CHESTER, PA – The wife/husband team of trainer Julie and driver Andy Miller swept the featured trotting events at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, including the $14,400 co-features, one with a filly they campaigned with success on the Grand Circuit last year, and the other with a horse who just came to their barn.
The Archangel gelding Angel Nation was unraced at two, but he progressed enough at three to be second in the Ontario Super Final. He qualified at Woodbine Mohawk, then moved down to the Millers and, off 34 days, qualified in 1:54.4 at first asking.
He was even better on Thursday, blazing down the road in :28.2, :58, 1:26, and 1:54.1, a new mark, holding off the highly-regarded stakeswinner Hillexotic, who was also making his debut at four. The victorious Angel Nation seems on the verge of greater things for owners Legendary Standardbred Farm and Ted Macdonell, his trainer in Ontario.
The Millers got a good season out of the Bar Hopping sophomore filly Pub Crawl at two, with four wins, over $200,000 in earnings, and a mark of 1:53.4 at Lexington.
She made her 2021 debut in style Thursday, going first-over and still drawing clear late in 1:54.4, setting her up for her upcoming stakes campaign. The Legendary Standardbred Farm also owns a share of this winner along with Andy Miller Stables Inc. and Louis Willinger.
Team Orange Crush also accounted for the $13,000 headliner for fast-class seasoned trotters with the Father Patrick four-year-old Big Oil, who never looked back during fractions of :27.2, :56.3, and 1:24.1 en route to the final clocking of 1:52.4. A world champion by virtue of his 1:52.1 dead-heat win at two at Lexington with Real Cool Sam – the fastest trotting dead-heat of all-time – Big Oil is owned by Jason, Douglas, and Ronald Allen.
The track also drew Thursday for its first Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing of 2021, with three-year-old pacing fillies dropping in to fill three Sire Stakes events and seven Stallion Series cuts on next Wednesday’s card. One division of the Sire Stakes will be a rematch of the Sires Final from last year, with the victorious Blue Diamond Eyes again squaring off with Grace Hill, the favorite who was second to her for the big money last season.
Harrah’s Philadelphia will be back in action on Friday at 12:25 p.m. ; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.