Birch Island Betty & Mitch Cushing

For the second consecutive week, Birch Island Betty (Big Jim) swooped the group to win the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Eve Bergeron trainee recorded her first ever victory in the feature for distaffers last week when she tipped three-wide before charging home to score in 1:53.1. On Tuesday, the five year old was assigned the outside post in the $8,500 Open and driver Mitch Cushing settled in last in the seven-horse feature. The early speed was sizzling as the favorite in the race went to the quarter in a demanding 26.2 before reaching the half in 55.2 At that point, the backfield was in motion as last week’s Open runner-up Come Get The Cash (John Macdonald) and Birch Island Betty joined the outer flow and began to thrive after three quarters went in 1:24.2. Come Get The Cash struck the lead in the stretch but Birch Island Betty just kept surging before coming on to prevail in the photo for win in a mile clocked in 1:54.1. Birch Island Betty, who is owned by Dany Grenier of Quebec, Canada, recorded her fifth victory in fifteen seasonal tries, paying $11.80 to win. Come Get The Cash was the runner-up for the second consecutive week in the Open and completed an exacta that returned $58.50. Bontz N (Billy Dobson) rounded out the exact same triple as in last week’s feature. The triple returned a solid $163. Come Get The Cash came up just short of what would have resulted in a grand slam for her connections as trainer Brandy Wine and driver John Macdonald teamed up for three wins on the Tuesday card.

Live racing resumes next Monday (Sept 28) at Saratoga with a first post time set for Noon.


Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy