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Oneida Blue Chip wins Philly feature

June 14, 2018

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The term "trainer/driver" is becoming a rare species in 2018 harness racing; even rarer still is "owner/trainer/driver." But Mike Simons occupies all three titles behind the American ideal mare Oneida Blue Chip, winner of the $17,000 feature for distaffs Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Simons had Oneida Blue Chip perfectly-placed in second-over position behind favored Lifetime Trust, and as that one grinded to the lead in early stretch, he tipped his mare one lane wider, and Oneida Blue Chip had just enough rally to gain a nose decision, with Maching Me Zilly weaving between horses from last at the three-quarters to miss the big prize by only three-quarters of a length. The 1:53.3 winning clocking equaled the lifetime best of Oneida Blue Chip.

A trio of $16,000 co-features were also on theWednesday card. The event for trotters went to Brown Bear, a developing son of Cantab Hall who is now three-for-four this season after finishing strongly to take this contest in 1:56. Speaking of the term "owner/trainer/driver," Francisco Del Cid has filled the term in Brown Bear's last two starts, both victories. The driver in his other win? Simons!

In the first of the two co-featured paces, Thedaythemusicdied put it all together for Don McLean fans and driver Pat Lachance, circling from sixth at the midway point while stepping his back half in :54.3 to take a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4 with a four length victory. Kathleen La Montagne trains the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, and she also co-owns him with Donald La Montagne.

In the other section, Darling's Dragon finally snapped a string of six straight seconds, and he did it with authority, controlling the early pace and then throwing successive :27.1 quarters home while taking a new mark of 1:51.3. The son of Dragon Again completed a double for the team of driver Donald and trainer Marie Dupont. Marie also had a double as an owner, as she co-owns this winner of $211,618 with Demetre Skaoyannis.

Tim Tetrick widened his lead in the Harrah's driver dash-winning derby as he piloted home four winners. (Harrah's Philadelphia/PHHA)

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