CHESTER PA – Whenever driver Scott Zeron makes a visit to Harrah’s Philadelphia, it’s usually the prospect of a live drive that lures him, and fans should take note.
The horse that brought Zeron to Philly on Sunday afternoon was Keg Stand, who won one of two $66,153 divisions of the third preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt trotters in 1:53.1. And while he was here, Zeron picked up the catch-drive behind Outside The Fire, who won the other Sires cut in 1:53.4. Both sophomores took new lifetime marks.
Keg Stand, a son of Bar Hopping, looked ready to go after two good qualifiers at the end of April, but then was out for six weeks before winning another qualifier. Trainer Nancy Takter determined that the winner of $177,042 was then ready to race, and he vindicated her judgment.
The opposition must have known it was in for a long afternoon when, after Zeron floated out with the horse, he set him down sharply at the eighth and roared up to take the lead just after a :28.1 quarter. Fractions of :56.4 and 1:25 followed, and in the stretch Keg Stand was all alone, winning by 3¼ lengths in a comfortable 2022 debut for Black Horse Racing, Christina Takter, and John Fielding.
Trainer Anette Lorentzon, also co-owner with ACL Stuteri AB, tapped Zeron to handle the Cantab Hall gelding Outside The Fire in the other Sire Stake, and horse, trainer, and driver teamed well. Zeron yielded early and was content to sit in the pocket behind Famous Father through fractions of :27.1, :56.1, and 1:24.4. Belying his name, Outside The Fire went to the inside in the stretch, made the lead, and held off closer Fiftyfour K by 1¾ lengths, with Famous Father another length back in third.
Outside The Fire had actually crossed the wire first in a Sire Stake at The Meadows, but broke just before the wire and was placed; here perfect behavior resulted in a positive result.
In the three $20,000 complementary Stallion Series divisions, one division was taken by 2021 Stallion Series champion Oh Boy, who posted his second victory in the StS this year while reducing his mark to 1:55.3. Tony Morgan sent the Donato Hanover gelding to the lead near the :28 quarter, backed off the half to :57.4, then passed the three-quarters in 1:26.1, drawing clear of his field by 4¾ lengths for trainer Jason Shaw and owner Tammy Carter.
The other two Stallion Series divisions were won by Explosive Matter geldings in 1:56.2. That clocking was a lifetime mark for MrMayor Hanover, who quarter-moved past a :29 opener, put up middle numbers of :58.3 and 1:27.3, then came home in :28.4 to ward off favored Dribbling Bi by 1½ lengths for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Rod Bolon, and the partnership of Douglas Dunbar and Frederick Woolford.
Also becoming a two-time Stallion Series winner Sunday was Andoverthewinnings, who won his third straight race. Emerald’s Legacy, undefeated in four lifetime starts and the favorite, set fractions of :28.1, :58.4, and 1:27.3 with Andoverthewinnings pressing him first-over, and in the stretch the outside horse wore down his rival by a half-length for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and Claude Gendreau Stable Inc.
Racing resumes at Harrah’s Philly on Wednesday at 12:25; there will be a carryover of $2281.91 for the third race Super Hi-5 and a carryover of $1465.04 for the fifth race Pick-5 wager. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.