CHESTER PA – Streaking classriser Bella Ava held off a late bid from favored classdropper Winnerup to take a new mark of 1:53.2 in the $13,600 trotting feature on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Dexter Dunn made two moves to control the pace with the daughter of Cantab Hall, opened up ground on the second-over Winnerup down the backstretch and around the far turn, then stayed strong while trotting her last half in :56.1 to defeat her main rival by 1½ lengths. It was the fourth straight victory, stepping up every time, for Bella Ava, who is trained by Jenny Melander for the JPS Racing Stables LLC.
In a pair of $11,600 co-features on the “Trottin’ Thursday” card at Philly, driver Tyler and trainer Todd Buter shipped in with a pair of horses who had won exactly one-third of their lifetime starts – and both improved on that percentage by coming home first. The faster of the two was the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable, who came uncovered into a :55.2 back half yet still won comfortably in 1:52.1, giving him 18 wins in 52 career starts. Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs own the talented trotter.
The same ownership foursome are also the sponsors of the Muscle Massive gelding Two AM, who came out of the pocket headstretch, had his prospects not hurt when pacesetting Broadway Athena briefly went offstride, and then scored in 1:53.1 to bring his career scorecard to 29 wins in 85 starts.