A mere nine days after her hard-earned victory in the $157,500 Battle of the Belles, Karma Seelster ($3.10) kept her perfect record at Grand River Raceway intact on Wednesday night (Aug. 14) with a 1:56.3 score in her $72,267 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old pacing fillies.
In the night’s second of three Gold divisions, carded as race seven, Karma Seelster was forced three-wide around a breaking Betalady (Mike Saftic) on the first turn, but Doug McNair kept her clear of incident and worked her to the lead over Got Power (Chris Christoforou) an eighth of a mile into the one-mile race. After controlling early splits of :28.3 and :58.1, the daughter of Sportswriter and Kiddie Cocktail faced a first-over challenge from Saulsbrook Raven (Trevor Henry) on the second circuit. After being pushed to a :29.1 third quarter, Karma Seelster edged away on the final turn, and used a :29.1 closing quarter to keep the stretch-rallying Temagami Seelster (J Harris) 1-3/4 lengths at bay. Got Power was just nipped for second.
“She was good again,” said McNair. “She got a lot easier trip than last week. She’s great gaited and she’s handy off the wings, so that really helps for this track. She got to pick up some pretty good money the last couple weeks here.”
Gregg McNair trains Karma Seelster for Eileen Waples, Keith Waples and Karen Hauver. After earning minor placings in her first two career outings at Woodbine Mohawk Park, she reeled off three straight victories in as many outings at Grand River.
Driver Bob McClure tasted victory in the other two Gold events, teaming up with Paul Reid trainee Off The Press ($5.80) in the $72,267 first division (race three) and Rod Hughes trainee P L Notorious ($4.30) in the $71,467 third division (race nine).
Off The Press settled in the pocket from the pole in the first split, drafted behind even-money pacesetter Sound Idea (Christoforou), and surged up the open stretch to win by a widening 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3 over Sound Idea and Keystone Kalimba (Jody Jamieson). It was the second Ontario Sires Stakes win for the Bob Key homebred.
The final split saw Prince Lee Acres homebred P L Notorious build on a 1:54.2 overnight win at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a coast-to-coast 1:55.4 score, the first stakes win of her career. The daughter of Sunshine Beach and P L Angel protected pylon position to achieve the lead, kept a mild challenge from All Day Sunshine (Henry) at bay through the far turn, and withstood a three-wide charge from Rose Run Vantage (Sylvain Filion) to win by three-quarters of a length. Lady Natasha (McNair) was a one-paced third from the pocket.
In the overnight feature, an $8,500 Preferred 3 Trot, Sicario ($11.50) repelled an early attack from Its Huw You Know before outlasting the late charge of Twofourroadie by a neck in 1:57. Alfie Carroll drove the four-year-old Holiday Road gelding for trainer Richard Moreau.
To view Wednesday’s harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.
(with quotes from the Ontario Sires Stakes)