Surreal Feeling & Alek Chartrand

In the more than seventy years of harness racing at Saratoga Casino Hotel, there has never been a faster mile by a mare than the one Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) paced on Wednesday afternoon. The Dale Lawton-trained distaffer has been a winning machine over the course of her career as the six year old mare came into Wednesday’s try in the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open with 25 wins in 74 lifetime tries. Tasked with taking on 1-2 betting favorite Robyn Camden (Greg Merton) who dominated in last week’s Fillies and Mares Open, Surreal Feeling powered out to the early lead on Wednesday. The speedy mare paid a stiff price to get to the front-end as it took a first quarter of 26.4 to secure the top spot. After pacing the half in 56 seconds and with Robyn Camden looming large and closing in, Surreal Feeling just continued to roll along with Alek Chartrand in the sulky. The Lawton trainee proved up to the task and not only prevailed in the feature but actually drew away to win it by better than five lengths. The margin of victory wasn’t the real highlight from the win though. The final time of 1:51.3 was not only eye-popping, it was record-breaking. Or at least, record tying. Surreal Feeling is now the co-record holder for fastest lady pacer in track history as her 1:51.3 in Wednesday’s Open matched the time set by Velocity Vespa in 2016 as the fastest for an aged pacing mare in Saratoga history. Surreal Feeling is owned by Chris Lawton and her trainer Dale Lawton, both of New York. The exacta with the favored Robyn Camden second returned $13.60 while the triple completed by Casie’s Believer (Joe Chindano Jr) paid $30.60. The win was the fifth of the season for Surreal Feeling and her third in a local Open in ’21.

Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon when the $32,900 John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series Final highlights a 12-race card. First post time is set for Noon.


Mike Sardella

Photo: Cheyanne Mandy


Win photos can be purchased race nights at the photographer's booth in the lower clubhouse, or by calling 518-681-9351.

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