CHESTER PA – The very popular “non-winners of 3 races” class for developing horses was certainly utilized by horsemen entering for the Wednesday card at Harrah’s Philadelphia, as six $12,600 divisions filled the feature spotlight: two each for trotters, pacing males, and pacing mares. All of the winners turned out to be three-year-olds.
Perhaps the most impressive of all the featured sextet was the Chapter Seven gelding Seventier, who trotted to a new mark of 1:53.2 while winning his third straight. The competition was certainly tough – two horses other than Seventier, who last started and won an Excelsior A race, were dropping off wins, PA Stallion Series winners A Hopeful Prayer and Samedame Life AS – but they had to settle for second and third respectively behind Seventier, who had the biggest winning margin of all the feature winners, 2¾ lengths. The late-bloomer trotted his back half in :56.2 for driver Dexter Dunn, trainer Trond Smedshammer, and Purple Haze Stables LLC.
Both of the top events for male pacers were decided by a half length. The faster winner was the Somebeachsomewhere colt Stonebridge Reef, well-prepared by trainer Chris Ryder off a 31-day layoff to be ready to turn back Sweet Angel Boy while taking a 1:51.4 mark. Stonebridge Reef, who missed a head to Literl Lad Hanover in a PaSS race a few weeks back, was driven by Dexter Dunn for Ryder, who is also co-owner with Craig Henderson, Oompa’s Farm Inc., and Robert Mondillo.
Earlier, another son of Somebeachsomewhere, the gelding Forefather, overcame a rough journey first-up to prevail over favored A Fearsome Hanover in 1:52.2. Todd McCarthy guided the Brett Pelling trainee for owners 3 Brothers Stables and Caviart Farms.
Quicker of the featured distaff pacers was yet another Somebeachsomewhere offspring, Beach Crazy, who came between horses late to put a neck up on Chase Lounge while lowering her mark over three seconds to 1:52. Andrew McCarthy drove the winner for trainer Stacy Chiodo and the partnership of Chiodo Racing LLC, Jeffrey Shore, and Robert Barr.
It’s surprising we got this far in this report without mentioning driver Yannick Gingras, who had four consecutive victories on the card, but he guided the Betting Line miss Extrilla Hanover to a 1:53 triumph in the other distaff headliner, 1½ lengths to the good of Shezafreaklikeme for trainer Ron Burke and owners Howard Taylor, Brad Grant, and Steve Heimbecker.
Lindy The Great and Scirocco Rob will be coming to Philly Thursday for the $16.200 featured handicap trot, but they’ll have to surmount the outer two post positions in the field of eight. Post time is 12:25 p.m.; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.