CHESTER PA – A quartet of $12,600 for up’n’coming trotters and pacers topped the action on Wednesday afternoon, the start of the racing week at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The division of the featured class for trotters went to Medley, a Walner three-year-old filly who rallied from the pocket to catch Nomophobia by 1¼ lengths in 1:56.1. Trainer/driver Lucas Wallin, who seems to be able to do little wrong recently, handled the winner for Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz.
There were a pair of featured female paces. In one, Miss Helen Hanover got a patented second-over trip from the track’s leading driver, Tim Tetrick, and was able to overhaul inside rallier Covenant Woman by a half-length while reducing her mark to 1:53.4. Tom Fanning had the sophomore daughter of Captaintreacherous ready for her first race in 38 days for Falcon Racing Stable LLC and Howard Taylor (more on the latter later).
The other section saw the Sweet Lou filly Blazing Ramona blaze away from the gate for driver David Miller and open up a big early lead that stood up against late chargers, with the sophomore defeating Truly by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.3 for trainer Leah Vandervort and Anatolia Racing LLC.
The single contest for headlining male pacers was taken in impressive fashion by Iwannabewithyou, a three-year-old altered son of Luck Be Withyou. In his 2022 debut, Iwannabewithyou quarter-moved to command for driver Todd McCarthy, then was ready to put out :54.3 - :27.1 speed coming home to reduce his mark a tick to 1:51.1 while 2¾ lengths clear of early leader Mr Butterick. Unraced since October 15, Iwannabewithyou looks worth the wait for owners Howard and Judith Taylor and trainer Dylan Davis.
Trainer Davis also captured the $11,200 fast-class pacing feature with the Always A Virgin gelding Virgo. Uncovered at the half, Virgo stormed up in :26.2 down the backstretch to take over entering the far turn, then could tack on a :27 kicker in stopping the timer in 1:50. Another successful Indiana transplant and now a winner of $384.472, Virgo is handled by most of Team Iwannabewithyou – Todd McCarthy drove him, Dylan Davis trains him, and Howard Taylor shares ownership in him with Davis.
McCarthy (who had four winners on the day in all) and Davis would combine for an even faster win in a mid-level pace, as the Mach Three gelding Ocean Ridge N strung out his opposition throughout while reducing his mile mark to 1:49.4. Davis co-owns this Kiwi import with Michael Casalino Jr.
The “Trottin’ Thursday” card at Harrah’s Philadelphia will be headlined by a $22,500 for veteran fast-class performers, and will have classes for all of the track’s speedy trotters, both veteran and developing. First race is 12:25 p.m; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.