FAST-CLASS PACERS HIGHLIGHTED ON "HYBRID" FRIDAY CARD; NO RACING THIS EASTER SUNDAY
With Harrah's Philadelphia dark for racing this Sunday, Easter Sunday (April 16), the Friday card has become sort of a hybrid card between the races used usually on Friday and Sunday, with more males than usual in action on Friday. Today's feature is the seventh race, with a full field of nine pacers going after a purse of $15,000, and on paper it looks like the horses on the lefthand side of the starting gate will draw the most attention. There are also two $13,000 races for the fast-class pacers in slots five and nine, and two $11,500 pacing events for fillies and mares -- with the ninth figuring to be the more exciting of those two contests.
2nd race: MISSSOMEBEACH BLUE made a break while readjusting to northern climes after racing at Pompano. She was racing against tough horses in Florida, and showed at the end of last year that this type is within her reach. Also of note is that driver Brett Miller picked this one to drive over the program favorite; may be worth a chance in here.
4th race: We'll again play "follow the one the driver picks" in this race in selecting HONOR AND OBEY, who drew Andrew McCarthy's interest over program choice CIRCLE THE PAGE, who did make breaks in her last two. HONOR AND OBEY changes to Team Baggitt for her 2017 bow, and she came home in 57.1 - 28.3 in her qualifier -- might be ready.
7th race: BETTOR MEMORIES tucked last time, then backed out on the far turn and had to swing three-wide, still missing only two lengths while coming his last quarter in 27.2. He gets another drop in class today, and starts from the rail; we wish he showed a win this year, but he had eight last year, and may be able to get off the 2017 "schneid" now.
11th race: ROCKINONBY gets the innermost post while facing the easiest field he's seen in quite a while. He was used in 26.1 to gain the lead vs. better last time and paid the price in the last quarter; we don't think that he'll be zizzled like that in here. There are many good lines at Dover, against good horses, that also recommend him; we give him the nod.
WATCH OUT FOR: We took a look at the driving and training statistics from some area tracks to see if we could learn & share anything that may be translatable to having success at Harrah's … FREEHOLD: Nick Surick is winning with an amazing 40% of his starters, while two Millers, Andy and Brett, are winning one race in every three starts for them there … MEADOWLANDS: Brett Miller is also at 24% wins in north Jersey as he and Jim Marohn Jr. battle for the lead in driving wins; trainers Mike Watson and Jack Franklin are having good campaigns at M(1) ... POCONO: The usual leaders are in place there; trainer Andrew Harris is also high-up.