So Nice (Ponder) shook her bridesmaid status on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Though the six year old mare had recorded eight wins this season as she headed into the $16,000 Fillies and Mares Open, her last local victory came in the mid-July. The Amber Buter trainee has still been a force in the local feature for distaffers, though, despite not having earned a win in the previous three months. So Nice was the runner up in five consecutive tries in the Open before a third place finish last week. In Friday’s installment of the Open, So Nice blasted out to the early lead and never looked back. Mark Beckwith piloted the mare who cruised through first half fractions of 27 and 56 before sprinting a back half in 55.4 on a chilly Friday night in the Spa City. So Nice stopped the timer in 1:51.4 as the race’s second choice in the betting, flipping the script on Velocity Vespa (Jim Devaux) who had to settle for second place. Velocity Vespa had defeated So Nice in their last three meetings but rounded out an $11.80 exacta on Friday night in the five horse feature for lady pacers. So Nice moved her seasonal earnings to over the $100,000 mark for the ’16 campaign with the win. The Buter-Beckwith combo also teamed up for a victory on Friday with pacing mare Cracker Coffee (Six Of Diamonds) who scored in 1:54 to prevail in her local debut.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino