CHESTER PA – Pat McGarry A has now won three of his last five starts against the top pacers at Harrah’s Philadelphia after winning in 1:50.2 during Sunday afternoon’s $16,200 feature pace at the southeast Pennsylvania oval.
Joe Bongiorno, left hard from the rail with the transplanted Million Dollar Cam gelding, yielding to second choice Carlisimo midway to the :27.1 opening split then moving to the lead in front of the stands. Before the :55.2 half, Pat McGarry A had a challenge from Pyro, but he was equal to that adversary and was able to open a little daylight by the 1:22.3 three-quarters.
Blank Stare, who had saved ground until the stretch, proved the biggest threat to the winner, who was kept under hustling tactics to stay a neck of that rival; Carlisimo held for third. The Jenn Bongiorno trainee won for the twelfth time during the campaign, during which he has won $111,472, for owners M T Stables Ontario Inc., who acquired the horse in April.
The win with Pat McGarry A was Joe Bongiorno’s third straight on the card; he came back to extend his streak to four, and Jenn Bongiorno and M T Ontario Stables Inc. completed a sweep of the Sunday features, when the American Ideal gelding King Triton A held on to defeat rivals to each side in 1:51.2 in the $15,300 co-feature. Stonebridge Karis, the only horse to defeat the “King” in three American starts, grabbed the racetrack early, with Bongiorno and the heavy favorite moving forward past the :27 quarter and right to the lead, with midsplits of :56 and 1:23.2. Stonebridge Karis, to the winner’s inside, joined first-over Twin B Deluxe to the outside in challenging the leader, but King Triton A proved three-quarters of a length better than “Karis,” who photoed out Twin Be Deluxe for second.
There were two divisions of the top-level claiming pacers competing in two $13,000 handicap events. The first division appeared the slightly tougher, with six of the eight contestants coming off of victories, and indeed one of the winners last time repeated – in fact, Machiavelli posted his third straight victory, here in 1:52. Simon Allard raced him in the two-hole, then the pair finished well along the inside to defeat second-over Meadowbrook Flash by three-quarters of a length. An 11-time winner this year with earnings of $115,940 in 2022 and $486,551 lifetime, the victorious Somebeachsomewhere gelding continued his sharp form for trainer Tahnee Camilleri, co-owner with Besim Ozda and Katie Remmerswaal.
In the other cut, the Mach Three gelding Gonnahaveonemore, close against slightly better in his last few, was able to stay inside in third until late backstretch, then moved after the pacesetting favorite Caviart Max and caught him by a neck in 1:52.2. Troy Beyer handled the winner for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner Barbara Arnstine – though the horse will have new connections for his next start after being claimed for $25,000.
Racing will be held on Friday at 12:25 and Sunday at 12:40 the next two weeks at Harrah’s Philadelphia, and then there will be Friday-Saturday racing before the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, both of which fall on Sunday this winter. Program pages for all Philly cards are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.