CHESTER PA – Four $12,600 divisions of a conditioned event for up-and-coming horses featured on the Wednesday afternoon card at Harrah’s Philadelphia – along with an occasional blowing-up of the tote board.
In a trotting feature, the Detour Hanover three-year-old filly You’re Dead To Me was a winner for the second straight week, making the lead in front of the grandstand and going on to victory in 1:57, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Cocktail Fashion. Daniel Dube had the sulky seat for trainer John and owner/brother Tom Cancelliere.
Distaff pacers had their own division of the featured class, taken by Fifth Fav in a lifetime best 1:54.1. The sophomore daughter of A Rocknroll Dance started uncovered at the half, then followed the cover of Stand For Freedom until that one crossed over to the lead to the three-quarters and continued on past her in the stretch by 1¼ lengths for driver Billy Carter and trainer/owner Tyler Jump.
Pacing males comprised the field in the remaining two sections of the four-ply feature. In one, the Sunshine Beach three-year-old gelding Effingham rode the cover of favored Wheresjim to the three-quarters, where that one took the lead, then wore him down late to post a head decision in a lifetime best of 1:53.1. Johnathan Ahle drove the winner of two of his last three for trainer Michael Shults and Blazer One Racing.
In the other top-level event for pacing males, Pompeo Hanover, 9½ lengths back at the half, commenced a steady gain towards the top past the midpoint of the backstretch and caught 1-10 favorite Katies Best by a half length in a lifetime best 1:52.3 for trainer Jake Leamon and owner Marvin Rounick. Driving the winning Betting Line gelding to the $52.40 upset victory was Troy Beyer, who tied Tony Morgan and Trae Porter at the top of the $50+ winners column at four each.
But that payoff was just a baby shark compared to the surprise posted by a fellow three-year-old Betting Line gelding, Yo A J. This one, making his first career start, came from an even more distant cloud, 10¼ lengths back at the half, to circle his field in 1:55.2 for driver Victory Kirby and trainer Kathleen La Montagne, co-owner with Donald La Montagne. Yo A J light up the board with a $164.80 win mutuel, the second-biggest one of the Harrah’s season behind the $166.40 return resulting from Allyoucanbet’s victory on May 27.
Daniel Dube had four driving wins on the day; Marcus Miller and Tim Tetrick each visited the winners circle three times.
On Thursday, the Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old pacing fillies will have their final chance to gain points to make their upcoming Sire Stakes and Stallion Series Championships (Philly hosts the freshman Championship during a $1M card on Sunday, September 4). The Sire Stakes fillies will see the sensational Beach Cowgirl return to the races after winning her first two starts in 1:51 and then 1:50.2, the latter clocking only a fifth of a second off the world record. However, she has been off 39 days since that last win, and it will be interesting to see how she rebounds from the time away on Thursday. The card also contains a $22,500 fast-class trot and a carryover of $1207.23 into the fifth race’s Pick-5 bet. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.