Almanac impressive in Friday feature at Philly

Chester, PA – The very first race of Friday (Dec. 3) afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia was the richest race of the afternoon and the feature, and it also produced probably the most impressive mile of the day, as the sophomore gelding by A Rocknroll Dance, Almanac, won the $14,400 pace in 1:52.3, well in front of the field.

Driver Simon Allard unleashed the winner of two straight from mid-pack near the half, and Almanac paced a :26.2 third quarter to go to the lead before the far turn. The pacer was on cruise control from there in a 3-1/4 length triumph for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Beasty LLC, and Kitefield Stable.

There was a $12,600 contest on each gait serving as the sub-features. The trotting contest went to the Andover Hall gelding Choco’s Choice, who was last at the half but first where the money division gets decided, three-quarters of a length ahead of Comeonover Hanover. Troy Beyer drove for trainer Jim Groff and owner Bernard O’Brien, who saw the late-developing horse win his third race in his last five starts while equaling his lifetime mark of 1:58.

In the pacing co-feature, restricted to distaffs, the Sweet Lou filly Sweet Baby Kaylee sat the pocket, then rallied up the inside late to turn back the late charge of closing JK A E One by a length in 1:55.2, just a fifth behind her lifetime best. Tony Morgan guided the Arlene Cameron-trained three-year-old for owner John Wagner.

Morgan, who led the day’s activities with four sulky successes, also handled the winner of the $11,200 fast-class pace, the Betterthancheddar gelding Parmesan N, who moved out at the quarter in front of favored Pro Beach, made the lead and went on to keep that rival out on the limb, then responded late to turn back pocketsitter Daddyofemall by a neck in 1:53.4. Trainer Mike Deters co-owns the Kiwi import with Joel Warner, Lawrence Bennett, and John Spindler.

Sunday’s (Dec. 5) card is topped by a pair of $13,000 paces for experienced stock, with Mayhem Hanover the early favorite in the section for males and Callmequeenbee A tabbed as the choice in the distaff division. Program pages for Sunday’s 12:40 p.m. card will be available at

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