Ginger Tree Belle the best in Friday Philly feature

Chester, PA – Ginger Tree Belle reclaimed the lead in front of the stands and continued on to take a lifetime mark of 1:52.2 in capturing the $12,000 featured pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday afternoon (June 14).

The 3-year-old Stay Hungry filly left the gate, let two outside foes argue to a :27 quarter, then was moved by David Miller and reclaimed the top with a circuit to go, passing the half in :55.3. On The Watersedge made a strong uncovered challenge to and past a 1:23.4 three-quarters, and Always In Flight lurked in the pocket. But Ginger Tree Belle went on gamely to win for trainer Steve Cook and the ownership of Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Knollview Stable 2, and Bob Reber Jr., with most of those connections having earlier clicked with Gingertree Carilin (Jack Pelling, new mark of 1:52.1).

The 4-year-old Heston Blue Chip mare Odds On Hail Mary, who established a PA Sire Stakes and Philly record for her division when she won her Championship event in 1:48.2, got back on the winning track by taking the $9,500 sub-feature fast-class distaff pace in 1:50.1. Andrew McCarthy, the day’s winningest driver with three visits to victory lane, had the winner of $313,573 well-placed behind the cover of Milieu Hanover, then measured off the win against that tough foe in tallying for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Odds On Racing.

Andrew also utilized cover tactics in winning with Gentlemanjim II IR in the $11,500 claiming handicap for top pacers in 1:51.3 for trainer/owner Robert Cleary. Shrimp And Grits, winner of nine of his previous 10 starts as he ascended the claiming ladder, went to the lead uncovered on the far turn but then could not resist the strong horse right on his back.

Sunday’s (June 16) Philly card, starting at 12:40 p.m., is topped by a $15,000 handicap pace for fast-class horses, a field of seven with an average seasonal speed mark of 1:49.2, in which Maximus Miki has been made the early favorite over Boiling Oar and South Beach Star – a trio which shows eleven victories on their recent performance lines. Free Philly programs are available at

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