from the PHHA /Harrah’s Philadelphia
Chester, PA — Heavily-favored Skippin By, intimidating the field by virtue of her 1:50.1 victory last week, was the only major leaver and stole a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 featured pace for mares at Harrah’s Philadelphia Friday (Oct. 12).
True, it was a cool 62 degrees at the riverside oval Friday, but in 67-degree weather last Friday, Skippin By went fractions of :27, :55.3, and 1:23, adding on a :27.1 last quarter in a blowout victory, In this event, George Napolitano Jr. sent the daughter of Shadow Play to early command and set slightly-more pedestrian fractions of :28, :56, and 1:24, then had to chase her the length of the stretch to maintain a healthy margin, which at the wire was 1-1/2 lengths over the noted closer Penpal.
Skippin By has had a giant 2018 already, with seven wins and seven seconds in 26 starts, with earnings of $110,900 for trainer Nick Surick and the ownership of Cornerstone Stock Farm. Lifetime, Skippin By has 33 victories and a bankroll of $877,409.
In the $14,500 co-featured mares pace, the Ashlee’s Big Guy mare Royal Knockout joined a dynamic outer tier from last, then swept by in the lane to record a $91.00 upset in 1:53.2. Tony Morgan, second on the all-time winningest North American drivers list, timed his late charge well to raise the mare’s earnings to $466,073 for trainer Michael Posner and owners Michael and Adrienne Selis.
Western Canada’s top pacing filly of 2016-2017, with 16 wins in 18 starts and earnings over $250,000, was an unlucky 0-for-13 at four after coming south of the border. But all it took was a California trainer and a New Zealand driver to get her home first at Philly on Friday.
Yoga Pants, a daughter of Sportswriter, finally found the U.S. winner’s circle in her 14th start of the year for trainer Lou Pena, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Wish Me Luck Stables of Gap, Pa., which is 42 miles from Harrah’s in Chester, Pa., slightly closer than the 2,950 miles from Vancouver, the distaff’s base when north of the border.