CHESTER PA – 26-year-old driver Troy Beyer showed the cool of a seasoned sulkysitter in guiding Gingertree Stakias to a lifetime mark of 1:56.3 in the $14,400 trotting feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon.
Despite brisk weather, the front end had been holding well, so Beyer moved Gingertree Stakias to the lead past a :28.3 opening panel, then got a breather to a :58.3 half. Down the backstretch, however, second choice Big Sky Ex made a big rush at the favorite, and Beyer chose to let that rival go by without a fight, keeping his horse on the bit to and past a 1:27 three-quarters. In the stretch, Gingertree Stakias again moved outside, and the Explosive Matter gelding had enough to win by three-quarters of a length over inside-shooting Storm Bringer, with Big Sky Ex holding for third, another three-quarters of a length back.
Gingertree Stakias, who paid $87.60 in winning at this level last week, rewarded the faith of the public this time as he won his third race in his last five. Owner/trainer Jim Groff has been red-hot as of late, with “Stakias” keeping up the trend. As for Beyer, the feature was his third victory of the afternoon, at which figure he was joined by Simon Allard and Yannick Gingras.
There will be no live racing on Thursday at Harrah’s Philadelphia so that horsemen and employees can enjoy Thanksgiving with their family and friends. On Friday’s 12:25 card, Jula Muscle Pack has been established as the 8-5 favorite in the $15,300 featured trot, starting from the rail for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Per Engblom. . Program pages for the card are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.