The track’s defending co-Horse of the Year Spreester (American Ideal) made it back to the top of the mountain on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A winner of eight Opens for fillies and mares in 2018, the Paul Zabielski trainee had gone through a drought in the feature that dated back to last August. On Thursday afternoon, Spreester drew the rail for her most recent try in the $15,000 Open for distaffers and driver Jimmy Devaux aggressively piloted her out to the early lead in a first quarter paced in 28 seconds. Spreester got a breather and reached the half in 57.4 and with the favored Sandy Sue (Billy Dobson) sitting in the pocket spot and two-time defending Open winner Osprey Blue Chip (Brett Crawford) rushing up first-over, Spreester picked up the pace heading towards three-quarters. Sandy Sue wound up surging up the inside in the stretch but came up just shy of the win as Spreester held her off to prevail in 1:55. The victory was the third of the year for Spreester but the first in the Open since last August. With the earnings from the win, the eight year old veteran moved over the $800,000 mark for her career. Sandy Sue was the runner-up while Foxy Dame N (Chris Long) wound up third after a disqualification of Osprey Blue Chip for causing interference in the stretch. Spreester paid $4.40 to win as the race’s second-choice in the wagering while the exacta with the favorite second came back $10.40.
Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 6:45pm first post time. There will be a $2,654 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in race one.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino