CHESTER PA – With the whole harness world watching Thursday afternoon, Harrah’s Philadelphia conducted its usual “Trottin’ Thursday” cad with a deluxe twist – all fourteen races were for horses on the diagonal gait.
In the first of two $12,800 feature races, the Sebastian K sophomore filly Heat Wave Hanover brushed to the lead under the finish wire the first time and held the advantage to the end of the 1:56.2 mile for the driver/trainer brother/sister team of Joe and Jennifer Bongiorno. First-over Hunting As was three-quarters of a length behind the winner, who has now taken three of her last five starts for Robert Weinstein.
Gingras was also behind the Yankee Glide gelding Max, who raced on the lead most of the way en route to a 1:55.1 victory in the $11,600 top fast-class feature for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Frank Baldachino. The victory also clinched the 2020 training win title for Ron Burke, five ahead after battling defending champion Gilbert Garcia-Owen throughout the last part of the season. It was Burke’s ninth local title, and also marks the first time he posted a “Pennsylvania sweep” – sending out the most successful horses at The Meadows, Pocono, and now Philly.
Sunday’s closing-day card of the 2020 season will feature a mandatory distribution of the Jackpot Hi-5 pool, which will carry $17,000+ in “free money” that will have to be divided among successful bettors.