The $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open was the feature on a Wednesday afternoon card at Saratoga Casino Hotel that was marred by an ugly accident. Greg Merton picked up the catch-drive behind the Rob Harmon-trained Robyn Camden in the feature for distaffers after scheduled pilot Jay Randall was injured in a race two wreck. Robyn Camden always thrives when she comes to town and the invading mare continued that trend as the race’s 1-5 betting favorite on Wednesday. Merton took Robyn Camden back early and she sat patiently in a first half that went in 57 seconds. The six year old swung first-over past the half and unleashed an attack on the race’s front-running longshot before drawing away to win in 1:53.4. Surreal Feeling (Alek Chartrand) brought a three-race local win streak into the Open and made a late move after getting away last in the six-horse feature. Behind a strong final quarter, Surreal Feeling finished as the runner-up to Robyn Camden. Thats Incredible (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot. Robyn Camden is now two-for-two in the local Open this season for her owner Jason Osullivan of Dublin, Ireland.
Our thoughts and well wishes go out to all of those involved in the race two accident, especially driver Jay Randall. The horses involved all eventually walked away from the incident. Since the race was declared a no contest, the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series has now been postponed for two weeks and will start anew on May 26th with the first of two legs that will lead up to the Final which will go for a purse of more than $30,000. Live racing resumes at Saratoga on Monday afternoon with first post set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino