CHESTER PA – Both French Wine and Once In A Lifetime lived up to their favorite’s billing with victories in the $142,148 third preliminary leg of a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event for three-year-old males Sunday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Rain started to come down as the seventh race field went to the gate, so by the time French Wine raced in the eighth contest, the oval had been downgraded to “sloppy +2.” The off conditions seemed not to bother the Bar Hopping colt, as Andy Miller guided him to the top past the :27.1 quarter and went on to splits of :55.4 and 1:24.4 before crossing the finish line in 1:53.3, a length ahead of Saint Louie. Julie Miller trains the sophomore, who seems to be peaking at a good time, for Andy Miller Stable Inc., Daniel and Jean Plouffe, and One Legend Stable Inc.
The track was still rated “sloppy” for the other PaSS division, the next race. This one was a romp for the section’s defending Champion, the Father Patrick colt Once In A Lifetime, who went to the quarter in :27.1, got a rest to a :57.1 half, then turned up the speed to hit the three-quarters in 1:25 and the finish in 1:53.3, six lengths to the good of Square Away while taking his second Sires win of the campaign. Tim Tetrick drove the sophomore for trainer Jim Campbell (who, ahem, won the Hambletonian last year) and the Sad Frog Farms.
There were three $20,000 divisions of this section’s Stallion Series, and the only horse coming away with a second StS win was another Tim Tetrick-driven horse, the Southwind Frank gelding Express Man, who was first in 1:55.3 for trainer Scott Betts and the partnership of Tar Heel Racing, Stephen Moss, Gabrielle Hristko, and James Chambers.
The Cantab Hall gelding I Got The Tab was a pocket rocket while taking his cut in a new mark of 1:54.1 (in the only Stallion Series event rated on a “sloppy” oval) for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer/sister Jenn, and owners Glenn Goller and Stephen Demeter. These two joined the Sires winners as living up to chalk status; the only upset was a mild one, as the Fordham Road colt Battin A Thousand, a 4-1 shot, took no prisoners in equaling his lifetime mark of 1:55.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer/owner Roger Hammer.
There was also a $20,000 Open handicap trot, conducted when the oval was still “sloppy,” which makes the 1:51.3 clocking posted by the Archangel gelding Lexus Kody even more remarkable. Take All Comers, 6-5 to Lexus Kody’s even money, parked the winner to a stinging :26.1 quarter, and then after “Kody” posted midsplits of :55.1 and 1:23.2, came back for more late, but Lexus Kody prevailed by a half-length. Now three-for-four after a recent layoff, Lexus Kody was driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phil Collura.
Credit announcer Mike Bozich with this note: “The first horse Yannick Gingras won with today was named Battin A Thousand. And that horse described Yannick’s day – he had six drives, and he won six races.” Five of Yannick’s sextet came with Burke-trained horses at least partially-owned by Weaver/Bruscemi.
Racing resumes at Harrah’s Philadelphia this Wednesday at 12:25 p.m. Program pages for all races at Harrah’s Philadelphia are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.