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FORT WASHINGTON, MD - A new year of Standardbred racing begins Sunday evening here in Maryland when Rosecroft opens its Winter-Spring Meet of harness racing with a 14-race program. The 37-day meet will feature live racing Sunday and Wednesday. There will be additional live programs on Monday, April 5 and Saturday, May 15. First race post is 7:15 p.m. In response to current state COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Maryland Jockey Club at Rosecroft is temporarily closed to the public. Fans can watch and wager on Rosecroft at 1stbet.com and xpressbet.com. Jonathan Roberts had the most wins at Rosecroft last year with 70, 11 ahead of John Wagner and 12 more than Frank Milby. Arlene Cameron led all trainers with 55 victories. Megan Roberts was next with 24 followed by Brian Callahan, Shaun Callahan and Trevor Stafford with 20 each. The opening night program includes a $9,000 pace, Maryland preferred. Starship goes for his third consecutive victory and fourth in his last five starts with Roberts in the bike.   Rosecroft

FORT WASHINGTON, MD – The harness racing season comes to an end Wednesday evening at Rosecroft with a 14-race program highlighted by three $20,000 events for the top nine Maryland money earners in their respective categories. First race post is 7:15 p.m. The $20,000 Maryland Invitational, for the top nine Maryland preferred money earners this meet, will be led by Richard Malone Jr.’s 5-2 favorite Admiral Ballsy, who will leave from post 4. Right outside the 4-year-old gelding will be RockTavius, the 3-1 second choice. The $20,000 Maryland Distaff has Vernon Cannon’s 5-2 favorite Psychic Blue Chip leaving from post one. The 5-2 favorite in the $20,000 Maryland Trotting Derby is Graham Grace Stables LLC’s Judge Bob, who drew post 8. Luckycompeter is 3-1 and will leave from post one. Judge Bob is tied for most wins at the current meet with Precision Blue Chip with five. Arlene Cameron will win the training title with 32 winners going into Wednesday night. Megan Roberts is the closest to Cameron with 18. Going into tonight’s final program, the driver standings are extremely close. Jonathan Roberts has 37 trips to the winner’s circle, one more than Howard Davis Jr., and three more than Frank Milby. Jason Thompson has 29 victories.   David Joseph

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Leonidas A, a 15-1 longshot driven by Austin Siegelman, came charging down the stretch Sunday evening past 1-5 harness racing favorite Bettor's Wish to win the fifth edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace Invitational from Rosecroft. The 5-year-old Australian bred who arrived in the U.S. in July after being purchased by Steve Finklestein's Jesmeral Stable, set a lifetime mark of 1:48 while winning his 13th race this year. Bettor's Wish was second while World of Secrets finished third. The complexion of the Potomac changed earlier in the day when Breeders Crown Open Pace winner Century Farroh was scratched sick as was Highalator. Despite the scratches, Leonidas A, a top open pacer in New York, showed off his exciting closing kick to beat what many consider the top older pacer in the country in the Bettor's Wish. When asked if he thought he had enough to beat Bettor's Wish down the stretch, Siegelman replied; "Absolutely, I thought I had enough to get by him. [Leonidas A] is a stone-cold closer. Each time I've driven him he's never gotten tired." Leaving from the outside Post 7, Siegelman took Leonidas A back to last while Stars Align A paced a Rosecroft record fastest opening quarter in :25.1. While Stars Align A took the field past the grandstand and approached the half-mile, Siegelman kept Leonidas A to the inside and along the rail while Bettor's Wish went second over behind Backstreet Shadow and a :52.4 half. "I'm not going to be four or fifth over," Siegelman said. "That's not going to work out, so I got really lucky...I was able to slip out. I thought I might be in trouble going up the inside." After guiding Leonidas A off the rail entering the backstretch, Siegelman paced just behind Bettor's Wish, who paced to the front with driver Dexter Dunn entering the stretch. But Leonidas A came charging and carried Siegelman to the front with a length victory. "I've never won a race like this before, so I'm just trying to take it in," Siegelman said "We knew he was something special, especially after his last race at Yonkers," said trainer Sheena McElhiney. "I think he's starting to get used to this style of racing now." Leonidas A returned $33.20. Since being inaugurated in 2016 by the Maryland Jockey Club, the Potomac Pace has played host to the sport's biggest stars. Previous Potomac Pace participants have included Dealt A Winner, Keystone Velocity, Endeavor, All Bets Of, Shamballa, Western Fame, Filibuster Hanover and Split The House.   David Joseph

Ocean Downs hosted the Maryland Standardbred Fund (foaled) Stakes for two year old colt and gelding trotters and filly pacers on Thursday August 20. The lone $16,925 race for the colt and gelding trotters opened the harness racing card. Trainer/driver Les Givens sent Funnyfunnyriddle (Lockkeeper) to the front in the 31.4 first quarter, opening up by three lengths at the half and stopping the clock six and a half in front of Trent's A Lock (Lockkeeper) in the 2:05 mile. Funnyfunnyriddle is owned by Nanticoke Racing Inc., J P Magno and JP Fonte and bred by J P Magno. The first split for the freshmen filly pacers saw Summering (Somebeachsomewhere) with Victor Kirby between the wheels, leave the field in her dust, winning by eleven lengths in their gate to wire victory going for $12,250. Turtle Time(Roddy's Bags Again) charged down the stretch to take the place postion. Time for the mile was 1:57.2. Brett Pelling trains the winner for owner/breeder Frederick Hertrich III. The second division of the filly pacers came to the track in race five with a purse of $12,400. Reinsman Russell Foster tucked Wowie Zowie (Cam's Rocket) in the three hole until the last quarter where it was a battle down the stretch with the leader Sj's Special Kay (Russell Hanover). When the clock stopped in 1:58, Wowie Zowie was a neck in front. Russell Foster is also the owner while his wife Megan picks up the training duties, Michael Hans is the breeder.   By Cheri Stambaugh

Charles County resident and St. Mary's Ryken High School graduate Jonathan Roberts attained the 4,000th driving victory of his harness racing career on Wednesday evening at Ocean Downs when he steered IC Brandonscowgirl to a 1:58.2 triumph in the second race on the card.  Roberts, a 1999 St. Mary's Ryken graduate, headed into the Wednesday card at Ocean Downs, a half-mile harness racing oval in Berlin that's five miles west of Ocean City, one win shy of the 4,000 plateau. It did not take the Accokeek native long to reach the milestone — his first drive of the night was in the second race with IC Brandonscowgirl. By Ted Black Reprinted with permission of the Southern Maryland News

The USHWA Youth Membership Committee is pleased to introduce the third in a year-long series of harness racing 2020 Racetrack Reviews below by Edison Hatter.   While most harness racing remains on indefinite pause due to widespread COVID-19 concerns, the sport's loyal fans and supporters are looking forward to the day when it is safe for everyone to get back to the races. Edison Hatter, Rosecroft Raceway's Wednesday night racecaller, is understandably disappointed by the hiatus during his first season of announcing, but the 20-year-old turned his attention to the important business of promoting his track's visibility as a family-friendly destination, writing the following USHWA Youth Racetrack Review. Expect to hear more about Edison in the coming months, in a major harness racing publication. The USHWA Youth Membership Committee welcomes inquiries from young racing fans and participants who would like to review their favourite or local harness track, focusing on what makes the track a youth- and family-friendly place. We will be circulating a Racetrack Review every month of 2020. Please contact USHWA Youth Membership Committee chair Melissa Keith for additional details and/or to apply to review a racetrack this year.   Family Friendly Fun & Racing At Rosecroft The Spring 2020 meet at Rosecroft Raceway marked the 71st year of live harness racing in Fort Washington, MD. Rosecroft has a spacious outdoor apron where fans of all ages can watch drivers and horses race around the 5/8ths mile track. Additionally, the winner’s circle is located directly in front of the apron, so fans can get up close and personal with the winning horse after each race. Children often enjoy hanging out behind the winner’s circle and sometimes even snag an autograph or a pair of goggles from a winning driver if they are lucky. Rosecroft Raceway (Edison Hatter Photo) The biggest day of the year for Rosecroft is in November or December when the $100,000 Potomac Pace is contested. Previous race participants have included Endeavor, McWicked, American History, and many other big names in harness racing. Likewise, the biggest night of racing at Rosecroft also brings out some of the biggest drivers in the country, including Tim Tetrick, Joe Bongiorno, and Matt Kakaley. Each year, drivers take time before the big race to sign autographs in the grandstand for fans both young and old. A unique family friendly event at Rosecroft is the “I Want To Be A Driver” event, held several times during each meet. Participants in the event get a behind-the-scenes look at harness racing at Rosecroft, get to spend time in the paddock, and learn more about harness racing and strategy from a driver. As part of the event, participants even get to be part of an exhibition race, get to sit in a sulky with one of our Rosecroft drivers, and compete against other participants. Another point of youth Rosecroft can boast is one of the youngest announcers and one of the younger race handicappers in the country. At just 20 years old, I announce every Wednesday night card at Rosecroft and am one of the youngest race callers in the country. I am exceedingly grateful to Rosecroft for giving such a young person such a tremendous opportunity. Furthermore, our track handicapper, Russ Adams, a.k.a the Hanover Hustler, is just shy of 30 years of age and is one of the younger track handicappers in the country. Finally, Rosecroft even has some of the youngest drivers and owners in the country, including driver Declan Donoway and owner Katie Van Vleit, both just into their 20s. For more information about Rosecroft and our product, visit www.rosecroft.com.  By Edison Hatter

LAUREL, MD - "In accordance with the Maryland Governor's Executive Orders and as part of the continuing effort to protect the health and safety of essential personnel and the horses they care for, the Maryland Jockey Club will temporarily pause live racing at Laurel Park and Rosecroft Raceway. Our top priority is the well-being of every person and every horse in our community and we look forward to resuming when the state and federal leaders and health authorities deem it appropriate to do so."  

Ft. Washington, MD — Roger Plante Jr. rallied Arts And Flowers ($2.40) from last to first to capture the $10,000 Open Handicap for harness racing Fillies and Mares on Wednesday night (March 18) at Rosecroft, giving him five driving wins on the night. The 7-year-old mare by Artistic Fella won for the second straight time and third on the year. The versatile style of Arts And Flowers continues to be impressive having won on the engine back on Feb. 5 and she has now won nearly 29 percent of her lifetime starts and been on the board in 54 of 90 lifetime outings. The time of 1:52.4 was a tick off a lifetime best for owners Linda Schwaid and Era Williams and trainer Phyllis Copeland. While Plante delivered the favorite in the co-feature, he brought plenty of value in his other four wins. DVC Kolor Me Krazy ($26.80) rallied in similar fashion from the back of the pack as Plante hustled her down the stretch from fourth to win in 1:54.4 for owner-trainer Elizabeth Shockley. Plante delivered a 9-1 winner with The Illuminator in a thrilling, air tight, three horse photo. The 7-year-old son of Big Jim paid $21.00 for owner Janet Burris and trainer Lewis Nunes. Trotter Dunn Dealin ($10.20) broke through for the first time in 2020 for owner-trainer Kerry Welty as Plante brought the 9-year-old son of Neely Dunn first over and wore down fraction cutter Gittin All Sexy in 1:56.2. Plante started his five bagger with Winbak Farm’s View Of The Land ($3.80) for trainer Eli Scott Jr. It was the second win in nine lifetime starts for the 4-year-old Badlands Hanover mare. Sean Bier posted two wins on the Wednesday card. Auntmilly’smartini ($3.20) tasted victory for owner-trainer Brittany Bounds in 1:53 and Believe In Him (1:56.2) trotted to victory for co-owners Betsy Brown, Morgan Marston and trainer James Brown. Carolin Oglesby, a former Division I women’s basketball star at Maryland and James Madison, has a budding equine star in Rocket Roulette. The homebred 3-year-old filly by Cam’s Rocket out of Oglesby’s mare Haley And Taylor, made it 2-2 in her young career with an easy 1:57 score. Clyde Oglesby Jr. trains the filly and Brian Burton has now driven her to victory in both starts. Tyler Davis won with Cardiff ($5.40) for the second time in three starts as she won wire-to-wire in 1:53.1 for Peter Venturini and Michael Assante. Brian Malone trains the 5-year-old Sportswriter mare who is coming off a nine-win season in 2019. Frank Milby posted a win with Accokeek Mercury ($8.00) for owner-trainer Rusty Cox. The 10-year-old won for 37th time in his career. Driver Luke Hanners posted another win for Dixieland Classsic. The 19-year-old Hanners won for the second time in three starts with the 5-year-old mare by Bettor’s Delight for owner Mark Salerno. Jonathan Roberts held off a challenge from Rave Girl as he drove the aptly named Dash To Freedom to a win in 1:54.4 for owner-trainer Richard Malone Jr. It was a new mark for the 4-year-old Ponder mare. Trotter K J Charlie went 0-17 last year. This year it’s a completely different story as the 5-year-old Charlie De Vie gelding in now 4-4 in 2020 for owners Scott Woogen and Pamela Wagner after winning the co-featured $10,000 Open Handicap Trot for a second straight week in 1:55. Arlene Cameron conditions the winner who was driven by Rosecroft’s leading dash driver John Wagner. Justin Vincent capped the card with an 8-1 winner in Into The Night for owner-trainer Darren Ferrell in 1:54.1. by Pete Medhurst, for Rosecroft Raceway

Ft. Washington, MD — Frank Milby won two races on Monday night (Nov. 25) at Rosecroft, including the $11,750 Open Pace with Romantic Interest as he tied Eddie Davis Jr. for the dash driving lead with five nights remaining in the Fall harness racing meet. Romantic Interest is normally a come from behind specialist, but, Milby sent the 4-year old to the front and he never looked back in 1:52. It was his seventh win of the year and 11th in 49 career starts for Milby’s mother Candy who owns the $110,000 yearling purchase. Milby also scored a 7-1 upset with P L Hoofhearted for Howard Birney and trainer Walter Birney Jr. Owner-trainer Kerry Welty is a big Baltimore Ravens fan. As the Ravens were smashing the Rams on Monday night, Welty was doing some winning of her own as What That Is took the $10,000 Open Trot for Roger Plante Jr. and Rockin The Shades won his second straight conditioned pace, also with Plante in the bike. Brian Burton had a driving and training double as Simple Man and Manattack found wins and Jonathan Roberts took a pair of wins on the card, getting a picture with Dr Nipntuck for Bib Roberts and the Graham Grace Stables and trainer Megan Roberts-Tolson. Roberts secured a second straight win with Cinderlane Quin for Eric Becker and trainer Luke Hanners. Ricky Still picked up a catch driving victory with Big Jim Slade for Charles and Rose Robbins and trainer James Brown, and then steered Pokerface Blue Chip to his second straight win for his new connections, Midsize Construction Inc. It was his 11th win in 47 career starts. by Pete Medhurst, for Rosecroft Raceway

The large crowd of summer visitors were treated to a sixteen race harness racing card on Wednesday July 24 at Ocean Downs including four Maryland Sire Stakes for older horses. Reinsman Eddie Davis Jr. gave Boo Boo Baa Baa (Googoo Gaagaa) the perfect pocket trip in the mare trot, charging down the stretch to catch the leader Gaagaa Gone (Googoo Gaagaa) in the final strides. Shawn Callahan trains the mare for his mom's Breakaway Racing stable and his dad Nick Callahan was the breeder. Time for the mile was 2:01. The trot for the 4 & 5 year old boys went to post as race three. Hybrid Henry (Cam's Rocket) and What That Is (Cam's Rocket) opened up on the field by the ¾ pole, battling to the wire in the 1:58 mile with What That Is coming back to the winner circle. Roger Plante Jr. was in the bike for owner-trainer Kerry Welty. Richard Hans was the breeder. Owner Breakaway Racing and breeder Nick Callahan picked up their second stakes win of the night in the mare pace when Cool Toy (Cool Flying Fun) cut the mile finishing a nose in front of Rissy's All In (Rusty's All In). Justin Vincent was between the wheels for trainer Elwood Tignor in the 1:57.1 mile. The final stake of the night was for the male pacers. Jason Thompson pulled Jack Quick (Nuclear Breeze) to come first over at the half taking control by the ¾ mile, stopping the clock in 1:54.4. BT's Breeze (Nuclear Breeze) finished second. Basil Sapienza owns-trains and bred the winner. The Maryland stakes season for two year olds will begin on Sunday July 28th with four Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes. Also on Sunday Ocean Downs will host Pacing For The Cure featuring a walk around the track after the second race to raise money for MS research. By Cheri Stambaugh, Berlin, MD

Berlin, MD……….. Horsemen please note that the harness racing qualifiers scheduled for 10 am, Wednesday, July 24 at Ocean Downs have been pushed back to 6 pm- prior to the start of the Wednesday night race card at 7:05 pm. A “micro-burst” of a thunder storm cell wiped out 500 feet of perimeter fencing. Weather permitting, the Ocean Downs track crew is currently working to replace and repair the damaged fencing. Also note, that because of this event, there will be no schooling or training of horses for this day. Please contact the Ocean Downs race office for more information: 410-641-0600 x3212 or 3211.

Due to the forecast of extreme heat in the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, July 21, 2019, Ocean Downs has canceled its harness racing program for that night.   “Given the heat index that is anticipated on Sunday, and in the best interest of the health and welfare of the horses, horsemen and team members, we are canceling the live race card “, said Bobbi Sample, general manager of Ocean Downs.   After consulting with the local horsemen’s group, The Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association, and state veterinarians, the decision was reached.   The two stake races that were drawn for that night- the four and five year old pacers in the MD Sires Stakes program -will be carried over to Wednesday’s card of racing.   Those horsemen already entered for the stakes races need not re-enter. Overnight horses that were in to go for the canceled card are asked to re-enter for Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Entry date is Sunday, July 21, 2019 by 9am.   For further information, please contact the Ocean Downs race office at 410-641-0600 x3211 or 3212.     Peter Szymanski

The $13,425 division for harness racing sophomore colt and gelding trotters went to post at Ocean Downs as race one on July 10. After being parked to the quarter, I Deliver (Four Starz Robro) with Jonathan Roberts in the bike, took command crossing the wire 2 ½ lengths ahead of Scooby Goo in 1:58.4. Greg Haverstick trains for owners Iron Mine Branch, LLC. The breeder is Kelley Rogers. Reinsman Roger Plant Jr. sent Final Escape (Artiscape) wire to wire in the first split for the pacing fillies stopping the clock in 1:59.3 a neck in front of Paper Bag. The owners are Leblanc Racing, Douglas Johnson & Glenn Dyke, the breeder is Winbak Farm and Steve Leblanc is the trainer. The purse was $15,575. Mind Yown Business (Lockkeeper) owned the $13,575 split for colt and gelding trotters going gate to wire in 1:58.3 six and a quarter lengths in front of Dr Grinch. Megan Foster trains for driver-owner Russell Foster. Richard Hans is the breeder. The filly pacers returned in race five with a purse of $15,575. Driver Andrew McCarthy pulled What A Fox (Somebeachsomewhere)at the half winning by ¾ length over In And Out Again in 1:56 for owner David McDuffee. Brett Pelling is the trainer, the breeder is Fred Hertrich. The Maryland Sire Stakes action returns with three year old summer finals going for $70,000 each on Sunday July 14 and Wednesday July 17th. By Cheri Stambaugh, Berlin, MD

Berlin, MD — The Maryland Standardbred Fund Stakes for harness racing sophomore filly trotters went to post as race eight on Sunday (July 7) at Ocean Downs. Reinsman John Wagner took full advantage of post one, going gate-to-wire with Mary’s A Keeper (Lockkeeper), holding off the pocket sitting Bossy Hilly (Great George Two) in 1:58.3. Arlene Cameron trains for co-owners and breeders John Wagner and Syl King Jr. The 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings were showcased in race 10. Not content with sitting fourth, driver Eddie Davis Jr. pulled Trump That Rusty (Rusty’s For Real) at the three-eighth pole to go head to head with the leader Owzitgoin (Rusty’s For Real) for the rest of the mile. When the dust settled Trump That Rusty was victorious in 1:55 for co-owners Jeffrey Billings and Dylan Davis. Davis is also the trainer and Warren Racing Stable is the breeder. The Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes continue on Wednesday (July 10) with splits for pacing fillies and trotting colts and geldings. By Cheri Stambaugh  

The first round of three year old Maryland sire stakes harness racing prelims wrapped up with two splits each for pacing fillies and trotting colts and geldings. The trotting colts and geldings opened the card with Gaareat Gaazoo (Googoo Gaagaa) coming from the pocket to catch I Deliver at the wire in 2:02. Frank Milby was in the bike for owner Arlene Cameron, Richard Hans is the trainer and breeder. Reinsman Eddie Davis Jr. sent Rocket Rhonda (Cam's Rocket) wire to wire in the first division for pacing fillies with KJ Dr Michelle taking the place position. Brian Callahan owns and trains the filly and Roger Hans was the breeder. Time for the mile was 1:57.4 In the third race, the second split for the trotting colts and geldings, Eddie Davis Jr. once again went to the front and never looked back with Remarkable De Vie (Charlie De Vie) tying the Stakes record for trotting geldings of 1:57.2. Fire’n Woodshed was second. Syl King Jr. trains for owner Steven Mullen, the breeder is Lisa Caposio. The final stake of the night was the second division for pacing fillies. Driver Frank Milby Jr. took over the lead at the head of the stretch with Anna B (Cam's Rocket) and held off the challenge from She All Miss Thang crossing the wire in 1:57.3. Roger Hans owns, trains and bred Anna B. It was certainly a night for two's in the four stakes, drivers Frank Milby and Eddie Davis Jr. each had two wins, Roger Hans had two wins as a breeder and the stallion Cam's Rocket's offspring won both filly paces. The second round of sophomore stakes will continue Sunday June 30 at Ocean Downs.   By Cheri Stambaugh

The summer series for the harness racing sophmore Maryland Sire Stakes opened with two splits for the trotting fillies. Race 1 saw John Wagner tuck Pat’s A Keeper (Lockkeeper) in the pocket behind Current News until the ¾ pole, catching the leader in the last few strides. Pat’s A Keeper is trained by Arlene Cameron and owned and bred by Pam Wagner, time for the mile was 1:59.3. The second division for three year old  trotting fillies went to post as race 3. With the first three finishers all trotting in 2:01 you know it was an exciting finish. Tiny Tiara cut the mile after favorite HS Judy Jetson made a break at the start. After trailing by 13 lengths at the ¼ mile HS Judy Jetson caught the field and took aim on the leader in the stretch but Gittin All Sexy (Googoo Gaagaa) with reinsman Frank Milby in the bike charged down the stretch to take the three horse photo. Gittin All Sexy is owned, trained and bred by Richard Hans. The first division for pacing colts & gelding saw another great photo finish. It was no surprise when Berzerker headed to the lead but Officer Wholihan (Rusty’s For Real) started creeping up from 5th to 4th to stopping the clock a nose in front in the 1:56.1 mile. Arlene Cameron picked up her second training victory on the card. Michael Torcello is the owner and Linda MacDonald is the breeder. The final stake of the night was in race 5, the second division for three year old pacing colts and geldings. Driver Montrell Teague sent Owzitgoin (Rusty’s For Real) to the front holding off a challenge by Dennis The Menace at the half and another in the stretch by Trump That Rusty, holding on by ¾ length in 1:55.4. Breakaway Racing is the owner of Owzitgoin and Nick, Corey and Joanna Callahan are the breeders. Stakes action will continue on Wednesday June 26th at Ocean Downs. By Cheri Stambaugh    

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