On a day when severe thunderstorms were looming throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic region, a trio of five-eighths mile harness racing ovals took center stage on Sunday.
Nearing the midway point of the card at Harrah’s Philadelphia – commonly known as Chester Downs among horsemen and fans – Tiger Thompson N (Dexter Dunn) easily lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he brushed to command before the half in 55.1, opened a clear lead down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:22.2 then drew clear in the lane despite drifting late to score by five lengths in 1:50.3.
A six-year-old Big Jim gelding owned and trained by Josh Parker, Tiger Thompson N ended a brief drought by notching his third win in 13 starts this year and he now sports an 8-8-4 slate and $140,000 banked from 39 career tries. His most recent score had come against conditioned foes at Dover Downs, but the Open Handicap proved somewhat too tough chasing the likes of Blazing Bobby Sox, Duplicated N, Keep On Rocking A and Bags To Riches.
Three races later in a non-winners of three races or $30,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, Revelry (Andrew McCarthy) lived up to his billing as the tepid 2-1 favorite when he brushed to command passing the wire the first time, maintained an honest tempo to the half in 56.3 and by three-quarters in 1:25 then just outlasted the late inside bid of Skip To My Lou (Dexter Dunn) to score by nearly a length in 1:52.4.
One race later in a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class for older pacers, Torrid Bromac N (Pat Berry) saved ground through the first three calls, found room between horses in the lane and surged through late to post a neck victory over 8-5 favorite Nuclear Dragon (McCarthy) and Blayde Hanover (George Napolitano, Jr.) in 1:52 as an overlooked 9-1 shot. A seven-year-old Courage Under Fire stallion trained by Chris Marino, Torrid Bromac N recorded his third win from 11 starts this year and now owns 26 tallies from 100 career outings.
Then two races later in a non-winners of five races or $50,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, Thunder Some Where (Andy Miller) forged a 20-1 shocker when he gained command in a 26.3 opener, got a breather by the half in 56.3, rebuffed a bid from Artic Adventure (George Napolitano, Jr) before the far turn then just outlasted the late bid of 4-5 choice Annihilation (Corey Callahan) for a neck score in 1:53, his first win in 14 starts this year for the Nick Surick trainee.
That same afternoon at Rosecroft Raceway, where a tornado warning was actually the Maryland oval kicked off the card nearly two hours early with a quartet of non-betting, Maryland Sire Stakes for four- and five-year-olds, three for pacers and one for trotters.
In the richest race of the meet to date, Hybrid Henry (Jared Moyer) brushed to command before the half, raced unpressed down the backside and through the far turn then just outlasted the late bid of Ei Ei O (John Wagner) for a half-length score in 1:55.4. A five-year-old Cam’s Rocket gelding owned and trained by Arlene Cameron, Hybrid Henry posted his second straight victory, owns three wins in seven starts this year and now sports 19 victories and roughly $233,000 banked from 49 career tries.
In the first of the three early races for pacers, Rissy’s All In (Wagner) captured the $9,000 split for pacing fillies and mares in 1:52.1. A four-year-old daughter of Rusty’s All In trained by Cameron for owner Pamela Wagner, Rissy’s All In notched her second straight score and now owns a 6-6-10 slate and nearly $80,000 banked from 39 career outings. She also lowered her lifetime mark by more than a full second in the process.
One race later in the first of two $9,000 splits for pacing boys, Jack Quick (Jonathan Roberts) continued the stellar campaign when he raced second over behind Allie’s Finale (Roger Plante, Jr.) down the backside and through the far turn, fanned wide for the drive and edged past late in 1:52.1. A four-year-old Nuclear Breeze gelding owned, bred and trained by Basil Sapienza, Jack Quick notched his sixth win from 14 starts this year and now sports nine wins and $45,000 banked from 30 career tries.
Then later in one of the early parimutuel races on the card, Whitesville Dixon (David Hill, III) lived up to his role as the 6-5 favorite in a non-winners of $3,000 last four starts class for trotters when he overcame post nine and an overland journey to overhaul 17-1 Magglio (Kim Vincent) for a length score in 1:56.2. A seven-year-old Doggone Yankee gelding owned, bred and trained by Gary White, Whitesville Dixon notched his second win in seven starts this year and now owns a 16-19-21 slate and nearly $140,000 banked from 103 career outings.
Several races later in the first non-winners of $4,001 last four starts split for older pacers, Midnite Pass (Tyler Davis) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all on the far turn to overhaul Rollin Ring Afire (Allan Davis) and favored Rock N Row (Roberts) to score by a head in 1:52.3. A six-year-old Kenneth J gelding trained and driven by Tyler Davis, Midnite Pass ended a modest drought by notching his third win in 14 starts this year and his 22nd career score from 111 starts and lowered his lifetime mark in the process.
Then one race later in a non-winners of six races lifetime class for younger pacers, Yeahboyyeah (Chuck Perry, Jr.) just lived up to his role as the 1-2 choice when he left to secure good position in a 27.1 opener, yielded to Choreographer briefly then retook before the half in 55.2, met serious pressure from Dance On The Beach (Plante) down the backside and through the far turn, fought back along the inside then outlasted the wide bid of Bluebird Goldwyn (Art Stafford, Jr.) to score in 1:53.
A five-year-old Art Major gelding owned and trained by Henry Lewis, Yeahboyyeah notched his first win in five starts this year and ended his bridesmaid status locally – he had been second in each of his four previous outings – when he fought back along the inside to score. Yeahboyyeah now owns a 9-5-4 slate and nearly $53,000 banked from 30 career tries and lowered his lifetime mark by two full seconds in the process on Sunday.
Then two races later in another non-winners of $4,001 last four starts split, Tidewater Titan (Brian Burton) forged a 10-1 upset when he rallied second over and widest of all in the lane to score by nearly a length over 18-1 shot Q Rock (Roberts) in 1:55. A 10-year-old Real Artist gelding trained and driven by Burton, Tidewater Titan recorded his first win in eight starts this year and now owns 25 victories and nearly $145,000 banked from 203 career outings.
One race later in the featured, $12,000 Open Handicap for older pacers, dubbed the Francis Hanley retirement pace, McKenry (Bret Brittingham) notched his second straight score in the top class and recorded his third win on the season when he made two moves before the half in 55.4 then rebuffed a long, first over bid from 2-1 choice Sams Triple Crown (Wagner) for a length score in 1:51.2 as the 5-2 second choice.
A seven-year-old McArdle gelding trained by Donald Brittingham for owners Peter and Toni Gray, McKenry has always displayed a fondness for the local oval, earning 2017 spring horse of the meet honors from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. He now owns four wins from 12 starts this year and boasts 23 victories and over $240,000 banked from 84 career tries.
Then one race later in a non-winners of $4,001 last four starts split, Princeoftheforest (Victor Kirby) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all with a continued bid over the last three-eighths to forge a length victory over Al’s Hammered (Allan Davis) in 1:51.4. A five-year-old Baron Biltmore gelding trained by Kevin Fitzwater, Princeoftheforest notched his first win in three starts this year and recorded his 20th victory from 50 lifetime outings and just missed equaling his career best.
One race later in a non-winners of $6,001 last four starts class for older pacers, John’s Dream (Chuck Perry, Jr.) notched his second straight victory at the meet when he gained command before a 27 opener, got a breather by the half in 56.4 outlasted the late bid of pocket-sitting Disturbia (Russell Foster) and 9-5 choice Diamondkeeper (Wagner) to score in 1:52.2. A six-year-old Dream Away gelding owned, trained and driven by Perry, John’s Dream owns two wins in five starts this year and 28 victories in 59 career outings.
That same evening at Pocono Downs, My Lindy Winner (Jim Morrill, Jr.) easily lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite in the first $15,000 Bobby Weiss division for three- and four-year-old trotting colts when he brushed to command passing the wire the first time, cruised by the half in 59.3, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:27.3 then romped home five lengths clear in 1:56.4. It was his second win in the series and fifth straight victory overall to start his four-year-old campaign.