CHESTER PA – Big Nudge continues to find his best lifetime form late in his four-year-old season, as the gelding overcame a tough first-over trip with relative ease to win the $15,300 featured trot on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:55.4.
A son of Donato Hanover out of the $700G-winning mare Victors Vicky, Big Nudge, not the quickest of starters, got away fifth in the six-horse field, and was started uncovered in front of the stands the first time. Guided by George Napolitano Jr., who had three victories on the day, Big Nudge proceeded to grind up to pacesetting SVF Blushingbride down the backstretch and went by on the turn, then had enough to withstand a closing Cocktails N Dreams by 1½ lengths for trainer Symon Spicer, also co-owner with George Beck and Michael Sherman Jr.
Hayek went a powerhouse mile to take the $11,200 fast-class trot, with the four-year-old E L Titan gelding winning in 1:52.3, a new mark and just three-fifths off the Harrah’s track record for his division. Hayek tucked midpack for David Miller, moved uncovered down the back, then got cover as favored Winnerup pulled from the two-hole to challenge leader/second choice Sylvesteramerica IT. But neither of the chalks proved to have as much as Hayek did late as he raised his lifetime earnings to $241,601 for trainer Per Engblom and owners Evan Katz, David Rovine Stable LLC, and Frank Canzone.
A trio of $12,600 events top the Friday action at Philly – one for trotters, and one each for pacing males and pacing females. Program pages for the 12:25 first race post card are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.