Day At The Track

Harlow Seelster emerges unscathed - Dresden

11:22 PM 03 Jul 2011 NZST
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Jason Brewer
Jason Brewer - a much underrated reinsman.

Harlow Seelster was the only three-year-old trotting filly to leave Dresden Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 3) with her flawless Grassroots harness racing record intact. The Ken Warkentin lass and driver Jason Brewer led from start to finish in their $24,000 division, reaching the wire one and three-quarter lengths on top in 2:01.2. Frances Fancy was hot on their heels in second, while L H Fillybuster was well back in third.

Harlow Seelster benefited from the absence of her undefeated rival Mutinys Child, who was scratched out of the seventh race due to sickness.

Aristi Varsakis of Hamilton, ON owns Harlow Seelster, and Kevin O’Reilly trains the talented young trotter, who now has sole ownership of top spot in the sophomore trotting filly standings. The filly also scored Grassroots wins in the season opener at Western Fair Raceway on May 24 and last weekend at Flamboro Downs to give her a total of 150 points.

In the fifth race, last year’s Grassroots Champion Magic Wheel was denied her third victory of the season by former Gold Series competitor Extraordinaire. Extraordinaire and driver Wayne Henry won the battle for the front end and trotted to fractions of :29.4, 1:00.3 and 1:31.1 before reaching the wire in 1:59.3. Magic Wheel dogged the leader’s steps, but could only get within three-quarters of a length at the finish. Mystic Allure rounded out the top three, four and one-quarter lengths behind the leaders.

Henry trains Extraordinaire for his partners in the Henry Stable of Arthur, ON and Kaye Laverty of Sauble Beach, ON. Through five starts this season the Duke Of York daughter has three wins — one Gold Elimination and two Grassroots — for earnings of $38,500.

The fastest mile of the seven Grassroots divisions was clocked by Youlneverwalkalone and driver Trevor Ritchie, who led the ninth race field to a 1:58.4 score. Here Comes Jenny mounted a fierce challenge around the final turn, but had to settle for second, leaving third-place to Some Like It Hot.

Kadabra daughter Youlneverwalkalone now has a record of one win and one second in four lifetime starts for trainer Blair Burgess and owners Karin Olsson Burgess of Milton, ON and Torkil Pedersen of Trondheim, Norway.

Ken Warkentin miss Athletic Lover kicked off the sunny Sunday afternoon program with a 2:00.4 score over Cook Off and Ashlake. Driver Paul MacDonell delivered the victory to trainer Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, ON and her partners David Nichol of Mount Hope, ON and Mark McCormack of Guelph, ON.

The second $24,000 Grassroots division went to Honey Thorn, who halted the Dresden teletimer at 1:59.3, four and a half lengths ahead of Last Chance Babie and Barbies Korvett. Chris Beaver of Radnor, Ohio conditions the Here Comes Herbie daughter for his partner Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, Ohio and Phil Hudon drove the filly to her first sophomore victory.

Previously undefeated in Grassroots action, Lady Is A Pirate made two inopportune breaks and finished well behind Honey Thorn in seventh for trainer Doug McIntosh of Wheatley and his partner Henry Svec of Blenheim.

After a disappointing eighth-place result last weekend at Flamboro Downs, Defy Time returned to form with a 2:01 score in the third Grassroots split. The Southfork miss and driver Scott Coulter circled around Magical Paige and Out Of The Kitchen to earn the win, Defy Time’s eighth in 13 starts this season. Ian Downey conditions the winner of $48,775 for Susan Downey of St. George Brant, ON and Scott Maracle of Brantford, ON.

The final division was captured by Momentous and Scott Zeron, who clocked in at 2:00 flat, five and one-quarter lengths ahead of the competition. Crown Royal and Second Avenue were advanced to second and third after Tropical Breeze AS caused interference at the three-quarter marker. Zeron’s father Rick trains Mr Lavec daughter Momentous for Terry Hunter of Cambridge, ON.

The three-year-old trotting fillies now enjoy a brief break in provincial action before resuming their Grassroots campaign on Aug. 9 at Georgian Downs. Ontario Sires Stakes action makes its second stop at Dresden Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 28 with Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts.

Sandra SNYDER

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