CHESTER PA – The JK Endofanera mare Kobe’s Gigi, taking on a field of both seasoned rivals and talented three-year-olds such as Charleston, overcame her assigned number eight post in winning the $20,000 distaff Open handicap pace Friday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
David Miller left hard with the Nifty Norman trainee and settled in third behind a :26.3 opener; then, as the pace slackened in front of the grandstand, Miller was able to take the mare to the lead into the second turn and still got a breather into a :55.3 half.
The three-quarters was reached in 1:23.1, with Kobe’s Gigi drawing away from her field by producing a :27 last quarter. Pocketsitting Hot Mess Express was the distant second, with Charleston, even money to the winner’s 7-5 odds, closed strongly but was too far back and could do no better than third behind Kobe’s Gigi, who is owned by Leander Schwartz and Black & White Stable.
A Rocknroll Star recorded 2023 victory number eleven, one short of the North American lead, when he won a $16,200 fast-class handicap pace for males in 1:49.1, a new speed mark. Andrew McCarthy was content to sit third with the altered son of A Rocknroll Dance as Captain Crusader N from the rail and Hazeville from post two, maintaining those two front positions through splits of :26, :54.4, and 1:21.3.
Hazeville vacated the two-hole near headstretch, with McCarthy and A Rocknroll Star going up the inside and beating out that late-bloomer’s rally by three-quarters of a length, stopping that one’s seven-race win streak. A Rocknroll Star is trained by Robert Cleary for owners Joseph and Vincent Barbera.
Dexter Dunn led all drivers with three winners on the card.
For the fourth straight Friday there was a $50+ “bomber” win price (and on no other day of the week during this four-week period). The longshot helped bring about an $1178.87 carryover into the Pick-5 bet on races five through nine on Sunday’s card, which starts at 12:40; within that bet will be Sunday’s feature race, a $20,000 Open handicap trot. Program pages for all races at Harrah’s Philadelphia are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.