Harrahs Philadelphia hosts three Invitationals on Sunday
- Memorial Day weekend should become somewhat more memorable for standardbred owners, trainers, drivers and fans on Sunday afternoon as Harrah's Philadelphia hosts three consecutive Invitational events.
- Sunday's 10th race is the $200,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for pacing fillies and mares and the race came up tough as might be expected of a six-figure stakes.
- Yagonnakissmeornot draws the rail for trainer Rene Allard and the $300k Bluechip Matchmaker final heroine will be a major contender in this spot.
- Both Sassa Hanover and Venus Delight arrive winless in eight starts this year, but both have raced well in defeat in recent weeks and cannot be entirely dismissed. Venus Delight won last year's edition of the Bluechip Matchmaker final.
- Devil Child notched her first win in three starts this year when she took the F-M Preferred at Yonkers last week. Last year's Maryland-bred harness horse of the year has plenty of speed and should be a serious player in this event and future stakes.
- Katie Said has won three straight races to start the year for trainer Jimmy Takter and is the 'now horse' of this division following two wins at The Meadowlands and one over this strip.
- Sell A Bit N was a force in the Bluechip Matchmaker before being unlucky in the latter draws. The Peter Tritton trainee is among the group of wonders from down under, although not quite as stellar as stablemate Bit Of A Legend N.
- One race later on the card many of the sport's best older trotters will clash in the $200,000 Maxie Lee Invitational. At least one-half of the group looks poised to prevail.
- Bee A Magician certainly knows how to win major races and is accustomed to facing male rivals and beating them. She has won all three of her starts this year and 44 of 68 lifetime outings for trainer R. Nifty Norman and banked over $3.8 million along the way and a horse of the year title as well.
- Several spots to her inside is JL Cruze, last year's champion older trotter. The Eric Ell trainer has won four of five starts this year and 25 of 43 career outings and boasts a sharp 1:53 score over this strip last out.
- Maestro Blue Chip is the new kid on the block and he arrives having won all 10 of his starts this year for trainer JoAnn Looney-King. Last week he emerged as a budding star by winning a Graduate split at the Meadowlands.
- Obrigado has won one of three starts this year and 35 of 65 career tries for trainer Paul Kelley. Il Sogno Dream makes his seasonal debut off three superb qualifiers and already sports 17 wins in 51 career outings.
- Then one race later a stellar field of older pacers will clash in the $200,000 Dorothy Mullin Invitational.
- Reigning horse of the year Wiggle Jiggleit has won five of eight starts this year, including last week's $200,000 Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield Park. He just missed earning a berth in the $600,000 George Morton Levy Memorial series final, but dead-heated with Levy final hero Bit Of A Legend N in their last prelim.
- Speaking of Bit Of A Legend, this Tritton-trained wonder from down under has won 9 of 12 starts this year and looms a serious threat despite getting post eight here.
- Rockin Ron beat Wiggle It Jiggleit two starts back in the Confederation Cup before tasting his first setback in 11 starts this year when an unlucky second in the Graduate last week at the Big M.
- Rockeyed Optimist has been solid all season for trainer Steve Elliott. Mach It So won a local prep for his event and was last year's Bobby Quillen Memorial hero at Harrington Raceway, while Mel Mara delivered a gritty, first over performance when second to Always B Miki at the Big M