Nutcracker Sweet scores in Philly
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Nutcracker Sweet, who has been in the harness racing headlines ever since he won his purse debut in 1:52 in June of his two-year-old year, won for the first time in 753 days – just over two years – as he took the pacing division of the $16,000 tri-features Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The four-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight showed good speed in making the lead before the :26.4 quarter, then was used further to keep Major March outside most of the way to a :55.3 half. Cecil Casanova moved to challenge raw before the 1:23 three-quarters, but in the stretch driver Andrew McCarthy was able to find room up the inside and got past the tough first-over by 3/4 of a length – in 1:52.
A full brother to $2.7M winner Bettor Sweet and a half brother to $3.4M winner and top sire Sweet Lou, Nutcracker Sweet danced almost all the major dances at both two and three, though he hadn’t won since Lexington of his freshman campaign. Today’s victory boosted his lifetime earnings to $404,294, with but five wins, for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere.
In the first of the trotting features, Yannick Gingras was able to work out a pocket trip with the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Crossfit, then came clear in the stretch to catch pacesetting filly Queen Of Trixs by 1½ lengths and reduce his mark to 1:54.2. Ron Burke conditions the winner for owner Joe Sbrocco.
The other trot saw Take A Wish make an early move to the lead for driver Steve Smith, then withstand a long grind by SVF Cash Deposit by a neck in 1:55.4. The four-year-old daughter of Wishing Stone is owned by driver Smith, trainer Dawn Anderson, and Mark Schulstrom. (PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)