CHESTER PA – South Beach Star was parked most of a :53.3 first half en route to winning in 1:48.2 at Pocono last week; on Friday at Harrah’s Philadelphia, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding saved the :53.3 half for the back of the mile, holding off favored Lou’s Pearlman by half a length in 1:49.1 to take the $20,000 Open handicap pace.
David Miller left swiftly with the sharp pacer, yielded to Lou’s Pearlman before the :26.2 quarter, then moved off the first turn to reclaim the lead and got a rest to the :55.3 midpoint. At that point the afterburners kicked in, as South Beach Star paced :27.1 down the back to a 1:22.4 three-quarters fraction, then blazed home in :26.2 to finish out the powerful mile.
The Mark Silva trainee earned approximately $180,000 before this, his fifth year, but he really has found himself as of late for All Star Racing Inc., winning four straight and finishing willingly and alertly – a combination that spells trouble for the next few fields he faces.
In the companion Open handicap pace for females, last year’s three-year-old champion Treacherous Dragon fired off the gate to take the lead past a :26.1 opening panel, then herself got a respite and reached the half in :55.3. The Always B Miki mare Incaseyoudidntknow, steadily close in many Matchmaker events at Yonkers (and a prelim winner), came uncovered from fourth at the half and grinded up to challenge the leader nearing the 1:23.1 three-quarters, and in the stretch it was the 12-1 Incaseyoudidntknow who proved the stronger mare by three parts of a length at the end of the 1:51.3 mile.
Andrew McCarthy handled the impressive winner for trainer Les Givens and owners Jim Magno and Joe Fonte.
Undercard miles producing fast times included a 1:49.2 coast-to-coast triumph by Da Delightful in a $13,000 pace, setting fractions of :26.3, :55, and 1:22.1 and then still having a :27.1 kicker to down pocketsitter Pat McGarry A by 1½ lengths. The son of Bettor’s Delight was driven by David Miller for trainer/owner Mark Silva (the same trainer/driver who brought you South Beach Star).
In a $16,200 pace, another son of Bettor’s Delight, the gelding Burnham Boy N, held off favored Komodo Beach by a half length in 1:49.4. Joe Bongiorno sent the Kiwi to the top and put down splits of :26.2, :55.1, and 1:21.4 in a solid score for trainer Chris Ryder and the partnership of Enviro Stables LTD and Ken Jacobs.
Sunday’s card at 12:40 features a $20,000 Open trot with It’s Academic the likely favorite after a powerful victory at The Meadowlands; the next Harrah’s racing after that will be on Wednesday at 12:25, as the track begins its basic spring/summer schedule of Wednesday through Friday at 12:25 and Sunday at 12:40. Program pages for all Philly cards are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.