Day At The Track

Defending 'Mare Of The Year' back winning

03:48 PM 17 Jun 2017 NZST
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So Nice
So Nice wins the three-horse photo
Melissa Simser-Iovino Photo

The track's defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year So Nice (Ponder) won the Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the first time this season on Friday night.

The Amber Buter-trained distaffer recorded eleven victories in 2016, several of which came in the local Fillies and Mares Open.

After her award-winning '16 campaign, So Nice got off to a bit of a slow start this year before turning things around in late April.

On Friday, Stephane Bouchard put the seven year old mare on the front end and after enduring a first quarter in 27 seconds flat, fought gamely while tested in the final quarter.

A two-pronged challenge came for So Nice in the stretch as pocket-sitter Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) closed up the inside while the race's 1-5 favorite Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey) came charging hard from the back of the pack.

So Nice won the three-horse photo while Godiva Seelster had to settle for second.

Her Own Land earned the show spot in the $13,000 Open that went in 1:52.2 over a track labeled 'good.'

So Nice paid $11.60 to win and started an exacta with Godiva Seelster second that returned $19.80.

Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.

Mike Sardella

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