Shezallapples A (Sportswriter) extended her winning streak in Thursday’s installment of the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. It wasn’t easy for the six year old mare but Shezallapples A would not be denied in the $15,000 feature, lasting on the lead despite pacing her first quarter in 26.4 and half in 56.2. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted the Jose Godinez-trained mare and asked the race’s 6-5 betting favorite to again pick up the pace heading to three quarters with a first-over rival closing in. After trading strides throughout the final turn, Shezallapples found a second wind before being approached by a new pair of challengers. 2018’s defending Co-Horse of the Year Spreester (Jimmy Devaux) came up the passing lane while Coveredndiamonds (Jay Randall) came charging down the center of the track. Shezallapples A won the photo which showed the top three separated by only a head. The six participants in the Open were all within two lengths of each other at the finish. Shezallapples A win came in 1:53.4 and was the fifth in her last six starts and her second straight in the local Open. Coveredndiamonds N came up just inches shy of the win and had to settle for second-best while Spreester was third in her return to the Open. The exacta and triple returned $23.80 and $110.00, respectively. The victory was the third consecutive in the Thursday feature for trainer Jose Godinez whose Westsluckycam prevailed the week before Shezallapples A rattled off her back-to-back jacks in the $15,000 Open for distaffers.
Live racing resumes on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino