CHESTER PA – It’s Academic trotted the fastest mile over any 5/8-mile in North America this year when he won the $20,000 Open handicap trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon in 1:51.2.
The $1,393,092-winning son of Uncle Peter burst away from the gate for driver David Miller, getting around double millionaire Amigo Volo past the middle of the first turn. That positioning required a :26.2 expenditure of energy but was a good investment, as It’s Academic was then able to get moderate middle splits of :55 and 1:23.2 before sprinting home in :28 to defeat Amigo Volo by 1¼ lengths. Ron Burke trains the classy winner, who had won at The Meadowlands in 1:51.2 in his last start, for owner Brad Grant.
A $15,300 trot for developing younger horses saw the Wheeling N Dealin gelding Archery Seelster rally from second-over – not the most-favorable spot on the speed-favoring Philly track – to just catch Ginger Tree Brad for a nose decision in 1:54. The meet’s leading driver and trainer, Tim Tetrick and Jeff Cullipher, combined for the victory with Archery Seelster, who is owned by Pollack Racing LLC.
The day’s $14,400 pacing headliner, also for up-and-coming horses, saw the Huntsville gelding Hazeville show courage to rally back for victory in a lifetime best of 1:50.4. Bloodhound took the lead before the :26 quarter and kept Hazeville on the outside most of the way to a searing :53.2 half before yielding, only to come back to reclaim the top before a blistering 1:21.2 three-quarters. But Hazeville stayed game and rallied up the inside for a neck victory over Sweet Treasure, who was just up to photo out Bloodhound for second.
Hazeville, driven by Simon Allard, has now won two of three 2023 starts and half his ten lifetime trips behind the gate for trainer Tom Fanning and the partnership of David Rovine Stable LLC, VIP Internet Stable LLC, and Howard Taylor.
Tim Tetrick won four of the first eight races before heading to Pocono for stakes action, with his win total enough to lead the other drivers and fatten his lead atop the local standings.
Live Wednesday racing rejoins the basic lineup at Harrah’s Philadelphia this coming week, with the track settling into its main spring/summer schedule of Wednesday through Friday at 12:25 and Sunday at 12:40. Program pages for all Philly cards are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.