Croghan Notches 2,000th Career Win

Published: September 12, 2018 07:30 pm EDT

Three-year-old fillies were featured in $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 12), with three divisions for trotters and two for pacers.

Three-Year-Old Filly Trot

Bella Glos, who made a break as the favourite in the recent Pennsylvania Stallion Series final, recovered in fine fashion Wednesday and took a new mark of 1:54. Some late first-turn confusion caused by a breaker had four horses in a field of six parked at the quarter and one in the infield, but driver Yannick Gingras kept the Cantab Hall filly out of most of the trouble, made the lead passing the stands the first time, and came home in :56.3–:27.4 to be four lengths clear at the wire. Jimmy Takter trains Bella Glos for Black Horse Racing.

Follow Streak, who won that Stallion Series finale, won her third straight and seventh in 10 seasonal starts as she went wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. The Donato Hanover miss was two lengths clear at the wire as she moved her lifetime bankroll to $142,391 for trainer Julie Miller, driver Andy Miller and the ownership of the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain.

A hard rain started to fall as the horses warmed up for the final division, but the moisture didn’t seem to bother Hey Blondie, who gave Cantab Hall a stakes-siring double with a win in 1:54.4. Last week Hey Blondie couldn’t catch S M S Princess in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation, but this week she turned the tables by rallying from the pocket for driver Andrew McCarthy into a :56.2 half to go by the pacesetter by half a length, raising her earnings to $439,535. Chuck Sylvester trains the winner for Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Bordogna, and David McDuffee.

Three-Year-Old Filly Pace

Alexas Power and Sidewalk Dancer were the heavy favourites in their Liberty Bell pacing division, and they put on a good battle in the last sixteenth. Somebeachsomewhere filly Alexas Power able to gain out of the pocket in a :27.2 last quarter to catch the pacesetter by a head while taking a new mark of 1:50.3. The Jim Campbell-trained filly, a winner of $405,195 for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder, was driven by Tim Tetrick.

The rainstorm mentioned above didn’t last long — the sun was out during the next race, but it had done just enough to turned the track “sloppy” for the second section. In that event, Yannick Gingras completed a stakes double as the Well Said filly Strong Opinion, a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation winner, followed up with another pacesetting effort, then held off the strong-closing Scuola Hanover by a neck in 1:52.3. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $259,448 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jack Piatt II, Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Veteran horseman Ross Croghan registered his 2,000th training win according to the United States Trotting Association database, which has kept training statistics since 1992, when Im Trigger Happy won the fourth race today. Winning at a 17.6% rate over the years, the Croghan barn has produced almost $44 million in racetrack earnings.

Newer fans may not know that Croghan was also quite a driver in his day before he decided to focus on training, and had 1,822 sulky driving wins in a North American career starting in 1977, with his best driving year in 1992 with 230 victories.

(PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)