CHESTER PA – The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Random Hanover, who paid $49.20 rallying for the win upon coming in from Dover in his last start, stepped up in class in the $16,200 featured fast-class pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia Friday, but another strong late burst enabled him to lower his mark to 1:51 – and return $52.60 to his scattered backers.
8-5 co-favorites Lyons Steel, from the rail, and Groovy Joe, from post four, had a long argument before the latter took the top nearing a :26.1 quarter; when Lyons Steel moved to soon regain command, their drivers discussed racing tactics before Lyons Steel got back the top before a :55 half. Shake That House, sitting just off these fireworks, blasted out first-over and got the lead at the 1:22 three-quarters, with Gumption, Random Hanover, and eventually Groovy Joe joining in the wide action.
Longshots were the order of the day at Philly, as Fast Gun ($81.40) and Caffeine Buzz ($62.80) also provided a bonanza for their win backers. Friday was the first day since August 7, 2019 that Philly saw three winners pay more than $50, and with Caffeine Beach immediately following Random Hanover, a consecutive race bomber pair was posted for the first time since August 21, 2020.
In the $13,000 fast-class subfeature, the Courage Under Fire gelding Benhope Rulez N rushed away quickly, controlled the throttle, but still was extended by pocketsitting Mad Man Hill before winning by a neck in 1:52.2. Benhope Rulez N, who was driven by Andrew McCarthy (top driver on the day with five victories), is now two-for-two over the local oval while raising his winnings to $328,349. He’s sponsored by trainer Darran Cassar and owners Windemere Stable LLC.
In a $14,400 subclass for developing pacers, the Sweet Lou gelding Whole Lotta Lou brushed to the lead in front of the stands, then gave his 2-5 backers an anxious couple of moments late before withstanding the inside thrust of 16-1 shot Lincoln Boulevard by a nose in 1:53. Todd McCarthy drove the winner for trainer Stacey Chiodo and Timothy Tobias Stable LLC.
Harrah’s Philadelphia will be dark on Sunday in observance of Easter, with the next live card set for this coming Thursday, when Robbie Pev will be looking to run his seasonal record to three wins in four starts as he headlines the $15,300 featured trotting class. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.