On Tuesday, October 27 at Pompano Park in Florida, Godiva Seelster extended her streak of consecutive races in which she has earned a purse cheque to 70.
The Mares Open was expected to be a slugfest between Godiva Seelster and Just A Bee – and it was.
The two exceptional mares were assigned the outside posts – Just A Bee in Post 6 and Godiva Seelster in Post7. Both of the mares were forced to abandon their usual ‘early foot’ tactics when Artful Impulse and Winbak Heavenly both left the gate hard – the latter mare took command early and cut the fractions in :26.2, :55.1 and 1:23.
While both Just A Bee and Godiva Seelster did show some gate speed, they didn’t get into the early fray, but, rather, settled into third and fourth, respectively, in the early going.
On the backside, Just A Bee went first up and ‘Godiva’ followed her live cover. Turning for home, Just A Bee had ground her way to the front with Godiva outside of her and gaining. At the wire, the two could barely be separated, literally a lip being the difference in 1:51.2.
IM Gracies finished third, followed by Artful Impulse and Jets Are On in the field of seven.
In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, “Well, I’ve been in two epic battles tonight – lost one and won one! That’s racing. This is, as I’ve said before, a mare that does this all on her own. She has determination…and she was determined tonight.”
Owned by Paul and Patricia O’Neil and trained by Dan Hennessey, Godiva Seelster won for the 13th time this year, good for purse earnings of $103,375.
The performance also kept her streak alive: 70 consecutive races in which she has earned a purse cheque (the streak stretches back to the beginning of the 2013 season).
Godiva Seelster was favoured on the tote board at 4-5 and paid $3.80 to win.
Four $12,000 FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes Finals were contested during the program, all of which went forward as non-wagering events. Owosso Flash (chart), Gleneagles (chart), Gold Star Dynasty (chart) and Prairie Sweetheart (chart) captured their respective divisions.
In other notes from the program, driver Aaron Byron won four races in the bike and trainer Mike Deters sent out four winners.
Live racing at Pompano will continue on Sunday night. The best trotters and pacers on the grounds expected to compete in their respective Open events.
The card will kick off with a 7:30 p.m. first-race post time.
(Standardbred Canada with files from Pompano)