A Super Sunday Set For Harrah's Philadelphia

Horses behind the starting gate at Harrah's Philadelphia
Published: May 22, 2024 03:54 pm EDT

This Sunday afternoon, May 26, Harrah’s Philadelphia will present the best racing card of its 2024 season when $657,571 USD will be on the line during a star-studded 16-race card that begins at 12:40 p.m.

The following is an overview of the three $100,000 USD Invitational events for the fastest established performers in the sport, along with third leg action of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes/Stallion Series racing for the “glamour division,” the three-year-old pacing males, plus other top racing on the Super Sunday card:

$100,000 USD Betsy Ross Invitational Mares Pace (Race 11)

The attention in the Betsy Ross will likely be focused on two horses. One is Twin B Joe Fresh, a $1.4 million winner at two and three while having many memorable battles with archrival Sylvia Hanover. Second to the streaking male pacer Macs Delight in her 2024 bow here last week and a winner of the Fan Duel Pace against older adversaries last year, Twin B Joe Fresh will be starting from post three on Sunday, with Dexter Dunn slated for sulky duty for trainer Chris Ryder.

Lit De Rose has won more than $360,000 already in 2024, with roughly half of those earnings resulting from her victory in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final at Yonkers last month. Herself an earner of nearly $1.4 million in her career, Lit De Rose will begin from post five for trainer/driver Pat Lachance.

$100,000 USD Maxie Lee Memorial Trot (Race 12)

Hillexotic won the 2023 Maxie Lee Trot in 1:50.2, equalling the 2014 mile of Market Share as the fastest trotting clocking ever at Harrah’s Philly. He set the pace in the recent Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands before tiring, but earlier he posted four straight wins over two seasons, including a win at the Dayton Derby. Both driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke have won the Lee four times, including last year’s success with Hillexotic, so they know the way to the Philly winner's circle as their horse begins from post two.

Hillexotic has earned more than a million dollars, as has Venerate; Amigo Volo has bankrolled more than $2 million. But sure to attract some notice is a horse who has just hit the $100,000 mark: Benjamin Hanover, who on April 25 here set a four-year-old trotting gelding track record of 1:51.2, and who won last week at The Meadowlands in 1:50.3.

$100,000 USD Joseph Auger Memorial Pace (Race 13)

Last year in the Auger Memorial, Ruthless Hanover paced the fastest time ever over a five-eighths-mile track when he toured the Philly oval in 1:46.3. He made his seasonal debut last week after being away from the races for six months, and all he did was go right out and win in 1:47.1. He stands as the horse to beat from driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tom Cancelliere.

The horses on the far inside and far outside seem to have the best chance against Ruthless Hanover. Former Horse of the Year Desperate Man is five-for-six in 2024, losing only when parked the mile in the Borgata final and still third. Having to surmount the far outside in his 2024 bow will be Bythemissal, last year’s U.S. champion Older Pacing Male. Desperate Man is a millionaire and Bythemissal has earned more than $2 million.

Other Super Sunday Highlights

The third preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series will be held on Sunday, with three divisions of the $154,571 USD Sire Stakes and six $20,000 USD Stallion Series sections. Each has one division that on paper seems tougher than the others.

In the Sire Stakes, the 10th race cut features Captain Albano, last year’s U.S. champion two-year-old pacing male who won a Sire Stakes in his debut at Pocono last week; Breeders Crown champion Gem Quality, another PASS winner at Pocono and also triumphant in a PA All-Stars race at that track in his two starts this year; plus two horses who have won Sire Stakes leg each, Booming Economy and Sweet Beach Life. Rush In, the only double Sire Stakes winner, draws away from the “toughies” in race four.

In the Stallion Series action, Women Layer, undefeated in five starts this year including his two Stallion Series contests to date (the only double winner) and an All-Stars division, squares off in race nine against Stallion Series leg winners Copperfield and War Machine.

There is a $50,000 USD Invitational Pace called the #Senditin Philadelphia Pace, with a field that would be the envy of most every racetrack on this continent. Andrew McCarthy and Tom Cancelliere team up again behind another major player, Maximus Miki, 10-6-2-2 this year and coming off a 1:48 victory at The Meadowlands. Millionaires Backstreet Shadow and I Did It Myway are also in the #Senditin.

Serious fans of great harness racing will want to be checking out the Super Sunday card at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Free Philly programs will be available at phha.org.

(PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia)



Why isn't Taurasi entered in The Joseph Auger, or at the very least, in The#Senditin? He has 8 wins in 9 starts in 2024, his only defeat being a very respectable 3rd place finish in a $100,000 Invitational at Miami Valley on Kentucky Derby Day. All 8 of his wins were against Preferred company at Mohawk.

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.