CHESTER PA – Harness racing returned to southeast Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon, as Harrah’s Philadelphia opened its gates for the 2022 harness racing season.
Biggest purse offered on opening day was $14,400 for developing pacers, during which the Heston Blue Chip gelding Shake It kept his seasonal record perfect in three starts after a 1:52.2 victory over a track rated “good” after a brief midcard shower. Dexter Dunn made an early move with the fleet sophomore and maintained control throughout the :55.2 back half; Ilderton AM raced well from the pocket to be second, but the one length final margin does not accurately reflect the stranglehold Shake It had on this race. Chris Ryder trains the winner for Let It Ride Stables Inc., Bottom Line Racing LLC, Lawrence Rosen, and Jeffrey Bell.
Ryder, Dunn, and a “Shake” horse also tried to annex the $13,000 fast-class pacing co-feature, but their Shake That House, making his 2022 debut, was caught put of the pocket by the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Shadow Cat in 1:52. David Miller moved the winner of $401,978 to the front early, yielded to sit behind the chalk, and then went past him in the lane, finishing 1½ lengths clear at the end for trainer Tom Fanning and the ownership of David Rovine Stable LLC and Howard Taylor.
No horseman had more than two victories on the opening card – those with doubles included drivers David Miller, Trey Porter, and Tim Tetrick, and a pair of trainers named Chris: Ryder and Temming.
Harrah’s Philadelphia will race in April on a schedule of Thursdays and Fridays with a 12:25 post time and on Sunday with a 12:40 post time; one exception will be the track being dark on Easter Sunday, April 17. The next card will thus be this coming Thursday, with the first of the year’s “Trottin’ Thursdays” cards featuring a large range of talent on that gait. Program pages for all Harrah’s Philadelphia racing will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.