American Tour N Scores 12th Win of the 2023 Season at Saratoga on Monday
With no Open on the Monday card at Saratoga Casino Hotel, an $11,500 race for fillies and mares served as the feature. The eight-horse field featured a few distaffers who have competed in Opens recently. American Tour N (American Ideal) won the Fillies and Mares Open on October 16th before moving back to the claiming ranks soon thereafter. The Brett Derue-trained mare went coast-to-coast last week (Nov 27) with Jim Mckneight Jr. in the sulky and on Monday was her race’s 8-5 betting favorite as she looked to repeat. Mckneight changed tactics with American Tour N taking her back in the early going as Open dropper HS Shauna (Phil Fluet) cut the mile. HS Shauna and American Tour N squared off following a first half that went in just 59 seconds and the two top-flight claiming mares went toe-to-toe before American Tour N wrestled the lead away and began to impose her will late in the game. The Derue trainee powered away from her rivals to score in 1:56.1 to record her twelfth win of the season. HS Shauna continued her big campaign finishing second for the tenth time in 2023 to go with ten victories of her own. So Diva (Chris Long) earned the show spot on Monday. American Tour N paid $5.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $15.40 and $163, respectively. The nine year old mare is owned in partnership by Steve Picarazzi of Saratoga Springs and her trainer Brett Derue of Queensbury, NY. Derue and Picarazzi scored a double on the card when their DW’s Darlene repeated in an $8,000 event for fillies and mares. The three year old filly was guided to victory by leading driver Jimmy Devaux who piloted five winners on the twelve race card.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee that begins at noon.
Magical Maya A’s USA Debut is a Winning One at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Monday
Magical Maya A (Bettor’s Delight) made her U.S.A. debut a winning one on Monday afternoon when she scored in the feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Larry Stalbaum owns, trains and drives the five year old Aussie invader who used two winning qualifiers as preps for her local debut in Monday’s $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Stalbaum settled in early with the mare who was the public’s 4-5 betting favorite in her first Spa try before completing a quarter-move in an opening panel paced in 29 seconds. Our Lady Lara A (Brett Beckwith) was on the lead when she was bypassed by the favorite who cruised unopposed through a half in 58.2 and three quarters in 1:26.4. With out-of-towner Laurie Lee (Jimmy Devaux) in the midst of a late rally from off the pace and Our Lady Lara A lurking in the pocket, Magical Maya A was asked to crank up the speed around the final turn and her response was instant. The favorite reported home a length and a half winner in a mile clocked in 1:56.1 on a chilly late-November day in Saratoga Springs. Our Lady Lara A was the runner-up in the ladies’ feature while Laurie Lee finished third. The exacta in the five-horse Open paid $13.20 while the triple returned $27.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee that kicks off at noon.
Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel
Photo: Jessica Hallett
Always Watching Wins Filly/Mare Open at Saratoga on Monday
The clear-cut favorite for the Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year Award at Saratoga Casino Hotel returned to her winning ways on Monday afternoon. Jordan Derue owns, trains and drives the five year old distaffer who is in the midst of her second consecutive six-figure campaign at the Spa. The star mare won the Open four consecutive times before a rare try in which she did not factor heading into a Monday start in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open in which she drew post six. Derue wasted little time moving his talented mare out to the front-end powering her out to the lead at the start. Surging to the top in a 27 second first quarter, Always Watching had her way on the engine cruising through a half in 56.2 and three quarters in 1:24.4. As the 9-5 second choice in the wagering had her way on the front, rival Way Too Sweet (Jimmy Devaux) tracked her every move from the pocket. Fresh off her career-best win, which came in 1:54.1, Way Too Sweet played follow the leader and took her shot at the top one in the stretch. The chase proved to be futile as Always Watching was strong in the stretch en route to her ninth victory of the season and eighth in the local ladies’ Open. Way Too Sweet finished a strong second to complete a $26 exacta while longshot Won Surreal Deal (Brett Crawford) rounded out a $244.50 triple. Always Watching, the dominant force among lady pacers at the Spa this season, now owns 25 wins in 80 lifetime starts.
Live racing continues at Saratoga on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee set to begin at noon.
Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel
Jessica Hallett Photo
HS Shauna Wins $11.5K Feature at Saratoga on Monday
With no Open on the docket on the Monday card at Saratoga Casino Hotel, a conditional race for fillies and mares served as the matinee’s feature. Five of the distaffers who took part in the $11,500 feature were droppers who competed in the Open in their previous race. HS Shauna (Up Front Charlie) drew the rail for her try just one week removed from a second-place finish in the Fillies and Mares Open. Phil Fluet piloted the Kyle Spagnola trainee who yielded the early lead to fellow dropper Alittlesidehustl N (Billy Dobson) before retaking the top spot in a 27.3 first quarter. That tandem saw the favored Shecandance N (Brett Beckwith) rush up on the outside to challenge but after pacing the first half in just 58 seconds, HS Shauna rebuffed the bid from the favorite putting that one away around the final turn. Pocket sitter Alittlesidehustl N took a run at the leader in the stretch but her closing effort came up just shy as HS Shauna stopped the timer in 1:55.4 to record her tenth win of the season. Alittlesidehustl N was the runner-up while Shecandance N salvaged the third spot. HS Shauna paid $8 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $51.50 and $158, respectively. The winner is owned by Mark Rowland of Albany, NY.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon when the matinee kicks off at noon.
Mike Sardella | Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York
Jessica Hallett photo
Racine Bell wins Filly & Mare Open at Saratoga on Monday
Millionairess Racine Bell (So Surreal) made her return to Saratoga Casino Hotel a winning one on Monday afternoon when the superstar overcame post eight to capture the Fillies and Mares Open. The Dave Dewhurst trainee is about reach the $200,000 mark in seasonal earnings once again this season and added to that tally by going coast-to-coast in the $15,000 feature. Racine Bell powered out from post eight to make the lead in a sizzling first quarter in 26.4.
The 1-5 betting favorite never faced a legitimate challenge after rattling off a half in 56 seconds and three quarters in 1:24.3. Leading driver Jimmy Devaux asked the classy six year old to pick up the pace at that point and her response was instant. Racine Bell powered away from the competition in the ladies’ Open in 1:53.2. The win was number eight on the season and 36 in the career of Racine Bell who has amassed well over $1.1 million in lifetime earnings.
Racine Bell is owned by Chris and Dale Lawton of New York. Longshot HS Shauna finished second to the millionaire mare on Monday while fellow longshot Shallow (Mcgwire Sowers) earned the show spot. The exacta with the big favorite on top paid $20.60 while the triple returned $94.50.
Live racing continues on Tuesday with a matinee that is set to begin at noon.
Photo: Jessica Hallett