CHESTER PA – The combination of owner Russell Williams, trainer Fred Grant, and driver Tom Jackson have been having a smashing year basing out of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and on Friday the trio shipped the Bar Hopping filly Luisella 100 miles south to Harrah’s Philadelphia and won the single $56,250 division of the Liberty Bell stake for three-year-old trotting fillies.
Jackson had Luisella, the race favorite, out and moving around the early leaders by the :28 quarter, reached the lead and put up splits of :57.1 and 1:25.1, and then coasted home by three lengths in 1:54.1 as temperatures changed to what you’d expect from the first day of fall. Luisella now has six wins and five seconds (one in her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final) in twelve starts and seasonal earnings of $193,884.
There were also three $30,000 divisions of a Liberty Bell stake for two-year-old pacing colts, with all three divisions won by chalk coming home in :55.1 after pacesetting duties. Fastest was the Stay Hungry – Surfside Sexy colt Lyons Surfing, who seemed to know he was Tim Tetrick’s last drive before the pilot took off for Indiana, as he won by 12¼ lengths in 1:51.2, lowering his record by a tick while raising his earnings to $109,887 for trainer Jim King Jr. and Threelyonsracing.
The Captaintreacherous – K J’s Justine colt Ken Hanover also lowered his mark in his division, finishing 2½ lengths to the good in 1:52. Ken Hanover, who has now earned $127,284, was driven by Montrell Teague for trainer Rollie Mallar, co-owner with Patrick Leavitt, William Jordan, and Dennis Osterholt.
The other divisional winner was his group’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, the Heston Blue Chip – Bettor B Steamin colt Fulton, who got to loaf to the half, then needed to sprint home to hold off pocketsitter Sir Issac Newton by a neck in 1:53.4. Linda Toscano conditions the winner of $247,917 for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC.
Fulton was driven by Corey Callahan, who recorded five winners at Philly for the second straight day. Included in Callahan’s quintet was the Betsy Ross winner Majorca N, victorious in 1:51.3 for trainer Dylan Davis, co-owner with Michael Casalino Jr., as the daughter of Art Major won the $22,500 distaff pace handicap to boost her seasonal win total to nine and her bankroll to $217,010.
All of the winning horses in this story, including this next one, were favored in their races, and all of them used engine tactics except for the American Ideal gelding Copper Teen – his method of victory was a :26 rush with the wind down the backstretch to win handily in a $15,300 pace in a lifetime best of 1:49.1 for Callahan, trainer Per Engblom, and the ownership of Evan Katz, Frank Canzone, and Joseph Di Scala Jr.
The Liberty Bell stakes series ends its 2022 run at the southeast Pennsylvania track on Sunday’s 12:40 card, with a pair of $30,000 events for sophomore pacers of each sex. Included among the Liberty Bell horses Sunday is Captain Cowgirl, who recently became the first pacer (of either sex) in the recorded history of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes to head her preliminary pointtotal column and then go on to win her Championship at ages two and three. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.