Paul and Patricia O’Neil’s Godiva Seelster ($2.10) made good on a 1-20 promise, holding off steady pressure from The Filly Princess to prevail in Friday (June 19) evening’s $10,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.
The five-year-old Camluck mare worked clear of Purity (Greg Merton) after duelling through a :26.2 first quarter, continuing up the backstretch to a :54.4 half before bracing for a challenge from 8-1 second choice The Filly Princess (Chris Lems). Godiva Seelster accelerated upon facing the threat, holding a length advantage through a :28.1 third quarter and subsequently edging clear in deep stretch. She ultimately won by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:51.2 in rein to John MacDonald.
Dan Hennessey trains Godiva Seelster, who scored her 18th career win.
MacDonald also teamed up with Martinique ($2.90, 1:55.3), Express Jet ($8.20, 1:53.3), and My Lucky Word ($7.00, 1:57.1) for wins on the evening’s 13-race card.
Live racing continues at Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 20) evening, with post time at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. Sunday (June 21) afternoon’s card kicks off at 1:15 p.m., and features the Empire Breeders Classic finals for three-year-old trotters.