CHESTER PA – Ghost Pine could not be caught in a 1:50.3 victory in the $14,500 featured pace Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with the season’s first local race for freshmen producing a season’s record-tying 1:54.4 win for Adriano Hanover.
A son of Badlands Hanover, Ghost Pine tucked third behind outside post leavers Control Tower and Letschasethedreamn in a :26.4 first quarter, then brushed to command in front of the stands for driver Pat Berry and hit the half in :55. Favored Boogie Shuffle couldn’t make much of an impact before or after the 1:22.3 three-quarters, but the two leavers behind the winner came at him hard in the lane, Control Power to his right and Letschasethedreamn to his left. It took the photo finish to determine that Ghost Pine held on for a neck triumph over Control Tower, just ahead of Letschasethedreamn.
The win was the fastest of the season and the 35th in the career of Ghost Pine, who boosted his earnings to $387,674. Ron Coyne Jr. trains the veteran for owners Blair Corbeil and Mike Mcallister.
Adriano Hanover surely has the pedigree to be a top racer – he is a son of Western Ideal out of A And G’sconfusion, a 2YO champion, world recordsetter, and winner of almost $1.5M. Jim King Jr. trains the promising baby for Jo Ann Looney-King and Joseph Palermo III.
A second two-year-old pacing colt won on the card – trainer Chris Oakes entered the freshman Hunter Hill in against older horses in a “4YO and under nw 1 race” event, and the colt came from ten lengths behind at the three-quarters under the cool handling of Tim Tetrick to win in 1:55, a neck to the good of Keystone Maxim, with an individual last quarter of :27.3. The Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Ali Blue, whose granddam produced millionaire Fashion Delight, was within a fifth of the season’s record in taking a mark for the ownership group of Northfork Racing Stable, John Craig, and breeder Tom Hill.