CHESTER PA – The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Whichwaytothebeach, so gallant in his 2-3 finishes in the Little Brown Jug, was the feature attraction on Friday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, and he did not disappoint. He won his $30,000 division of the Liberty Bell stakes for three-year-old pacing colts in 1:50.2; there were three sections for the pacers and two at a like purse for the trotters.
Todd McCarthy, top winner on the day at Philly with four victories, did not rush the star sophomore out of the gate, going up to grab the lead after a :26.4 quarter, then getting to the half in :55 and the three-quarters in 1:22.4. His Beats Hanover, from third-inside, made a good stretch showing but was still 1½ lengths off the winner of $515,729, who is trained by Brett Pelling for Alan Johnston and John Craig.
The other section of the pace was the fastest, as the Sweet Lou gelding Hellabalou, who hadn’t won since his Adios triumph at the end of July, looked as good in the eastern part of Pennsylvania as he did that day in western PA. He made the lead from the outside post eight before the :26.2 quarter, yielded to Komodo Beach and sat behind him as that one hung numbers of :54 and 1:22 on the board, and then gobbled him up in the lane, leaving him 3½ lengths behind in 1:49.4 for driver Simon Allard, trainer Josh Green, and owner Eric Good. Hellabalou was the only nonfavorite to win in stakes action Friday, being sent off at 11-10 behind Komodo Beach at even money.
The Southwind Frank colt Capstone had earned $107,664 without winning in 2021 before capturing the faster of the two trotting Liberty Bell cuts in a lifetime best of 1:54. George Napolitano Jr. sent the Åke Svanstedt trainee, owned by Åke Svanstedt Inc. and Stable Why Not, to command past a :28 quarter, got a rest to a :57.4 half, then was clear of his opposition through the 1:25.3 three-quarters and right to the finish, winning by 5¾ lengths.
The Father Patrick colt Sunny Crockett, a winner of 13 of 24 lifetime starts including a “Pennsylvania EGOT” (Stallion Series Championship, PA All-Stars, Liberty Bell, and Simpson stake) in addition to the Old Oaken Bucket, set fractions of :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.4 in the other division, but he then had to be at his best to have a nose advantage over potential pocket rocket Arnold N Dicky at the end of a 1:55 mile. Marcus Miller handled the sulky duty for trainer/aunt Julie Miller and the partnership of Willow Oak Ranch and Andy Miller Stable Inc.
A pair of $13,000 paces for the fast-class set headline the Sunday card at Harrah’s; bettors will also be attracted to the $6673.37 carryover available for the third race Pentafecta/Super Hi-5 wager. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.