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It was a fantastic week at Saratoga Casino Hotel for harness racing driver Larry Stalbaum. The veteran reinsman piloted his 6,000th career winner on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, Stalbaum guided three winners including in the Open Pace with his superstar Crockets Cullen N. The wins kept coming on Wednesday for Stalbaum who had three victories with his trainees including one in the feature. Miss Irish Rose A (McArdle) went coast-to-coast in the Fillies and Mares Open on Wednesday evening scoring in 1:54.2. The eight year old mare's victory was her third in the local Open for distaffers this season. She was the public's 3-2 betting favorite as she held off late charges from pocket-sitter Thats Incredible (Billy Dobson), who was the runner-up in the Open for the third time in the last four weeks, and longshot Surreal Feeling (Jay Randall), who earned the show spot.   The exacta and triple in the paid $14.20 and $72.50, respectively. Stalbaum also guided his Jericho Diva (Rock N Roll Heaven) and Abby Rose (Heston Blue Chip) to Wednesday wins. Abby Rose, a two year old filly, is now two-for-three in her young career after following up a victory in the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series A with a decisive score in her local debut which saw her stop the timer in 1:56.3. Stalbaum drove eight winners and secured five training victories during the week's action at the Spa. Live racing takes place next week on Monday and Tuesday afternoon beginning at 12 noon and on Wednesday evening starting at 7:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

It's already been a big harness racing week for Larry Stalbaum at Saratoga Casino Hotel. On Monday afternoon, the veteran reinsman won a pair of races, the last of which resulted in him reaching the 6,000 win plateau for his career. The 56 year old has had a solid season racing primarily at Saratoga and on Monday made his 6,000th career trek to the winner's circle after piloting longshot Scarlett Raider to an upset for trainer Melissa Beckwith. Stalbaum opened up Tuesday's matinee by guiding the Andy Sardella-trained Stonebridge Mach to victory while dismissed at odds of 24-1. The biggest win of the day though for Stalbaum came in the Open Pace as he guided his stable star Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) to yet another victory in the local feature. A winner of ten consecutive tries in the local Open from 2019 to the start of the '20 season, Crockets Cullen N was the public's 4-5 betting favorite on Tuesday when Stalbaum unleashed his beast in the early stages of the $8,500 pacing feature. Crockets Cullen N traveled unopposed for the majority of the mile while putting up fast fractions throughout. After reaching the half in 55.3, Crockets Cullen N clicked off three quarters in 1:23.4 and had plenty left to secure the victory in 1:52.4 while winning by more than three lengths. It was the fourth Open win this season for Crockets Cullen N who is the track's defending Pacer of the Year Award winner after his incredible late stretch in the '19 campaign.   Betterlatethnnever (Jay Randall) came on to finish second to Crockets Cullen N on Tuesday while Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) earned the show spot in the five-horse feature. Stalbaum, who owns and trains Crockets Cullen N, completed a Tuesday hat trick as he piloted his trainee Jericho Willie to a first-over victory. He will look to continue his hot streak in Wednesday evening's feature as his Miss Irish Rose A will seek her second win in the last three tries in the Fillies and Mares Open. Live racing continues on Wednesday with a first post time set for 7:15pm. There is a $2,852 carryover in the Pick Five pool on Wednesday with the Pick Five beginning in the evening's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Waiting On A Woman (Northern Bailey) overcame a bit of a tough start to win the harness racing Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the second time in three weeks. The Kyle Spagnola trainee was his race's even money favorite starting from post three in the seven-horse feature and driver Phil Fluet asked the twelve year old for some early speed. He and rival Mister Muscle (Shawn Gray), last week's Open winner, squared off in a battle to the quarter which yielded a sizzling panel of 26.4. Mister Muscle made it to the top and got a half in 56.2 but wound up tiring a bit in the stretch as Waiting On A Woman closed up the inside. Longshot Mugshots Bro (Jay Randall) charged off his cover to become a stretch threat before ultimately coming up second-best to Waiting On A Woman who came on to score in 1:56.1. The veteran trotter went five years between Open wins before setting a track record for twelve year old trotters two weeks ago when he prevailed in 1:55.1 in the $8,500 Open. Mugshots Bro was the runner-up while Mister Muscle earned the show spot on Monday afternoon. The even-money favorite led an exacta and triple that returned $48.20 and $245, respectively. Waiting On A Woman, whose victory was the incredible 77th of his career, is owned by Mike Polansky of Loudonville, NY. Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon.   Mike Sardella    

There were three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for two year old colt and gelding harness racing pacers contested at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday night. The overwhelming favorite among the freshman pacers heading into the evening was American Courage (American Ideal-Nota Fool Bluechip- Art Major) who was the dominant force in the recently completed Springfield Pace at Yonkers Raceway. The Travis Alexander trainee went two-for-two in the series highlighted by a career-best 1:53.3 victory in the $104,250 Final. The good-looking freshman came into Wednesday's try in the $47,967 division of the NYSS with an undefeated three-for-three record and was subsequently the betting public's 1-9 favorite as he looked to remain unbeaten. Driver Matt Kakaley wasted little time getting American Courage to the early lead and they never looked back winning decisively in 1:54.3 over a track labeled 'good.'   American Courage already has earnings of more than $93,000 and looks poised to have an even bigger summer as the Sire Stakes season progresses. American Courage is owned by the Fiddler's Creek Stables of West Bloomfield, MI. Town Gossip (American Ideal-Flibbertigibbet-Albert Albert) was the runner-up to American Courage in his first two career starts in the Springfield Series but on Wednesday broke his maiden in front of driver Joe Bongiorno. Town Gossip was his race's odds-on favorite as he cruised to the front-end and drew away late to prevail in 1:56.1. Owned by Robert Weinstein of Bellmore, NY, Town Gossip earned the winner's share of the $48,867 purse in his division of the NYSS on Wednesday. The talented gelding is trained by Jenn Bongiorno.   The third and final division for the freshman pacing colts went the way of King James Express (Art Major-More Diamonds- Dragon Again) who parlayed his pocket ride to victory with Jason Bartlett at the controls. The Mark Harder-trained freshman drew the rail and sat the two-hole to the race's favorite Carrythetorchman (Marcus Miller) and when Bartlett gave King James Express his cue around the final turn, the gelding stormed past the favorite before stopping the timer in 1:56.3 to record his first career victory in just his second lifetime start. King James Express is owned by Harder, Frost, Carleton and Lockhart.   Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Bontz N has been the female force among pacers at Saratoga Casino & Racing this season. The nine year old distaffer won her fifth Filly and Mare Open of the year on Tuesday afternoon as her regular pilot Shawn Gray got the favored mare to coast through a comfortable first lap before drawing off from the competition in the final half. Bontz N was the 4-5 betting favorite in the $8,500 feature and cruised uncontested through a first half that went in 58.1. From there, the chase was futile for the rivals of the favorite who prevailed by a measured half length over pocket-sitter Thats Incredible (Billy Dobson) in a mile clocked in 1:55.1.   Barynya A (Sam King) sat third behind the top two throughout the mile and earned the show spot. Bontz N led an exacta and triple that returned $9.70 and $55, respectively. Bontz N's trainer Gary Levine came into the week atop the trainer standings this season but conditioner Melissa Beckwith piled up three wins on the Tuesday card as she and Levine remain very close at the top. With the driving victory in the ladies' Open, Shawn Gray has now piloting the winner of the most recent installment of the Fillies and Mares Open, the Open Pace and Open Trot. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening with a mostly New York Sire Stakes filled program as two year old pacing colts and geldings are featured. First post time is set for 7:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Mister Muscle won the Open Trot five times last season after coming to Saratoga Casino Hotel late in the summer. The Melissa Beckwith trainee opened up his 2020 campaign with a pair of Open victories prior to the quarantine shutdown. On Monday afternoon, making his second harness racing start back since the break, Mister Muscle (Muscle Mass) had Shawn Gray piloting as he got a pocket trip in the $8,500 trotting feature. Last week's Open winner Waiting On A Woman (Phil Fluet) once again cut the mile this week and clicked off a first half in 57.1. Challenger Stone In Love (Brian Cross) charged up first-over past three quarters in 1:26.2 and served as a threat to Waiting On A Woman. All the while, Mister Muscle was waiting for open road in the passing lane. The six year old trotter surged up the rail and got by Waiting On A Woman before stopping the timer in 1:55.4 to record his third Open victory of the season.   Waiting On A Woman came up second-best while Stone In Love earned the show spot. Mister Muscle paid $7.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $57.50 and $305.50, respectively. The victory was one of two on the afternoon for the track's defending leading trainer Melissa Beckwith and also served as one of three wins for Gray in the sulky on the Monday card. Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were double features on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as both the Open Trot and Open Pace were part of the thirteen card harness racing matinee. Waiting On A Woman (Northern Bailey) last recorded an Open win at Saratoga in March of 2015. The veteran trotter has been a staple out of the Kyle Spagnola stable for years and has competed at numerous tracks throughout the northeast over that time. Now at the age of twelve, Waiting On A Woman is back in Open company and was coming off a third-place finish in last week's feature when he started from post two on Sunday afternoon. Dismissed at odds of 8-1 in the six-horse co-feature, Waiting On A Woman marched out to the early lead and felt no pressure in lap one going down to the half in a leisurely 59.2. At that point, the veteran had plenty left to cruise through a final lap in 55.4 while drawing away to win by more than five lengths in 1:55.1. nbsp; Waiting On A Woman paid $18.60 to win and bested last week's Open winner and runner-up Gemologist (Jordan Derue) and Volare (Billy Dobson) who ran two-three in this week's installment of the $8,500 Open Trot. The exacta and triple returned $45 and $114, respectively. Waiting On A Woman is owned by Mike Polansky of Loudonville, NY. The other co-feature on Sunday was the $8,500 Open Pace which saw Hudson Phil finally shake his seconditis to record an Open win. The Jackie Greene trainee was an eight-time Open winner in 2019 but finished up his campaign with runner-up tries in three of his final four starts. His '20 season began in June with three more second-place finishes. This week, reinsman Shawn Gray put Hudson Phil on the front-end, taking the lead just before the quarter pole. The five year old would not have to settle for second-best this week as he dug in to win in 1:53.3 holding off a late charge from Deetzy (Jay Randall) who ended up finishing second. Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum), the winner of two straight Opens heading into Sunday, went a big mile before having to settle for third.   Hudson Phil, who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY, was the 4-5 betting favorite in the co-feature and led an exacta and triple that paid $12.40 and $57, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at 12 Noon. There will be a $2,855 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five beginning in race one on Wednesday afternoon's card. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Trainer Jaymes McAssey's harness racing stable has returned very strong from quarantine and on Thursday afternoon, the young conditioner rattled off a pair of victories at Saratoga Casino Hotel. McAssey, the Peerless McGrath Award winner for top breakthrough trainer at the Spa in 2017, is enjoying a strong '20 campaign and went back-to-back on Thursday's card. Pasultimatedelite N (Bettor's Delight) drew the rail for her try in a $4,800 conditional race for pacing mares and driver Shawn Gray got the veteran distaffer a pocket trip behind a rival who rebuffed her first-over bid last week when the two squared off. Pasultimatedelite N popped the pocket on Thursday and roared past to win in 1:55.1 to record her second victory since the return from quarantine. She was the 6-5 betting favorite,   Pasultimatedelite N completed the back end of a McAssey-Gray double on Thursday as the pair teamed up for a score with Sporty Mercedes (Sportswriter) who was dominant in his Spa debut. Like stablemate Pasultimatedelite N, Sporty Mercedes drew the rail for his Thursday try and Gray sat the pocket with him before evacuating past the half as the rival on the front-end looked to be tiring. The move proved to be the winning one for Sporty Mercedes who prevailed in his local debut in decisive fashion. McAssey has continued to climb the trainer standings at Saratoga while in the midst of a tremendous "start" to the 2020 campaign.   Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies as part of the New York Sire Stakes took center stage on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. There were four divisions of the $35,000+ Sire Stakes races for freshman fillies. Ake Svanstedt's Splash Blue Chip (E L Titan-Dunk The Donato- Donato Hanover) was the fastest two year old winner on the card as she followed up a qualifier in which she posted a final quarter of 26.4 with a front-running victory on Wednesday. Svanstedt trains and drives the freshman filly who was tested in the stretch by Iteration (Brian Sears) and Tranquility K (Larry Stalbaum) but held strong to score in 1:58.4 in her lifetime debut. Splash Blue Chip is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. and Mellby Gard Inc.   Brian Sears piloted three winners on the matinee card including one while piloting Imbossible (Chapter Seven-Lavendar Fields-Muscle Hill) for trainer Marcus Melander and Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, FL. Imbossible was fourth at the top of the stretch but came motoring home in impressive fashion before stopping the timer in 1:59.2 to record the victory in her first career start.   Destined To Dance (Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer-Credit Winner) and Contested Hanover (Chapter Seven- C R Calendar Girl-S J's Photo) each went coast-to-coast to prevail in their $36,150 divisions of the NYSS. Destined To Dance went start to finish with Tyler Buter piloting for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Preziotti, Heritage Stbds and Crawford Fms Rcg. Destined To Dance, who finished third at Harrah's Philly when making her lifetime debut on June 26th, was a decisive winner on Wednesday going wire-to-wire in 1:59.4.   Contested Hanover scored the biggest "upset" among the stakes winners as she cruised on the engine in 2:00.1 with Scott Zeron driving for Ftm Racing Stable of Ocala, Fl and trainer Geroge Ducharme. Contested Hanover felt just mild pressure before drawing off to score in her lifetime debut, paying $9.60 to win.   New York Sire Stakes action is set to return to Saratoga in two weeks on July 22nd. Live racing continues on Thursday at the Spa with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) has been an absolute force in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the last year and continued his harness racing dominance in Sunday afternoon’s feature. Larry Stalbaum owns, trains and drives Crockets Cullen N who finished up his 2019 campaign on a nine-race win streak in the local Open Pace. He began his ’20 season in style by winning yet another feature before going on what was, for him, a cold streak. Heading into last Sunday’s (June 28) Open, Crockets Cullen N had gone four starts at the Spa without a victory but broke that rare losing streak after getting a pocket trip behind the race’s betting favorite Hudson Phil (Shawn Gray) and besting him in the stretch.   On Sunday afternoon, Crockets Cullen N took on Hudson Phil once again as the top two pacers from 2019 at the Spa wound up squaring off in the stretch for yet another time. Stalbaum moved Crockets Cullen N out to the early lead in the $8,500 feature and after setting first-half fractions of 27.1 and 56.2 cruised past three quarters in 1:24.3 before facing his first challenge. Hudson Phil came from off the pace and followed live cover into a striking spot before fanning three-wide around the final turn. The chase proved to be in vain as Crockets Cullen N dug in to win yet another installment of the Saratoga Open Pace, scoring in 1:53.1. Hudson Phil came up second-best and now has been the runner-up in all three Opens since the return from the pandemic shutdown. Deetzy (Jay Randall) earned the show spot for the second straight week in the pacing feature.   OpeCrockets Cullen N paid $4.90 to win as the 7-5 second-choice in the betting. The exacta with the favored Hudson Phil second returned $10.20 while the triple with Deetzy third came back $30.40. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a 13-race card featuring NY Sire Stakes action. Two year old trotting fillies will be featured on Wednesday with first post time set for 12 noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Bontz N (American Ideal) continued her win streak in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday as she changed tactics to score her fourth consecutive victory in the local feature. Trainer Gary Levine thrived in 2019 after acquiring Bontz N who has enjoyed as good of a '20 campaign as could be. Thursday was the fifth start of the season for the nine year old mare who was assigned the outside post in the $8,500 feature. Bontz N came into the race on a three-race win streak, which dated back to March, with all three of those wins coming in wire-to-wire fashion. In Thursday's feature, driver Shawn Gray was forced to come from off the pace with the race's 2-1 betting favorite but the closing style suited Bontz N just fine as she put the swoop to the group before stopping the timer in 1:54.1 to record her fourth win in as many tries. The final time served as a new seasonal mark for the standout distaffer who has become the lady to beat this season at the Spa. Thats Incredible (Billy Dobson) came charging hard in the stretch to finish second while Jewels Forreal (Mark Beckwith) closed to be third. Bontz N paid $6.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $27.20 and $136, respectively. Live racing resumes on Sunday at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. There will be a $3,885 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five beginning in the afternoon's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Sunday's co-featured Opens at Saratoga Casino Hotel saw a familiar face and an Open newbie record harness racing victories. Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) is the defending Pacer of the Year at the track and when he won the season's first Open Pace in February, it was the tenth consecutive victory in the local Open for the standout Larry Stalbaum trainee. After some lackluster tries prior to the quarantine layoff, Crockets Cullen N made his return last Sunday afternoon (June 21) but faded on the front end before finishing fifth. This week, the classy veteran drew the rail for his try in the $8,500 co-feature and Stalbaum got a pocket trip for him behind the race's favorite Hudson Phil (Shawn Gray). Hudson Phil, who finished second in the Pacer of the Year vote in '19 to Crockets Cullen N, again finished as the runner-up to him once again on Sunday as he got reeled-in in the final eighth of a mile. Crockets Cullen N got up to win in 1:52.3. Paying $5.10 to win on Sunday, Crockets Cullen N led an exacta with Hudson Phil second that returned $9.90. Deetzy (Jay Randall) earned the show spot and rounded out a $42.80 trifecta. The $8,500 Open Trot went to Gemologist (Cantab Hall) on Sunday as he went coast-to-coast for his owner/trainer/driver Jordan Derue. Gemologist has been competitive in the Opens at the Spa from time to time but had yet to win one heading into Sunday's try in which he started from post four. Derue marched the five year old out to the early lead and despite moving quickly to the quarter in 27.4, Gemologist had plenty left in the tank to complete a wire-to-wire score in 1:56.4. Unlike Crockets Cullen N who has been a winning machine in local Opens, Gemologist's victory was the first of his career in the local feature. The 6-5 betting favorite paid $4.40 to win and led an exacta and triple with Volare (Claude Huckabone III) second and Waiting On A Woman (Phil Fluet) third that returned $28.20 and $109.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 Noon start to the matinee.   Mike Sardella

Her most recent trips to the winner's circle were separated by more than three months but on Thursday afternoon Bontz N (American Ideal) recorded her third consecutive victory in the harness racing Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A nominee for Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year in 2019 in her first season at the Spa, Bontz N has enjoyed a strong start to her '20 campaign winning on Thursday for the third time in just four tries on the season. Shawn Gray, who pilots the nine year old mare for owner April Aldrich of Greenfield Center, NY and trainer Gary Levine, was aggressive at the start of the $8,500 feature powering the star mare out to the early lead while overcoming their assigned outside post in the seven-horse Open. Cruising through a first quarter of 27.2, Bontz N paid a stiff price to the get to top but soon got a breather that saw her reach the half in 57 seconds. Longshot Pasultimatedelite N (Jordan Derue) came first-over on Bontz N and took over the lead past three-quarters in 1:25.1. While the upset minded Pasultimatedelite N got by Bontz N, she never got clear and those two turned for home together while joined by other closing rivals. Bontz N rallied before stopping the timer in 1:54.2 to secure her third consecutive win in the Open, a streak that started back in March. Bontz N Another 2019 nominee for top distaffer at the Spa, Spreester (Phil Fluet) came charging hard in the stretch to finish second while Pasultimatedelite N earned the show spot. Despite coming in on a winning streak, Bontz N paid $11.80 to win and with the race's two biggest longshots finishing second and third, the exotics paid very well. The exacta in the feature returned $162.50 while the triple came back $559. Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. Mike Sardella

Thursday afternoon marked the return of harness racing at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a thirteen-race program on a beautiful June day in the Spa City. With only about a month of the scheduled season being contested in 2020 heading into Thursday, trainer-driver Alek Chartrand had just ten starts as a trainer and six as a driver under his belt on the year. The return card was a big one for the 35 year old Chartrand who enjoyed his best day of the “young season” as he not only recorded a pair of victories but secured both wins with horses who had drawn post position eight. The dazzling mile of the day came from a Chartrand trainee who was making just his second lifetime start. My Pal Joe (Roll With Joe) raced only once as a freshman in 2019 but came into Thursday’s event for maiden pacers off an impressive 1:56.3 romp in a qualifier contested last week. Chartrand powered My Pal Joe out from his outside post and made it to the top. The sophomore dominated his group of fellow three year olds before scoring a decisive eleven-length win in an eye-popping 1:53.4. Chartrand’s Onspeed N (Bettor’s Delight) also drew the unfortunate task of starting from post eight on Thursday when she made her local debut. Dismissed at odds of 16-1, Onspeed N pulled off the upset in her first Spa start as she parlayed a pocket trip to a win in 1:57.1. Onspeed N, a new addition to Chartrand’s stable, paid $35.60 to win on Thursday. Trainer Jaymes McAssey and driver Jordan Derue teamed up for a pair of victories on the matinee card as well with Derue piloting three winners in total. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a thirteen-race card set to kickoff at 12 Noon.    Mike Sardella  

Certify (Credit Winner) lengthened his impressive local harness racing win streak on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The four year old was assigned post six in the six-horse Open Trot and driver Jay Randall was tasked with piloting the talented trotter who came out of the Melissa Beckwith barn for the first time. Certify won his first start for new connections last September when he prevailed in the $55,000 New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series Final and has gone on a tear at the Spa ever since. Bringing a six-race win streak into Sunday's try into the $15,000 Open Trot, Certify was the public's 6-5 betting favorite and got away last in the feature. Randall was patient with the favorite who began to make his move after a half mile of 56.3. Certify progressed quickly and overpowered the race's leader past three quarters of 1:26.3 before turning on the afterburners. Shorething Fashion (Shawn Gray) mirrored the move of Certify, following his cover until the chase proved futile. Certify stopped the timer in 1:56.2 for his second Open win of the season and his seventh consecutive Saratoga victory. Shorething Fashion was the runner-up for the third consecutive week while Cartier Volo (Brian Cross) earned the show spot. Certify, who is owned by William Hartt and Marc Reynolds, paid $4.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $15.60 and $130.50, respectively. Live racing is set to resume on Wednesday at Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Franco Tristan N (McArdle) prevailed in his local debut last month at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Amanda Kelley-trained pacer was the 1-9 favorite after drawing the rail in that start in a conditional race. Following a third place finish last week, Franco Tristan N moved up into the Open Pace on Saturday night. Billy Dobson sat behind the eight year old New Zealand invader in the $15,000 as they sat the pocket to the track's defending Pacer of the Year Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum). Crockets Cullen N has a ten-race local win streak in the Open snapped earlier two weeks ago and didn't factor in last weekend's installment of the Open. Still, the nine year old was the race's 3-5 betting favorite on Saturday in a five-horse field. Franco Tristan N got the perfect trip riding the coattails of the favorite in a first half that went in just 57.3. The Kelley trainee flew up the inside in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:54.1 to record his first Open win. Betterlatethnnever (Jay Randall) came on to finish second for the second straight week in the Open while Crockets Cullen N had to settle for third. Franco Tristan N paid $8.00 to win and led an exacta that returned $39.20. Franco Tristan N is owned by the Scheigert Racing Stable of Saratoga Springs. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee kicking off at noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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