Harrah’s Philadelphia added a pair of events for the American Harness Drivers Club (AHDC) on Sunday, Aug. 27 – a day when the club also had two divisions to contest just north on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania.
Raymond Burt capitalized off a pylon trip with Wilsons Vinner to take the $9,900 first division of the AHDC Pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:54.3.
Burt sat third as Song Cycle Senese (driven by Yogi Sheridan) powered to take the lead from H T Three (Jacob Stillwell) by a :27.2 first quarter. Song Cycle Senese stayed hot on the engine to clock a :55.3 half while H T Three tired, backing through the field and handing Wilsons Vinner the pocket. Past three-quarters in 1:24.4, Song Cycle Senese spun for home on a two-length lead until suddenly jumping stride, which gave the lead to Wilsons Vinner late in the stretch. Wilsons Vinner held control to the finish and posted a 3-1/4-length win over Bankin On Bomb (Cameron Capone) snagging second. Bargain Shopper (John Calabrese) took third and Stolen Art (William Clark Jr.) closed for fourth.
Wilsons Vinner, a six-year-old gelding by Sunshine Beach, competes for owner-trainer Raymond Burt. Sent off as the 3-1 second choice, he paid $8.60 to win.
Yogi Sheridan took the other AHDC Pace division with a pocket-pouncing score by Musical Box in 1:54.
Sheridan shuttled Musical Box to the point from post eight to lead before yielding command to 3-5 favourite Im Burlington N (Cameron Capone) past a :26.1 first quarter. Im Burlington N then rolled on the helm to a :55.2 half and endured a first-over push from Claytons Bettor N (James Slendorn) to three-quarters in 1:24.3. All the while Musical Box sat poised in the box and hastened once given clearance in the lane to open three lengths on Im Burlington N at the finish. Skyway Billy (Matt Zuccarello) rallied off a second-over trip for third and Claytons Bettor N settled for fourth.
Jamal Williams conditions Musical Box, a six-year-old gelding by Net Ten EOM, for owner Winning Action LLC. He paid $9.80 to win.
Following a voyage up the interstate, Anthony Verruso found the winner’s circle in the first $11,000 division of the AHDC Trot at Pocono Downs with even-money favourite Allindotime in 1:58.1.
Verruso landed the pocket with Allindotime as Bang Bang Boinga (Yogi Sheridan) swooped from post seven to the lead in a :27.4 first quarter. Bang Bang Boinga continued unopposed to a :58.2 half and remained clear as Son Of Liberty (Raymond Burt) stalled along the rim. Sheridan snagged a breather to three-quarters in 1:28.1, but despite the respite he could not turn away the pocket charge of Allindotime as he zipped up to a 2-1/2-length win with Lindys Booze Cruz (Tony Beltrami) rallying for second. Real Mccoy (Dante Scattolini) closed from last for third and Bang Bang Boinga faded to fourth.
Bill MacKenzie trains Allindotime, an eight-year-old gelding by Andover Hall, for owner Alma Iafelice. He paid $4 to win.
Robert Ciavardini took the $11,000 second division of the AHDC Trot going pillar to post with his trotter Deltasun A in 1:56.1.
Leaving from post seven, Deltasun A cleared command to a :27.3 first quarter with Sheena Soldier (James Slendorn), starting from post eight, securing the pocket. By the half in :57.3, Deltasun A encountered no pursuers and sprinted up the backside to three-quarters in 1:26.1 to keep first-over Zlatan (Jacob Stillwell) chasing well off the lead. Deltasun A built a three-length lead to the top of the stretch and strolled comfortably to the finish as Zlatan gave pursuit to take second, beaten 1-3/4 lengths. Fair Glider (Yogi Sheridan) grabbed third and Sheezafrostedflame (Frank Tsipouras) settled for fourth.
Thomas Merton trains Deltasun A, a 10-year-old gelding by Tenotrump. He paid $10.80 to win.
On the tail of the double-header on Sunday night, the AHDC presented yet another donation, this time to the Standardbred Transition Alliance (STA).
Verruso, who is President of the AHDC, led the presentation of a $2,000 donation to the STA following the third race at Pocono. Club members Yogi Sheridan, Matt Zuccarello and Frank Tsipouras joined in the presentation to Rick Kane, Director of Racing at Pocono Downs.
“The AHDC continuously strives to give back,” said Verruso. “Standardbred aftercare is a vital program for these racehorses, so ensuring they have homes when their time comes to leave the track is paramount. We aim to support the animals we get to race any way we can.”
The STA is a 501(c)(3) organization that evaluates and provides grants to programs that acquire, rehabilitate, train and rehome Standardbred horses. The STA is also the official aftercare partner of the United States Trotting Association and has awarded several hundred-thousand dollars worth of grants to programs aimed at Standardbred aftercare.
Sunday’s preliminary was the final scheduled before the AHDC contests the Summer Series final at Pocono on Sunday, Sept. 10. First-race post time at Pocono is 6 p.m. (EDT).
(With files from AHDC)