The Scheigert Racing Stable, trainer Amanda Kelley, and driver Greg Merton are no strangers to winning the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year.
That tandem has teamed up to win the top race for pacers four times this year with Some Waratah A. A different member of the Kelley stable has been competing in the $15,000 Saturday night feature in recent weeks. Last weekend, Lake Charles finished third, and the four-year-old son of Well Said drew the rail for his most recent effort in the Open Pace on Saturday night.
With Lake Charles, Merton was aggressive and cut the mile with an 8-1 shot in the betting. After a :27.2 first quarter, Lake Charles got a breather before moving to the half in 57 seconds. The favourite charged up first-over but was defeated by Lake Charles, who held off a late charge in the stretch from last week’s Open winner Quagmire Bluechip (Brett Beckwith) and Sports Obsession (Shawn Gray) to win the local Open for the first time. The win, which came in 1:52.4, was the Kelley trainee’s third of the season.
Quagmire Bluechip finished second to extend his “on the board” streak in the Open to five straight while Sports Obsession earned the show spot. In the six-horse feature, Lake Charles paid $18.20 to win the upset and led an exacta and triple that paid $189 and $589, respectively.
Amanda Kelley and Greg Merton had three wins on the card, including victories with Our Corelli N (by Bettors Delight) and Fox Valley Inferno (by Sportsmaster), both who went wire-to-wire in conditioned paces on Saturday.
Next week, live racing will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, with matinees starting at noon. Next weekend (September 12), Sunday racing will begin, with action also kicking off at noon.