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Erle Dale N Wins Woodbine Preferred

Published: January 2, 2016 8:48 pm ET

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Sent postward at odds of 10-1, Erle Dale N came through between horses down the stretch off a ground-saving trip to win Woodbine Racetrack's first $34,000 Preferred Pace of the New Year on Saturday, Jan. 2.

Erle Dale N defeated Nirvana Seelster by a head in 1:52.2 in the featured second race for 2015 O'Brien Award Driver of the Year finalist Randy Waples and Future Star nominee Ron Adams. The victory was the gelding's first at the Preferred level and third in five Woodbine starts since being purchased for $35,000 by David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont. and 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, Ont.

Nirvana Seelster and Thunder Steeler left together from the outside posts while insider Erle Dale N followed in third. Thunder Steeler forged on to take the lead into the :26.4 first quarter and opened up three lengths on top. He continued to front the six-horse field through middle splits of :55.3 and 1:23.3 before his rivals launched their attacks. Rise Up Now, the 6-5 favourite, tipped first over from fourth at the third quarter mark while pocket-sitter Nirvana Seelster closed inside to take over command as Thunder Steeler came off the pylons down the stretch. However, Waples also found room with Erle Dale N inside of Thunder Steeler and he defeated Nirvana Seelster at the wire for the $22.70 upset. Thunder Steeler held off Rise Up Now for third.

An eight-year-old Western Terror gelding, Erle Dale N now has 31 career wins and earnings over $330,000.

After Woodbine's first winners of the New Year, the Cody Henry-trained pacing mare Donttellruss and driver Doug McNair, had their picture taken in the winner's circle, a special presentation was made to WEG's leading horsemen of 2015. Driver Sylvain Filion (360 wins) and trainer Richard Moreau (149 wins) were honoured and each received a photo memento of their season highlights.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.

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