Chester, PA — After coming off a second-place finish in his Nov. 10 start and missing his Nov. 16 appointment due to sickness, Nutcracker Sweet ($13.60) bounced back on a rainy Sunday afternoon (Dec. 1) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, taking a $14,500 co-featured upper-level conditioned pace in 1:52.4.
Andy McCarthy fired Nutcracker Sweet to the fore from the outside part of the gate, and the pair controlled early splits of :28 and :56.2 before facing a mild first-over challenge from odds-on favorite Maroma Beach (Tim Tetrick) up the backstretch.
Nutcracker Sweet was nudged along past three-quarters in 1:24.1 before edging away to a two-length lead at the top of the stretch and holding sway from two late-emerging rivals. Glacis (Pat Lachance) shook free in the stretch to halve that lead at the winning post, while Nine Ways (Tony Morgan) held third from the pocket.
Nutcracker Sweet keyed a 7-5-3-4-1 combination in the Jackpot Hi-5 which returned $3,768.76. Tom Cancelliere trains the 4-year-old Bettor’s Delight entire for John Cancelliere.
In a $16,000 co-featured conditioned pace, Machpaperscissors ($5.60) earned his third win in as many starts for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., Stephen Iaquinta and Minisink Farms, collaring Odds On Boca Raton from the pocket in 1:53.4. Tim Tetrick drove the 3-year-old Mach Three gelding.
Live racing returns to Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 4); first post is 12:25 p.m. (EST).