Day At The Track

Nine-year-old track mark falls at Harrah's

10:06 AM 11 Aug 2018 NZST
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Caviart Ally, harness racing
Caviart Ally (seen here in prior win) rewrote a nine-year-old track record at Harrah's
Nigel Soult Photo

CHESTER, PA -  In an $18,000 harness racing pace for fillies and mares at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday, the Bettor's Delight mare Caviart Ally, 2017 Jugette and PA Sire Stakes champion, stormed to a wire-to-wire 1:49 victory which lowered the track mark for four-year-old pacing mares from the 1:49.2 that Makerbark had posted almost nine years ago.

Andrew McCarthy sent the Noel Daley-trained mare right down the road with fractions of 26.4, 54.4, and 1:22.1, and them the mare stormed through the stretch under her own power to set the local mark and raise her lifetime bankroll to $863,881 for Caviart Farms.

Harrah's hosted the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for three-year-old pacing colts on Friday afternoon, and instead of clearing up the picture within the section, any vision into the division's depth grew murkier, as none of the five winners previous StS wins entered here could win again.

The fastest time was turned in by the Western Ideal colt Go West Go Fast, who stopped the timer in 1:50.4 to take a personal best. Pat Berry raced the Ron Burke trainee in the pocket, pulled behind first-over Daddyofemall as that one worked to the lead nearing headstretch, then beat him out by a half length for Burke Racing Stable LLC; Frank Baldachino; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

The Somebeachsomewhere gelding JK Wildfire pulled uncovered late in the backstretch of his division, went right to the lead, and finished out his own back half in 54.2 to stop the timer in 1:51, a personal best. Andrew McCarthy, who steered four winners home first on the card, handled sulky duties for trainer Brett Pelling and the 3 Brothers Stables.

George Napolitano Jr., who also had four victories at Philly Friday, saw his main rival Wheels On Fire all but ruin his chances with a poor start, and proceeded to make every pole a winning one with Terror At the Beach, also a Somebeachsomewhere gelding, in 1:51.4. The winner of two straight is trained by Chris Oakes for the ownership of Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor, and Ed Gold.

Winston, who was second to JK Wildfire, leads this group after three legs with a win and two seconds, worth 85 points, and he has ensured himself a spot in the Stallion Series Championship (according to a rough unofficial tally done after the races; the Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission are the official statisticians), to be held at Philly on Labor Day Monday.

After that, though, it appears nobody else is a lock for the final, and there are eight horses in a group that are separated by 15 points (the value of a third) in the struggle for the final Championship berth. The final prelim, on August 20 at The Meadows, should be very contentious, and of interest to a wide variety of horsemen.

The sophomore colt pacers will be at Philly on Sunday as well, in three divisions of their third prelim Sire Stakes event, with Grand Teton, Done Well, and Hayden Hanover as the early choices. There will also be a $30,000 Great Northeast Series event for open pacers.

From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

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