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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Bettors willing to play the heavy 1/2 favorite Tobys Heart found her worth the risk after she drew off to win Wednesday’s $85,000 Bolton Landing Stakes at Saratoga.
Sent from post 6 under Jose Ortiz as the resounding top choice in the field of eight juvenile fillies, Tobys Heart was a step slow out of the gate and trailed most of the field down the backstretch.
Joy’s Rocket set the early pace, posting opening fractions of :22.21 and :45.41 while Amanzi Yimpilo gave closest watch through the far turn.
Sent widest of all through the far turn, Tobys Heart circled most of the field and straightened for home with the leader in her sights.
Digging in as she raced to the lead at the 1/8 pole, Tobys Heart edged clear under a vigorous hand-ride to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
The Brian Lynch trainee completed the 5 1/2-furlong good outer turf sprint in a final time of 1:02.31.
“She relaxed well for a short period of 1/8 of a mile,” Ortiz said. “After 1/8 of a mile, she gave me her head and I was able to do whatever I wanted. I was very comfortable. At the 3/8 pole, when I was ready to move, she was there for me. She was much the best today.”
Despite being overtaken in the stretch, Joy’s Rocket remained 2 1/4 lengths clear of Amanzi Yimpilo, while Mischievous Dream was fourth by 1 length over Quinoa Tifah behind them.
Sweet Souper Sweet, Hara, and the debuting Sassy Hannah completed the order of finish.
Stylish Rags and Sunny Isle Beach were Main Track Only entries.
Tobys Heart’s win was her second from as many starts following a dominating debut over the Churchill Downs lawn on June 4. The Jack Milton filly has now earned $92,150 for co-owners Lynch and Terry Hamilton.
“She showed that she was a really nice horse first time out,” Ortiz said. “We knew she was this good. I was just happy that I got to ride her and that Brian gave me the opportunity.”
Tobys Heart returned $3.10 to win, $2.50 to place, and $2.20 to show. Joy’s Rocket brought back $4.20 to place and $3 to show, while Amanzi Yimpilo paid $3.20 to show.
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