Monday afternoon’s feature saw a group of six distaffers take part in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Probert (Dali) made her Spa debut and wound up as the 3-5 betting favorite in the ladies’ feature. Wally Hennessey sat behind the five year old mare for trainer Melissa Beckwith who recorded a second and a third place finish in two starts with the mare while racing at Plainridge last month.
Hennessey wasted very little time moving the favorite out to the early lead on Monday and gave her a nice breather in the second quarter before reaching the half in 58 seconds. From there, the speedy Probert powered through a third quarter in 27 seconds flat before being met with the challenge of Birch Island Betty (Chris Long) in the stretch. After getting a pocket ride behind the Open’s favorite, Birch Island Betty powered out of the two-hole and made a run at Probert in the stretch before coming up short by just a head in 1:53.
The winner, who came a back half in 55 seconds flat, is owned by Howard Jacobs, Jim Winske and Marcus Kemblowski. Probert paid $3.40 to win. The exacta with Birch Island Betty second came back $34.40 while the triple which was completed by Dashintothebeach N (Jimmy Devaux) returned $105.50. Hennessey piloted three winners on the Monday matinee card.
Live racing resumes on Saturday night at Saratoga and features a Pick Five carryover of $3,401. The Pick Six Jackpot sits at $7,013. The Pick Six encompasses race 8-13 on the program that starts at 5PM.
Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York
Photo: Melissa Simser