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‘Godiva’ Stung, But Streak Still Intact

Published: October 14, 2015 11:57 am ET

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Just A Bee, strategically handled by Mike Micallef, got a bit of revenge on arch-rival Godiva Seelster on Tuesday night (October 13) at Pompano Park, as she eked out a narrow 1:52.3 victory after an epic battle in the Open Pace for mares.

The seven-year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood had started from Post 6, which was one slot inside of Godiva Seelster (who was driven by Wally Hennessey). Just A Bee used her slight post advantage and took over control of the proceeds just past the 27-second opening quarter. Meanwhile, Godiva Seelster, normally on the engine early, was forced to take back and settle in fifth.

After a :56.2 opening half, ‘Godiva’ rolled up on the outside and, very quickly, an epic battle developed with Just A Bee and Godiva Seelster slugging it out the final three-eighths of the mile.

The two were, literally, trading noses on the lead from the far turn to the wire. Just A Bee was first to the wire in what was a photo finish.

Winbak Heavenly (Aaron Byron) finished third.

"Now that was something,” Micallef said afterward. “Two great mares going at it tooth and nail like that. You know what? The difference in that race was probably determined three days before that when we were assigned one spot inside of Wally's mare. When they are that close in talent, an early advantage can go a long way. Yes, I had to use her pretty hard early to gain that advantage...but my mare is a brave one...out in :56.2 and home in :56.1."

The victory marked Just A Bee’s 13th win of the 2015 campaign. The mare is owned by Anita Micallef, John McGoff and Greg Heath. Just A Bee ($3.60) now has $111,160 in seasonal purse earnings.

Godiva Seelster, certainly not disgraced in defeat, earned a purse cheque for the 68th consecutive time.

(With files from Pompano)

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