CHESTER PA – The Father Patrick gelding Blazing Trail proved to have the most late in winning the $15,300 headline trot on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:57.2.
Dazzling Reign, favored despite having only two races since September 5, took advantage of the rail and seated all her rivals, hitting the first two splits in :28 and :58.3. Slated To Win mounted a big third quarter move to go up after the lead to the 1:27 three-quarters, with Blazing Trail following second-over. Almost the entire field was in a contending position turning for home, but it was Blazing Trail who got to the wire first, with the gallant Dazzling Reign holding for second, three-quarters of a length behind, and Slated To Win just another half-length back in third. Simon Allard drove the winner for owner/trainer Ken Tisa.
In an $11,200 trot for fast-class performers, the Muscles Yankee mare Casino Cutie IT also made it two straight as she was successful in 1:54.4. Limbed three-wide almost to the 27.2 quarter, the quick-starting Casino Cutie IT and Armageddon Seelster to her inside got a literal break as favored Grapple Hanover made a miscue late on the first turn, enabling “Armageddon” and then Casino Cutie IT to reach the top. Following midrace fractions of :56.4 and 1:25, Casino Cutie IT still retained enough for driver George Napolitano (a three-time winner to lead all drivers Thursday) to handle Armageddon Seelster by 1¾ lengths for trainer Tom Fanning, who trains the winner of $311,497 for owner Howard Taylor.
18-year-old trainer Bryson Dunning picked up his first lifetime conditioning victory when Real McCoy, guided by Simon Allard, edged by pacesetting Miss Cleopatrick while taking a new mark of 1:57.3 for owner Dante Scattolini. The youngster already has two driving tallies, including his first start, at the Woodstock (VA) fairgrounds where Shenandoah Downs races.
The seemingly-endless late-season parade of “nw 5 races” trotters again will be featured on Friday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a $14,400 contest; three $12,600 paces will serve as the secondary features. Program pages for the 12:25 first race post card are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.