Saratoga Springs, NY — A pair of $82,500 New York Sire Stakes races for 3-year-old pacing fillies served as features on the Friday night (Aug. 5) card at Saratoga Casino Hotel.
After hitting the board in each of her 10 starts heading into Friday’s event, John McDermott’s Kele Kele continued her strong season with a 1:53.3 score. Wally Hennessey powered the So Surreal filly out to the early lead. After rating favorable fractions in the first lap, Kele Kele had plenty in reserve for the final half and prevailed by almost two lengths. The McDermott trainee paid $6.10 to win in her third victory of the season for William Garofalo, Hurrikane Racing LLC and Jonathan Klee Racing.
The other division also saw a wire-to-wire winner as Just Divine recorded her first victory of her 2022 campaign. The runner-up in the Sire Stakes Final as a 2-year-old last season, the Ron Burke-trained daughter of Huntsville drew the rail on Friday night with Jordan Stratton at the controls. Just Divine traveled unopposed through a half in :58.3 before holding off pocket-sitting favorite Valar Dohaeris (Mark MacDonald) to secure her first score of the season, stopping the timer in 1:53.4. Just Divine, who paid $5.40 to win, is owned in partnership by William Donovan, Joe Sbrocco, Craig Henderson, and Purnel & Libby LLC.
Live racing at Saratoga continues on Saturday night (Aug. 6). There will be a Pick-5 carryover of $1,967. The Pick-5 begins in the evening’s first race, which is set for 6:45 p.m.