The President’s Day matinee card at Saratoga Casino Hotel was highlighted by the season’s first Open Pace. The $15,000 Open featured a field of five with all of its participants coming from Australia or New Zealand. A familiar face emerged victorious as Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) lengthened his unprecedented win streak in the local Open prevailing for the tenth consecutive time in the Saratoga feature. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino trainee who was named Pacer of the Year at Saratoga in 2019 after winning the Open Pace in nine consecutive starts. Assigned the outside post on Monday, Crockets Cullen N got away last but wound up dropping in second behind leader Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) who paced a first half in 55.3. Crockets Cullen N benefited from some confusion in the race where two rivals interfered with each other allowing the track’s defending top pacer to tuck into the pocket before breezing by to win in 1:54.2. Bettors Fire N finished second while Don Domingo N (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot to compete a top trio of New Zealanders. Crockets Cullen N paid $6.90 to win as his local streak grew to ten. The exacta with Bettors Fire N second returned $16.40.
Live racing takes place this week on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon beginning each day at 12 Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino