CHESTER PA – The Father Patrick colt Pivotal was parked past the quarter to get the lead in the $15,300 featured trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, but once he got there he would not surrender the advantage while lowering his mark to 1:54.
On a day not conducive to racing on the front end, trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer got the three-year-old to the top past Goo Doo Doll past a :28 quarter, made the half in :56.4, held off a first-over challenge by favored Big Nudge past a 1:25.1 three-quarters, then remained in control to defeat pocketsitting Goo Doo Doll by a half-length; Big Nudge was another three-quarters of a length behind in third. Pivotal is co-owned by Smedshammer’s American Viking Racing Stable in partnership with Purple Haze Stables LLC.
The $13,000 event for fast-class trotters saw the From Above mare Ghostintheshell S lower her mark to 1:53.1 on the cool day. Fellow European-bred Sylvesteramerica IT was very tenacious on the lead, but trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt, in a cameo performance before heading to Dover, kept his mare rolling despite a tuck-then-first-up journey and prevailed by a half-length, with pocketsitting Hayek another neck behind. Knutsson Trotting Inc. owns the talented mare.
Friday’s first post at Harrah’s Philadelphia will be at 2:05 p.m., in conjunction with the first of the two-day Breeders Cup Championships for Thoroughbreds, being held at Del Mar in California and available for watching and wagering throughout the Harrah’s network. Past performance for the harness card are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.