Grand Cayman Tough In Philly Feature

Harness racing at Harrah's Philadelphia
Published: June 23, 2024 08:03 pm EDT

Grand Cayman proved able to surmount a difficult first-over trip in winning Sunday’s $20,548 fast-class handicap pacing feature at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:50.3.

Congressional left sharply to put the field in position order before the :26.4 quarter. Nicholas Beach then came brushing to get the lead and rated a breather to the :56 half. Entering the backstretch, driver Corey Callahan moved the victorious Always B Miki gelding uncovered from fourth with high velocity, with favoured Maximus Miki right behind him through and past a 1:23.1 third quarter. Early in the lane, Grand Cayman took command and the chalk’s late move could put him no closer than three-quarters of a length at the wire in second.

Grand Cayman, a winner of $432,827 who covered his own back half in :53.2, is trained by Crissy Crissman-Bier for owner Vincent Ferriero Jr.

In the $15,068 fast-class pace sub-feature, Santana Hanover sat a two-hole journey behind favoured Sport Secret, then rallied to nip the chalk by half a length in 1:50.3. The Big Jim gelding, now a winner of $319,896, was driven by Simon Allard for trainer Jenn Bongiorno and owners JB Racing, J R Ryan and Collin Ryan.

There were a pair of $16,438 contests for developing horses. The trot went to Go For Gaagaa No, a daughter of Googoo Gaagaa who was a good 1:55.4 winner for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer Per Engblom and owner Eric Good. On the pace, the Sweet Lou sophomore gelding Solid Character fronted his field throughout, coming home in :56.1 to complete a 1:54.2 victory for driver David Miller, trainer Ron Burke and Burke Racing Stable LLC, Robert Jackson, Timothy Sullivan and Tom Wilson.

A pacing event in the American Harness Drivers Club, the series for amateurs, produced the biggest win price of the year at Philly, as Wilsons Vinner came to the inside of favoured Major Hanover and was along in 1:55.1 for driver/trainer/owner Ray Burt while paying $140 for a $2 win ticket.

Drivers Todd McCarthy, David Miller and Tim Tetrick each had two victories on the card along with trainer Crissy Crissman-Bier.

Philly is currently racing three days a week, with Thursday and Friday racing at 12:25 p.m. and Sunday racing at 12:40 p.m.

(PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)

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