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Rival Seelster Wins Balanced Image

Published: September 1, 2013 12:16 am ET

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The 2013 final of the Balanced Image Trot featured eight evenly matched two-year-olds and a mix of colts and fillies. Fittingly, a grandson of the great Balanced Image ended up the champion.

Owned by Natasha House and trained and driven by husband Lorne, Rival Seelster had the favourable rail starting position but Lorne said he "eased him off the start because he figured it would be a speed battle into the first turn and there could be some breakers."

That’s exactly what happened, as Wings Of Ballykeel, Jayport Princess, and Warrawee Promesse all went off-stride about one-eighth into the mile taking themselves out of serious contention.

House then inherited the lead by the quarter pole and maintained it through quarters of :29.3, 1:00, 1:29 and held off all challenges down the lane winning in a track-record tying 2:00.1, equalling the mark of Strike The Cheque and Keystone Orion from 2011.

Post-time favourite Crowningcrest (Trevor Ritchie) was second, while Ehrnrooth (Riina Rekila) finished third.

Afterwards, Natasha House ran to the Hanover Raceway winner's circle crying all the way, and Lorne said it was Natasha who found Rival Seelster, so it was a very special win for the entire family.

Glengate Farm Manager Doug Nash was on hand to help with the trophy presentation and picked Rival Seelster in the pre-race interview despite his 11-1 odds.

The 11-race card also included a Preferred Pace, which was also won by House with Kendal Gustav in 1:55 for trainer Scott McNiven, who co-owns with Thomas Broadhurst and Shirley Griffin.

House said although he enjoyed all three of his victories at Hanover, it was the Balanced Image final that was most special.

To view results from Saturday's card of harness racing at Hanover, click the following link: Saturday Results - Hanover Raceway.

The Ontario Sires Stakes are back at Hanover on Saturday, September 7, as two-year-old filly trotters will hit the track. Fans in attendance will be able to enter a draw for dinner for four at the OSS Super Finals in September, and Hanover Rona staff will be on-hand to draw for a $2,500 home renovation prize from ballot entries that have been collected all season long.

(with files from Hanover)

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