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Scirocco Rob takes Philly trot feature in 1:53.1

September 17, 2020
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The Explosive Matter gelding Scirocco Rob, who last week lost to the first-over Arabella’s Cadet in a track record 1:52 for trotting mares at Harrah’s Philadelphia, this week became the irresistible grinding force, making two moves en route to a 1:53.1 victory in Thursday’s $14,400 top-level trot on an overcast day at the riverside oval.
 
Leaving from post six in a field of seven, Scirocco Rob tucked third early as Mississippi Storm pushed favored Southwind Avenger most of a :26.3 quarter before ceding the lead. The “Avenger” got a breather to the :56 half, but Scirocco Rob was out and rolling down the back for driver George Napolitano Jr., going right at the leader to the 1:24.2 three-quarters and beyond, making the lead at headstretch.
 
Scirocco Rob kept to his task to the wire, winning by a half length over Mississippi Storm, who came up the passing lane, while second-over Goes Down Smooth was third ahead of a tiring Southwind Avenger. Scirocco Rob has now won three of his last four starts for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr., with his career bankroll now at $452,753.
 
The Andover Hall gelding Grapple Hanover went to the lead in the $13,600 co-featured trot, yielded to favored Macmorris Hanover and then sat perfectly-placed as that one wrestled with first-over Hatikvah the last half, going up the inside to gain a final half-length margin over the game Hatikvah in 1:55.2. David Miller drove the consistent winner of $167,359 to the triumph for trainer Bucky Angle and owners Howard and Josh Kauffman.
 
George Napolitano Jr. won four races on the card for Thursday honors; Dexter Dunn was next in line with three victories. (PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)
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