Sizzlen Hot Herbie ($12.10) endured a sustained uncovered push and duelled down even-money favourite Absolut Seelster to take Wednesday's (March 11) co-featured $11,500 Preferred 2 Handicap Trot at The Raceway at the Western Fair District.
Natasha Day, who also owns and trains Sizzlen Hot Herbie, moved the six-year-old Here Comes Herbie gelding out from third to engage Absolut Seelster (Scott Young) on approach to a :59.4 initial half mile. Up the backstretch, Sizzlen Hot Herbie cranked up the pressure on Absolut Seelster, forcing a :28.3 third quarter before striking the front just off the home turn.
Despite reaching the lead in upper stretch, Sizzlen Hot Herbie faced inside resistance from Absolut Seelster all the way to the winning post. Sizzlen Hot Herbie nosed out his inside rival in 1:59, while Power And Grace (Brett MacDonald) lifted from astern to finish a close third.
In the $10,500 Preferred 2 Handicap for distaff pacers, Casimir Swamp Girl ($5.50) also won from off the pace, vaulting off cover to nab Catch An Ace in 1:57.3.
Colin Kelly set the four-year-old Up The Credit mare in motion nearing the completion of the first circuit, stalking the live cover of Top Royal (Tyler Borth) to encroach on pacesetter Catch An Ace (J Harris) after a :57.3 half. Casimir Swamp Girl circled three-wide on approach to the final turn, passed her cover, and collared Catch An Ace by a half length for owner William Pendleton and trainer Kyle Bossence. Catch An Ace held second over Top Royal, who levelled off but did not regress.
The sub-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 Trot saw Ionia ($4.80) and Marc St. Louis Jr. live up to favoured billing with a pillar-to-post, 2:00.3 win over Play By Swan. The six-year-old daughter of Majestic Son parried a last-quarter challenge from her pocket rival to win by three-quarters of a length. Caulfield rallied off third-over cover to finish third, another 2-1/4 lengths back.
To view Wednesday's complete results, click the following link: Wednesday Results - The Raceway at the Western Fair District.