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and Elizabeth Rankin's Absolut Seelster ($10.50) was the beneficiary of a crafty Colin Kelly drive en route to victory over the boys in Wednesday's (Feb. 20) $11,500 Preferred 2 Handicap Trot at The Raceway at Western Fair District.

The six-year-old Angus Hall mare left strongly from post 5 and held her ground on the first turn after being headed briefly by 3-5 favourite Willyorwonthe (Alfie Carroll), who left from his assigned post 6. After seating Willyorwonthe in the pocket, Absolut Seelster controlled fractions of :29.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30 before facing a mild first-over challenge from Sicario (Travis Henry).

With Sicario just a length away at the apex of the final turn, Kelly held off on asking Absolut Seelster for another gear as to keep Willyorwonthe boxed in until the sixteenth pole. Only able to shake free in mid-stretch, the favourite came up 1-1/2 lengths short of Absolut Seelster's 2:00.2 mile over fast going. Sicario finished third after flattening off the home turn.

The win was Absolut Seelster's second of the year for trainer Benoit Baillargeon, and the 23rd of her career.