After fading late from the pocket in the nine-furlong Hambletonian Maturity last week, ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson's Guardian Angel As ($5.60) broke his own track record for 4-year-old trotting stallions and soared to a 1:50.4 mile in a $30,000 Great Northeast Series event on Sunday afternoon (July 22) at Harrah's Philadelphia.
With regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Anette Lorentzon in the day's sixth race, the son of Archangel yielded to outsider Muscle Diamond (Andy McCarthy) before working to the fore just past a sharp :26.3 first quarter. After clearing, Guardian Angel As was forced to maintain a strenuous pace throughout, as Broadway Donna (David Miller) began a first-over bid from fourth with five-eighths to go and prompted middle splits of :55.4 and 1:23.1.
With three-sixteenths remaining, Guardian Angel As shrugged off his competition and powered clear by 2-1/4 lengths while well in hand. Muscle Diamond, who chased evenly from a loose pocket off the far turn, regained second, while Broadway Donna leveled off to finish third.
Just four weeks prior to Sunday's score, Guardian Angel As etched his name in the Harrah's Philadelphia record books with a 1:52 mile. The 13-time winner has now won four of five races to date this season.
In the $30,000 Great Northeast event for pacing mares (race 11), Yonkers invader Tequila Monday ($6.40) worked clear up the backstretch and bottomed out her six rivals through the final three-eighths of a 1:49.4 win, a new lifetime mark for the 16-time winner. After stalking Blue Moon Stride (David Miller) and Caviart Ally (McCarthy) through a :26.1 first quarter, Eric Goodell angled the 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal out on the bridge turn to force a :55.1 half.
Up the far side, Tequila Monday sped away, and she held her ground late to win by a diminishing 1-1/4 lengths. L A Delight (Yannick Gingras) rallied off cover to take second, while Nike Franco N (Tim Tetrick) hooked out of traffic from last at the top of the stretch and stormed home for third.
Sixteen-time winner Tequila Monday earned her fourth win of the year for trainer Hunter Oakes and owners Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey.
No players successfully chose the winning Jackpot Hi-5 combination in the day's fifth race, resulting in a carryover of $3,225.46 for the Wednesday (July 25) card. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. (PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)