TWO DIVISIONS OF "NW 5 RACES" CLASS, HIGH-LEVEL CLAIMERS OPEN THE LOCAL PHILLY WEEK
A trio of events carrying purses of $16,000 are the headliners as Harrah's Philadelphia starts another week of racing following the Easter holiday. Two of the features are for the developing horses in the "nw 5" class, with one on each gait: the fifth race trotters are topped by SHOEMAKER HANOVER, impressive in his Philly debut, while the twelfth race pace will host the 2017 debut of MAC'S JACKPOT, a good stakes horse at two for trainer Jim Campbell. The seventh race claiming handicap pace sees MUSCLE BEACHBOY looking to rebound off a claim after having a seven-race win streak broken last time out at Pocono -- he'll start from the rail.
4th race: That was a pretty good closing effort by CHINA KING last time, and it was in his first start "over east" since coming in from Cal Expo. The veteran was facing quite a bit better horses than these out on the Left Coast, and today he may be well-placed off of cover to make the winning rally. (EIGHTEEN drops again, but hasn't finished well.)
8th race: Q'S CRUISE didn't even come off the rail until the 3/4 last time as the two favorites got away with slow fractions, and despite looking still a mite green, he displayed a frightening stretch surge (27.2 own last quarter) to just miss 3/4 of a length. Hasn't shown early speed yet, still learning -- but A TON of potential in this one -- can go by here.
9th race: JUST A BERLANDER came home in 55.4 last time to be a going-away winner for this tag last time out, and has done well in all of his starts since a recent freshening. Another who seems to have a good chance to be sailing past the entire field late. (Gimmick players shouldn't overlook SPAGHETTI EDDIE, even though he has post eight.)
11th race: We're going to be stubborn and give one more chance to SUPERIOR LAKE against this maiden trotting crew. We picked him in his last start because of the energy showed in his first-over move during his first start of 2017; last time he got the pocket, but then was stuck behind a tiring pacesetter, yet still rallied back for fourth. May upset.
WATCH OUT FOR: David Miller roared his way into a tie with Tim Tetrick atop the Harrah's Philadelphia drivers standings after winning ten races this past week, despite their being only three cards of racing, including a five-win day on Thursday. His driving record for the week was 37-10-9-5, for a UDR of .450. Miller, a member of the sport's Hall of Fame, currently stands third among active drivers in career wins, behind Dave Palone and Tony Morgan, and he sits second in career money won, and is scheduled to take over the top this summer when leader John Campbell retires. What a resume! -- and you can sometimes still get a price on him!