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ly mare in the field, the four-year-old Archangel distaff Celebrity Ruth, showed her heels to the field in the $18,000 feature on “Trottin’ Thursday” at Harrah’s Philadelphia, taking a new lifetime best of 1:53.3.

David Miller sent Celebrity Ruth charging after the lead first-over down the backstretch, and the mare responded with a :26.4 individual back split to clear before the three-quarter pole and open a sizable lead on the far turn. She prevailed by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire over Watkins, who escaped a shuffle and came back on.

Celebrity Ruth, unraced at two, now has a career record of 17-8-8-0-$427,613 for trainer Trond Smedshammer and White Birch Farm.

Another four-year-old trotter went even faster, 1:53.1, in the $17,000 co-featured event, as Top Flight Angel made a successful 2018 bow, leading every pole to tally by 3-1/4 lengths. The product of Team Orange Crush – trainer Julie Miller and husband-driver Andy – equaled the lifetime mark he set in a preparatory qualifier here at Philly for the Legendary Standardbred Farm.

On a day where favourites won the first six races (though one was a dead-heat), Izoh sent the chalk players scrambling for cover with a pocket rocket rally over pacesetter Classic Belisima in 1:54.2, the Crazed gelding’s fastest ever, while returning $104.60 for a $2 ticket.

Another wife-and-husband team, driver Jackie and trainer Frank Ingrassia got the job done with Izoh, whom Jackie co-owns with the Arden Homestead Stable, Donna Franchetti, and Thomas Doran.