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Ella V Horse scored a front-running victory in Friday’s $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.


The Andy Sardella-trained mare won the feature for distaffers last month, but in just her second try in the Open, dug in to prevail on Friday with Stephane Bouchard in the sulky.


The eight-year-old Royal Mattjesty mare has done her best work on the front end lately and posted first half fractions of :27 and :56.1 before pacing a :56.4 back half en route to a score in 1:53. The race’s favourite, Carolsideal (Billy Dobson), came charging hard late to be second while West Liberty (Jason Ryan) toughed it out following a first over journey to be third.


Ella V Horse, who has banked over $200,000 in career earnings, returned $8.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $34.60 and $216, respectively.


The win was one of four on the card for Bouchard.