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De Valeria Wins Georgian Preferred

Published: July 24, 2016 2:56 am ET

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De Valeria avoided the early duel up front and then blew by in the stretch to win the featured $10,000 Preferred 2 Handicap for pacing fillies and mares on Saturday night (July 23) at Georgian Downs.

The race began with a four-across battle for the lead off the gate while De Valeria and driver Aaron Byron secured their position along the pylons in behind the early leavers. Katies Beach worked to clear insider Dazzle N Delight as they raced past the :27.4 first quarter mark. Meanwhile, Duncs Diamond moved back out three-wide in the straightaway before Katies Beach could clear with 8-5 favourite Palm Patrol left parked out from the early tussle. Just as Katies Beach touched down on the lead, Duncs Diamond swept by in front of the grandstand.

As Duncs Diamond headed to towards the half in :56, De Valeria caught the cover of Palm Patrol and went wide down the backstretch to take over second-place by the 1:24.4 third quarter mark. She then confronted Duncs Diamond in the final turn before drawing clear into the stretch. Sprinting home in :28.1, De Valeria extended her lead to two and three-quarter lengths before hitting the wire in 1:53.2. Duncs Diamond finished second and Katies Beach was third.

De Valeria was moving up from the Preferred 3 class in which she finished second by a neck in her last start on July 13 at Grand River Raceway. She paid $19.60 for the 8-1 upset in Georgian's top distaff event. The win was her third in 25 starts this year and first since shipping to Canada in May. Mark Winacott trains the five-year-old Little Steven mare for owner Carrielyn Shelswell and Paul Kelly.

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

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