CHESTER PA – When the entries came out for Friday’s $16,200 fast-class trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Baldaquin faced having to overcome the outside in the field of seven.
When the program came out, the field was down to five due to two scratches.
When the field came out on the track, there were only four, as another horse had been withdrawn.
When the high-class horses came out of the first turn, one made a break, basically leaving a field of three.
That was much better news for the late-charging Baldaquin, who summoned enough rally in the stretch to notch the victory in 1:56 over a “good” track. The gelded son of Explosive Matter took the measure of Focus Pocus, who had rallied from the pocket to the lead nearing the stretch, by three-quarters of a length, with favored Yanks Dugout settling for third as the favorite despite setting the pace to his liking. But Friday fortune favored Baldaquin, who has 14 wins in 39 starts and earnings of $165,133 for trainer Louise Pepin, also co-owner with Steven Bryden.
Champagne Hanover was forced to travel the difficult first-over route in the $14,400 co-featured trot, but after taking the lead around the far turn he found enough to hold off the horse on his back, Racer Dan, by a neck at the end of a 1:57.3 mile. The Bar Hopping sophomore filly proved gritty in victory for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Annie Stoebe, and owners R. Lynn and Philomena Curry.
Troy Beyer had four driving wins on the afternoon; George Napolitano Jr. had three.
Racing resumes on Sunday at 12:40, with “hot horse” Pat McGarry A assigned the outside in a field of six contesting a $22,500 fast-class handicap pace. The final two weeks of the 2022 campaign at Philadelphia will find live racing on Friday and Saturday – both Fridays will begin at 12:25, with Saturday the 24th having a noon post time and the last card of the year on the 31st starting at 2:30. Program pages for all Philly cards are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.