Spreester (American Ideal) has been a force all year long in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In fact, the Paul Zabielski trainee may well be the front-runner for Horse of the Year in 2018 at the Spa. The seven year old mare, though, has gone through a bit of a cold streak, by her standards, of late. Often a beaten favorite this year, Spreester has certainly done her share of winning and on Friday was looking to score in the $14,500 feature for the eighth time of the season. Driver Frank Coppola Jr. flashed early speed with the star distaffer who was part of a 26.4 first quarter. While a first-over Stylish Beachwhere (Wally Hennessey) wore down the race’s front-runner, Spreester slid out approaching three quarters taking dead aim on Stylish Beachwhere as that longshot looked to spring the upset. Spreester, who was the 8-5 betting favorite on Friday, got up in the final strides to record her eighth Open score of the season at the Spa, stopping the timer in 1:52.4. Stylish Beachwhere was a strong second while Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third. It was the 46thwin in the career of Spreester whose lifetime earnings are closing in on $750,000. She paid $5.30 to win on Friday and led an exacta and triple that returned $43 and $173.50, respectively.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino