CHESTER PA – Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen captured both of the pacing features on “Distaff Day” Wednesday at Harrah’s Philadelphia as part of a giant day for both horsemen.
Despite having to go first-over against pacesetting favorite Machnhope in the $14,400 top-line event, the veteran McArdle mare Lispatty was able to get to the line first, and the seven-year-old did it in 1:49.4 to take a new lifetime mark. After a classic “ding-dong” stretch battle, Lispatty proved a half-length better to earn her 40th career victory and raise her bankroll to $986,726. Garcia-Owen is also the owner of the classy pacer.
For the day, Napolitano visited Victory Lane seven times, solidifying his spot atop the local drivers colony, while Garcia-Owen harnessed five winners to close the gap behind leading trainer Ron Burke (who fought back with a late-card winner), their numbers being 72-63 with about seven weeks remaining in the season.
Driver Mike Simons “blew up the tote board” for the second straight day at a different eastern Pennsylvania track. Yesterday, he guided Tricky Dick to an $86.00 upset at Pocono; on this card, he drove How Are Yee John, who was photoed out by Bell I No, but the judges found that Bell I No had drifted out and interfered with the chances of How Are Yee John, reversing how the horses crossed the line for the official order of finish. How Are Yee John paid a healthy $66.20 to his scattered backers among the Philly faithful.
Post time at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday will be at 2:05 p.m., so people who are in the mood on wagering on horses and are “double-gaited” might also find some action on the first day of the Breeders Cup at Keeneland.