Amigo Volo takes Philly feature, JL Cruze wins for 50th time

Chester, PA — Amigo Volo raised his bankroll to $1,765,419 with a closing victory in the $22,500 featured fast-class trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (July 28).

Amigo Volo, the 2020 divisional champion among 3-year-olds, raced off the pace as opponents provided the early speed, with Scirocco Rob, a winner at this level last week, taking over from Hayek in a hot :26.3 quarter. The leader backed off the pace to :56 while Amigo Volo and driver Dexter Dunn were first to move to the outside. At the 1:24.1 three-quarters, Yannick Gingras moved Hayek out to challenge, giving brief cover to Amigo Volo. But when Amigo Volo tipped wide in the stretch, he proved to have the most, catching a stubborn Scirocco Rob by a half length, with Hayek another 1-1/4 lengths back in third.

Amigo Volo, a 5-year-old Father Patrick gelding, is trained by Nifty Norman and owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller.

In the $16,200 co-feature for fast class horses, the 11-year-old JL Cruze won for the 50th time in his distinguished career, with Tim Tetrick guiding him through fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.4 en route to victory in 1:53.4 while raising his lifetime bankroll to $1,746,962. The veteran mare Sorella gave good chase from the pocket but came up a half length shy of JL Cruze, whom Eric Ell trains for owners Ken Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stephen Iaquinta.

The $15,300 top trot for up-and-coming horses saw the 4-year-old Angus Hall mare X O X O, one of the top fillies in Quebec stakes at two and three, record her fifth straight win — and third since shipping stateside — in a lifetime mark 1:54.1. After yielding to Capstone to a :27.1 quarter, Andy McCarthy had X O X O on the move again, reclaiming the lead before the :56.2 half and reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 before finally holding the resilient Capstone by a length. D Racing Stable Inc. owns the Deborah Daguet trainee.

Six drivers recorded doubles on the card: Dexter Dunn, Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras, David Miller and Andy McCarthy top five money-winning drivers of 2021, in that order; while the sixth, Troy Beyer, made money for his backers with the two longest shots of the card: Meanttobe De Vie ($50.40) and Brookview Bluto ($32.00).

Among Friday afternoon’s (July 29) highlights are a $14,400 trot for developing horses and five divisions of pacers in American Harness Driving Club action for amateur horsemen. First post is 12:25 p.m.; program pages are available on the PHHA website.

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