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Manzi wins CHST title

December 19, 2006

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Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack, which kicked off its 2006 inaugural meeting on Sunday, Sept. 10, concluded its 45-day stand on Monday, thus accenting the return of harness racing to the Delaware Valley. The season was marked by superlative performances, including two sub-1:50 miles from Fake Denario N, who was named the Horse of the Meet, and business that steadily increased as the season progressed.

Average purse distribution for the season approximated $70,000, a figure that is expected to surge to approximately $160,000 when Harrah’s Chester resumes live racing next year. The 2007 meet will feature 95 live days from Monday, July 9 through Thursday, Dec. 20.

Hall of Famer Catello Manzi, the second-winningest driver in North American harness racing history, set a track record by notching six wins on the closing day card to bring his meet total to 68, tops among drivers. Mike Hall collected 19 victories to earn honors as the meet’s leading trainer.

Other highlights included:

Sept. 10: Silver Flash captures the first race in Harrah’s Chester history by pacing the inaugural mile in 1:52 with Manzi at the reins. Five races later, Edison Hanover wins the day’s open handicap in 1:50.1, setting a new track standard.

Oct. 15: Meadowlands Pace winner Artistic Fella establishes a new track record when he takes that day’s 6th race in 1:50.1

Oct. 25: Manzi records five driving victories on the day’s card.

Oct. 29: Driver George Napolitano Jr. equals Manzi’s feat by also capturing five races on one card.

Nov. 19: Four-year-old pacer Fake Denario N and driver Ron Pierce take a first leg division of The Town Drunk Series, the first late-closer in Harrah’s Chester history. The gelding covers the mile in 1:51.2.

Nov. 26: Fake Denario N and Pierce come right back to claim the second leg of The Town Drunk, this time in 1:49.4, establishing a new track mark.

Nov. 30: Four-year-old trotter Sir Perseverance sets an all-age track record of 1:53.2 in winning a first leg division of the Richie Prospect late-closer for driver George Brennan.

Dec. 3: Fake Denario N shatters his own track record by winning The Town Drunk final in a blistering :49.2. Ron Pierce again is in the bike.

“By any standard, our inaugural meet was a great success,” said Mike Tanner, Harrah’s Chester’s director of racing operations. “Our numbers were solid, and the cooperation and feedback that we received from the horsemen and fans was just tremendous. We’re looking forward to big things in 2007.” (Harrah\'s Chester)
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