Chester, PA — Fresh off back-to-back wins, Decoy ($4.20) proved much the best in Sunday afternoon’s (June 9) $18,000 featured top-level pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia, sprinting off late in a dominant pillar-to-post 1:49.4 win.
Daniel Dubé put the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere entire in play from the outset, and the pair seated Machiavelli (George Napolitano Jr.) in the pocket through a :26.4 first quarter before enjoying a :28.1 second-quarter breather. Up the backstretch, Decoy began to leave his seven rivals in his wake, extending his lead gradually to 2-1/2 lengths through three-quarters in 1:22 while facing nary a challenger.
Decoy continued to draw away in the homestretch, posting a six-length win while hand-driven to the line. Machiavelli was a no-match second, and the stalking Sweet Beach (Pat Berry) narrowly took third over Billy Badger N (Corey Callahan), whose mild first-over bid into third ended at the top of the stretch.
Gary Candell trains 10-time winner Decoy for Brixton Medical Inc., R A W Equine Inc., and Joe Sbrocco.
George Napolitano Jr. led all drivers with five wins on the 14-race program, among them a 1:49.4 mile with stakes winner Lyons Johnnyjnr ($7.40) in a $14,000 conditioned pace. Gareth Dowse trains the 3-year-old Well Said colt for Geoffrey Lyons Mound.
Live racing returns to Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (June 12), with a 14-race card slated to begin at 12:25 p.m. Eastern. The fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5 boasts a carryover of $3,724.29.