Four cuts for both gaits of sophomore colts in Simpson Stakes Sunday
Chester, PA — The fall stakes season at Harrah’s Philadelphia began on Sunday (Sept. 29) with four $30,000 divisions of the John Simpson Memorial Stake for 3-year-old colts on both gaits.
Longtime Yonkers stalwart Jason Bartlett came to town on Sunday and won four races, three of them in stakes company. Two of the stakes triumphs came on the trot, including the fastest winner of the quartet, the Trixton colt Alternative Fact, who lowered his mark to 1:53.3 while notching his fourth straight win.
Alternative Fact parked favored Explosivebreakaway a long way before yielding the lead, then rallied from the pocket to record a 1-1/4 length win over the pacesetter for trainer Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with Steven Arnold and Joe Sbrocco. In this race Steuben Hanover was interfered with just before the start and had all money wagered on him refunded.
Bartlett also won with the Muscle Hill colt Summit In Sight in 1:54.3, going a long uncovered route and still having enough to defeat Nextroundsonme, who had vacated the pocket to follow him into the stretch, by a length. Julie Miller is the conditioner of Summit In Sight, who topped six figures in lifetime earnings with the win for Stroy Inc. and Andy Miller Stable Inc.
The other two trotting stakes were taken by George Brennan. The faster of his winners was the Muscle Mass gelding Cavill Hanover, who rallied past favored pacesetter Hatikvah by 1-1/4 lengths while taking a lifetime best of 1:54.4. Ake Svanstedt trains the winner of $190,815 for the ownership of Little E, Wolfgang A Stable Inc., and Borje Nasstrom.
Muscle Massive, Muscle Mass’s full brother, sired the other of Brennan’s victors, the colt Mass Fortune K, who brushed to the lead in front of the stands then withstood pocket-sitter Captain Krupnik by 1-1/2 lengths while equaling his lifetime mark of 1:54.1. Norm Parker trains the winner, who went over $200,000 in lifetime earnings, for owner Robert Key.
The fastest of the four Simpson Stakes pacing winners was the Roll With Joe gelding Rollwithpapajoe, who also exceeded $200,000 in his career bankroll with a 1:50 engine score that featured back fractions of :54.1-:26.2. The time was a lifetime best for the Joe Bongiorno-driven sophomore, trained by his sister Jennifer for Barbara Bongiorno Stable, Bill Lambos and Dionisios Liberatos. Second in the fast mile was Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show, who was 3-1/2 lengths behind the winner and a neck ahead of Aflame Hanover.
Another horse with national credentials, New York Sire Stakes final winner Hickfromfrenchlink, was the second successful trainer/driver teaming of Jason Bartlett and Ray Schnittker, as the So Surreal colt notched his sixth straight win in a 1:50.3 mile that saw second-place Respect Our Flag 3-1/4 lengths in arrears at the wire. Hickfromfrenchlick bumped his earnings to $541,927 in a career that has seen him take 13 of 19 starts.
The other two pacing colt stakes sections were taken by driver George Napolitano Jr.
He started the card by teaming with trainer Tom Cancelliere, owner/brother John, and the Sweet Lou colt Love Me Some Lou, who despite having only one race in 37 days and having to go raw, withstood Seafarer by a neck in 1:51.2 to push his winnings to $231,452.
Napolitano also drove the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Quatrain Blue Chip, who came clear up the inside from the pocket and fended off the late charge of Lyons Night Hawk by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52. Chris Oakes conditions the winner for Mac Nichol and Gerald Stay.
Exactly one week ago, Napolitano was dumped to the Harrah’s oval when a horse of his made a break and hooked wheels. As Napolitano pointed his vehicle towards Pocono for nighttime action after notching three successes on the Sunday afternoon card, he had won 26 races in the interim, 13 at each track.