Vena Discusses Sakic Seelster Passing

Published: December 16, 2010 03:51 pm EST

Owner Santo Vena of Brampton, Ont. told Trot Insider that Sakic Seelster, one of Canada's top older trotters, had to be euthanized today after having

seriously re-injured a coffin bone which was recently broken.

"When I got the call today I was really in shock," Vena said.

Santo, who co-owns the Eager Seelster gelding with his brother, Nunzio Vena, of Bolton, Ont., told Trot Insider that Sakic Seelster had initially suffered the broken bone during his last race, a November 11 tilt at Woodbine Racetrack in which he finished second by a nose in 1:55.3.

"He had surgery the next morning in Guelph," Santo explained. "They operated on him and put in steel plates. He was there three weeks."

After the surgery, Santo was told that Sakic Seelster's racing career was probably over. A special stall had been prepared at the farm of trainer Ben Baillargeon for the six-year-old to be on strict stall rest. If his racing career was to be over even after the rehabilitation, the gelding was going to live out his years at Baillargeon's farm.

"Something happened," Santo said. "They think that he may have stepped on his foot, but it cracked worse."

From 66 career starts, Sakic Seelster raced to an impressive slate of 19 wins, four second-place finishes and four thirds, good for $369,205 in purses. His mark of 1:52.1 was taken during a solid five-year-old campaign in which he compiled a record of 10-1-1 from 24 starts.

Previously trained by John Dorion and Wayne Henry, Sakic Seelster found much success in the Baillargeon barn, from which he stepped some big miles in the nation's top class.

Santo told Trot Insider that the love people had for Sakic Seelster was not just due to the cheques he earned and the prestige he brought.

"His personality was something else," he said. "The way he went on in the paddock and the way he played with those closest to him was truly unique. A lot of people say it (horse ownership) is all about the money, but it wasn't about the money with him.

"There were a lot of people that really got attracted to this horse. My co-workers, family and friends really enjoyed Sakic, and the news we got today was really devastating."

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the connections of Sakic Seelster.



My condolences to those who loved and lived with and near Sakic seelster. I and my fiance had begun a tradition of watching the harness racing weekly, and viewed the lad Sakic many times and have since kept our eyes peeled for more action from him. I and David are saddened by the news. We are relatively new to the scene of harness racing, but a bit of info from the breeder of Putnam Mackenzie P,3 1:51 earnings of 200,000 plus this year, has helped fill us in of the sometimes difficult things that happen in the horse world.
I am saddened. How short life can be. I think of Tar Heel. Northern Dancer. Long years were they granted. Eight Belles still haunts our thoughts and memory. I still think of that filly and her fabulous run behind Big Brown that Derby Day..... sigh!

I'm very sorry to hear what happened to Sakic Seelster. My condolences go out to everyone who was involved with him.

Ken Middleton

In reply to by Ken Middleton

I have a routing/vested interest in Sakic since I have a mare(Sabrina Seelster) out of the same mare as he(Armbro Super). With a soon to be 2yr old filly(Cash Hall), and a soon to be yearling filly(Cash Hall), from that mare(Shes back in foal to Cash Hall) it is great to have a sibling in the family with a mark of 52.1. I remember about 2 winters ago he had won something like 5 opens in a row at Woodbine/Mohawk and I was patting myself on the back for keeping and breeding my mare instead of giving her away to some unknown fate. It may all turn out for naught but at least for now I can rest my hopes on his success and pray that the mares in the family are producers. My condolences go out to all involved with him and will miss watching him on the computer.

Yesterday my brother and I received the most devastating call an owner in this industry can face. A horse that gave our family and friends a lifetime of memories had to be put to rest. It’s truly unbelievable that in a sport that is so competitive amongst each other, how so many kind words were shared. We are so honored to be part of your thoughts and this sport we love. I don’t know if we can ever thank Prescilla enough for the hard work she put in, you were much more then just a caretaker to him. Nathalie and all the staff at Milton Equine Clinic, thank you for your efforts, Mario Baillargeon for being patient with him on the nights he needed it Ben and all your staff thank you for all your hard work before and during the injury. Your offer to have him retire at your farm was heartfelt from our families.

Thank you

my heart goes out to all involved with Sakic Seelster..i loved watching him race...and boy oh boy..when he was on, he was ON!!

This Truly is Shocking news. My thoughts go out to all the connections of Sakic Seelster, especially Prescilla Pichette and the Baillargeon Family!! may a Great horse rest in Peace Thank you for the excitement you gave to all the Racing fans. watching this horse race was like nothing else he truly did show a lot of heart and soul into his job!!

So sorry to hear of Sakic's passing, a class horse and so young to die. My condolences to the Baillargeon connection, Ben, Prescilla and the entire barn.

Sakic was a great horse. He will be missed. He deserved a long retirement. He was a great racehorse, he had a special personality, and he was a good friend.

Wish I could have said Goodbye.

Sara B.

sakic was an amazing horse in and out. I was his last caretaker and he was a dream horse to have. everyone will miss him so much. rest in peace my litle man, Ryan and I will be remembering you everyday baby...

In reply to by picket20

Priscilla thank you so much for making Sakics life great,He really loved you & trusted you -you are awesome,the care you gave this horse(especially the last month) is remarkable
Sarah-it really hit us all hard,thank you for helping out with him

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