CHESTER PA – Harrah’s Philadelphia opened for its 2021 racing season on Friday, and it didn’t take long for the 5/8-mile oval to revert to constantly rewarding the use of speedy race tactics, as in the twelve races eight winners were on the lead at the three-quarters and three were in the pocket. The other one was second to Papi Rob Hanover in his last start.
The Somebeachsomewhere – Worldly Treasure four-year-old horse Father Nuno, the full brother to Captaintreacherous, was going for his first purse since the 2019 Governor’s Cup Final. “Nuno” was unhurried early by driver George Napolitano in the $12,800 curtainraiser’s finale, moving his horse outside from fourth at the half, and the grinding journey against pacesetter P L Munson (:27.4, :56.2, 1:24.2) didn’t bother the $360,000 yearling as he drew away in the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths in 1:53.1 on a cool day. This may be the first start in a redemptive campaign for the royally-bred stallion, who is owned and trained by brothers John and Tom Cancelliere.
Rock The Town kept the lead to the half in :55.2, with High Impression finally getting to the rail midrace after JK Musicman broke, but the early exertion caused him to back off badly before the 1:24 three-quarters. Joesstar of Mia A continued a game pursuit of the leader, but he came up a half-length shy at the 1:52.3 finish against the winning altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, now a winner of two straight for trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Mark Jakubik.
Two-time Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn won three races on the card, with George Napolitano Jr. and Tim Tetrick, the local 2020 winningest driver and top UDR driver respectively, visiting Victory Lane twice. Trainer Jeff Cullipher was the only conditioner to send out two winning charges.
The bettors were very sharp on Opening Day, with nine favorites and three second choices providing plenty of ticketcashing.
Harrah’s Philadelphia will not host a live card this Sunday, Easter Sunday, but after that the southeast Pennsylvania track’s “regular schedule” kicks in, with racing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 12:25 p.m. and Sunday at 12:40 p.m. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.