Plainville, MA — After being narrowly defeated in the preliminary round, Avery Seelster bounced back with a statement victory in the $20,000 Freedom Trail Series final for pacing mares at Plainridge Park on a rainy Thursday afternoon (July 23).
Trainer-driver John Nason got Avery Seelster away fourth from the pylons and stood pat until just past the :26.4 quarter, where he pulled first-over and marched towards the front-running Go Sandy Go (Nick Graffam).
Avery Seelster hung third in the breeze until midway up the backstretch, when the mare switched gears, advanced to the front and opened up a four-length advantage. From there, Nason just kept her interested and she cruised home in 1:53 over the off track, equaling her lifetime mark.
Avery Seelster ($7.40) is owned by Katharine Nason.
In the weekly $14,000 winners-over pacing feature, Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) went right for the lead and never looked back en route to a convincing victory. After controlling quarters of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:23.2, Paternity Suit A put separation between himself and the field while opening up an eight-length gap as he motored home to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1 in the slop.
It was the second straight win in two North American starts for Paternity Suit A ($3.80), who is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. Scott Rollins trains the winner.
The Massachusetts-bred Ry’s Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) won the fourth race in 1:52.2 and broke the track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies set by Apple Bottom Jeans (1:52.3) in 2016. It was also a new lifetime mark for Ry’s Red Rocket ($4.60), who will compete later this year in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge. Gretchen Athearn trains the winner for owner Linwood Higgins.
Drew Monti, Matty Athearn and Bruce Ranger all had two winners on the card Thursday.
Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 24) at 4 p.m. On Sunday (July 26), the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Pace will be held at Plainridge with a 2 p.m. post.