Another Saturday night and another victory in the Open Pace for Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) who lengthened his sensational win streak at Saratoga Casino Hotel to eight. The veteran New Zealander has become a superstar this year in the Open and has thrived in recent months despite starting from outside posts every week and navigating through a variety of different trips. On Saturday night, Crockets Cullen N was assigned post six in the $18,000 six-horse feature and his owner-driver Larry Stalbaum flashed early speed with the Tracy Tarantino stable’s star. Crockets Cullen N wound up in the pocket behind Hudson Phil (Frank Coppola Jr), an eight-time Open winner this year and runner-up to Crockets Cullen N last Saturday. Hudson Phil posted honest fractions of 27.1 and 55.4 in lap one and all the while, Stalbaum sat patiently in the pocket before springing the two-hole around the final turn. Crockets Cullen N slugged it out in the stretch with Hudson Phil before putting him away to prevail in 1:53. The win was the 14th of the season for Crockets Cullen N who has now won eight consecutive tries in the local Open. Hudson Phil was the runner-up to the track’s new superstar for second straight Saturday evening while Bettor Notbitter A (Jay Randall) came on to earn the show spot. Crockets Cullen N paid $5.00 to win in his most recent score and led an exacta and triple that returned $22 and $32.60, respectively. Crockets Cullen N and Hudson Phil are joined by In A Single Bound and Century Endeavor as nominees for Pacer of the Year at Saratoga, an award that will be given out at the conclusion of the meet next month.
Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino