The Father Patrick four-year-old gelding Amigo Volo, the 2020 sophomore trotting male champion, won his first race since the Matron at Dover nearly eleven months ago when he took the $13,000 fast-class trot Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Macmorris Hanover left well from the outside post eight and got the lead in a :27.2 opener, then backed off the half to :57.2. Amigo Volo and driver Victor Kirby were three lengths back in third at the midpoint, then trotted the third split raw in :27.2 to be nose-to-nose with the leader at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Macmorris Hanover held with commendable tenacity, but Kirby appeared to know his trotter had the measure of the leader, and went by late to win in 1:53.2, trotting his own back half in :55.2 without cover in taking a half-length victory.
The winner of $1,580,664, trained by Nifty Norman for Pinske Stables and David J. Miller, has always worked his way up into peak form in previous campaigns. At two he won two of his first six starts, but then won four of his last six; at three, he started two for seven, but then blitzed the opposition late taking seven of eight; and this year he looked very good winning here in his eighth start and only his second since July 10. It’s a very long jump between this field and the Breeders Crown in three weeks, but Amigo Volo has the experience of being a Crown winner, and a win there could put him to be in a position to possibly make November’s TVG Championships.
Top purse event on the afternoon was a $14,400 trot, won by the CR Excalibur mare Big Sky Ex in 1:55.3 for her third win in her last four starts. George Napolitano Jr., the big winner on the day with five sulky successes, also used first-over tactics in winning, getting command with a :27.3 individual third quarter and then withstanding a late charge by Boom Boom Bay by a half-length. Dennis Watson trains the developing distaff for owner Domenico Costagliola.
There is a pair of $14,400 events featured on the Friday afternoon card at Harrah’s, with trotters facing off in race two and distaffs locking up in race six. Post time is 12:25 p.m.
(PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia)