CHESTER PA – Trainer Lucas Wallin had the Trixton mare Ab’sattitudexpress ready despite a layoff of 26 days, and the winner of $355,928 gave a game effort to win the $16,200 handicap trotting feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia Thursday in 1:52.3.
There was action aplenty throughout the race: Big Oil left to claim the early lead before the :27 quarter. He gave over command to the 7-5 favorite Scirocco Rob at the three-eighths after that one had not yet seen the inside, and the chalk in turn was soon challenged by the 9-5 second choice “Express,” who took over before the :55.3 half.
Driver Corey Callahan handled the winners of both $14,400 co-featured events. In the first, a stretch battle between Royson’s Punch, coming up the inside, and the closing favorite AP Hall Of Trix was settled when the chalk went offstride in midstretch, leaving Royson’s Punch four lengths clear of speedy pacesetter at the end of a 1:54.4 mile. The time was a new mark for the Chapter Seven sophomore colt, who is trained by Linda Toscano for the ownership of R-And-I Farms LLC and Camelot Stable Inc.
In the other, Callahan, who wound up with four winners on the card, moved the Bar Hopping gelding Robbie Pev first-over at the half, with the sophomore grinding to the lead nearing the stretch and then withstanding the second-over favorite Magic Cape by a head in 1:55.2. Jill Roland conditions the winner for owner Bernard O’Brien. (He, incidentally, was the only winner not on the rail at the half – a bad day to be two-wide in the heat.)
Besides their usual turn on Thursday, the trotters will again top the card at Harrah’s on Friday, with younger horses on the way up gathering in race five to go for $12,600. There will also be an $11,200 pace for the fast-class set in race eight. Program pages for the 12:25 card are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.