CHESTER PA – The Fabulous Wood colt Top Leader S made two moves in the $14,400 trotting feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, yet still was a winner in a career-best 1:54.1.
Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt left between horses to get to the top before a :27.2 quarter, then let Count The Coin claim command and take the field over to the half in :57. Svanstedt came back out again as the field approached the backstretch, wasted little time in establishing a clear lead before the 1:25 three-quarters, then was coasting late when Maiden Voyage made an eyecatching stretch move to finish only a length behind. Suleyman Yuksel Stables Inc. and Goran Falk share ownership of the promising sophomore winner .
A rare piece of horsemanship was on display in the very next race after the feature, as 68-year-old H. Nelson Baitzel III sent out the winner Chocolate Matters – the very first horse he has ever started as a trainer! His career training victories now match his career driving victories, as while driving between 1984 and 1986, he recorded one sulky success – and then came a training victory 37 years later.
Simon Allard drove five winners on the Wednesday card at Philly.
Racing will continue on Thursday and Friday at 12:25 before “Super Sunday,” the giant card Harrah’s will host on Sunday at 12:40, featuring three $100,000 Invitationals and Pennsylvania-sired action for three-year-old pacing colts. (A separate release describing the highlights of “Super Sunday” was issued earlier in the day and should be available.) Program pages for all Philly cards, including the Super Sunday program, are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.