CHESTER PA – The Muscle Hill – Cooler Schooner two-year-old trotting gelding Real Cool Sam gave an amazing performance in his pari-mutuel debut at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, winning effortlessly in 1:56.
David Miller kept Real Cool Sam in third for much of the mile as Libero Hanover went away from the rail to post early numbers of :29.3 and :59, then pulled “Sam” out to challenge the leader before the 1:28 three-quarters. In a matter of strides Real Cool Sam went by the pacesetter, then kept rallying place horse Worthy Of Honor at bay by 4½ lengths with a :28 last quarter, with Miller not asking for anything extra.
The 1:56 clocking was obviously a race mark for Real Cool Sam, and it far eclipsed his 1:59.2 qualifying win time. The time was also not only a North American season’s record for his division, it was faster than any other freshman has trotted a 5/8-mile track this year, and it made him the fastest baby trotting gelding on any size oval. Finally, on June 27, Real Cool Sam came within a second of the world record of 1:55 for age, sex, and gait (Correctamundo 2009, Mississippi Storm 2017, White Tiger 2018).
Top purse contest of the day was an $18,000 event, in which Yannick Gingras played a waiting game with Elysium Lindy then rallied him up the inside for his third straight victory, this one in 1:54 The Cantab Hall gelding yielded the early lead to Zagster near the :27.3 quarter, and then Zagster gave the cold shoulder first to favored Thisguyisonfire, leaving him on the rim past the :55.4 half, and then to sweeping Cash For Gold, who had gotten to first-over position by the 1:24.3 three-quarters.
In the stretch Gingras had the best-placed fresh horse, and the pair won by 1¾ lengths. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $376,315 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Joseph Di Scalia Jr.