Overcast skies and intermittent rain cast their shadow over Harrah's Philadelphia for a special Labor Day harness racing program on Monday (September 3) afternoon, but the quartet of $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series finals for three-year-olds proved compelling, with only one favorite prevailing, and two odds-on selections met with defeat.
The fourth race, for pacing colts and geldings, saw 1-5 favorite Friday At Five (George Napolitano) set increasingly quickening fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.2 after brushing to the lead off the first turn. Meanwhile, early pacesetter Take It Back Terry drafted in the pocket through the middle half, angled wide on the far turn, and struck the front in mid-stretch, prevailing by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1 under Matt Kakaley, returning $11.40 to win.
The trotting filly division saw another pacesetter reeled in, as the first-over Upfront Bye Bye ($5.20) closed in steadily on Taylor Jean (Mike Wilder) up the backstretch, digging in to take over in the last eighth of a mile while holding off Meadowbranch Jill (Andy Miller) to prevail in 1:57.0 in rein to Brian Zendt.
Pacing fillies contested the eighth race, and Argument Hanover ($9.60) passed all seven of her rivals en route to a 3-1/4 length victory in 1:52.3. Corey Callahan moved her third-over just before race's midpoint, tracking Sangaal (George Napolitano) and Sweetheart Dance (Andy Miller) through the backstretch.
Aided by extremely live cover, Argument Hanover was set to vault three-wide off the far turn, pushing clear of Sweetheart Dance in upper stretch, pulling well clear to prevail.
Trotting colts and geldings were the last group to contest their Stallion Series final, with Fogelberg ($13.60) outlasting a challenge from the pocket-sitting Trustworthy Kid (Andy Miller) to prevail in a strong 1:54.1 with Charlie Norris in tow. Fogelberg floated clear with a circuit to go, and controlled intermediate fractions of :57.0 and 1:25.1 before holding sway by a length.
Two-year-olds contest their Stallion Series championships at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday (September 6) afternoon, with first post at 12:40 p.m.
from Harrah's Philadelphia publicity department