Chester, PA – There were four $11,700 events for two-year-olds at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday (June 22) afternoon, with two very promising pacers grabbing the headlines.
In the colt pace, Scott Zeron made the most of a rare mid-week appearance at Philly by steering the Heston Blue Chip – Bettor B Steamin colt Fulton to victory in his first purse start. Fulton set the pace from the rail, hanging up splits of :28, :57.1, and 1:25.3, then was steamin’ late with a :26.4 last quarter to defeat favored Secret Captain by three parts of a length in an eye-opening 1:52.2, a time equaling the fastest mile turned in anywhere by a two-year-old this year and bettering that distinction for 5/8-mile tracks by over two seconds. With a last quarter like that, it’s likely you’ll be hearing more about the fast freshman, trained by Linda Toscano for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC.
The filly pace, a couple of races later, provided another baby to keep an eye on, the Stay Hungry – Zellweger Blue Chip Ginger Tree Coco, who became the second-fastest pacer on a 5/8-mile track this year with a 1:53.3 victory. David Miller sent her right to the front in a :28 quarter, got a rest to the half in :58.1, then came home in :55.2 – :27 to withstand the possible pocket rocket (and favorite) Square Deal by a length. Steve Cook trains the talented distaff for Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Knollview Stable, and Robert Reber Jr.
On the trot, the fillies produced the faster mile, with the well-established team of driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jim Campbell, and owner Fashion Farms LLC sending out debutante Fashion Annie and seeing her win in 1:58.4. A rare Philly winner from well off the pace, the daughter of Donato Hanover – Fashion Athena (thus a three-quarter sister to Millies Possesion) passed Planter’s Punch to win by 1¼ lengths while stepping home in :57.2 – :28.3.
It looked as if Tetrick and Campbell might also combine to win the colt trot, as Wild Bill Kelso was closing strongly before making a stretch break; the mishap left little doubt that the Possess The Will – Cant Top This gelding Can’t Stop Will would make his lead stand up to the wire, which he did in 2:00.3. Andrew McCarthy, who topped all drivers with five victories, drove the Jeffrey Smith trainee for owner Amy Butewicz.
Rouser Hanover, a five-year-old son of Captaintreacherous, has only 11 lifetime starts, but he now has six wins, four of them this season, after equaling his lifetime mark of 1:50.3 in a $14,400 pace. Andrew McCarthy made two speed moves in a :27.1 quarter, then pushed his main rival Jo Pa’s Warrior until yielding the lead heading into the bridge turn and the :55.2 half. The new leader was able to shake off first-over pressure past the 1:23.1 three-quarters, but he did not quite have the same late steps as Rouser Hanover, who roared out of the pocket on the far turn and gradually put distance between himself and the leader, winning by two lengths. Tony Alagna trains the developing “youngster” for the patient Big Als Stables.
“Trottin’ Thursday” at Harrah’s Philadelphia will feature a $22,500 handicap trot, with Scirocco Rob assigned the outside starting slot in the field of eight after winning the last two weeks. There will also be a $2260.46 carryover into the third race’s Super Hi-5 bet. The racing begins at 12:25 p.m.; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.