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Favourites Deliver In Series Finals

Published: February 21, 2015 10:28 pm ET

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Ontario-sired four-year-olds were the main attraction Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack in a pair of winter series finals.

The $44,600 Ontario Girls final for four-year-old pacing mares and the $45,000 Ontario Boys final for four-year-old male pacers were co-feature events on Saturday night’s 11-race card.

Artistic Fusion claimed her third series title winning the Ontario Girls final in 1:53.4.

A first-half battle saw a parked out Regally Ready (James MacDonald) finally clear to the front ahead of Performing Art (Trevor Henry). However, Jack Moiseyev wasted no time charging Bet Ya up from fourth to overtake Regally Ready at the midway mark in :55.

Meanwhile, 2-5 favourite Artistic Fusion and driver Sylvain Filion were shuffled back to fourth and made a first-over move on the way to the final turn. Artistic Fusion and Bet Ya battled past the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 to bring the field into the lane.

In the stretch, Artistic Fusion powered by Bet Ya and went on to win by a length and a half, with early trailer Jakardez (Kody Massey) a hard-closing second. Bet Ya settled for third.

A daughter of Artistic Fella, Artistic Fusion captured the first leg of the series, but then saw her four-race win streak snapped in the second leg by Bet Ya. The series finale victory improves her record to five wins from six starts in 2015.

Artistic Fusion is trained by Joe Agostino for owner Mike Foote and now has an Ontario Girls title to go along her Blizzard Series triumph a month ago and Autumn Series score from last November.

Artistic Fusion now has 11 career victories and earnings over $142,000.

She paid $2.90 to win.

All eyes were on 2-5 favourite Nirvana Seelster in the Ontario Boys final, as he went for the series sweep.

Driven by Phil Hudon, Nirvana Seelster sprinted out quickly to the front to grab his usual spot on the lead and he cruised along in control cutting out fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.4.

In the stretch, Nirvana Seelster continued to pace strong and was never in any danger of surrendering his lead. He posted a final quarter of :27.4 to score a length and a quarter victory in 1:52.3. Ideal Jet (Randy Waples) got up to finish second over Kindofabigdeal (Sylvain Filion).

A son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster is trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy. The four-year-old pacer swept the Ontario Boys series by winning each leg on the front-end.

Nirvana Seelster now has three wins from seven starts this year and 10 career victories overall. The winner’s share of the purse pushes his career bankroll over $155,000.

Nirvana Seelster returned $2.80 to win.

In order to be eligible to the Ontario Boys and Girls series, the Ontario-sired four-year-olds had to be non-winners of $100,000 lifetime or $50,000 in 2014 as of October 31, 2014.

Saturday's undercard included a pair of $34,000 Preferred events, which were won by trotter Fearless Man and pacer Ultimate Beachboy.

Fearless Man, a winner in his first start of the year on Jan. 12, outsprinted 4-5 favourite and eventual breaker Exemplar (Sylvain Filion) off the gate and pulled off a 10-1 upset as he trotted wire-to-wire in 1:54 flat for trainer/driver Rick Zeron and co-owners Noblock Racing Stable, Murray Greenfield and Cool Cat Racing Inc.

The five-year-old son of Elegant Man paid $23 to win. Northern Victory (James MacDonald) and Burnin Money (Jonathan Drury) came on from the backfield to finish over four lengths behind in second and third.

After being parked out, mostly three-wide, through a wild first-half speed duel, Ultimate Beachboy and driver James MacDonald finally cleared to command down the backstretch and held off the late-closing 7-5 favourite, Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry), by three-quarters of a length for the 1:52 triumph. Camaes Fellow (Jonathan Drury) finished third after leading to the half in :54-seconds.

Sent postward as the 9-5 second choice, the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding was making his Canadian debut from the David Menary stable for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable LLC and Jack B. Piatt III. He paid $5.70 to win.

The Jackpot Hi 5 carryover climbed to $388,885.60 for Monday night's harness racing card, which gets underway at 7:25 p.m.

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

(With files from WEG)

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