Day At The Track

Fern Paquet, Jr. wins four of five Olympia qualifiers

09:10 AM 09 Apr 2020 NZST
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Baggage Claim, harness racing Harness racing
Baggage Claim and driver Fern Paquet, Jr. winning in 1.57.2 at Olympia of Palm Beach.
Jennifer Sansone photo
Happy smiles in the winners circle with Baggage Claim
Ann-Mari Daley photo

Lake Worth, FL - The Wednesday morning qualifying races at Olympia of Palm Beach training center saw harness racing driver Fern Paquet, Jr., win four of the five races for trotters and pacers. The track was fast but it was a very warm 90 degrees at post time and the judges gave a one second allowance.

Paquet started off the day winning the first race trot with Celebrity Liberty, going wire-to-wire and holding off the pocket-sitting Tribeca Blue (Dan Daley) by three-quarters of a length in 2:05.1, last quarter in :30.1.

Trained by Sam Stathis, Celebrity Liberty is a four-year-old mare and is sired by Celebrity Maserati. She was bred and is owned by Stathis's Celebrity Farms of New York, NY.

The action really heated up in the second race trot when Celebrity Miracle, a return winner from last week's qualifiers, led from start to finish for driver Fern Paquet, Jr., winning with ease by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:58.3. Celebrity Serena (Sam Stathis) was second with Miss Flora (Mario Dessureault) third.

Celebrity Miracle also trotted a :27.4 third quarter and came home in :28.2 for the score. She is also trained by Stathis and was bred and is owned by Celebrity Farms.

The third race pace nearly saw Paquet score his third straight winner, but driver/trainer Dan Daley held off Paquet's Village Artist by a close head at the wire with Doyoukissfirstdate in 1:59.4.

A three-year-old filly by American Ideal, Doyoukissfirstdate is co-owned by Dan Daley's wife, Ann-Mari Daley of Vero Beach with the breeder, Crawford Farms of New York.

Paquet returned to the Olympia of Palm Beach winner's circle again in the fourth race pace, this time with Baggage Claim in a romp.

Leaving from post three, Paquet sent Baggage Claim right to the front and pulled away from the field, eventually winning by 15 lengths over Firewater Jake (Ken Holliday) and Terlingua (Scott Zeron) in 1:57.2, third quarter in :27 and only a :30 second last quarter mile.

A seven-year-old gelding by Artistic Fella, Baggage Claim is trained by Jennifer Sansome and owned by Gregory Gardner of Sheridan, MI.

The fifth and final race of the day, a pace, saw Hugh Hefner N give driver Fern Paquet, Jr. his driving quadruple of the afternoon with a 1:58.1 triumph over Jimi Wind Ricks (Scott Zeron).

Paquet wired the field with High Hefner N, winning with ease by four open lengths, last quarter mile in :28.3. A 12-year-old gelding by Falcon Seelster, it made it a training double on the day for Jennifer Sansome, who also owns the horse.

"It always feels good winning a race," Fern Paquet said. "It's nice to be able to stay sharp driving a few horses. It also is keeping the horses sharp in the hopes we get racing soon.

"I can't wait to race for some money again," Paquet added. "especially when you drive a horse like Celebrity Miracle, who really impresses me more and more. He will definitely will be fun this summer wherever he races. Till then he will continue to be ready to go."

To see video and droning of the races, click here.

By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach

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