NLG Racing Stable's Nocturnal Blue Chip (George Napolitano Jr.) went gate-to-wire in Sunday's featured event at Harrah's Philadelphia, a pace for non-winners of $22,500 in their last five starts going for a purse of $18,000.
Starting from post one, the 5-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight made an uncontested lead, setting fractions of :27.1, :55.3 and 1:23.1, The Gareth Dowse trainee had to withstand a first-over push from Christen Me N (Tim Tetrick), but was able to turn back the challenge en route to a one length win in a time of 1:50.4. Christen Me N was second, while Makasi (Pat Lachance) rallied for third. It was the 12th career win for Nocturnal Blue Chip, his fifth of the season. He's won three of his last four.
The gelding triggered a Jackpot Hi-5 payoff of $250.86, which now has a carryover of $501.75 headed into Wednesday's program.
Crazycat (Crazed) made his return to the Open Trot a winning one on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jose Godinez-trainee had two Open victories on his resume from earlier this season but recently dropped in company off a few dull tries.
The 5-year-old Crazycat rattled off back-to-back jacks in the conditional ranks at the Spa before heading into Sunday’s feature off a career-best 1:54.4 victory.
Bruce Aldrich Jr. co-owns and drives Crazycat and in Sunday’s $14,500 feature; he powered the talented trotter out to the lead approaching the opening quarter. The race’s favorite Uva Hanover (Billy Dobson) yielded and wound up sitting the pocket to Crazycat who cruised to his third Open win of the season. He stopped the timer in 1:55.1 while off at odds of 8-5.
Uva Hanover was a strong, albeit well-beaten, second while Twisted Pretzel (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot in the six-horse trotting feature.
The victory was the seventh on the year for Crazycat who is in the midst of his breakout campaign for Aldrich and Godinez.
Dreams Beachboy (Gates Brunet) cruised to a win in the featured pace ($6,000) on a special Fathers Day matinee at Vernon Downs.
Major Bucks (Claude Huckabone Jr.) led them to a first quarter of :27.4. After that is was all Dreams Beachboy ($2.90). Taking the lead just before the half in :58.1, he then cruised to three-quarters in 1:25.2 and won by six lengths in 1:52.2. Major Bucks held for second with Prince Pinang (Artie Dickie) getting the third spot.
I’llDreams Beachboy is a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Brunet, he won his first race of 2018. It was career win number 19.
Truman Gale had three wins on the card. He won with Coopers Beach ($3.50), JDs Brent N Sheree ($3), and Card Knock Life ($40.20). Jimmy Whittemore continues his strong season he leads all drivers in wins with 26 and trainers in wins with 15. John MacDonald is second in both categories.
Sir Ziggy's Z Tam (Mike Simons) took the Tioga Downs Open Pace ($12,000) on Sunday. Along with the 13 harness races, the Fathers Day crowd was entertained by the always fun Camel and Ostrich races.
Kardia (Aaron Byron) put up a first quarter of :27.4 and preceded to battle Doo Wop Hanover (Jim Meitnnis) all the way through three-quarters. Doo Wop Hanover led them to the half in :55.0 and three-quarters in 1:23. Sir Ziggy's Z Tam ($4.70) sat patiently in the pocket watching the duel before going three wide just before three-quarters. Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin, he flew by in the stretch to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1. Major Leaguer (John MacDonald) finished second with Caviart Reagon getting third.
Sir Ziggy's Z Tam is a 10-year-old gelding by Art Major. He won for the sixth straight time this season in seven starts. It was his career victory number 33.
Roland and Perrin teamed up for two more wins on the afternoon. They also won with Foreign Officer ($26.60) and Thebestofjoel ($2.60). Trainer Mike Deters and driver Jim Meittinis also teamed up for three wins on the day. Their wins were with Brinks Job ($4.50), Ideal Feeling ($2.70) and Prairie Panther ($3.50).