It’s already been a big week for Larry Stalbaum at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Monday afternoon, the veteran reinsman won a pair of races, the last of which resulted in him reaching the 6,000 win plateau for his career. The 56 year old has had a solid season racing primarily at Saratoga and on Monday made his 6,000th career trek to the winner’s circle after piloting longshot Scarlett Raider to an upset for trainer Melissa Beckwith. Stalbaum opened up Tuesday’s matinee by guiding the Andy Sardella-trained Stonebridge Mach to victory while dismissed at odds of 24-1. The biggest win of the day though for Stalbaum came in the Open Pace as he guided his stable star Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) to yet another victory in the local feature. A winner of ten consecutive tries in the local Open from 2019 to the start of the ’20 season, Crockets Cullen N was the public’s 4-5 betting favorite on Tuesday when Stalbaum unleashed his beast in the early stages of the $8,500 pacing feature. Crockets Cullen N traveled unopposed for the majority of the mile while putting up fast fractions throughout. After reaching the half in 55.3, Crockets Cullen N clicked off three quarters in 1:23.4 and had plenty left to secure the victory in 1:52.4 while winning by more than three lengths. It was the fourth Open win this season for Crockets Cullen N who is the track’s defending Pacer of the Year Award winner after his incredible late stretch in the ’19 campaign. Betterlatethnnever (Jay Randall) came on to finish second to Crockets Cullen N on Tuesday while Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) earned the show spot in the five-horse feature. Stalbaum, who owns and trains Crockets Cullen N, completed a Tuesday hat trick as he piloted his trainee Jericho Willie to a first-over victory. He will look to continue his hot streak in Wednesday evening’s feature as his Miss Irish Rose A will seek her second win in the last three tries in the Fillies and Mares Open.
Live racing continues on Wednesday with a first post time set for 7:15pm. There is a $2,852 carryover in the Pick Five pool on Wednesday with the Pick Five beginning in the evening’s first race.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino