CHESTER PA – The Deweycheatumnhowe mare Arabella’s Cadet equaled the 1:52 Harrah’s Philadelphia track record for older trotting mares established by Hannelore Hanover last year when she defeated the favorite Scirocco Rob in the $14,400 trotting feature on Thursday afternoon at the riverside oval.
The top two finishers had shown excellent form recently; Scirocco Rob may have been installed the chalk because he had been able to control the pace in recent victories. It looked like that scenario might play out again as Scirocco Rob set the early fractions of :27 and :56, with Arabella’s Cadet launching uncovered for the sixth straight time. But here driver Joe Bongiorno was able to get a giant backstretch burst (her own third split was :26.4) out of the mare that got her by the pacesetter to the 1:23.2 three-quarters, and though Scirocco Rob was rallying back inside in the lane, the “Cadet” withstood his comeback by a neck.
Joe and Jennifer Bongiorno would later win with the veteran Muscle Mass gelding Rubber Duck, now with $609,074 in lifetime earnings, in an $11,600 trot. Rubber Duck went to the lead in front of the stands and, despite making his first start in six months, was able to motor home in :56 to complete a 1:53.2 tally for owners Blair and Emma Corbeil.
In the $13,600 co-featured trot, Spee Club was able to control the throttle from the rail and go on to a nose victory over favored Grapple Hanover in 1:55.4, with Yankees Beast third and Lucky Mae Hanover fourth, both only a half-length behind the winner. Corey Callahan kept the son of Cantab Hall ahead in the tight fight to notch the triumph for owner/trainer Dawn Erin Neilson.
The meet’s leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., reported home first four times on the Thursday card.