Surreal Feeling & Alek Chartrand

Surreal Feeling (So Surreal) brought her talents back to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night and the pacing mare who has made winning a habit at the Spa added another victory to her collection in the evening’s co-feature. Surreal Feeling has raced at Yonkers and Pocono Downs in recent months and has thrived but her successes at Saratoga have been stark this season. The Dale Lawton-trained distaffer was the 1-5 betting favorite in the Fillies and Mares Open on Saturday, a race that served as the co-feature along with the $15,000 Open Pace for the boys. Driver Alek Chartrand moved Surreal Feeling out early but had to settle into fourth position in the six-horse co-feature before pulling her first-over approaching the half mile pole. The six year old mare took it from there and despite racing overland in a 27.3 third quarter powered past the leader before drawing away in the stretch to win by a measured length and a quarter in 1:53.3. Earlier this season, Surreal Feeling put in a track record-matching performance as she scored in a dazzling 1:51.3 to tie the previous mark for fastest of any aged pacing mare in the 80 year history of racing at Saratoga. On Saturday, Surreal Feeling won the local Open for the sixth time this season and for the fourth consecutive start in it. Thats Incredible (Shawn Gray) finished second while Pammy Jo (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. Surreal Feeling, who is co-owned by Chris Lawton and her trainer Dale Lawton, has hit the board in all nineteen of her starts this year in what has been a masterful campaign for the talented mare.

The $15,000 Open Pace for the boys went to Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) who scored for the third time in his last four starts in the feature for colts and geldings. Crockets Cullen N is the winningest horse in the local Open Pace over the course of the last three seasons but didn’t have a win in the Saturday feature before scoring on July 31st. The ten year old veteran went coast-to-coast last Saturday (Aug 14) and had little difficulty doing the same in this weekend’s installment of the Open Pace as he overcame a 26.4 first quarter on the lead to prevail in 1:52.2 for owner/trainer/driver Larry Stalbaum. Quagmire Bluechip (Brett Beckwith) was the runner-up in the Saturday co-feature while Odds On Brexit (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot in his Open debut. The exacta and triple with the 9-5 second-choice in the wagering on top paid $35.40 and $116.50, respectively. The win was one of three on the night for Stalbaum as both a trainer and driver as his Itsonlyrocknroll A and Union Station also secured Saturday scores.

Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 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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