CHESTER PA – Scirocco Rob overcame a very difficult journey to win the $22,500 handicap trotting feature on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Everyone wanted the lead after the start – at one early point horses were five-across trying for good positioning – and when the smoke cleared, Skyway Bebop and put Swan In Motion in behind her nearing a :26.4 quarter and set the pace. Scirocco Rob had tucked in fourth, and he was given his marching orders to go up raw by driver David Miller as the field passed the :56 half, with favored No Mas Drama right on his back.
That duo advanced sharply down the backside to the 1:24.2 three-quarters, and they became the two major battlers in the stretch, with the winning Explosive Matter gelding showing resiliency to hold off the cover-trip horse by a nose in 1:53.2; Yanks Dugout, assigned the outside post eight and the horse who was five-wide early before tucking, was third-over and had to settle for third. Scirocco Rob is trained by Mark Silva for owner Kathleen Whitaker, and has a career bankroll of $658,646.
The $15,300 co-featured trot saw Caviart Emma got a fine journey in the two-hole, dive down to the inside to gain a midstretch lead, and then have enough to defeat the late-charging Lady Ann No by a head in 1:55.2. Todd McCarthy guided the victorious Trixton mare for trainer Joe Poliseno and owner Ellie Sarama.
March Forth, the two-year-old trotting colt by Father Patrick – NF Happenstance who was the first freshman to qualify at Philly this season, also became the first to race on Thursday, finishing a respectable fifth in a maiden trot while race-timed in 1:59.
Racing continues at the southeast Pennsylvania oval on Friday at 12:25, with $5000 guaranteed pools for the Pick-4s starting in races one and ten, and a carryover of $1,138.72 for the Pick-5 starting in the fifth race. The action then closes out for the week with a Sunday card at 12:40. Program pages are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.