CHESTER PA – It’s hard to tell what the bettors didn’t like about the Andover Hall mare Casa Palmera in the $18,000 featured trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon. She had won two in a row after dropping her first two starts of the year, a not-atypical pattern for patient trainer Ed Lohmeyer (do you remember back to Landslide?). She had driver George Napolitano Jr., well-acquainted with the Philly winners circle.
Maybe they foresaw her first-over trip. Nonetheless, the morning line favorite went off as the fifth choice in the feature, grinded right up to the tough pacesetting veteran Tyson, wore him down on the far turn, then went on gamely to finish a length to the good of late-charging Thisguyisonfire in 1:54.3. And Casa Palmera paid $14.00 to win for backers of the improving mare owned by Lohmeyer and Dr. Patty Hogan, for whom she has now won $118,445.
In the first of two $14,500 co-featured trots, Seven Iron worked to the early lead and retained the advantage throughout, keeping Prince Of Minto at bay by ¾ of a length while equaling his lifetime best of 1:54.2. Corey Callahan drove the victorious son of Chapter Seven, who raised his lifetime earnings to $254,945, for his trainer Chris Lakata and his owner, former basketball star Sam Bowie.
The red-hot Australian import None Better A, winner of four straight including a 1:48.4 victory at The Meadowlands last time out, has been tabbed the 5-2 chalk in Sunday’s $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series event for open pacers, with Joe Bongiorno set for sulky duty from post two. The Aussie has Kiwis to both sides of him: Duplicated N (post one, 3-1) would like to duplicate his 1:49.2 victory here in his last start for driver Tim Tetrick, while Tiger Thompson N (post three, 7-2, driven by fellow New Zealander Dexter Dunn) already has a first and a second in the Great Northeast Series action.