Odds-on choices sweep Philly features

Chester, PA — Shes Pukka N ($2.80) and Stars Align A ($3.40) both lived up to odds-on billing in their respective $16,200 top-level pacing features on Sunday (Nov. 28) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, as both Australasian imports coasted to open-length wins.

In the afternoon’s top distaff event, Shes Pukka N and driver Tony Morgan seized control of the terms from the outside post five and traveled uncontested through splits of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:23.3 before widening their lead to 6-1/4 lengths at the end of a 1:51.3 mile. Callmequeenbee A (Tim Tetrick) narrowly held second over Eclipse Me N (Simon Allard). Brian Malone trains the 6-year-old Betterthancheddar mare, now a 23-time winner, for Peter Venturini.

The featured event for male pacers saw Stars Align A likewise widen his advantage to the finish line, but he used completely different tactics to get there. Simon Allard landed the 8-year-old Art Major entire in the pocket behind Southwind Ozzi (Tetrick), and after drafting behind early sectionals of :26.3 and :55, angled the 42-time winner out to challenge for the lead past three-quarters in 1:22.3. Stars Align A easily pushed to the fore on the far turn, and evaded a late charge from the third-over Caviart Luca (Yannick Gingras) by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50.3. Blank Stare (Vinny Ginsburg) — the 43-1 longest shot in the race — saved third out of late traffic. Jenn Bongiorno trains Stars Align A for Joshua Graber.

Yannick Gingras registered four wins to take top driving honors on the 14-race card; George Napolitano Jr. and Tim Tetrick won three races each.

Live racing returns to Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday (Dec. 1); post time is 12:25 p.m. EST.

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