Day At The Track

Mel Mara becomes a millionaire at Harrah's

10:04 AM 20 Aug 2018 NZST
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Mel Mara, harness racing
Mel Mara and driver Victor Kirby
World Wide Racing Photo
Chester, PA --- After a slow start to his 9-year-old campaign, Mel Mara ($3.60) found victory in his ninth start of the year and became harness racing's newest millionaire on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 19) at Harrah's Philadelphia.
 
The son of Lis Mara left from post five in a $12,500 third-level conditioned pace and worked clear of Cyamach (Pat Berry) at the end of a :27.2 first quarter before using three straight :28 sectionals to outpace the field. Mel Mara and driver Victor Kirby started to gain separation on their seven rivals with three-eighths to go, amassing a five-length lead off the far turn before ultimately defeating the late-rallying Franky's Beach Boy (George Napolitano Jr.) by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. Archangel Three (Tony Morgan), who provided cover to the runner-up, finished third.
 
Dylan Davis trains Mel Mara, runner-up in last year's Ben Franklin and Sam McKee Memorial events, for the partnership of the Robert Cooper Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Howard Taylor.
 
The day's $17,000 featured pacing event saw Commentariat ($22.00) skim the pegs to spring a 10-1 upset in rein to Sean Bier. The 4-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding remained perched in the pocket behind favored pacesetter Spondulicks N (Art Stafford Jr.) before working up the open stretch to win by half a length in 1:53. Spondulicks N held second over Rough Odds (Dexter Dunn), who lifted down the grandstand side to miss the runner-up spot by a further neck.
 
Noel Daley trains eight-time winner Commentariat, a Caviart Farms homebred.
 
Favorites finished one-two in the day's fifth race, resulting in multiple winners in the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5. As such, a mounting carryover of $3,852.96 heads to the Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 22) program. First post is 12:25 p.m.
 
by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia 
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