Day At The Track

Harrah's co-features to Gold Orchid, Mr Houdini

10:20 AM 10 Nov 2018 NZDT
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CHESTER, PA - Gold Orchid N handled a stepup in class to keep her North American record perfect after five starts, winning a $14,500 high-level conditioned distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday in 1:52.

Fellow New Zealander Dexter Dunn was in the sulky behind the victorious daughter of Bettor's Delight, and they couldn't have enjoyed a better journey. Delightful Dragon grabbed the lead early and passed the ¼ in 27, but JK Jazzitup was soon on the go and took over the lead by the 56.1 half, with Terror At Night starting the outer tier uncovered and Gold Orchid N right behind her.

After a battle on the front end resulted in a ¾ clocking of 1:23.4, Terror At Night had forged a short lead by headstretch, but Gold Orchid N still had plenty in the tank and went on to post a 1½-length victory over Terror At Night, with third-over Ella Christina coming on for third, another 1¼ lengths back. Mark Harder trains the "ceiling unlimited" mare for BAMQ LLC.

Unusually for "Filly and Mare Friday" at Philly, the top purse event of the day was a trot, a $16,000 contest won by a male, as the Kadabra gelding Mr Houdini equaled his lifetime mark of 1:56.2 over a track that had been rerated to "sloppy" after a hard rain about an hour earlier.

Mr Houdini worked out a pocket trip, but looked like he wouldn't shake free in enough time to catch Girl Talk, who had swept wide off cover to the midstretch lead. "Houdini" and driver Brett Miller escaped from the box in just enough time to produce a surge that got him home first by a head for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

There's no question that trainer Mike Dowdall and driver Brett Miller are the "go-to" team at Philly for longshot tallies, as they clicked again in the first race with Cinder Rita ($79.40) - the fourth time at the meet the pair have produced a $50+ winner. Dowdall's quartet of bombers puts him far ahead of other conditioners - no other trainer has more than one! - while Miller's seventh overall $50+ horse ties him for the meet lead with Eric Carlson in that category.

Race one also went to the top in longshot production - a longshot led the card for the sixth time in the meet, breaking a tie with races six and ten. (In case you were wondering, races five and fourteen have yet to see a $50+ win payoff.)

Tim Tetrick won four races Friday, reducing George Napolitano Jr.'s lead in the seasonlong driving standings to 218-213. Cat Manzi won the first dashwinning drivers title at Philly, and since then it has either been Napolitano (six times, including the last four) or Tetrick (five times) on top.

From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

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