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Royal Witch, Absolut Seelster Retired

Published: April 22, 2020 10:53 am ET

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Trot Insider has been informed that a pair of trotting mares that are well known to followers of the Ontario racing scene have been retired and will be bred to Alarm Detector.

The mares in question, Royal Witch (5,1:51s [$345,803]) and Absolut Seelster (6,1:54.4f [$328,516]), are owned by Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St Catharines, Ont., who are also co-owners of Alarm Detector. The Rankins are hoping that the speed and pedigree of Royal Witch, and the consistency and grit of Absolut Seelster will provide Alarm Detector two perfect suitors to carry his offspring.

Both six years old, and with combined earning just shy of three-quarters of a million dollars, the two mares have more than earned their retirement at the Rankin farm. There, they are joining other notable broodmares such as World Class Image (3,1:55.2s [$300,756]), a Balanced Image mare who recently gave birth to the first Alarm Detector foal: a long-legged light bay colt with long ears just like his two brothers, R First Class (a Kadabra gelding with a lifetime mark of 1:53:1, earnings of $442,795, and winner of the three-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final in 2017) and R Raised Emotions (who is also a son of Kadabra, that banked $121,934 in purses and took a lifetime mark of 1:52:3). In breeding both Royal Witch and Absolut Seelster to Alarm Detector, the Rankin family is continuing to provide their stallion the best mares they can.


Royal Witch, pictured victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Royal Witch, who was a $100,000 purchase from Harrisburg, is a Kadabra mare out of the Self Possessed dam Royal Tennis, who is a half-sister to Credit Winner. Royal Witch is the fastest resident mare in Ontario today. Having taken her lifetime mark of 1:51 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the summer of 2019, Royal Witch not only trotted the fourth fastest Canadian mile for the year 2019 regardless of sex, but the third fastest for trotting mares. In doing so, Royal Witch entered a coveted group of only 15 top trotting mares to have recorded a mile in 1:51 or faster in North America. Trotting in the ‘:51 range’ twice more that summer, she performed consistently in the :52 range throughout her career in top condition classes, the Ontario Sires Stakes program, and several Grand Circuit Events (Armbro Flight, Allerage, Miss Versatility, Breeders Crown, etc.).


Absolut Seelster, pictured victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Royal Witch’s stablemate, Absolut Seelster, on the other hand, is a staple of the Preferred 2s and 3s in Ontario. She won an impressive total of 34 races, and took a lifetime mark of 1:54:4 at Georgian Downs in the summer of 2019. Whereas Royal Witch represents speed and pedigree for Alarm Detector, Absolut Seelster represents grit and consistency. Having earned almost as much as her stablemate, Absolut Seelster earned it the hard way, as she demonstrated her tenacity in all of her 136 starts. It is this spirit that the Rankins hope she passes down to her offspring.

One thing that Alarm Detector surely showed throughout his racing career was that he possessed raw speed, which is something that his trainer, Ben Baillargeon, is well aware of. Along with the Rankins, Baillargeon is hoping to see that speed passed down to Alarm Detector’s offspring. The speed was surely on display when Alarm Detector won six out of his seven freshman starts, which included a Canadian record 1:52.4 mile in the William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The Rankins are excited, and understandably so, given Alarm Detector’s pedigree. He’s the only son of Chapter Seven standing in Ontario, and is out of a Yankee Glide dam who is a full sister to both Ken Warkentin and Holiday Road.

(With files from Jeff Baillargeon)


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