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National Debt Circles Preferred Foes

Published: February 13, 2018 8:47 pm ET

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Following a pair of runner-up efforts at the level, National Debt ($3.20) passed all six of his rivals and got back in the win column in Tuesday evening’s (Feb. 13) featured $11,500 Preferred 2 pacing event at The Raceway at Western Fair District.

Making his fourth start in London for new trainer Colin Johnson, the seven-year-old Allamerican Native entire dropped back to last from his assigned outside post, well off an early battle which transpired between Bank Shot Hanover (Alfie Carroll) and Sure Please (Ryan Holliday). Bank Shot Hanover pushed clear nearing the backstretch and controlled a :28 first quarter before facing a first-over challenge from Reel (J Harris) with just over a circuit to go.

National Debt, sitting third-over directly behind Reb The Raider (Natasha Day) through a :58.2 half mile, was forced to circle three-wide with three-eighths to go as his cover stalled. As soon as Robert Shepherd gave National Debt his cue, the former stakes contender found another gear, working up to join dueling leaders Reel and Bank Shot Hanover at a 1:27.4 three-quarter sectional. Bank Shot Hanover gave way to Reel midway on the far turn, but National Debt continued to close in steadily, taking the lead at head-stretch and drawing away to win by 4-3/4 lengths in 1:57.2. Reel held second over Goldstar Badlands (Scott Young), a late-rallying third.

Francois Morin owns 29-time winner National Debt, who has amassed two wins and two second-place finishes at The Raceway this season after campaigning primarily in Ottawa late in 2017.

In the sub-featured $8,900 Preferred 3 for pacing mares, Maxim Seelster ($5.20) sustained a first-over ascent and held off a late push from Pinky Tuscadero (Michael Horner) to win in 2:07.4 over a mile and a sixteenth. Bob McClure drove the five-year-old Big Jim mare for trainer Rene Bourassa and owners M & S Racing Stable, Inc.

The evening’s sixth race, also contested at a mile and a sixteenth, offered a Super Hi-5 carryover of over $5,700 and attracted $23,487 in new money. Second favourite N Expense ($9.40, Nick Steward) overcame a second-row start to eclipse odds-on favourite One Tough Nerd in 2:09.2 and spark a $4,979.95 dividend per dollar wagered on the 9-1-7-2-3 combination. One Tough Nerd was an engulfed fourth after an extended first-over ascent through the middle stages.

To view Tuesday’s harness racing results, click the following link: Tuesday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District.

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