Invitationals highlight Sunday card

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Ted Black

May 30th, 2016

A trio of $200,000 Invitationals - two for pacers - lived up their billing on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia as the reigning horse of the year looks difficult to dethrone.

Heading into the Dorothy Mullin Invitational for older pacers, Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) arrived as the defending harness horse of the year and the highest rated horse in the inaugural USTA Top 10 poll. Based on his handy score in the $200,000 Battle Of Lake Erie the week before, Wiggle It Jiggleit was made the 1-2 favorite from post two.

There were several logical contenders in this event, including Rockin Ron who had defeated Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Confederation Cup. Bit Of A Legend N, the Levy final hero, drew the outside spot while Rockeyed Optimist and Mach It So were looking to post upset scores.

But much of the outcome was decided soon after the gate folded. Rockin Ron left alertly to gain the lead and Wiggle It Jiggleit secured the pocket and forced Luck Be With You to tuck third.

Rockin Ron led the field by the opener in 26 flat and by the half in 54 flat, but Wiggle It Jiggleit pulled the pocket down the backside and dueled with Rockin Ron by three-quarters in 1:20 flat and through the far turn.

Wiggle It Jiggleit surged past Rockin Ron turning for home and edged clear to a two-length score in 1:47.3. It was his sixth win in nine starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $375,000.

One race earlier on the card, Obrigado wore down JL Cruze on the far turn and then outfought IL Sogno Dream to capture the Maxie Lee Invitational in 1:52. JL Cruze broke stride turning for home and settled for fifth.

Then one race earlier, Venus Delight benefited from a ground saving three-hole trip and clever steering from Tim Tetrick to capture the $200,000 Betsy Ross Invitational in 1:50.4 for her first win in nine starts this year for trained Jeff Bamond, jr. Katie Said finished second as the 6-5 choice after sweeping to command turning for home.