CHESTER PA – Corey Callahan got career driving win number 6000 on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, breaking the maiden of the A Rocknroll Dance gelding Don’t Judge A Book with a 1:56.1 victory and then surviving the very late drama of an inquiry, which determined that his horse made a break just after the wire, allowing the milestone victory to stand.
The 40-year-old Callahan has won over 350 races and in excess of $5 million every year since 2009, with his best season coming in 2015, when he was fifth in North America in victories (636) and money ($9,812,464). Career-wise, the trotters and pacers he has guided have bankrolled $86.7 million.
Mach It So, a winner of $2,768,167 going into the contest, took the early lead then yielded it to Cruise Patrol before the 27.1, only to regain midway in quarter two, which saw the timer lock on 56. Mach It So kept the lead through the 1:23.1 3/4s, but on the far turn driver George Napolitano Jr. started edging out Cruise Patrol, a son of Bettor’s Delight who had already won in 1:50.4 (on the engine) at the meet, and in the lane the pacesetter was gallant but the pocketsitter was fresher, taking a head decision for trainer Mike and owner Colleen Dowdall.
The Somebeachsomewhere four-year-old gelding Closing Statement, third in his Breeders Crown at age two but suffering a lost season in 2018, won for the first time in 572 days, and posting a snappy clocking of 1:51.3 in circling his field late for driver Dexter Dunn. Closing Statement had qualified back well for this, his 2019 debut, and maybe the form evident at two but dormant at three will emerge this year for trainer Mark Harder and owner Glenn Goller.
Tim Tetrick won five times on the card to take over the early meet lead in sulky victories, having 25 to George Napolitano’s 23. Of course, it’s hardly surprising to see these two fighting for driving honors at Philly – after Cat Manzi won the initial Harrah’s dash crown in 2006, it’s been either Napolitano or Tetrick visiting Victory Lane the most in every season at Philly, with George holding a 7-5 advantage in that category. It is a bit surprising to realize that between them, Tetrick and Napolitano have won 41% of the races held at Philly so far this year (48 of 117 contests).