from PHHA/Harrah’s Philadelphia
Chester, PA — Jack Vernon had to overcome a tough first-over journey in the $18,000 featured trot at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 11), but the fast Muscle Hill gelding not only did so, but came within a fifth of a second of his lifetime best in a 1:53.2 mile.
Favorite Tyson took command early, then submitted to a brushing move by New Jersey Viking past the :27.3 opener. The new leader got a breather to the half in :57, but then Jack Vernon got underway under Andy Miller’s handling, getting even with the pacesetter near the 1:24.4 three-quarters, edging away on the turn, and then withstanding the late comeback bid of Tyson by half a length.
The victory was the third in a row for the Julie Miller trainee, who now has earnings of $191,248 for the Andy Miller Stable Inc.
A pair of $14,500 sub-featured trots were also conducted on the Thursday card. In the first, the Andover Hall mare Casa Palmera regained her winning ways, able to out-close Zlatan and Band’s Houdini to win in 1:54 for her sixth win in 15 starts during 2018. George Napolitano Jr. drove for trainer Ed Lohmeyer, who shares ownership with Dr. Patricia Hogan.
Napolitano’s trip in the other $14,500 event was much more adventurous, as favorite Yuge, who broke on the lead late on the first turn, recovered and pressured pacesetting second choice Crazy About Pat. However, the veteran Crazed gelding refused to surrender the lead under Eric Carlson’s handling en route to a 1:55.1 triumph. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trains and owns Crazy About Pat, whose 36th career win boosted his earnings to $818,510.
Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the Thursday card, cutting Napolitano’s lead to 192-184 atop the Harrah’s driver standings.