CHESTER PA – The distaff pacers took a turn in the spotlight in a $16,200 contest at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, with favored Grace Rocks proving most photogenic in a three-way picture at the end of a 1:52.1 mile.
George Napolitano Jr. gunned the victorious daughter of Rockin Image right to the lead, but 33-1 shot Magical Mistress pressed on to wrest the lead for Troy Beyer nearing a :27.1 quarter, which also featured Simon Allard moving second choice Drama Act outside and moving toward the front. Drama Act got command well before a :56.2 half, with Napolitano’s hand forced by the “death seat” third-in spot to go out raw and fight the leader towards the 1:24.2 three-quarters. But the leader was resilient, and the pocketsitter made her presence felt to the inside late, with Grace Rocks grinding out a neck decision, and Drama Act lipping out Magical Mistress for the deuce.
Dean Eckley is the conditioner of Grace Rocks, a winner here on August 26 who followed that up with 2-3-4 finishes a level higher before dropping and popping today. A 17-time winner in only 55 starts, Grace Rocks is owned by Howard Taylor.
There was no such drama in the $15,300 co-featured pace for developing male horses, as the American Ideal gelding Copper Teen won for the fourth straight time, putting up splits of :27.1, :55.3, and 1:23.3 en route to a two length victory over P L Ozzy in 1:51.2. Corey Callahan guided the fast and handy four-year-old, also the big chalk, for the ownership of Evan Katz, Frank Canzone, and Joseph Di Scala Jr. The meet’s leading trainer, Per Engblom, must now figure the best next race for his budding star, as the victory boosted his earnings to $105,456, over the normal “n/w $100,000 lifetime” AE condition for this Philly class.
Simon Allard and George Napolitano Jr. each brought home three winners on the Friday Philly card; Allard teamed with trainer Ron Burke for his three triumphs.
The final card of this racing week at Harrah’s Philadelphia will take place on Sunday, beginning at 12:40 p.m. Program pages are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.