Saratoga Casino Hotel’s defending top pacer was back in town on Monday afternoon to compete in the $9,350 Open Pace. Larry Stalbaum’s Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) was named Pacer of the Year in 2019 after rattling off an incredible nine consecutive victories in the Open last season. To kick off 2020, the now nine year old picked up right where he left off. Crockets Cullen N won the first Open of the season back in February and returned post shutdown on a tear. Stalbaum owns, trains and drives the superstar who prevailed in four of the first five Open Pace tries upon the return back from the break in June. Now, after competing out of the town for the last two months, Crockets Cullen N was back at the Spa on Monday. The 1-2 betting favorite in the feature, Crockets Cullen N powered out to the early lead. Setting fast fractions throughout, nobody got close to the track’s star pacer who clicked off a first lap in 56 seconds before stopping the timer in 1:52.4 over a track labeled ‘sloppy.’ Betterlatethnnever (Jay Randall) came from well off the pace to be second in the feature while Gokudo Hanover (Chris Long) earned the show spot in the Open for the second consecutive week. The win for Crockets Cullen N was his eighth of the season in twenty starts and the 40th in the career of the veteran pacer. With his earnings from the victory, Crockets Cullen N moved his bankroll to over $350,000. Stalbaum also had a victory on Monday behind trotter Thanks For Leaving who prevailed in her return to the Stalbaum stable.
Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a Noon start to the program.