Day At The Track
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CHESTER, PA - The pair of harness racing feature races at Harrah's Chester on "Trottin' Thursday" were both hard-fought affairs, with both headliners finding less than two lengths separating the winner from the last checkgetter. In the $18,000 top-level event, the Crazed gelding Izoh ignored both a 23-1 dismissal by the crowd and a grueling first-over trip to catch favored sophomore Goes Down Smooth, whose last appearance was a checkgetting one in the Breeders Crown, by a nose in 1:55.1. There was a half-length between Goes Down Smooth and third-place Ooh Rah, who in turn captured third by a half-length over Sumatra, with Armagedon Seelster another neck back in fifth. Izoh, now with two wins and three seconds in his last five starts despite rising in class steadily, triumphed for trainer Frank Ingrassia and driver Jackie Ingrassia, who is a co-owner with Arden Homestead Stable, Donna Franchetti, and Thomas Doran. The $14,500 co-feature saw the Muscle Mass gelding Cruising In Style come up the inside to outstep first-over favorite Crossfit by ¾ of a length in 1:55.4. Fashion Creditor was a half-length behind those two and Hill Of A Horse only a head behind the show horse and a half-length ahead of Sylvesteramericait. CruisingIn Style pushed his earnings over the quarter-million dollar mark, with the figure now at $250,819 for the Andrew Harris trainee, who is owned by Thestable Cruising Group. Cruising In Style was driven by George Napolitano Jr., who had four wins on the Thursday card; Marcus Miller was next in line with three sulky successes. From Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - The mare Turn The Paige and driver Jackie Ingrassia missed the world record for a 5/8-mile trot over a 5/8-mile track by 2/5 of a second while taking a $12,500 event at Harrah's Philadelphia Saturday afternoon in 1:09.2 - but with the energy the winner showed, the record could have been hers with a better trip. Actually, it's hard to imagine a worse trip for the Cantab Hall mare, who left from post five - three-wide most of the quickly-arriving first turn in the once-around race, and then two-wide raw the duration against pacesetting favorite Hemi Seelster, with fractions of 27.1 and 55.2. In the stretch it was Turn The Paige and "Lady J" who continued to power to the wire, winning by 2 3/4 lengths over a late-charging Patton, with Hemi Seelster settling for show. Husband-trainer Frank Ingrassia conditions the winner for his wife-owner-driver, and they saw their mare reach earnings of $202,545 with the sprint triumph. Top purse event on the day at Harrah's was a $17,000 conditioned pace, won in impressive fashion by the Shanghai Phil gelding Makasi while lowering his lifetime mark by almost two seconds to 1:50.2. Driver/trainer Pat Lachance worked out a fine second-over trip with the winner of $142,409, sent up three-wide on the far turn, and the winner responded with a thumping last quarter of 27.2 to win by 3 1/4 lengths for Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Owner/driver Jackie Ingrassia was ready for war in Stallion Series action at the harness racing meeting on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 12) at Harrah's Philadelphia. She hit the board with all 3 entrants out of 6 divisions for 2-year-old filly trotters, including a win with 48-1 long shot Turn The Paige ($98.40). It was the first career win for the daughter of Cantab Hall, as she was able to hold off a furious stretch rally from Loveable Grace (Dave Miller) to prevail. Ingrassia also had a second with Ardwyn Hanover (131-1), and a third place finish with Sun Catcher (57-1). The fastest of the six divisions was in race 7, where Purple Haze Stable's Ameliosi (Dave Miller) won easily in 1:59. Other division winners included Ron Burke trainee Rule Of Hall (Yannick Gingras), who paid $58.00 to win, Pete Foley trainee Global Inspiration (Corey Callahan), Brett Bittle trainee High Beam Hanover (Tim Tetrick), and Mary Martin's Wishicouldfish (Dave Miller). Each event carried a purse of $20,000. Live racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon with 3 divisions of PASS action featuring 2-year-old filly trotters in action. Post Time is 12:40 PM. Mike Bozich

Summer Showdown at Ocean Downs came to a close on Sunday (July 29) with the harness racing 3-year-old Maryland Sire Stakes finals.

Yonkers trot winner Goalfish and trainer/driver/owner Jacquie Ingrassia (far right) entered the show ring for the very first time at Handy Acres farm in Jackson NJ on March 30.

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