Vel Mr Nice Guy made his second start at Harrah’s Philly a winning one, scoring a victory with Tim Tetrick in the bike Sunday, May 1. The Indiana sired gelding stopped the timer in 1:51.0 in the $6,300 conditioned pace.
Starting from post one, Vel Mr Nice Guy was able to save ground early and get away in fourth as Ana Malak N, another former Indiana horse, set the first fraction of :27.2. Driver Dexter Dunn was then challenged on the outside as Vel Mr Nice Guy made a sweeping move on the outside to take over at the half in :55.2. His dominance was well documented as he was ahead by open lengths at the next two fractions of :55.2 and 1:22.4 before rallying home in :28.1 for a two and three-quarter length win. Beach Boogie held his ground inside for second for Simon Allard while Ana Malak N, trained by Jeff Cullipher, finished third.
Vel Mr Nice Guy was the favorite of the field, paying $3.40 to win. It was his first win of 2022 in six starts. Scott DiDomenico trains the Straight Shooting four-year-old for Chris Page. Alvin Schwartz of Schwartz Boarding Farm bred the gelding, who now has 15 career wins and is nearing $100,000 in earnings. He took a new lifetime mark last season at Dayton Raceway in 1:50.1.
Vel Mr Nice Guy started his career off on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit and won the Governor’s Cup Championship at two from the Larry King barn. He continued his winning ways on the pari-mutuel circuit at Harrah’s Hoosier Park before returning at three to race once again on the ISFC. After finishing second in the Governor’s Cup Championship for three-year-olds last summer, he raced a handful of times in Ohio before changing hands to the DiDomenico barn and raced at Yonkers up until his move to Harrah’s Philadelphia late last month.
Vel Mr Nice Guy is now tied with Straight Up Cool as the quickest foal by Straight Shooting with a time of 1:50.1. The richest foal by the Indiana sire is JB’s Shooting Star, a mare who has a mark of 1:50.2 and more than $248,000 in earnings. Western Sierra, also a mare, is the second richest with more than $200,000 in earnings.