CHESTER PA – Pacer Maximus Miki and trotter Adore Me proved the best in the $15,300 feature races on Friday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Maximus Miki, despite being off for 21 days and having only one race in the last 33, was more than ready in winning in 1:50.1, just a tick off his mark. The Always B Miki gelding tucked midpack in a :26.4 quarter led by favored Kolby Two Step, followed that one along to a :55.1 half, then moved out raw on a second move. “Miki” went up to battle with the leader before the 1:22.1 three-quarters, and in the stretch it was the horse with the harder trip who proved the best, winning by three-quarters of a length over an unluckily-shuffled Sporty M Three, with Kolby Two Step holding for third, another half-length back.
The victory may be a good omen for driver George Napolitano Jr. and Team Cancelliere, trainer Tom and owner/brother John, as they prepare to conquer Cleveland on Saturday with favored Ruthless Hanover in the Battle Of Lake Erie Pace at Northfield.
In the high-level trot, the Father Patrick mare Adore Me, nosed out in a $150,000 Kentucky event in her last start, reduced her lifetime best with a 1:54 victory after she put up splits of :28.1, :57.1, and 1:25.3. Betterinpinehurst made a good stretch bid from the pocket but came up a half-length short of the returnee from Oak Grove, who was driven by Andy Miller for trainer/wife Julie and Windsong Stable.
Other than the features, it seemed like Tim Tetrick was in the winners circle any time you turned around. The meet’s leading driver checked in first on seven occasions – half the day’s fourteen races.
Sunday’s 12:40 card at Philly will be topped by a $20,000 Open handicap trot with It’s Academic assigned the outside, and an $18,000 fast-class handicap feature with Tattoo Artist and A Rocknroll Star trying to surmount the rightmost spots behind the gate. Program pages for all races at Harrah’s Philadelphia are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.