CHESTER PA – “Team Orange Crush” swept the two trotting features at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, with the $15,300 top purse event seeing the red-hot Archangel four-year-old gelding Angel Nation come within a fifth of a second of his group’s track record with a powerful 1:52.1 victory.
Driver Tyler Miller “went to the front and improved his position from there,” as the saying goes, with Angel Nation putting up fractions of :27, :55.4, and 1:24. Favored Eva Dairpet FR was advancing uncovered, and the talented Hayek was well-placed in the pocket, but Angel Nation’s sheer speed was more than enough to hold that pair off while coming within a fifth of a second of the 2019 mark set by Scirocco Rob. A winner of four straight, Angel Nation looks headed for better things, with Julie Miller conditioning the streaking diamondgaiter for the Legendary Standardbred Farm and Ted MacDonnell.
Three events were held for two-year-old trotting fillies, many of whom were preparing for next Friday’s Sire Stakes and Stallion Series racing at Philly: the winners were Design Fashion (Donato Hanover, 1:57.3), Money Matters (Explosive Matter, 1:58), and Born On Third Base (Donato Hanover, 1:58.3). But the two-year-old trotter who may have had the most fascination was the debuting Pretender, who trotted his own last half in :57.2 to win in 1:58 for driver Jimmy Takter, trainer Nancy Takter, and the ownership of John Fielding, Caviart Farms, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. This colt is by Muscle Hill out of the $2M-winning champion Maven, and he looked like he wants to live up to that pedigree.
Another event for two-year-old trotting fillies is scheduled for Friday’s card, along with four $12,600 divisions of the popular “nw 3 races” condition. Program pages for the 12:25 card Friday are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.