The Liberty Bell stakes series got off to a fine and fast start on Friday at Harrah’s Philadelphia, as the Bar Hopping – Peace Dove colt Parola Hanover equaled the track record for two-year-old colt trotters of 1:55 while winning strongly on the engine.
Corey Callahan left the early traffic sort itself out, then moved his colt to the lead nearing the :28.1 quarter, clearing to the top and then getting a breather to a :57.4 half. There were no breathers from that point, as the winner tacked on a pair of :28.3 back quarters to defeat first-over Andoverthewinnings by 2-1/2 lengths while matching the local standard first set by Rome Pays Off in 2019 and then equaled by Captain Corey last year.
Parola Hanover won for only the second time in the $61,000 single division event, but he has shown sharp improvement over the last month, including a neck loss to S I P in their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship, and the Dave Wiest trainee now has a bankroll of $173,125 for David L Wiest Stables LLC and Edward Kimmel.
There were two $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stake for freshman pacing fillies, and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship winner and Consolation winner accounted for the splits. The Championship winner, the Captaintreacherous – Rideintothesunset filly Captain Cowgirl, ran her record to six-for-eight, and her earnings to $245,071, with a 1:52.2 victory. The Cowgirl set the pace with fractionals of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:23.3, then holding off a very stubborn Southwind Java by a neck for driver Victor Kirby, trainer Jim King Jr. (there seems to be no end to nice distaffs coming from his barn), and the ownership of Joanne Looney-King, Kenneth Frieder, and Tim Tetrick LLC.
The Betting Line – Robin Cruiser miss Hood Party, like the other stakes winners the crowd choice, also chose frontstepping tactics en route to a 1:53 win. Ringing up splits of :27.2, :56.3, and 1:24.2, Hood Party then had enough in her tank to defeat a resurgent Sweet Omen by a neck for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer Nifty Norman, and Pinske Stables while running her record to four-for-nine, including three of her last four.
Sunday’s feature at Philly is a $16,200 fast-class pace which sees the rail horse, Seriously Hanover, designated as the 3-1 early choice in a very competitive grouping. Liberty Bell stakes return to Harrah’s next Thursday, with three-year-old fillies of both gaits in the spotlight. Program pages are or will be available at the PHHA website.
(PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia)