Tetrick wins both Philadelphia driving titles; Engblom, Alagna top trainers

Chester, PA — He may not have posted a track-record-tying 10 winners as he did on the last day of racing at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 2021, but on the last 2022 card here, Tim Tetrick put the finishing touches on an outstanding local season during which he captured the dash and UDR titles.

Tim Tetrick captured the dash and UDR titles. Grace Zimmers photo.

Tetrick added five victories on closing day to his seasonal haul (tying second-place Simon Allard for day’s honors), and added four seconds and four thirds while driving in all 15 races. This brought his seasonal scorecard to 1,005-258-196-122-.405, good enough to give him his eighth dash championship at the southeast Pennsylvania oval, and his ninth UDR crown in the track’s 17 years of existence.

On the training side, Per Engblom harnessed 75 winners to earn his first Philly championship. In the UTR chase, Tony Alagna, who had no entrants on the final card, not only took top honors for the first time, but he did it with a log of 89-32-18-10, the resultant .509 percentage being the highest single-season total ever recorded locally.

Per Engblom harnessed 75 winners to earn his first Philly championship. Grace Zimmers photo.

Tetrick guided Blank Stare, the winner of the $16,200 closing day featured fast-class handicap pace, sitting off fractions of :27.1 and :56.1 set by favored Dragon Said, then (appearing to) move outside nearing the 1:23.4 three-quarters (the official third call was “FOG”). Blank Stare kept grinding, and the Bolt The Duer gelding held off a late charge by The Ideal Dancer A by three-quarters of a length in a 1:52 mile over “good” going, raising his lifetime bankroll to $484,059. He’s trained by Jeff Cullipher, who is also the co-owner with Pollack Racing.

The co-featured $15,300 pace for developing horses also went to Tetrick as the JK Endofanera gelding TJ’s Indy Pacer was very impressive in his debut for trainer Darren Taneyhill. The pacer set the pace and then dashed home in :55.4 in the off going to complete his mile in 1:52.1 as an easy 2-3/4 length winner over the late-rallying Certifiable for owner Mark Jakubik.

Racing returns to Harrah’s Philadelphia on April 2; sister track The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will see the trotters and pacers back in eastern Pennsylvania competition starting on Feb. 18.

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