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Miami Valley kicks off 2020 with 40-1 upset in feature

January 03, 2020

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Miami Valley Raceway rang in the New Year on Friday with a stellar Opening Night card, a large and enthusiastic live crowd of racing fans and a best-ever Opening Night handle.  The only thing that didn’t cooperate was the weather as the 14 races were contested over a sloppy race track and through intermittent night-long rain showers.
Highlight of the initial 2020 program was a $30,000 Mares Open which produced a major upset when 40-1 Elysium Seelster (Josh Sutton) wore down Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) in the final strides of the 1:55.1 mile.  Sutton got the winner away fourth from a two-hole start through the opening :26.4 panel, got shuffled to fifth at the :55 halfway juncture, then moved into second-over position on the outside before reaching the three quarter station in 1:24.1.  When the favored pacesetter, My Tweed Heart (Brett Miller), began to shorten her stride around the final bend, Elysium Seelster was perfectly placed to battle stride-for-stride with first-over Knockout Queen all the way through the stretch.
Mitchell Standardbreds Inc., Neil Goldstein and Terrance Smith plucked Elysium Seelster from an optional claiming race at Scioto Downs in August for $36,250 and entrusted the 5-year-old mare’s future to trainer Zach Tackett.  The daughter of Bettor’s Delight now sports $181,964 in career earnings including 11 victories.  She paid $82.80 in her first triumph in open company. (Miami Valley)
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