The John Simpson Sr. stakes series continued at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday afternoon (October 28), with action for two-year-old trotters of both sexes, and even though each of the winners had been away from the races for 18 days or more, all had been trained up to a winning mile by well-known conditioners and got the job done.
In this sense, perhaps the most appropriately-named of the winners was the Cantab Hall filly Fine Tuned Lady, who made every post a winning one for the hot stakes team of driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen in the first of two $35,000 divisions for distaffs. The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, also the winner of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management stake at Hoosier Park, held off the late bid of pocket-sitting Cool Cates by a length in 1:56.1 despite an absence of 21 days, running her record to 11-5-5-0, worth $363,990 to the partnership of William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware LLC.
In the other division, trainer Jimmy Takter completed the Cantab Hall filly sweep by having Bridal Suite ready to go after 18 days away from the track, as she posted a victory in 1:59 over pacesetting favourite Southwind Prius for driver Matt Kakaley. Bridal Suite moved up second-over, was left raw when her cover broke around the turn and burst to the lead by headstretch, then maintained her advantage to the wire to win by one and a quarter lengths for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman.
In the single colt division, worth $67,300, the Credit Winner colt Money Macintosh had not been out since making a break while in contention in a Lexington Grand Circuit event 22 days previous, but watching him expand his lead from two to six lengths in the stretch, you’d never know it. Trainer Julie Miller had the winner of five races and $156,479 honed well as he equalled his lifetime mark of 1:56.2 for driver/husband Andy Miller and owners Stroy Inc.
(With files from Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association)