OAK GROVE, KY — Eternal Lee (Southwind Frank) withstood sustained pressure before drawing clear to a 1:58 win in the featured $24,000 Open Trot on Sunday’s (April 16) meet-opening harness racing program at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel.
Eternal Lee and trainer-driver Roger Cullipher Trainer-driver Roger Cullipher put Eternal Lee in play from post five immediately as the gates closed, and the 4-year-old mare wasted no time clearing the pole-sitting Stride The Hill to control a :28.1 first quarter.
After early outside challenger Just For Trix broke stride coming off the first turn, Eternal Lee found herself in the crosshairs of 3-5 public choice It’s A Herbie, who advanced uncovered after being caught three-wide for most of the first turn. It’s A Herbie maintained outside pressure on Eternal Lee through middle splits of :58.3 and 1:27.1 before fading off the home turn.
Eternal Lee, on the other hand, gained separation on her rivals after cornering for home, finishing four lengths clear at the winning post. Primed N Powerful (driven by Atlee Bender) hooked three-wide out of traffic at the eighth pole to edge the four-wide Luckey Stormin (Joey Putnam) and the ground-saving Jacked (Drew Neill) in a place photo.
Murray Ferguson owns and bred 10-time winner Eternal Lee, who paid $14.60 to win.
A pair of $20,000 paces for Kentucky-eligible 4-year-olds served as supporting events on the 10-race card.
Ainthesamewithoutu ($2.56, Tony Hall) sustained a first-over grind to wear down Kentukylady before holding off Galinaruckus by a half length in 1:55.3 in the distaff event, while Wolftrax ($3.14, Atlee Bender) employed similar tactics to nab Dancin Sancho by the same margin in 1:54 in the male pace.
Racing returns to Oak Grove on Monday (April 17); first post is 3 p.m. (CDT).
For complete race results, click here.