CHESTER PA – Nutcracker Sweet, who has been in the harness racing headlines ever since he won his purse debut in 1:52 in June of his two-year-old year, won for the first time in 753 days – just over two years – as he took the pacing division of the $16,000 tri-features Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The four-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight showed good speed in making the lead before the :26.4 quarter, then was used further to keep Major March outside most of the way to a :55.3 half. Cecil Casanova moved to challenge raw before the 1:23 three-quarters, but in the stretch driver Andrew McCarthy was able to find room up the inside and got past the tough first-over by 3/4 of a length – in 1:52.
In the first of the trotting features, Yannick Gingras was able to work out a pocket trip with the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Crossfit, then came clear in the stretch to catch pacesetting filly Queen Of Trixs by 1½ lengths and reduce his mark to 1:54.2. Ron Burke conditions the winner for owner Joe Sbrocco.
The other trot saw Take A Wish make an early move to the lead for driver Steve Smith, then withstand a long grind by SVF Cash Deposit by a neck in 1:55.4. The four-year-old daughter of Wishing Stone is owned by driver Smith, trainer Dawn Anderson, and Mark Schulstrom.