CHESTER PA – 2019 Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade didn’t find the outside post eight too much to overcome as he won the $16,200 handicap trotting feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon.
Big Oil, himself a world record setter at two in 2019, made the 4-5 favorite work for control of the racetrack, but after the :26.4 opening quarter driver Bob McClure was able to give the millionaire a soft middle half, with fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.4. Turning on the speed down the stretch, the victorious son of Kadabra came home in :28 to complete the mile in 1:52.4, with Big Oil 1¼ lengths back.
In the faster of a pair of $14,400 co-featured trots, the Bar Hopping three-year-old colt Arnold N Dicky, who had gone a 1:54 world record-equaling mile at Delaware last year, came within two-fifths of a second of the local track record for his group, set by Googoo Gaagaa, with an authoritative 1:52.3 victory.
Driver Victor Kirby, whose three wins on the day was exceeded only by local leading driver Tim Tetrick with four, rushed Arnold N Dicky to the lead by the :56.2 half, and then the swift sophomore came home in :56.1 with powerful strides to stamp himself a consideration for the national stakes scene. Hall of Fame Chuck Sylvester trains the winner and is co-owner with Amy Stoltzfus and Linda Goldman.
With favored Shikansen making an early break, driver Corey Callahan pointed the Father Patrick mare Cocktails N Dreams right to the lead and kept her there from early until late, reducing her mark a tick to 1:55.2 while winning the other co-feature. Katricia Adams trains the consistent distaff for Benjamin Gordon and Never Too Late Racing LLC.
The very popular “nw 3 races” classes for up-and-coming horses will have three $12,600 cuts on the Friday program at Harrah’s Philly: female pacers in race three, male pacers in race seven, and trotters in race eleven. The card tomorrow will open with a $2580.20 carryover in the opening Pick 4, the first four races of the day; there will also be a carryover of $1140.81 going into the Pick 3 starting with race seven. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.