CHESTER PA – A quartet of $12,600 paces, two for males and two for females, on Wednesday started up a 5-day week at Harrah’s Philadelphia that includes a super card of class racing on Sunday and a special Monday card on Memorial Day.
By far the faster of the male winners was the American Ideal sophomore colt I’ll Drink To That, who made an early move to control the pace and then held off major danger Transparency by 1¼ lengths to reduce his mark to 1:51. Dexter Dunn guided the Chris Ryder trainee for Craig Henderson, Lawrence Minowitz, Robert Mondillo, and Oompa’s Farm Inc.
In the quicker section of the distaff co-features, trainer Michael Russo got the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore filly Jane Diamond squared away in her second start for owner Ginnis Stables LLC, as Corey Callahan got her a good early position, then came up the passing lane to give her a lifetime best of 1:52 while defeating the closing French Shaker by a neck.
Dexter Dunn, who led all drivers on the day with three victories, was successful with the American Ideal filly Itzpapalotl in the other cut, lowering her mark to 1:53 – while returning $102.80 to win. The sophomore, named after an Aztec skeletal goddess, soared four-wide off the final bend and just caught Captains Maid by a head for trainer Anette Lorentzon and Knutsson Trotting Inc. (yes, it was a pacing race).
In an $11,200 event for fast-class older pacers, Caviart Max made a big brush down the backstretch to the lead and won nicely while taking a lifetime best of 1:51.1. The altered son of Pet Rock was handled by David Miller for trainer Bill MacKenzie and owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice while winning for the 20thtime in only 47 lifetime starts.
The morning line has been released for the super Sunday card at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with the mare Manchego, #1 in the North American poll, has been set as the 2-1 favorite for the $100,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational Trot. Nicholas Beach was picked as the 5-2 choice in the $100,000 Commodore Barry Invitational Pace, while JK First Lady was named the early 5-2 chalk for the Betsy Ross Mares Invitational Pace. In one division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, Perfect Sting was favored at 9-5 against archrival Abuckabett Hanover at 5-2, while in the other section Southwind Gendry was also set at the 9-5 morning line choice.
Program pages for Sunday’s spectacular, along with Thursday’s solid card of trotting features, will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.