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Field Set For Balanced Image Trot

Published: August 24, 2014 1:02 am ET

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Four divisions of two-year-old trotters hit the track to compete for a spot in the Balanced Image Trot on Saturday night at Hanover Raceway.

In the first elimination, a trio of breakers and some fancy stick-handling by driver Ryan Holliday got Platoon Seelster to the lead by the quarter-mile marker. The son of Federal Flex, who is trained by David Holliday, led from start to finish through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1 and 1:32.1, with the mile clocked in 2:01.1.

Race favourite Mandeville, who has three Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots wins on larger tracks, broke early and managed to fight his way back to second by the third quarter mile marker, but when Keith Oliver tried to overtake Platoon Seelster around the final turn, he went off stride again and lost his chances at a spot in the final. The Dave Boughton-driven Irish Scotch, owned by Paul Lindsey of Fergus, Ont., inherited second place after the miscue.

Platoon Seelster is owned by Ryan Holliday's wife Caroline and Dennis Hannath of Harriston, Ont. Hannath said Platoon Seelster was one of two yearlings they bought at the Forest City Sale, however, the other one had to be put down after it was injured following a tornado near Tottenham. Hannath said he’s extremely happy with Platoon Seelster's performance and he’s just happy to make it to the final.

The second elimination was won by filly Allies Gift, who took over after a :30-second opener and led through middle splits of 1:00.1 and 1:30.1 before crossing the wire in 2:00.4 for the Quebec ownership group of Ecuries Richelieu Inc., trainer Glenn Lalonde and driver Anthony Haughan. Pilgrims Joy and Bruce Richardson finished second.

The third elimination was won by Gee Okeeffe for Ohio owners Chris Beaver (trainer), Wilbur Lang (breeder) and driver Boughton, who qualified three horses for the final. Boughton said the filly, who leads her Ontario Sires Stakes class this year, was really easy to drive and had plenty of gas left in the tank. Gee Okeeffe carved out fractions of :29.3, 1:01 and 1:31.1 en route to the 2:01.1 victory. Another filly, Desis Dream, and Steve Byron finished second.

The final elimination was won by another Beaver trainee. Owned by Synerco Ventures of Toronto, Caulfield also led from start to finish with Boughton aboard. The fractions were :30, 1:02.1 and 1:33.2 and the mile was clocked in 2:02.4. Cheque The Magic and Holliday finished second.

The post position draw for the Saturday, Aug. 30 final was completed in front of the grandstand after race 10 and is listed below.

$70,600 Balanced Image Trot
1. Gee Okeefe
2. Caulfield
3. Allies Gift
4. Desis Dream
5. Cheque the Magic
6. Platoon Seelster
7. Pilgrims Joy
8. Irish Scotch

Hanover also played host to the Grey Bruce Spinal Cord Injury group. Spokesperson Merv Breadner of Owen Sound, Ont. said that thanks to Hanover Raceway they have been able to raise over $10,000 for people with spinal cord injuries in Grey and Bruce Counties over the past eight years. Breadner said the money is used to help people with spinal cord injuries get adjusted and purchase much needed equipment.

Racing resumes Saturday, August 30 with the Balanced Image final headlining the card. First race post time 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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