Homeracing

Five-eighths mile cards highlight Sunday racing

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Ted Black

April 30th, 2018

A trio of five-eighths mile harness racing ovals - two in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland - took center stage on Sunday evening as Harrah's Philadelphia, Rosecroft Raceway and Pocono Downs offered fans a chance to wager on numerous competitive events.

In the penultimate race on the Sunday card at Harrah's Philadelphia - still referred to as 'Chester' by many fans and horsemen - Take It Back Terry (Yannick Gingras) lived up to his role as the 6-5 favorite in a non-winners of $10,000 last five starts class when he overcame a first over trip to score by a length in 1:51.4. A nine-year-old Western Terror gelding trained by Ron Burke, Take It Back Terry owns a modest 2-2-3 slate and $40,000 banked from 12 starts this year, but the aged pacer with tons of back class now owns 53 wins and earnings of over $1.42 million from 186 lifetime outings.

Then one race later in the Sunday finale at Chester, Artic Adventure (Tim Tetrick) also lived up to his role as the 3-2 favorite in a non-winners of three races or $30,000 lifetime class when he gained command in a 27.3 opener, got a breather to the half in 57 flat, met token pressure from Dance On The Beach (Gingras) down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:25.3 then edged clear late from Bourbon (Brett Miller) to score in 1:54.1.

A sophomore son of Bettor's Delight trained by Frank Milby for owner and mother, Candy Milby, Artic Adventure notched his second straight victory and fourth win in five career tries and pushed his career earnings past $15,000. The Winbak Farm product has been favored in all five of his career tries and prevailed in four of them, including three wins in as many starts over the Rosecroft strip. He rebounded from his previous setback at Chester on April 15 to score handily this past Sunday.

Then several minutes later in the opening race on the Sunday card at Rosecroft, Diamondkeeper (John Wagner) benefited from wicked early fractions and a second over trip to capture the $10,000 Maryland Open Handicap for aged pacers by a length in 1:51.3. A seven-year-old Pine Valley gelding owned and trained by Basil Sapienza, Diamondkeeper now owns a 2-3-1 slate and $16,000 banked this year from nine tries and a solid 34-18-19 slate and $317,000 banked from 110 career tries.

Sunday afternoon's opener was named in honor of Florzell 'Georgie Boy' Daniels, a longtime local groom who passed away at the age of 88 on Thursday, April 12. Daniels had been active around the barns well into his 80's and was named the Harness Tracks of America/Hanover Shoe Farms Groom of the Year in 2012 at the ripe age of 83. He worked for numerous trainers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and ventured to numerous tracks, including several he outlived.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $5000 last five starts class for older trotters, Southwind Ferrari (Wagner) lived up to his role as the 8-5 favorite when he raced parked to gain command in a 28.1 opener, got a breather to the half in 58.3, met modest pressure from Accokeek Mercury (Milby) down the backside and through the far turn, shook loose from that one and held safe the late bids of Doggone Slots (Roger Plante, Jr.) and Bella's Punkett (Allan Davis) to score in 1:57. It was the second in in four starts this year for the four-year-old Chapter Seven gelding owned and trained by Arlene Cameron.

Then right at the midway point of the card, DBs Rosco (Ricky Still) overcame a long, first over bid to prevail as the 4-5 favorite in a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for older pacers. An eight-year-old Santanna Blue Chip gelding owned and trained by Brittany Bounds, DBs Rosco has won both of his starts for Bounds and now owns 26 wins and $61,300 banked from 148 lifetime outings and getting his latest tally as Still celebrated his 47th birthday.

Then two races later on the card, Allie's Finale (Plante) overcame a long, first over bid to score as the 5-2 second choice in a non-winners of five parimutuel races lifetime class in 1:56.1. A sophomore son of Allie's Finale owned and trained by Steve LeBlanc, Allie's Finale won seven of 10 starts and earned nearly $60,000 last season at age two while dominating the Maryland Sire Stakes action for his age and gait and he kicked off his three-year-old campaign by downing older foes in an early prep for his MDSS elims and final on May 30 over this strip.

Then two races later in a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for older pacers, Major Blue Coat (Still) left and gained command in a 26.3 opener, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 56.3 and by three-quarters in 1:24 flat and then held safe the inside bid of Frost Advisory (Justin Vincent) to score in 1:54.1. An eight-year-old Art Major gelding owned and trained by Bounds, Major Blue Coat notched his second win in 10 starts this year and now owns a 19-18-19 slate and over $140,000 banked from 161 lifetime tries.

Then two races later in the Sunday finale, JW Renegade (John Mackinnon) overcame a long first over bid and lived up to his billing as the 1-5 favorite in a non-winners of $4000 last five starts class and drew clear in the lane to three-length score in 1:53.3. A five-year-old Pacific Renegade stallion owned and trained by Mackinnon, JW Renegade notched his second win from 11 starts this year and now owns 16 wins and over $120,000 banked from 78 lifetime outings.

That same evening in the opening race at Pocono Downs, Windy Sport (George Napolitano, Jr.) gained command before the opener in 27.4, carved out two more 27.4 splits to the half in 55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.2 then just outlasted the late bids of 6-5 favorite Blameitonthenight (Corey Callahan) and longshots Big City Betty and Chillin It De Vie to score by a nose in 1:52.3. A four-year-old Sportswriter mare owned and trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, Windy Sport recorded her third win in nine starts this year and now sports a 6-8-5 slate and nearly $193,000 banked from 36 lifetime outings.

Two races later on the card, Dreams Are True (Simon Allard) lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite in a non-winners of one race lifetime class when he rallied from well off the pace and surged through along the passing lane to score by two lengths in 1:54.4. A four-year-old If I Can Dream stallion owned and trained by Lester Smeal II, Dreams Are True kicked off his belated campaign with a win and now owns a 2-11-4 slate and nearly $35,000 banked from 35 lifetime outings.

Then two races after that in a non-winners of $3000 last five starts for aged pacer, I Like Dreamin (Tom Jackson) left to gain command along the pylons, carved out honest fractions of 27.1, 55.4 and 1:24 for the first three calls then he outlasted the late bid of 2-5 favorite Milliondollar Wave (Jim Morrill, Jr.) to score in 1:53. A nine-year-old McArdle stallion trained by Pat Lachance of The Real One fame, I Like Dreamin notched his first win from eight starts this year and now owns 39 wins and nearly $580,000 banked from 172 career outings.
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