CHESTER PA – Covered Bridge was assigned the outside post in the field of seven in the $16,200 featured pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia Friday afternoon, coming off of three out-of-town victories. However, the crowd let him go at 7-1, but he still could get by favored Pyro by a nose in 1:49.2.
Driver Simon Allard and trainer Ron Burke have been a hot pairing in eastern Pennsylvania lately, and Allard had the Burke trainee firing out early, reaching the top near the eighth pole. Covered Bridge then yielded near the :26.2 quarter to Pyro, who went on to set middle fractions of :54.4 and 1:21.3 unchallenged, with second choice Vettel N choosing an inside route. Through the stretch Covered Bridge charged up the inside and just took the measure of Pyro, while Vettel N hunted fruitlessly for a seam which didn’t develop until too late.
Covered Bridge is an American Ideal gelding who has won $114,995 this year and $541,145 lifetime. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Mortgage Boys Stable.
Lyons Steel also broke the 1:50 barrier at the riverside oval on Friday with a 1:49.2 victory, as did the 1:49.4 winners Dealer’s Table and Pat McGarry A.
The American Harness Drivers Club for amateur horsemen held a $15,000 Final after its summerlong pacing participation at Philly. 1-1 favorite (by $60) Warrawee Total came uncovered against 1-1 pacesetter Needless To Say, and it was Warrawee Total who proved the strongest late for driver Tony Beltrami, with closing Big Bad Bill three-quarters of a length back in the 1:54 mile, while Needless To Say faded to third. Beltrami thus earned bragging rights in the AHDC with a gelded son of American Ideal trained by Eddie Sager and owned by the trainer’s The Right Move Racing LLC.
Tim Tetrick continued his iron grip on the driving victory lead at Harrah’s, adding four more on the Friday card. Also dominating the proceedings has been a strong front-end bias: during the last four local cards’ 57 races, 37 of the winners have had the lead just past the half, 11 were in the pocket, and 9 came first-over. No one else has won from any other position on the racetrack.
With Pocono closed for just this weekend, Harrah’s Philly tried adding $30,000 claimers to its menu on Sunday, and that day’s fourth and twelfth feature races will be $13,000 claiming handicap paces for horses valued from $25,000 to $30,000. Sunday’s action starts at 12:40; the track is on its fall schedule of Thursday and Friday at 12:25 in addition to the Sunday 12:40 program. Program pages are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.