CHESTER PA – The Muscle Massive gelding Focus Pocus continued in a rich vein of form, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:53.3 in winning the $15,300 featured trot on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The five-year-old, guided by the meet’s leading driver Tim Tetrick, moved nearing the :28 quarter to take over control of the race, and from there the pair never looked back, going on to midfractions of :56.3 and 1:25.2 before finishing out in :28.1, 2½ lengths to the good of Capstone.
Focus Pocus had been developed by breeders Tony and Linda Schadel and had been a very useful horse for them, finishing second in the PA Fair Final for his group in 2020 and also enjoying pari-mutuel success. They sold the horse to Pollack Racing LLC and trainer Jeff Cullipher less than a month ago, and the change in homes has not affected the winner of $135,613, as he has a second and now this win for his new connections.
The four-year-old Muscle Hill gelding Spy Booth, once most famous for having won only one race but having earned over $400,000 (the win was in the Zweig Trot), has started to write a second chapter in his career, as he posted his fifth victory in as many 2022 starts with a 1:54.2 victory in the $13,000 co-featured trot. George Napolitano Jr. moved the sharp trotter to the front past a :28.1 quarter and was never headed through subsequent fractions of :57.2 and 1:25.3 before finishing out 1½ lengths ahead of Bank Box Treasure for trainer Lorenzo De Simone and owner Joseph Riad.
Andrew McCarthy and David Miller each had three triumphs on the Thursday card.
Racing continues at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday at 12:25; the racing week closes out on Sunday at 12:40 with a $22,500 winners-over pace. Next Wednesday, Hammering Hank will be making his anticipated 2022 debut in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. Program pages are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.