CHESTER PA – On a day which saw two world records, the all-age track record on the pace shattered twice (the faster the quickest mile ever on a 5/8-mile track) and equaled on the trot, and six divisional track records, the undercard to the three $100,000 Invitational events contributed more than its share to the magic of this Super Sunday at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
A $40,000 Invitational Pace was carded to make Super Sunday even more super, and to kick off a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 wager that had the three Invites at the end of the bet.
And this Invitational proved unprecedented in the annals of Harrah’s Philadelphia, as the five-year-old Always B Miki gelding Southwind Gendry paced the fastest mile ever at the southeast Philadelphia oval, 1:47.2, knocking a fifth off the standard previously notched by Wiggle It Jiggleit in 2016 and equaled by Allywag Hanover last year. (Yes, this record would only last 79 minutes, until Allywag Hanover went 1:46.3 in the Auger Invitational; you can read a separate story about it.)
Tattoo Artist, sent off at even money to Southwind Gendry’s 8-5, went to the lead in a :25.4 quarter; Yannick Gingras decided to bypass a possible hole before the quarter and go up to challenge for the lead with “Gendry,” making the lead just before a fantastic half in :52.4, and passing the three-quarters in 1:20.
Tattoo Artist wheeled out of the hole headstretch and gained on the leader with every step, but Southwind Gendry held off his fellow millionaire by the smallest possible margin in the epic mile. This was the third collaboration on the day between Gingras and trainer Ron Burke, and that count was before the Invitationals started (see Hillexotic in the Maxie Lee Trot story); both also had a win without the other. Southwind Gendry, who raised his bankroll to $1,167,322, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Knox Services, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby.
The three divisions of the $155,149 third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing males were an excellent part of the Super Sunday excitement.
The Stay Hungry colt Seven Colors got a “patented” second-over trip from the track’s top driver, Tim Tetrick, swept wide on the far turn, and (atypically for Philly) closed for victory in 1:48.1, which equaled the track record for his division, equaling the mark first established by A Rocknroll Dance. Sizzling fractions of :25.3, :52.4, and 1:19.4 helped set up the stretch kick of Seven Colors, who took a lifetime mark for trainer Brian Brown and the partnership of Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Bill Elliott, and Milton Leeman.
It’s My Show, winless at two, is now four-for-four as a sophomore, including two Sire Stakes wins, lowering his speed record to 1:49.1. The Sweet Lou gelding out of champion Put On A Show was the last horse to the top well past a :26.1 opener, setting the pace through middle fractions of :54.2 and 1:22.1, drifting out slightly early in the lane, but righting quickly and defeating Breeders Crown winner and pocketsitter Ammo by three parts of a length. A brief inquiry in the stretch action gave the judges no reason to place the winner, who was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Linda Toscano and Richard and Joanne Young.
The Captaintreacherous colt Ervin Hanover took the lead past a 26.3 opener in his division, yielded to favored Bamboozler after keeping him out almost to the half in :54.1, stayed in to the 1:21.3 three-quarters, then was moved outside in the lane by driver Yannick Gingras and worked past the leader by a length in 1:49.2, a lifetime best. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $245,329 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, J&T Silva Stables LLC, Jim Simpson, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Five $20,000 divisions of the complementary Stallion Series were part of the “big card” as well.
Super Sunday started off in spectacular fashion with a 1:48.1 mile from Save America, a Captaintreacherous gelding who lowered the divisional track record of Boogie Shuffle by a tick and missed his divisional world record, co-held by Lucan Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit, by a fifth. Yannick Gingras pointed the winner of $357,005 down the road and went giant fractions of :26.1, :54, and 1:20.2 en route to altering a line in the record tables and reducing his own mark for 3 Brothers Stables and Caviart Farms.
Captaintreacherous picked up a second StS credit with the gelding Command, who paced in 1:50.1 for trainer Brett Pelling and Diamond Creek Racing. Todd McCarthy moved first-up with the winner after scalding early fractions, got a brief pocket respite on the far turn, then came out again and paced away to victory.
Stay Hungry sired two other Stallion Series winners who put up lifetime bests. Hungry Man went to the front before the quarter for driver Todd McCarthy and stayed in front to the wire, coming home in :27 for a 1:49 victory for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Brad Grant. And Binge On Yankee was a pocket rocket as the longest shot on the board at 17-1, defeating late-clearing Flash Move by a neck (all five horses were within two lengths at the wire) while taking a new mark of 1:50.4. Driver Joe Bongiorno drove for trainer Ron Burke; Brad Grant also owns a piece of this winner, along with Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Lawrence Karr.
Cannibal is perfect in two seasonal starts, both in Stallion Series action, after winning the other StS division in 1:48.3. The Sweet Lou colt gained a second Stallion Series credit for Diamond Creek Farms, who owns the winner of half his ten lifetime starts; Scott Zeron drove him here for trainer Nancy Takter.