Velocity Vespa (I Scoot Hanover) became the fastest lady pacer in the history of Saratoga Casino Hotel on Friday night as the Rich Banca-trained mare scored her third consecutive win in the local Fillies and Mares Open. Banca claimed the six year old distaffer last month and the mare who had won 22 times in the last year and a half has added three more to her tally after a few dominant efforts in the $15,000 ladies’ Open. Velocity Vespa surged out to the lead from her assigned outside post position on Friday and set brisk fractions while cutting the mile. The standout mare went to the quarter in 27.2 and the half in 55.4. Her sizzling speed display didn’t end there as the winning machine paced through three quarters in 1:23.2 before hitting the wire first in 1:51.3. The final time is the fastest for any female pacer in the 75 year history of Saratoga, besting the mark of 1:52 which was owned by Darlin’s Delight, a three year old filly when she set the mark, and So Nice, who held the record for aged pacing mares. So Nice was the runner up to Velocity Vespa in the Friday feature to complete an exacta behind the even money favorite that paid $14.20. Happily Ever After (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot to complete the triple that came back $87.50. Jimmy Devaux drove Velocity Vespa to her record setting score on a night in which he piloted three winners.
Live racing continues on Saturday night with a 7:05pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino