CHESTER PA – Harrah’s Philadelphia featured younger horses climbing the classladder Thursday afternoon in a trio of $14,400 features for different classifications; the one common thread was driver Todd McCarthy, who won all three top races among his five winners on the day.
First up were the male pacers, with the Betting Line gelding Bet A Bundle taking a new mark of 1:50.1. Todd hustled Bet A Bundle away from post eight, yielded the lead to Stormalong to sit in the pocket, then stormed home himself to win by 1½ lengths over the chalk. Maria Reid trains the fast pacer for J M F Racing LLC and Peter Fusco Racing LLC.
The National Basketball Association has its star Jokic – the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola, two-time MVP and friend of Tim Tetrick – and harness racing may have a budding star Jokic, as the Cantab Hall sophomore trotting gelding is overcoming a slow start to his career, having won two of his last three including a 1:55.3 victory in the highlight for his gait. Todd McCarthy kept this winner third along the rail, then got him to respond quickly late to pass pacesetting favorite Portulaca by a head for trainer Mark Harder and owner Dean Lockhart.
The Sweet Lou sophomore filly Quick E is now undefeated in seven seasonal starts, with McCarthy moving her to the lead early and then just being a quiet passenger the rest of the way in the distaff pacing feature as the three-year-old lowered her mark to 1:51.1. Brett Pelling trains the sharply-improved miss (winless in two baby starts) for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC.
$20,000 Open handicaps for the fast-class older performers will be featured at Harrah’s Philadelphia this weekend. On Friday, Ruthless Hanover, who set the all-time record for a five-eighth mile track of 1:46.3 right here at Philly, will go from the outside post six in the pacing headliner; also starting from post six will be 2022 Maxie Lee winner Lovedbythemasses, the outermost horse behind the starting gate in the top trotting class. Program pages for all races at Harrah’s Philadelphia are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.