It's sounds like a simple job, right? Caretakers care for the horses. But a lot goes into making sure those horses are healthy and happy and well fed and performing at their peak. Catch up with an up-and-coming caretaker at Harrah's Philadelphia, where she talks you through an average workday and explains why, as the people who spend the most time with the horses, trainers and owners rely on them for so much.
It's a beautiful time of year to check out the racing excitement at Harrah's Philly, especially with its gorgeous riverfront setting. The sweltering heat of summer has finally given way to "sweater weather," and most of the time, that makes it awesome to enjoy the races outside on the Harrah's deck or patio. But, yep, things do sometimes get chilly this time of year. So here's Heather Vitale with some quick tips on enjoying everything Harrah's racetrack has to offer—indoors or outdoors.
The 2017 edition of the Betsy Ross Mares Pacing Invitational features a classy group of aged distaffers, as they vie for a $150,000 purse on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia.
The race features the first ever meeting between Diamond Creek Racing's Pure Country and dominant older mare Lady Shadow.
Veteran and well-liked horseman Ben Stafford Jr. being interviewed by Heather Vitale in 2010.
One of the most anticipated races of the afternoon on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia is the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for aged pacers. Stafford, a popular local horsemen who raced predominantly in Delaware and Harrah's Philly, passed away in July of 2016. He was 45 years old. Stafford won 693 races in his career as a driver, including Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund champion Badlands Jenna, Good Bet, Badlands Art, Mudslide and Scout Hanover.
Three millionaires, one soon-to-be millionaire, and a quartet of sharp upstarts comprise the 2017 Maxie Lee field for Aged Trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday, May 28th. It is one of three invitationals on the day's program, each going for a purse of $150,000.
Mother's Day is always huge at Harrah's Philadelphia, and this year was no exception. The combination of beautiful spring weather and the track's stunning waterfront location attracted families from all over the Philadelphia area and as far away as upstate New York, the Jersey Shore and Washington, D.C. And it seemed like every group had a different plan for their celebrations.
Many arrived early to enjoy the 11am brunch at the luxurious Cove Restaurant overlooking the track—and ended up staying for the races. "This is the first time we've been to horse races," said the patriarch of one extended clan from the Maryland/D.C. area. "We were just finishing up eating as the races started so instead of going home, we decided to move to the patio."
Others picked up pizzas, salads and sandwiches to go from the new Market fast casual eatery in the casino area. Also new is Guy Fieri's Philly Kitchen which you can enjoy two ways: grab some takeout and head to the patio, or enjoy a view of the track right from select tables inside the restaurant. The line for the trackside Philly Steak Shack was practically out the door, but patrons didn't seem to mind, as the line moved quickly despite the big turnout.
"My husband's parents drive up from Wildwood every year for Mother's Day and we spend it together at the track," said one woman who also enjoyed a ride in Harrah's famous Hummer H2 starting car. "In fact, we'll probably be back for Father's Day."
If you're also planning a trip to Harrah's to celebrate Dad on Sunday, June 18, post time is set for 12:40pm and here are links to more information, plus all of the mouth-watering dining options you can enjoy to make pop's special day as enjoyable as mom's.
Harrah's Dining Options
2017 Racing Schedule
-----------------------PA Harness Week