Chester, PA — The Explosive Matter mare Pat Matters, who trotted to a new lifetime mark of 1:53, led a trio of $16,000 race winners on Friday afternoon (June 21) at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Pat Matters was a runaway winner in her event. A fast distaff who got a check in the Kentucky Filly Futurity final last year, she had made two breaks in three seasonal starts this year. But Pat Matters was all business in this contest, putting up numbers of :28.3, :56.3, and 1:24.1 en route to a decisive triumph for trainer Nifty Norman and the Patricia Stable.
In the other $16,000 trot, the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Faithfulandtrue went the race of his life, being sent right to the lead by driver Michael Cole and putting up splits of :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.3, then staying clear by three lengths to the wire in a lifetime best of 1:55.3. It was the seventh win in the career of Faithfulandtrue, who is trained by Joseph Columbo for owners George & Tina Dennis Racing, and the victory rewarded his scattered backers with an $80.40 win mutuel.
The sidewheeling fillies and mares race came down to a stretch duel between second-choice Lyons Hedgeabet and favored Abigail Dawn, with the former prevailing and lowering her mark to 1:52.1. The victorious daughter of Mach Three was very wide going to the first turn in making the lead for driver Yannick Gingras. The winner then let Abigail Dawn circle up after the opening :27.3 fraction to take the lead and then sat in the pocket through middle splits of :56 and 1:24.2. In the stretch Lyons Hedgeabet went to the pacesetter’s left and the pair fought home in :27.4, with the winner gamely taking a half-length decision for trainer Gareth Dowse and owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound.
In a $14,500 pace for mares, Believe In Me went to the early lead in :27, then yielded to the quarter move of favorite Obvious Blue Chip. The eventual winner enjoyed a two-hole journey behind middle splits of :54.4 and 1:23, then came out in the lane and wore down the pacesetter by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2. Andrew McCarthy drove the Brett Pelling trainee, with the Bay Pond Racing Stable owning the victorious daughter of Roll With Joe.
A special Saturday (June 22) live card is set for 2:05 p.m., as Harrah’s Philadelphia will be one of four tracks in the Caesars chain to take part in the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge. The Billings amateur drivers will also be in town on Saturday.