CHESTER PA – The sophomore Yankee Glide colt Hell Patrol may have gotten Team Melander off to a flying start on Hambletonian weekend, taking a new mark of 1:54 while winning the $12,800 Friday feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Mattias Melander sent the winner up into a second-over position behind the parked Trixar, then moved three-wide before the far turn, and despite the wide journey Hell Patrol proved to have more than enough to catch pacesetting Rock Party by 1¾ lengths, with pocketsitter Arclight Hanover third and the game parked-the-mile Trixar lasting for fourth.
The fastest mile of the card came in the very first race, where the American Ideal gelding JK Musicman set the pace, then was able to withstand the persistent Anythingforlove A by a neck in 1:50.3, just a tick behind his lifetime best, with a last quarter of :27.1. George Napolitano Jr. guided the winner for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen.
Napolitano won six times on the day to vault him past Tim Tetrick 59-54 for the local drivers’ derby lead; Garcia-Owen harnessed four winners and now is second at Philly behind Ron Burke, 27-23.