Bontz N three-peats in Saratoga F&M Open
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Her most recent trips to the winner’s circle were separated by more than three months but on Thursday afternoon Bontz N (American Ideal) recorded her third consecutive victory in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel.
A nominee for Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year in 2019 in her first season at the Spa, Bontz N has enjoyed a strong start to her ’20 campaign. winning on Thursday for the third time in just four tries on the season.
Shawn Gray, who pilots the 9-year-old mare for owner April Aldrich of Greenfield Center, N.Y. and trainer Gary Levine, was aggressive at the start of the $8,500 feature, powering the star mare out to the early lead while overcoming their assigned outside post in the seven-horse field. Cruising through a first quarter of 27.2, Bontz N paid a stiff price to the get to top but soon got a breather that saw her reach the half in :57.
Longshot Pasultimatedelite N (Jordan Derue) came first-over on Bontz N and took over the lead past three-quarters in 1:25.1. While the upset-minded Pasultimatedelite N got by Bontz N, she never got clear and those two turned for home together while joined by other closing rivals. Bontz N rallied before stopping the timer in 1:54.2 to secure her third consecutive win in the Open, a streak that started back in March.
Another 2019 nominee for top distaffer at the Spa, Spreester (Phil Fluet) came charging hard in the stretch to finish second while Pasultimatedelite N earned the show spot.
Despite coming in on a winning streak, Bontz N paid $11.80 to win and with the race’s two biggest longshots finishing second and third, the exotics paid very well. The exacta in the feature returned $162.50 while the triple came back $559. (Saratoga)