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Reid Reflects On Kendall Seelster

Published: January 18, 2018 11:41 am ET

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After trading blows with Percy Bluechip throughout the 2017 harness racing season, Kendall Seelster is once again matched up with her divisional rival as a finalist in the Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer division of the O'Brien Awards. The Paul Reid-trained Shadow Play filly remained a force on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit and stepped up to tackle and defeat Grand Circuit rivals.

"Obviously we were very lucky to get her for one thing," Reid told Trot Insider "These were new owners that we just got, so to have that kind of success the first year for them was really good, and to have a filly that's just so easy to get along with and will give 100 per cent each start...that's the dream job.”

Kendall Seelster compiled $453,985 in earnings through her 11-start freshman campaign for owner 1187422 Ontario Inc, winning three in stakes company. Two of those victories -- a $169,381 division of the Champlain Stakes and a $94,800 OSS Gold -- came against the aforementioned Percy Bluechip. For Reid, Kendall Seelster’s first victory against Percy Bluechip was the most memorable moment of the year.

"She had gone some good trips, but just didn't quite get there. That was the highlight of the season, but she raced so good there was barely a bad start."

Prior to, Kendall Seelster had finished second to Percy Bluechip in two OSS Gold divisions and a $192,333 division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes. Following the Eternal Camnation, Kendall Seelster outperformed her rival, finishing second in the $500,000 Shes A Great Lady final as the favourite to Dan Patch-winner Youaremycandygirl, but capped the season with a third-place finish to Percy Bluechip as the odds-on choice in the $225,000 OSS Super Final.

"You think going into that kind of season that you have an opportunity [to be nominated], but knowing how well Dr. Moore's filly raced, I always figured we were second anyway, but it is still nice to be nominated.”

Reid attributes some of Kendall Seelster’s success to regular driver Randy Waples.

"He put her in a good spot every time, I don't think we could've gotten as many good drives from anybody like we did from him," stated Reid. "He didn't abuse her and that seemed to pay off. There were a couple of times I'd liked for her to get out a little sooner, but when racing against Percy [Bluechip], sometimes you didn't really want out."

Kendall Seelster is the first O’Brien Award nomination for trainer Paul Reid, currently stabled in Florida for the winter. Managing and breaking a total of about 60 horses, Reid’s hands are full in preparation for the 2018 season.

"Having the opportunity to get there and [celebrate] would definitely be a thrill for me and my wife, but taking into factor the time and the weather, I don't know if it's realistically possible, but we're trying to figure it out."

Tickets for the 2017 O'Brien Awards are now on sale and can be purchased by contacting the Industry Marketing Department at 905-858-3060.

Follow the latest updates on the O’Brien Awards on Standardbred Canada’s Facebook Event page and on the SC website.

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