Larry Karr upsets older in Philadelphia finale

Chester, PA – The three-year-old Larry Karr upset older, fast-class stock in the $18,000 pacing feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 16) during the final card of the 2018 racing season, which saw many familiar faces – and one new one – resting atop the horsemen’s statistical competitions.

An altered son of A Rocknroll Dance, Larry Karr has now won three straight races, with his triumph in the final Philly feature of the season done “the hard way,” going first-over. Favored Mach Pride put up early splits of :28.3 and :57.3 over a “sloppy +1” track that seemed to get a little muckier as the day wore on.  Then he had the winner come up to him at the 1:25.4 three-quarter mark. Through the stretch, Larry Karr responded to the urging of Yannick Gingras, who had four successful drives on the getaway card, going past the pacesetter by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. Pocket-sitting Sevens Hope A was another three-quarters-of-a-length back in third.

The sophomore’s human namesake, Lawrence Karr, is co-owner of the sharp pacer along with Frank Baldachino, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Larry Karr’s victory was one of three wins on the day for trainer Ron Burke, who picked up his seventh Harrah’s training title, this season harnessing 130 winning charges. In the percentage competition, requiring one starter for a trainer every two cards, “Orange Crush” Julie Miller earned her first Harrah’s laurel after a .479-.475 decision over Jim Campbell.

Two very familiar names divided up the driving crowns. George Napolitano won his fifth consecutive Philly dash title, and his seventh overall, with a 271-252 edge over Tim Tetrick. Tetrick, himself, has won five sulky victory titles at Philly, and in the track’s 13-year history, only Cat Manzi, who won the first driving crown, has put his name in this column other than this year’s 1-2 finishers.

In the UDR chase (one start per card minimum for drivers), Tetrick reversed the tables on Napolitano, posting a .356 UDR for the season vs. Napolitano’s .348. “Timmy T” has now won three straight local UDR championships and seven overall here. George Nap has three, Yannick Gingras two, and Cat Manzi also won the first UDR title here to complete the very select roster of driving champions on the local scene.

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