Day At The Track

40-1 upset winner in Miami Valley opener

11:11 AM 04 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Elysium Seelster, harness racing
Elysium Seelster (#2) scores an upset victory at Miami Valley Raceway
Conrad photo

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway rang in the New Year with a stellar opening night harness racing card, a large and enthusiastic live crowd of racing fans and a best-ever opening night handle. The only thing that didn't cooperate was the weather as the 14 races were contested over a sloppy race track and through intermittent night-long rain showers.

Highlight of the initial 2020 program was a $30,000 Mares Open Pace which produced a major upset when 40-1 Elysium Seelster (Josh Sutton) wore down Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) in the final strides of the 1:55.1 mile.

Sutton got the winner away fourth from a two-hole start through the opening :26.4 panel, got shuffled to fifth at the :55 halfway juncture, then moved into second-over position on the outside before reaching the three quarter station in 1:24.1. When the favored pacesetter, My Tweed Heart (Brett Miller), began to shorten her stride around the final bend, Elysium Seelster was perfectly placed to battle stride-for-stride with first-over Knockout Queen all the way through the stretch.

Mitchell Standardbreds Inc., Neil Goldstein and Terrance Smith plucked Elysium Seelster from an optional claiming race at Scioto Downs in August for $36,250 and entrusted the 5-year-old mare's future to trainer Zach Tackett. The daughter of Bettor's Delight now sports $181,964 in career earnings including 11 victories. She paid $82.80 in her first triumph in open company.

Miami Valley resumes racing on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. with another 14-race program featuring a $30,000 Open Pace for the best males currently competing in Southwest Ohio. Matinees will begin at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

From Miami Valley Raceway

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