Harrah's Philadelphia and Yonkers offer good Sunday cards

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Ted Black

August 12th, 2018

Sunday afternoon's cards at Harrah's Philadelphia and Yonkers Raceway were both competitive and filled with quality standardbreds, although there were very few similarities between them beyond that generality.

Early on the Sunday afternoon card at Yonkers, with many of the parimutuel participants taking swings from across the Atlantic, the focus was on trotters competing in the added distance events at one-mile and one-quarter. Such events are a staple of racing in France where many of the punters were watching and wagering earlier this afternoon.

In the opening race on the card, Andy Ray (Jason Bartlett) benefited from starting from post nine in the second tier, then overcame a prolonged first over journey to wear down favored Buen Camino (Brian Sears) for a neck victory in 2:25.4 for the one-mile and one-quarter affair. A six-year-old Crazed gelding trained by Annette Lorentzon, Andy Ray forged the mild upset in the non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class for his fourth win in 16 seasonal outings and pushed his lifetime earnings over the $400,000 plateau.

Then one race later in a race restricted to French-American Trotting eligibles, Adagio De La Tour (Bartlett) provided the track's leading driver with the early daily double when he posted a 12-1 upset. The eight-year-old Lillium Madrik gelding trained by Richard Banca ended a prolonged drought by overtaking favored Barry Black (Jordan Stratton) for a length victory by getting the one-mile and one-quarter distance in 2:26.1.

Then several races later in the featured $44,000 Open Handicap contested at the standard distance of one mile, Guardian Angel As (Bartlett) maintained his stellar current form by overhauling Mostinterestingman (Stratton) despite racing first over the back half to score in 1:53.4. A four-year-old Archangel stallion trained by Lorentzon, Guardian Angel As notched his second straight tally and recorded his fifth victory in six starts this year and already boasts two track record triumphs.

Then several races later in a non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class for older trotters, DW's NY Yank (George Brennan) benefited from his coveted rail draw and led throughout through splits of 28, 57.3 and 1:26.1 and edged clear from Charmed Life (Daniel Dube) to score in 1:54.3. A nine-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding trained by Ron Burke and a former fixture in the Open Handicap over the New York half-mile oval, DWs NY Yank recorded his fourth win from 14 starts this year and advanced his career bankroll just past $1.26 million.

That same afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, the focus at the five-eighths mile oval was primarily on the pacers with three $54,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events for three-year-old colts and one $30,000 Great Northeast Open series for older pacers all garnering their share of the spotlight.

Well before the midway point of the card, Albergo Hanover (Joe Bongiorno) succeeded in his first stakes try when he benefited from a pocket trip behind Odds On Lauderdale (Marcus Miller) through modest splits of 26.4, 55.4 and 1:22 for the first three calls, angled to the passing lane and surged clear late to a two-length score in 1:49.4. A sophomore son of Well Said trained by Jenn Bongiorno of Evenin Of Pleasure fame, Albergo Hanover has won four straight races and five of 12 starts overall this year after going winless in seven tries as a juvenile.

Then right at the midway point of the Sunday card in the second PASS split, Done Well (Bongiorno) posted a mild upset as the 9-5 second choice when he gained command soon after the start and led through fractions of 26.3, 54.3 and 1:22.4 en route to a handy, three-length score in 1:51. Another sophomore son of Well Said trained by Brian Brown, Done Well ended a six-race skid by recording his second win in eight starts this year and his sixth win in 12 tries overall and pushed his career earnings past $330,000.

Then two races later on the card, Donttellmeagain (Victor Kirby) forged a mild upset as the 9-5 second choice when he benefited from a pocket trip behind 3-5 favorite More The Better N (Callahan) then overhauled that one in the lane for a length score in 1:49.1. A four-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by Jim King, Jr., Donttellmeagain notched his second straight tally and now owns four wins and $240,000 banked from nine starts this year and pushed his career earnings toward $460,000.

Then two races later in the third PASS split for sophomore pacing colts the mild upsets continued when Hayden Hanover (Matt Kakaley) ended a prolonged drought and edged 17-1 outsider Macadoodledo (Callahan) by nearly a length in 1:50.4. A sophomore son of the late Somebeachsomewhere trained by Julie Miller, Hayden Hanover recorded his first win in nine starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $75,000. He had earlier earned a berth in both the $750,000 North America Cup and $700,000 Meadowlands Pace finals but failed to earn a check in either event.