Tempus Seelster (Big Jim) did what only one mare had been able to do in the last two months at Saratoga Casino Hotel when on Friday night the five year old distaffer beat Spreester in the local Fillies and Mares Open. Spreester had won five of her six starts in the regular Friday feature before being assigned post seven in Friday’s $14,500 installment. The Jim Nickerson-trained Tempus Seelster had been a beaten favorite in three of Spreester’s Open wins and was the public’s 8-5 second choice in the wagering on Friday as she was again tasked with defeating the track’s top pacing mare. Tempus Seelster grabbed an easy lead and coasted through a comfortable first half in 57.3 before any of her rivals made a significant move towards her. By the time her opponents were in gear, Tempus Seelster was poised to pace a 27.3 third quarter and a final half 55.3 en route to victory in 1:53.1 on a beautiful spring night in Saratoga Springs, NY. Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) was still last heading towards three quarters and though she unleashed a surge in the final eighth of a mile, came up third best. Longshot Squeeze This (Brett Crawford) finished second in the feature and returned a hefty $92.50 to place. Tempus Seelster is now a three-time winner of the Open this season and to go with four second-place finishes in the Friday feature in 2018.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino