Two-year-old colts were featured in over $190,000 of John Simpson Sr. stakes action at Harrah’s Philadelphia with Yonkers’ leading driver, Jason Bartlett taking a rare excursion to metro Philly and winning the first division of the colt action on both the trot and the pace.
Captain Malicious dominated his division of the pacing contests, going right to the front for Bartlett and posting fractions of :27.4, :57.2, and 1:25.4 en route to a 1-3/4 length victory over pocket-sitting Meetmeatthedance in 1:53.4. A winner of his Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation event, the victorious son of Captaintreacherous – Silky is trained by Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with Dr. John Egloff, John Frisch, and Max Hempt.
Speaking of leading drivers, George Napolitano Jr. tied Tim Tetrick at the top of the Philly drivers standings with his 175th win of the local season by going wire-to-wire in the second division of pacing colts with Hervey Hanover in 1:53. After early fractions of :27.2 and :56.2, the Somebeachsomewhere – Here Music Rocks blitzed a :27.2 third quarter to open up a good distance on favoured Southwind Ozzi, then held off that one’s steady late charge by a head. Andrew Harris handles conditioning duties for owner Brad Gray.
The Russell Hanover – Applique Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover was the fastest two-year-old on the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes circuit this summer by virtue of a track record 1:56.4 win at Gratz, and today he showed he could translate his top form to pari-mutuel stakes conditions. Aflame Hanover was sent right down the road and stormed home in :55.2 to reduce his mark to 1:52.2 while defeating favoured Jo Jos Place by 1-3/4 lengths. The freshman's next start for driver Tony Schadel and trainer/wife Linda, who are also his co-owners, should also be at a pari-mutuel oval -- his Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship on Saturday afternoon, October 6 at The Meadows.
Prior to his Friday trotting event a winless Our White Knight had had six seconds and three thirds in nine career starts while earning $119,079, including a third in the New York Sire Stakes final. Driver Jason Bartlett was finally able to deliver the the Crazed – Pyschotherapist gelding to the winner's circle, using wire-to-wire tactics in setting fractions of :28.4, :59.4, and 1:29, then withstanding potential pocket rocket Jasons Camden by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:58. John Butenschoen is the trainer of Our White Knight, and David Arrenholz is the owner.
The Cantab Hall – Upside Hanover colt Klutzy became the only horse to win in the Liberty Bell stakes series last week and then come back with a Simpson victory this afternoon when he set fractions of :29, :58.4, and 1:28 on a clear lead for driver Eric Carlson, then won handily in 1:57.1. Julie Miller is the conditioner of the sharp colt for Stroy Inc. That victory completed all of today’s stakes winners using the engine as a means to victory.
FINISHING LINES – Driver Eric Carlson had earlier solidified his position as Philly’s leading longshot handler, winning the eighth race with Hold It Hanover while paying $51.40 for his fifth $50+ winner of the meet, putting him one ahead of Brett Miller. Carlson is also tied for the distinction of having the most $100+ victories in 2018 at Philly: between him and Miller, they have piloted four of the six triple-figure win horses at the riverside oval.
(PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia)