CHESTER PA – The evergreen 11-year-old JL Cruze bumped his lifetime earnings to $1,727,092 with his 49th career victory, a 1:52 victory in the $16,200 featured fast-class trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon.
The meet’s leading driver, Tim Tetrick, won the eighth race feature with the Crazed gelding for his third win of the day in his last start before heading to stakes action in North New Jersey. Tetrick pulled the pocket at the :27.2 quarter to step around Rock Of Cashel, and those two maintained the front pair of positions through midsplits of :56 and 1:24 and on to the wire, with the veteran winner three lengths clear at the end for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, William Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta.
The royally-bred (Muscle Hill – Bee A Magician) Bee Forever has won his way out of the $15,300 “nw 8 races” class, keeping his 2022 record unblemished after five starts while lowering his lifetime mark to 1:53.2. At 2-5 the four-year-old gelding may have given his backers a bit of a jolt when he got a slow start and was eight or so lengths behind just past the eighth, but driver Dexter Dunn let him find his rhythm, and Bee Forever trotted his own last three-quarters in 1:25.1, most of it two- and three-wide, as he drew clear late, still not the smoothest of trotters but certainly a talented one.
Trainer Nifty Norman has done a fine job getting this one to consistently show his huge capacity for owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David Mc Duffee, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a higher level of foes.
The schedule at Harrah’s Philadelphia for the remainder of this racing week is Friday at 12:25 and Sunday at 12:40. Program pages are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.