COLUMBUS, MN. - Del Rio Seelster successfully made the move from the top claiming ranks to the open ranks on Sunday by capturing the $8500 Open Pace in 1:52.1.
Driver, the leader at the meet after the first two weeks, had the winner positioned fourth at the halfway point--just as he did last week in a $12,500 claimer--then paced the quickest final quarter in the race to win by a head over Canadian Touch ( ) and R Gauwitz Hanover (Kim Pluta). Del Rio Seelster is owned and trained by Maier's son Daniel.
A pair of $6500 Minnesota-sired three-year-old trots were presented earlier on the program with repeat winners in both splits. The fillies division went to Al-Mar Pizzazz () in 2:01.1 to best Country Cheerio (Adam Hauser) and CD's SOS ( ). Owned by trainer Ulf Holm-Johansen and partner Vernon Devine, the black filly ran her record to a perfect three-for-three in 2014 despite a scary moment when she bobbled at the head of the stretch but lost ground and recovered quickly to maintain the advantage.
Chewy Dunkerton (Roland) is the dominant force in the colts and geldings division thus far by virtue of his three-for-three win record in this young season. Trainer Jesse DeLong's son Ben owns the black gelding who was last year's freshman champion among Minnesota-sired horses.
A huge throng of Father's Day fans turned out for the 11-race card.
From the Running Aces Press Box