Day At The Track

Godiva Seelster gets revenge at Pompano

11:59 PM 29 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Godiva Seelster
Godiva Seelster eked out a photo finish win in the Mares Open Pace at Pompano Park on Wednesday night.
Skip Smith Photo

Pompano Beach, FL...December 28, 2016...Godiva Seelster, again superbly handled by Wally Hennessey, pinned a photo finish defeat on arch-rival Safe From Terror, driven by Bryce Fenn in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace for harness racing mares on Wednesday night, stopping the timer in 1:53.2.

OK Heavenly, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, was third, 2¼ lengths away while Arodasi finished fourth. All Charged Up picked up the nickel in the classy quintet.

In an event where, once the early dust settled, positions remained unchanged for the final 7/8s of the mile, it was Godiva Seelster, leaving from post 4, and Safe From Terror, beginning from post 5, in a fierce war early on with Hennessey bursting off of the Hummer's wings and Safe From Terror matching her stride for stride.

Realizing that Godiva Seelster was in an unrelenting mood, Safe From Terror backed off in the pocket with OK Heavenly, leaving from the rail, third, Arodasi next and All Charged Up serving as the caboose.

With an opening panel of :27.2 and no imminent threat developing, Godiva Seelster lolly-gagged over to the half in :57.2 and then began picking up the pace midway on the backside, reaching the third station in 1:26.2

From there, the race was on!

Godiva Seelster was on her way home in a splendid :27 and, while Safe From Terror was gnawing away at Godiva Seelster's, not even her :26.4 finale could push her nose in front.

The final margin was a head on the wire as Godiva Seelster won for the 14th time this semester, equaling her total of last year.

The grand soon-to-be seven year-old daughter of Camluck, traineed by Dan Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, now sports a scorecard of 39-30-18 in 111 career starts, good for $344,025--$124,308 as she wraps up her 2016 season.

In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "this has become quite a rivalry between two great mares.

"Tonight, I drew one slot inside of her and that was the difference. Once we got going, I didn't think it would be prudent to yield because, if Bryce (driver Fenn) got the jump on me with his mare, then I would have had to go a tick faster in the lane and, since these two mares are so close in talent, I just wanted to try and control the situation. The middle half breather helped a lot and I thought we had a :27 closer in the bag--and we did!"

With Godiva Seelster as the even money second choice--Safe From Terror was 3 to 5--the win mutual was $4.20.

The Open 2 pace for the ladies went to Metro Glide, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, hitting the wire in 1:53.1. This four year-old daughter of Metropolitan finished off her most successful season with her ninth win in 30 starts, sending her seasonal earnings to $45,130.

The pacesetting Art Frenzy, driven by Wally Hennessey, was second, two lengths back, after posting fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24.3. Jets Are On (Kevin Wallis) was third while Memumsnotnice and Winbak Heavenly picked up minor awards in the field of nine.

Metro Glide, trained by Richard Lareau for the J P Houle Stable, was the 3 to 1 second choice on the board and paid $8.80 to win.

Finally, the Open 2 Trot worth $8,500, went to the Florida bred Railee Workable, handled by Kevin Wallis, in 1:55.2, just a tick off his lifetime mark achieved just last month.

The four year-old son of Basil, trained by Mark Friedman for Andre Bousquet and Equi Herbs, pulled half way through the mile and marched up first over, collaring the leader,

Commentary (Aaron Byron), around the final bend and then went on to score a win measuring 3¾ lengths over Uriel (John Mac Donald) with Commentary holding on for third. Swan Handicap finished fourth while Without Me As picked up the final award.

The win was the 10th lifetime for Railee Workable in only 31 career starts, pushing his bounty to $96,103.

Off at 2 to 1, Railee Workable paid $6,00 to win and closed out the Pick-5 with a 50 cent winning ticket worth $3,596.70.

Racing continues on New Year's Eve with post time set for 7:20 p.m.

by John Berry for Pompano Park


 

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