Core, Seelster team up for final

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

The passion to drive always burns bright.

But sometimes, drivers can turn their attention toward training.

Or buy a farm and raise their kids.

Become a vice-president of the Ontario Harness Horse Association.

In a sport where fastest time on the track wins, there are only so many hours in the day.

That's where Peter Core stands right now.

"I love to drive," the Sarnia horseman said, "but I have a lot going on right now, too. With the training and the farm, kids and the association, something has to give and these days, more and more it ends up being the driving."

It's a lot of juggling. For Core, the training and driving have always gone hand-in-hand.

This season, Core entered Camlachie's Donald and Heather McGregor-owned Mystical Seelster in the City of London Series at Western Fair Raceway. But this time, he turned over the reins to driver Chris Johnston for the qualifier.

"My son (Joshua) was graduating from Grade 8," Core said.

Last week, Seelster mystically stole the show by coming in as a 39-1 longshot to qualify for tomorrow night's $62,200 City of London Series fillies and mares pace final at Western Fair.

Core didn't earmark a couple of bucks for the last race. He hasn't yet talked to anyone who made a bundle off the horse.

"I've made a bet maybe once in the past 10 years," said Core.

Trainers and owners are never entirely shocked by wins like this. It's what they work for and hope ends up happening.

It was the three-year-old Mystical Seelster's second career victory. In this case, the trip was key -- a one minute, 59.4 second mile in which she pulled away by 2 1/2 lengths.

"The favourite broke early and she (Seelster) was able to get in the two-hole and showed us something she really hadn't this year," Core said. "You never know how it's going to go. There was another race, she was parked the whole time and couldn't make a move."

Core will be back in the bike tomorrow for the final.

"We drew (the six hole) and it didn't make sense to bring in Chris for that kind of draw," Core said. "He didn't have anything going on. If we had drawn better, it would've been Chris again driving but it didn't happen."

Mystical Seelster will be, once again, an underdog.

Core also brings Gallant Rooney, who he co-owns, trains and drives, to the $53,500 colts and gelding trot final tomorrow.

"He's a real trier," Core said. "That's the best way to describe him. He's not the biggest horse or the fastest, but he goes out and gives an honest effort every time.

"We put these horses in because we thought they had a chance to do something in races with very nice purses.

"Three years ago, I had three trotters qualify for the filly final and finished second, fourth and fifth but the horse that won was outstanding so we weren't going to win no matter what."

But the past two big-money Molson Paces and Mystical Seelster have proven one thing: anything can happen.

Post time is 7:05 p.m.


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