CHESTER PA – The younger horses again were the spotlight performers on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with three divisions of a $12,600 condition for horses on their way up the class ladder.
The Heston Blue Chip three-year-old gelding Flash Move had to pace his back fractions of :55.2 - :27.2 while first-up, but that task was within his capabilities as he took the feature section for male pacers in 1:52.3. Andrew McCarthy drove the Robert Cleary trainee, who now has three wins and two seconds in a five-start career that began this year, and Cleary owns the winner with Royal Wire Products Inc.
The pacing boys’ female counterparts were topped by the Huntsville sophomore miss Sweet Cheyanne, who also is now three-for-five in her brief career after a 1:54.2 victory. Defying the prevailing track bias, Sweet Cheyanne raced off of cover while pacing her back half in :55.4 and had enough kick to defeat railshooting Allrighty Then by three-quarters of a length for driver Marcus Miller, trainer/father Erv, and owner Douglas Overhiser.
Having a three-for-five record in recent starts was a theme running through the features to the top trot of the day as well, as the Rock Of Cashel gelding Hardrockcafe was victorious in 1:56 to run his most recent starts tally to the popular 60% win rate. The sophomore shrugged off the effects of a two-move mile to defeat Flaming Roads by 2½ lengths for driver Todd McCarthy and trainer Mark Harder, the latter co-owner with Joseph Jannuzzelli and Jeffrey Ruch.
Simon Allard and George Napolitano Jr. both had three victories during the Thursday card.
The holiday weekend has some top-level racing in store for Harrah’s Philadelphia fans. Friday’s 12:25 card will focus on the fast-class pacers, with a $16,200 pace for mares and one for females. Sunday’s 12:40 program, which also includes a $20,000 Open handicap trot, has two divisions of a $142,148 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for trotting males, and as all five winners in the first two prelims are scheduled to start Sunday, bragging rights within the division seem ready to be established. Program pages for all races at Harrah’s Philadelphia are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.