didn’t face a challenge until pocket-sitter Miss Irish Rose A popped the two-hole around the final turn. Last week’s Open winner at odds of 16-1, Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) who have to settle for second on Thursday as Lyons River Pride held strong in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:54.3. The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall), who raced for purse money only, came on to finish third. Lyons River Pride is owned by Threelyonsracing of Brantford, ON, Canada.
The Allards also scored victories with Berazzled (Charley Barley) and Talbotcreek Suzie (Angus Hall) on the matinee card. Berazzled’s score came in the $12,500 Winners Over for pacing mares, the undercard to the Open, when she swooped the group to record the win in 1:57.3 at odds of 5-1. Talbotcreek Suzie wrapped up the big day for Team Allard when she made her debut for new connections a winning one, going coast to coast in 2:01.1 in the afternoon’s finale. Simon Allard piloted four winners on Thursday as he also guided young pacer Cruisin Camnation (Yankee Cruiser) to victory for trainer Gary Levine.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 5:00pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino