Sandy Sue (Shark Gesture) scored her first win in the local Open for fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel last week for trainer Jimmy Nickerson and driver Billy Dobson. The four year old mare had one try as the runner-up in the $15,000 Thursday feature before recording the Open win last Thursday. Sandy Sue was assigned the outside post in this week’s installment of the Fillies and Mares Open and was thus a 5-1 shot in the wagering despite coming off of the win. Dobson, who holds a huge lead already this year in the driver standings at the Spa, guided the Nickerson trainee out to the front end where she paced a first lap in 56 seconds. After checking in at three quarters in 1:24.3, it appeared Sandy Sue might have had enough but she proved otherwise in the stretch, digging in to hold off pocket-sitting Barynya A (Frank Coppola Jr) and first-over rival Freeze Out (Phil Fluet) to record her second consecutive Open victory. Barynya A was the runner-up while Freeze Out had to settle for third in the mile clocked in 1:53.3. Sandy Sue paid $12.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $86.00 and $311.50, respectively. The win in the Open was one of five on the afternoon for Dobson just one day after piloting four winners on Wednesday’s card.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino