Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts got underway at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon with three divisions.
The Walt Carroll-trained, Jim Raymer-driven Wheelsandthelegman turned in a strong, virtually wire-to-wire 1:55.1 victory, winning by 5 3/4 lengths over Journey. Beth Carroll owns the gelding by Donato Hanover, who carved out fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:25.3.
The second split went to Nuncio, the only horse to beat Father Patrick last season. Although now trained by Jimmy Takter, Nuncio had his regular driver, John Campbell, behind him in the sulky. After starting from post 7, Nuncio and Campbell moved to the front in the last turn with the Andover Hall colt winning by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:54.3. Stall TZ, the stable which includes Stefan Melander, who won the Hambletonian with Scarlet Knight, owns Nuncio.
The third and final split went to Datsyuk, who enjoyed a pocket trip behind Don Dorado before trotting to a 1 3/4-length score in 1:55.3. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris also shares ownership of Datsyuk, a gelded son of Explosive Matter-Pink Ribbons, with Leonard Buckner.