Day At The Track

24th consecutive win for unbeaten Seeley Man

01:48 PM 16 Oct 2016 NZDT
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Seeley Man Western Stepp Miss Flaggy Meadow Noble Yaz hit a homerun in the $85,185 colt trotting final
Seeley Man now has a career bankroll in excess of $176K
Michael Newman photo
Western Stepp was another repeat champion
Michael Newman photo
Miss Flaggy Meadow
Michael Newman photo
Noble Yaz hit a homerun in the $85,185 colt trotting final
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Scarborough, Maine - October 15, 2006 ... A large and enthusiastic crowd turned out for Festival of Champions Day at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (10/15) to witness the crowning of the three-year-old champions of the Maine Sire Stakes harness racing program. The expectation of exciting equine thrills reached near fever pitch on the picture perfect autumn afternoon at the southern Maine racing venue, and with nearly $370,000 in purse money on the line, the horse and drivers certainly did not disappoint.

Seeley Man capped a lustrous sire stakes campaign by adding the sophomore colt pacing trophy to last year's freshman crown, all the while retaining his perfect 24 for 24 undefeated career win streak. Hustled to the early lead in the $85,233 split by driver Ron Cushing, the Western Maverick - Perfect Launch gelding never felt pressure at any point in the mile as he extended off to an 11-3/4 length margin at the wire. He ultimately stopped the clock in an unhurried 1:55.2, establishing a new divisional track record in the process.

"People might have thought we were crazy to spend the amount of money that we did to buy him at the conclusion of his two-year-old season, just to race him in Maine" Ron Cushing remarked, "But I really liked him. Gerry Smith (former trainer) was nice enough to sell him and we were nice enough to pay the price. He's been a very nice horse throughout his career."

Now with a career bankroll in excess of $176K, the Heidi Gibbs trained Seeley Man is owned in partnership by Kevin Sywyk, Ben Bill & Will Stable and Florence O'Keefe and was bred by Lynn-Marie Plouffe.

Talladega Speed (David Ingraham was second with The Irish Maverick (John Nason third.

Western Stepp was another repeat champion on Saturday as the Western Maverick - French Stepp filly earned top three-year-old honors after securing last year's two-year-old championship in a maiden-breaking upset. The win was the 10th of the season for the Western Maverick - French Stepp filly whose career earnings now eclipse the $127K level.

Regular pilot Drew Campbell hustled her to her customary front-end seat but was forced to use all his powers of persuasion late as Ladies Love Outlaws (Kevin Switzer, Jr) closed gamely in the $85,233 contest which was clocked in 1:57.

"She got a little lazy on the lead today and I was glad to see Junior not fly by me" Campbell said, "But she did hold the other horse off and that's what counts."

Owner/trainer James Dunn added, "I was really glad the wire wasn't 30 or 40 feet down the track or we might have got beat. She's certainly earned some good pasture time."

Western Stepp was bred in Maine by Dirk Duncan and Sidney Bradley.

Ladies Love Outlaws settled for a hard fought runner-up share while Life Is A Short Walk rallied for show.

Miss Flaggy Meadow and driver Ivan Davies were also put to a stern stretch test on Saturday, as the daughter of Boy Band - Willing Wind earned the top placing in the $85,201 filly trotting final. She ground out the win in extended overland fashion while withstanding unrelenting late pressure through the lane from Just A Little Evil (Heath Campbell) with the pair reaching the wire nearly in lockstep timed in 2:01.3.

"I want to thank breeder Mike Andrew for selling me this horse and Ivan's done a tremendous job with this filly" said owner Jack Kelly of the East Pond Stable, "He's resolved some earlier problems she had through determined experimentation - Ivan really deserves all the credit for her success."

"Now I can't wait to watch my son's horse, the Maine-bred Obrigado race in the International Trot at Yonkers", Kelly continued, referring to trainer Paul Kelly, "What a great day for state of Maine harness racing!"

Just A Little Evil fell just 3/4 -length short while finishing second. Gonna Kiss Me Or Not (Ron Cushing) was third.

Noble Yaz hit a homerun in the $85,185 colt trotting final, pouncing at the ¾-mile marker before extending out to an imposing 4-length margin as driver Nick Graffam triumphantly pointed his whip skyward in celebration.

The Noble Venture - Sassy Cathy gelding who was timed in 2:01.1, is trained by Graffam's dad, Michael, for owner/breeder Francis Hanley.

"The horse has just been getting better lately" Hanley said, "He and Nick have been melding but the horse just seemed to figure out that he shouldn't be out there fooling around but that he should be getting to the lead and getting the job done. He sure figured it out at the right time!"

Dusty Venture (Ivan Davies) settled for second while Pembroke Bada Bing (Heath Campbell was third.

With Maine Sire Stakes season has now reaching its successful conclusion, the fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December. Live harness racing will be featured weekly on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with a 1:30 PM (EDT) post time.

For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page.

By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

 
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