SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Six stakes races at Saratoga Race Course Friday served as a nice appetizer to Saturday’s main course: the 153rd Runhappy Travers Stakes.

The first race on the card at the Spa Friday was a stakes race: the Seeking the Ante Stakes. Trainer Jeremiah C. Englehart took the victory with his three-horse, Maple Leaf Mel. Jockey Joel Rosario guided the two-year-old filly to the win.

Race three saw the highest purse of the day; the Albany Stakes had $250,000 in winnings up for grabs. 55% of that purse went to the team of the five-horse, Bossmakinbossmoves, including trainer Richard E. Schosberg and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Schosberg reflected after the race on what it meant to earn a stakes win during Travers week.

“It’s just amazing…the feeling that you get up here just winning any race,” said Schosberg. “Listen, I don’t care if it’s a maiden 40. Just winning any race up here at Saratoga is really special, but a stakes race with a horse that had had…you know, he was a little off-form; it’s just an incredible feeling, and I’m just so happy for the owners. They’re just a great bunch of people.”

The Fleet Indian Stakes in race five came down to a two-horse battle down the stretch. The two, Fingal’s Cave, fended off the one, Let Her Inspire U, claiming a victory for jockey Jose L. Ortiz and trainer David G. Donk.

In the winner’s circle, Donk expressed the concerns he had about his horse going into the race, but was ultimately pleased Fingal’s Cave gutted out a win.

“I didn’t know if that filly would go that far,” said Donk. “Before the third race I thought we needed to press Johnny (Velazquez). After the third race, I told Jose (Ortiz) to ride her (Fingal’s Cave) like the best horse. It took a while to get her going, but…she’s a nice horse. She dug down deep, and was good enough today.”

Ortiz, Jr. pursued a second stakes win in race seven, the Funny Cide Stakes, presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. Ortiz, Jr. rode the heavily favored five-horse, Andiamo a Firenze, who closed at 3-5 odds.

The two-year-old foal dominated from start to finish, earning Ortiz, Jr. the victory.

Andiamo a Firenze trainer Kelly Breen was pleased with the victory, but knows the young horse has room to improve to become a top-tier contender moving forward.

“He’s a very smart horse, but he also has to learn,” said Breen. “As fast as he is, he wants to run as fast and hard as he can. And we are…trying to get him to learn that the races are getting longer. So…if he listens to us, I think he’s gonna be a…a really nice, top-class horse.”

In race eight, the Yaddo Handicap Stakes, the original 12-horse field was whittled down to five ahead of post time.

The six-horse, Make Mischief, opened at 9-2 odds to start the afternoon. Once seven horses had been scratched prior to the start of the race, Make Mischief closed as a 3-5 favorite, and justified those odds, winning by a landslide for trainer Mark E. Casse.

Make Mischief jockey Dylan Davis, a Saratoga Springs high school graduate, broke down his strategy at the outset of the race during the post-race celebration, and explained the significance of winning a stakes race so close to his alma mater.

“I broke sharp, and going after that, I was going to take an easy lead, but then Flavien (Prat) opted to come into me early, and I just let him go ahead and have it,” said Davis. “I just wanted her (Make Mischief) to be comfortable, and she was comfortable on the outside. She could’ve won on the lead today, or she could’ve won off it. She just did her thing down the lane; it’s really nice to have a lot of horse under you. Feels great to win up here, especially a stakes.”

Seven scratches in race 10 cut the field in the West Point Stakes, presented by Trustco Bank – the final stakes race of the day – down to just three horses.

The three-horse, Somelikeithotbrown, topped the 10, Bankit, and the two, Jerry the Nipper, garnering trainer Michael Maker his 16th win of the Saratoga meet, and the second consecutive win on the slate for Jose Ortiz.

Post time for the Travers Saturday is set for 5:44 p.m.