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My Pal Joe rolls to 11-length win on Saratoga opener

June 19, 2020
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Thursday afternoon marked the return of racing at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a 13-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 10 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 3 year olds before scoring a decisive 11-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 8 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. (Saratoga)

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