CHESTER PA – The pacing powerhouse Ruthless Hanover came within a fifth of a second of the oldest track record on the books at Harrah’s Philadelphia, winning the $20,000 Open handicap pace for males on Friday afternoon in 1:48.3.
On a warm day that was conducive to speedy tactics in any case, George Napolitano Jr. had the pedal to the metal with the Somebeachsomewhere gelding, laying down fractions of :26.1, :54.2, and 1:21.4 while pacing home effortlessly to come up just a tick shy of the local mark for older pacing geldings set on June 8, 2008 by Fake Denario N. Ruthless Hanover has won both his seasonal starts and his last six trips to the gate in a row for Team Cancelliere, trainer Tom and owner John, and he can easily be seen giving the toughest FFA pacers around a lot to handle.
There was also a $20,000 companion feature for pacing distaffs, won by the Yonkers invader Fade Out in 1:51. Tim Tetrick, in keeping with the theme of the day, sent the Sportswriter mare right the top, rang up splits of :26.3, :55.1, and 1:23, then flashed home strongly for trainer Jeff Cullipher, co-owner with Pollack Racing LLC. Tetrick and Cullipher are the winningest horsemen at the young meet; in all Tetrick visited Victory Lane five times Friday.
In addition to the big mile by Ruthless Hanover, other sub-1:50 winners Friday were Last Gunfighter (1:49.3, driver Mike Cole) and a pair guided by David Miller, Birthday (1:49.2) and Mankat (1:49.3); the average win time on the card was 1:50.3.
The racing week will close out on Sunday at 12:40, with a little bit of everything in the feature spotlight: trotters and pacers, fast-class veterans and developing younger horses. Program pages for all Philly cards are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.