Godiva Seelster, handled by Wally Hennessey, finally got her initial victory of 2016 when she conquered five other rivals in Pompano Park’s Tuesday night feature, the $11,000 Open Handicap for mares, in 1:52.
At the same time, the amazing mare stretched her streak of earning purse cheques to 80, encompassing her entire seasons as a three-, four-, five- and, thus far, six-year-old seasons.
The last time Godiva Seelster missed a purse cheque was September 9, 2012.
The classy six-year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O’Neil, survived a roughed up beginning before taking control shortly after the opening panel and going on to score a two-length win over All Charged Up, driven by John MacDonald, with Southwind Trini, with Steve Condren in the bike, next.
When the wings folded, Limelight let with alacrity along as did All Charged Up with Godiva Seelster, beginning from the outside post in her field, also getting into the mix while widest of all and with Hennessey needing to make a decision to take a seat in third early or go on vying for the lead. He chose the latter strategy and, after a first quarter in :27.3 charged up strongly to assume command about three-eighths into the mile.
The pace quickened even further as Godiva reached the half in :55 and maintained a 1-1/2 length advantage over Limelight with All Charged Up now out of third and trying to gnaw into the leader’s margin. Passing the final station before home in 1:23.2, Godiva Seelster was more than up to the task as she strolled home in :28.3, never threatened in the final stages of the mile.
“She’s just an amazing mare that gives her best every step of every mile of every race,” said driver Wally Hennessey. “I ask and she answers! It’s as simple as that. She does the best she can through thick and thin. She’s just a rare racehorse. This wasn’t the easiest of trips for her as she was roughed up a bit leaving but, once we got to the top, she just took me around the oval the rest of the way. Gotta give the credit to her as all I did was steer!”
The win for Godiva Seelster was her 26th during her illustrious career, pushing her lifetime bounty to $247,467–$27,750 so far this semester. She paid $2.80 to win.