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'Thor' Wins Monte; Duck Honoured

Published: July 5, 2015 12:46 am ET

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Hanover Raceway hosted the Racing Under Saddle (RUS) program Saturday night and it was Natalie Elliott of Clinton, Ont. and Thor Seelster that came out on top.

Cool Creek Valley and veteran rider Marit Valstad took the early lead past the quarter in :29.4 and the half in 1:00.3 over the Pam Forgie-trained Thor Seelster, but Elliott showed patience and waited past the 1:31 three-quarter marker in 1:31 before she made her move and stormed into the lead down the lane, finishing the mile in 2:02.2.

Hanover Raceway's General Manager Gord Dougan said afterwards that was the fastest RUS race in Hanover’s three-year history of hosting the program, and might be the fastest mile for a RUS race on a half-mile track.

The night started off with a bang, when Jetta Flys, trained by Rachel Oenema of Burgessville, Ont. and driven by Tyler Borth, stormed off the gate hitting the quarter in :27.4, the half in :57.1 and the three-quarter pole in a blistering 1:24.4. The seven-year-old Rambaran gelding had a four length lead at the three-quarter pole and Borth went for all he could stretching the lead to nine and a half lengths in the end, finishing the mile in 1:54.2. That's just over a second slower than the track record of 1:53 set by Secret Weapon in 2011.

Afterwards, Borth said the classy veteran had some footwork done and felt really good after his last race at Sarnia on a sloppy track, where he finished in 2:01 on a track rated off by five seconds. Borth said he tried early to get a hold of the pacer, but he really wanted to let loose so he let him do so.

The win was the first for 19-year-old Oenema from just three training starts.

Other winners included Preppy Art for trainer, driver and owner Terry Fritz, who won the nightcap in 1:56.4. The three-year-old is unbeaten in all five of his Hanover starts this season.

Standardbred Canada presented its 2014 Ambassador of the Year award to Karen Duck of McGregor, Ont. Duck grew up in Port Elgin, Ont. and spent many a night at the Hanover Raceway growing up with her father and their stable of horses. Duck was recognized for her work behind the scenes in helping both the Racing Under Saddle program, and for her help in getting horse racing back in Leamington, Ont. Duck was presented the Ambassador award by Kathy Wade Vlaar and Jane Belore, both from Standardbred Canada.

Next Saturday is Ladies Night with special prizes from My Scissors And I and the Flower Shoppe and Greenhouse in Hanover. It's also Bring A Friend night, with special prizes for fans who bring a new face to the races next week. Both the newcomer and the regular fan will have a chance to win prizes courtesy of Standardbred Canada and Hanover Raceway.

Post time Saturday, July 11 is 7:15 p.m.

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

(With files from Hanover Raceway)

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