The track’s defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year So Nice (Ponder) has been at it again of late at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Amber Buter-trained distaffer got off to a bit of a slow start in 2017 but in recent months has straightened things right back out. So Nice scored her first victory of the year while competing in Pennsylvania in late May and since returning to the Spa in June has reestablished herself as a top flight mare. The seven year old was the 3-5 betting favorite in the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday night and moved out to the early lead after putting up a first quarter in a speedy 26.4. After getting a brief breather, So Nice was tested throughout the majority of the second half but proved to be up to the task. The veteran mare, who was driven to victory by Jimmy Devaux, stopped the timer in 1:52.1 to set a new seasonal mark in her fourth victory of the campaign. Tataria (Mark Beckwith) finished second in the feature while Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey) came on for third. With the earnings from the Friday score, So Nice is now just a couple thousand shy of reaching the half million dollar mark lifetime. Devaux piloted three winners on Friday night after securing five victories on the Thursday card at the Spa.
Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first post time of 6:45pm.
Photo: Mikayla Gray