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FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Rosecroft kicks off its 34-day spring harness racing meet Sunday evening with an expanded schedule and live racing on Kentucky Derby Day and Preakness Day. The spring meet will be Rosecroft's second live meet under The Stronach Group, the parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, which completed purchase of the 67-year-old facility in August. The Stronach Group quickly invested in Rosecroft with a new high-definition, 21-by-30 television in the infield, a new pace car, and the inaugural running of the $100,000 Potomac Pace, the first $100,000 race to be contested at Rosecroft in nearly 10 years. Rosecroft will race Sunday and Tuesday the weeks of March 5 and March 12 with a 4:40 p.m. post on Sunday and a 6:40 p.m. post on Tuesday. They will go to a three-day week beginning March 19 with a Wednesday post time of 6:40 p.m. Rosecroft will also add Saturday programs on April 15, May 6 (Kentucky Derby Day), and May 20 (Preakness Day). Post time on Saturdays will be announced shortly. "We're excited about the spring meet and efforts to reinvigorate Standardbred racing in Maryland," said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. "We think the additional race dates will welcomed by our fans, and we hope to build the fan base through our off-track betting facilities. Installing a new infield board and the inaugural Potomac Pace were a good start last fall. We'll continue listening to our guests and horsemen to improve the facility and racing." Returning to Rosecroft will be driver Russell Foster, who shared last year's spring driving title with Jonathan Roberts and the fall driving title with Roger Plante Jr. "I'm excited to be back over there," said Foster, who recently received the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association's Horizon Award, presented to the horseman making outstanding progress during the year. "We've had a couple horses who have done well over there and it's a place I've been going to since I was a kid. I'm looking forward to it." David Joseph or call 954.457.6451      

Christina Talley, 50, passed away after a long two-year battle with cervical cancer at Penninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md. on Feb. 10. Ms. Talley, who was born in Bel Air, Ohio, daughter of the late Jack and Martha Talley, is survived by her significant other, Curtis Daniels, four children, five grandchildren and several uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. A horse enthusiast throughout her life, she cared for horses owned by her father, a renowned Delmarva-area harness race caller Jack Talley, who also owned and trained a number of harness race horses. Later she became an owner of horses with Go Nurse, she favorite. Go Nurse won Horse of the Year at Ocean Downs in 2001. A funeral Service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Salisbury Baptist Temple, Salisbury, Md. At 10 a.m., a one-hour visitation will be held prior to the services. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Salisbury Baptist Temple, 6413 Hobbs Road., Salisbury, Md. 21804. Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, P.A., 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, Md. 21804. To send condolences to the family, please visit

Rosecroft's 2016 Fall Meet comes to an end Thursday night with leading harness racing driver and trainer titles on the line and a visit from Santa Claus. First race post for the 13-race closing night program is 6:40 p.m. Driver Russell Foster goes into Thursday's final program with 50 wins, just one more than Roger Plante Jr. Frank Milby is third with 36. On the training side, Brian Burton and Kenneth Schlotzhauer are tied with 17 winners, two ahead of Joseph Offutt. Arty Foster Jr., leads in win percentage with 12 victories from 33 starts (36 percent). Closing night at Rosecroft will include a visit from Santa Claus, who will be available for free pictures between 7-8 p.m. There will also be a special $15 buffet in the Terrace Dining Room and $1 hot dogs and $1 sodas at the first floor concession stand. David Joseph

In September 2015, Leonard "Buddy" Jones III and Kevin Fitzgerald were thrilled when the auctioneer called "Sold!" after their $1,400 bid for one of the harness racing horses going through the Chick's Sale ring. "We liked the way he looked," Fitzgerald explained. "Did we know what we were looking at? No. We didn't have a clue what we were buying." He's not exaggerating. Three weeks before the sale, the idea of owning a racehorse hadn't crossed either of their minds. Jones, however, received a call from a coach who wanted his daughter to join a particular softball team. Jones agreed to meet with him to talk it over. "I met him at Ocean Downs and we were betting on the horses," Jones said. "He had horses. He told me there was more money on that end than betting on it." That was all the encouragement it took for Jones to rally the support of Fitzgerald and head for the September 2015 Chick's Sale in Harrington, Del. Lucky for them, the horse they happened to bid on was Walton Shaw A (2002, p,10,1:53.1h, $301,884). Though he was nearing the end of a winless season, Walton Shaw A had what they lacked -- experience. "Everybody said he was classy," Fitzgerald said. The 14-year-old pacer proved it to them in 2016, winning five races and earning just under $20,000 for Fitzgerald and Jones under the guidance of conditioner Jay Shores this year. Though they initially sent Walton Shaw A to a trainer in Delaware, as that's where he'd been racing before the sale, Jones and Fitzgerald quickly realized they wanted to be hands-on owners. “It was too far away for us to go and see our horse,” Jones said. It was just a matter of weeks before they moved the pacer to a training center in Salisbury, Md., a short drive from both of their homes. Walton Shaw A earned a few checks at Rosecroft Raceway before the track closed in December. When the five-eighths-mile oval reopened in March, Walton Shaw A proved all he’d needed was some time off. Jones and Fitzgerald made their first trip to the winner's circle March 8 after Walton Shaw A made a huge three-wide move from the back of the pack to win easily by five lengths in 1:56.1. The older pacer continued to earn checks just about every week for his eager owners before earning a second victory May 3 in a $5,000 claiming race. He again came from behind to make a big move at the three-quarter pole, drawing off to win by more than seven lengths in 1:55. In June, Jones and Fitzgerald excitedly began racing Walton Shaw A at their local track, Ocean Downs. Classified as a C-2 pacer, Walton Shaw A put in a game effort every week but faced some stiff competition. His owners were pleased to see him drop down to the C-3 level in July. After a solid third-place finish July 22, driver Roger Plante Jr. put Walton Shaw A right on the front the following week. He stayed there, winning by nearly a length in 1:57. "We were tickled," Fitgerald said. Nevertheless, he and Jones didn't have high hopes the following week when Walton Shaw A was moved back up to the C-2 level. The pacer surprised them though, coming first over to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:56.1. "I didn't expect him to win," Fitzgerald recalled. "He went off at 22-1." Walton Shaw A returned to Rosecroft this fall and earned his 44th lifetime win Nov. 1, coming from behind as he so often does to win in 1:55.2 for Plante. He's earned a second and third since, and his connections are hoping to race him once more before he retires. They credit Walton Shaw A's success with getting them hooked on harness racing. They've already got two other horses and can be found at the barn more often than not. Fitzgerald, a school bus driver and mechanic who'd never interacted with horses, says he never pictured himself working with the animals. "I never thought I'd be into the horse thing," he said, "but I really enjoy it." He says other horsemen have proven helpful, providing pointers and advice when needed. He also credits Walton Shaw A with being the perfect first horse. "He made it look easy," Fitzgerald said, adding that even when the horse got loose at the farm he went right to his stall. And while the potential purses might have sparked Jones’ initial interest in harness racing, you wouldn’t know it listening to him now. When asked what he considers Walton Shaw A’s best race, it’s not one of the horse’s wins he mentions. “I thought it was when he went in 1:53 and finished eighth at Rosecroft,” Jones said. “That is impressive for a 14-year-old horse.” Though sorry to see his career coming to an end, Jones and Fitzgerald know they have Walton Shaw A to thank for getting to experience the thrill of harness racing. They say they have no plans of parting with the old pacer. "He's the family pet," Fitzgerald said. by Charlene Sharpe, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - All Bets Off was the beneficiary of a perfect trip and a contested early pace to capture the $100,000 Potomac Pace Tuesday evening while equaling the harness racing track record for a mile at Rosecroft Raceway. Driven by Matt Kakaley, All Bets Off was timed in 1:48.2 while edging Split the House by a nose and tying Nuclear Breeze's 2007 track record in the inaugural edition of the Potomac Pace. All Bets Off started sharply to sit second behind Split the House, who showed the way around the first turn and along the front stretch while setting blistering fractions of 23.3 (seconds) and 52.1 for the first half after withstanding an early challenge by Mel Mara and driver Corey Callahan. Split the House, the 5-2 second choice, continued to show the way along the backstretch, hitting the three-quarter pole in 1:19.3. Shamballa, the 9-5 favorite, was taken to the outside by Scott Zeron heading into the far turn but was unable to mount a serious challenge. Kakaley eased All Bets Off off the rail for the stretch drive and steadily wore down the game pacesetter at the wire. Wakizashi Hanover, driven by Trace Tetrick, closed strongly along the inside to finish third. "It was absolutely perfect. I got to follow David around there. That horse had to go big fractions because he left Corey out there in the front of the grandstand. A half in 52.1 (seconds) was smoking.," said Kakaley, who winner was sent to post as the 4-1 fourth choice.. "I was kind of worried about Shamballa being second-over but he really didn't factor in at all of the last turn. Coming off the turn, I thought I'd get right by, but Split the House was real game though." The Potomac Pace was the first race at Rosecroft to offer a purse worth $100,000 or more in nearly 10 years. The historic 67-year-old facility has hosted Breeders' Crown races, the Messenger Stakes and the William E. Miller Memorial. However, it hasn't been since the $122,170 Wayne Smullin Memorial in 2007 that a race with the significance of the Potomac Pace has been held at Rosecroft. Tuesday evening's mile invitational offered the eight pacers in the field opportunities to step out of the imposing shadows of Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit, harness racing's most celebrated and accomplished superstars. Always B Miki was recently retired, while Wiggle It Jiggleit is enjoying a well-deserved hiatus. "It makes a big difference for my horse because he's just as good as all the others. He's not quite as good as Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki, but he's a very, very good horse. I mean, he's got more than $2.2 million now," Kakaley said. Split the House held on to second after setting All Bets Off for his track-record equaling performance, a length ahead of Wakizashi Hanover. "I am really proud of my horse tonight. We set great fractions throughout the race and we just missed the win," Miller said. "I couldn't have asked for more from my horse, and look forward to our next race. Third-place finisher Wakizashi Hanover entered harness racing's spotlight when he pulled off an upset victory over Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1 million North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway in June 2015. The son of Dragons Again, who is owned by Tri County Stable and Bruce Kennedy, defeated the odds-on favorite by three-quarters of a length while pacing in 1:48 for driver Tim Tetrick. A winner of $1.1 million in 2015 and named Canada's champion 3-year-old pacing colt or gelding, Wakizashi Hanover became hampered by a paralyzed flap in his airway the end of the 2015 season and he underwent tie-back surgery in April. Winless in four starts after returning to action in July, the Pennsylvania-bred pacer underwent a second surgery in August that has breathed new life into his racing career. "I had to settle for the 7 Hole early, and when the passing lane opened, he really kicked in," said Tetrick of Wakizashi Hanover. "He gave his race, and I was happy that he closed on them so well." The Potomac Pace may well be the last of All Bets Off's career. "I love this horse," Kakaley said. "He's had a great career. I think the plan is for him to go off to stud." David Joseph

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Shamballa has clashed with Always B Miki and/or Wiggle It Jiggleit in his six most recent starts, each time finishing behind harness racing's highly celebrated superstars. With Always B Miki recently retired and Wiggle It Jiggleit on a much-deserved vacation, Shamballa will assume the starring role in Tuesday evening's $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. Trainer Rick Zeron, who owns the 6-year-old gelding in a partnership with Tao Racing, Howard Taylor and Cool Cat Racing, looks forward to participating in the inaugural Potomac Pace but expresses no feelings of frustration over Shamballa's fate in his last six outings. "I always looked at it as an honor to have a horse that good to be able to phone a racing secretary up and enter my horse to take on those horses," Zeron said. "I never ever took it as being frustrating. I looked at it as a challenge as in, 'Can we beat the big boys today? Or are we going to be second or third best.'" Of course, it's not like Shamballa always had to settle for second or third behind Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit. The son of Somebeachsomewhere, in fact, is the only horse to beat both Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit in the same race, capturing the $225,000 U.S. Pacing Championship at Meadowlands Aug. 6. The trainer's son Scott Zeron was at the controls for that day and will drive him once again at Rosecroft. "The race set up quite well, because Wiggle It Jiggleit went out there with Always B Miki. Miki didn't back up; he didn't get in the hole; he wanted the front end and Wiggle It Jiggleit didn't want to give it to him. So they were fighting, scrapping, pretty good going to the quarter-pole right through to the half," Rick Zeron recalled. "My son was sitting back about fifth with Shamballa and moved him to the inside going to the half. Freaky Feet Pete came out of the 3 Hole and took a run at Always B Miki on the front end. We just followed him, second over, and halfway down the lane Scott tipped him out and got the jump on Freaky Feet Pete and Always B Miki. Wiggle It Jiggle It at the time was caught in a hole. When Wiggle It Jiggleit broke loose, we were too far gone. We were at the wire." Shamballa's victory over 'The Big Three' was a big one but the most memorable race of the year for his trainer was his gelding's second-place finish at the Red Mile Oct. 9, when Always B Miki beat him by 1¼ lengths while pacing the fastest mile in harness racing history with a 1:46 clocking. "The big race obviously was the U. S. Pacing Championship, but the highlight of the year was when we raced in the Allerage in Kentucky with Always B Miki," Zeron said. "Wiggle It Jiggleit wasn't there that week. I told Scott, "You go on out of there. Always B Miki will come and pace around you. See if you can stay with him and try to beat him down the lane. The race went in 1:46 flat and my horse went in 1:46-and-1. We came home in 26-and-1." Shamballa has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a field of eight pacers that includes Mel Mara, rated second at 3-1 on the strength of back-to-back Open Preferred victories at Yonkers following a third-place finished behind Wiggle It Jiggleit in a $250,000 Yonkers Invitational Oct. 15. Rated third at 4-1 is Mach It So, who finished second in the Nov. 14 $400,000 TVG Pace, in which Always B Miki called it a career on a winning note. Corey Callahan is scheduled to drive Mel Mara, while Tim Tetrick is slated to guide Mach It So. Tetrick's younger brother Trace Tetrick has been named to drive Wakizashi Hanover, who is rated at 10-1 but rates consideration looking to an upset victory over Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1 million North America Cup at Mohawk last year. The 4-year-old gelding, who was subsequently sidelined with a breathing problem that required two surgeries, returned to winning form last time out with an Open Handicap victory at Dover Downs in 1:49.2. All Bets Off, Keystone Velocity, Split the House and Dealt a Winner round out a well-balanced field. The Potomac Pace has been carded as the 10th race on a 13-race program with a first-race post time set for 6:40 p.m. Admission and parking are free. David Joseph  

FORT WASHINGTON, MD – Brian Burton stood in the paddock before the first race one recent evening at Rosecroft and was asked what the significance is of Tuesday evening’s $100,000 Potomac Pace at the 67-year-old harness racing facility. The trainer and driver didn’t hesitate. “It gives us a little shine,” he said. It’s been nearly 10 years since Rosecroft held a race worth $100,000 or more. The historic facility has hosted Breeders Crown races, the Messenger Stakes and William E. Miller Memorial. Its guests have included Elizabeth Taylor, George Foreman, George Plimpton, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ken Stabler and Oleg Cassini. But it hasn’t been since the $122,170 Wayne Smullin Memorial in 2007 that a race of significance like the Potomac Pace has been held at Rosecroft. Yes, the Potomac Pace will be Rosecroft’s first big race since the iPhone was introduced. “It’s very exciting,” said Thomas Cooke, president of Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association, which represents owners, trainers, drivers and grooms involved in Maryland’s Standardbred industry. “I look at this as a rebirth. It’s opportunity to show the track, the market and the product. I’m impressed by the caliber of drivers and horses coming in. It’s a win-win for everybody.” The Potomac Pace - featuring some of the best aged pacers in the country including Shamballa, Mach It So, All Bets Off, Wakizashi Hanover and Keystone Victory – is one of the first steps by the Maryland Jockey Club to reinvigorate Standardbred racing in Maryland. “We have committed ourselves to showcasing Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing in Maryland,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, whose parent company, The Stronach Group, purchased Rosecroft from Penn National Gaming earlier this year.  “We just signed a two-year extension with Cloverleaf,” he added. “Along with the Potomac Pace, we also are talking about a few Sire Stakes races in the spring and fall. Our experience in Thoroughbred racing has shown us that big days breathe life into the racing program. Come winter after this meet, we’re looking forward to doing some renovations to the grandstand and facility for our regular customers.” Sinatra and Cloverleaf have also increased the number of racing days for 2017 from 54 to 60. Rosecroft, which opened in 1949, has seen plenty of ups and downs throughout its history. The track has gone through several ownerships since the late 1980s and was closed to live racing for several years. But Sinatra, Cooke and others are hoping Tuesday’s Potomac Pace is the beginning of better things. “This is a great race,” Burton said. “[Racing secretary) Peter Hanley did an incredible job putting this race together, but we have to keep upgrading our stock and showcasing our sport. But I think this is an incredible race Tuesday night and a start. To be honest, while we would have loved to have had Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki, I think this is a better horse race and betting race. I think you’re going to see a huge performance. I think you could see a track record.” Cooke admits he would like the track record of 1:48 2/5 set by his own Nuclear Breeze to stand a little longer. But he also admits a big night of racing Tuesday is the first step in helping Maryland Standardbred racing. “I don’t want to see a track record,” said Cooke, laughing. “But this is a big opportunity for all us to show new owners and partners we’re moving forward. It’s a big step.” Rosecroft Raceway is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at or call 954.457.6451 David Joseph  

Fort Washington, MD - After finishing second in the RUS America Trot at Ocean Downs this past summer, Hyway Marcus' team was determined to make their next trip to the Free State a victorious one and it indeed was the case Thursday evening (November 17) at Rosecroft Raceway as the harness racing five year old altered son of Gut Instinct was victorious in the $5,000 RUS America Trot presented by the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association, Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association, and the Maryland Jockey Club, operators of Rosecroft. The winning time was 2:01.1. A quartet of horses met the starting gate but it quickly became a trio as In Nomine Patri broke stride after the wings on the starting gate opened, eliminated from contention. The race quickly developed into a duel between the two Patti Harmon-trained horses as Hyway Marcus, ridden by Maria Buchanan, took the remaining trio to the first quarter in :29.2 with Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) alongside and P L Incoming trotting in third. The duo continued racing side by side as Hyway Marcus raced to the half mile marker in :59.2 with Funny Photo continuing to race outside a head back. After the half, Buchanan got her mount to the three-quarter pole in 1:30, continuing to extend his lead, earning an eight length victory over Funny Photo. P L Incoming was a distant third with In Nomine Patri ending up fourth. With his victory, Hyway Marcus closed out the 2016 RUS season with a record of 4-2-1-0 and earnings of $3,725. Lifetime his racing under saddle record is 5-3-1-0 with $6,225 in earnings with all but one victory coming in Maryland. With the conclusion of the season, Hyway Marcus will be returning to the sulky-racing wars but one can expect to see him back under saddle in 2017. RUS America would like to thank all their sponsors for supporting the 2016 RUS season. Planning for 2017 is already under way with invitations to return to Rosecroft in addition to the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Any track looking to be added to the 2017 calendar or individuals interested in RUS may contact RUS America at Allan Schott RUS America

FORT WASHINGTON, MD – Wakizashi Hanover reached the pinnacle of the harness racing world when he pulled off an upset victory over odds-on favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1 million North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway in June 2015. The pacing son of Dragon Again subsequently faded from the Standardbred spotlight and was sidelined due to a breathing problem that required two surgeries. The 4-year-old gelding, though, is on the comeback trail and may be ready to return to the spotlight in Tuesday evening’s $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. A winner of $1.1 million in 2015 and named Canada’s champion 3-year-old pacing colt or gelding, Wakizashi Hanover became hampered by a paralyzed flap in his airway the end of the 2015 season and he underwent tie-back surgery in April. Winless in four starts after returning to action in July, the Pennsylvania-bred pacer underwent a second surgery in August that appears to have breathed new life into his racing career. “He had two different surgeries. The first was OK, but it wasn’t sufficient. He had another surgery and, since the second surgery, everything seems much closer to where he’s supposed to be,” said Jim King Jr., who trains Wakizashi Hanover in a partnership with his wife Joann Looney-King. In his two official starts since returning to action in November, both at Dover Downs in Delaware, Wakizashi Hanover lost a photo finish while finishing second and, most recently, closed from far back to capture an open handicap by a nose in 1:49.2. “He paced his last half in 53-and-3 (seconds) – that’s pretty good. I don’t care if you’re at the Meadowlands, 53-and-3 is pretty good,” said the 64-year-old trainer, who is based in his native Delaware. Wakizashi Hanover had demonstrated a strong late kick in the North America Cup, in which he defeated Wiggle It Jiggleit by three-quarters of a length in 1:48 for driver Tim Tetrick. “We were pretty confident going in, even knowing that Wiggle It Jiggleit was in the race. I had never seen a horse like Wiggle It Jiggleit before,” King said. “My horse was all about himself at that time. In the elimination, he was super-outstanding. His last quarter was 25-and-2 (seconds) against a good bunch of horses. The next week, he tripped out and did what he needed. He followed Wiggle It Jiggleit around there and, when the time came, he accelerated.” A similar performance would make Wakizashi Hanover mighty tough to beat in the Potomac Pace, which drew a field of eight, including Shamballa, who became the only horse to beat Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki in the same race while registering a career mark of 1:47.1 at Meadowlands in August. “I think that’s a tall order, but I think he can compete with the horses he’s in with (Tuesday). I saw a lot in the last two weeks that wasn’t there earlier, so I think he’s on the comeback trail,” said King, who will hand the reins to Trace Tetrick, Tim Tetrick’s younger brother. “I kinda wish he had one more start under him, but you go when the opportunity is there. I’m not going to be astonished if he wins. I think he has a real chance.” David Joseph

FORT WASHINGTON, MD – The ongoing revitalization of the Maryland harness racing industry will be on full display at Rosecroft Raceway Tuesday evening when an accomplished field of eight invitational and stakes pacers will compete in the inaugural edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace. Shamballa, the only horse to defeat superstars Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit in the same race, and Mach It So, who finished second behind Always B Miki at Meadowlands last Saturday, were entered for the one-mile pace on Rosecroft’s acclaimed five-eighths of a mile oval. “We’re excited to bring this kind of race and this caliber of horses to Rosecroft,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, whose parent company The Stronach Group acquired Rosecroft this year. “We think this is one of the best races for older pacers this year. We want to thank the horsemen who will participate in this race, as well as the horsemen at Rosecroft, who have supported us and have been partners with us since this summer. We also want to thank our great fans who continue to support Standardbred racing in Maryland.” Rosecroft once ranked among the premier Standardbred racetracks, regularly hosting many of the sport’s brightest stars, including Mack Lobell, Cam’s Card Shark and Forrest Skipper. The scheduling of the Potomac Pace, which has attracted many of most celebrated pacers and most prominent trainers and drivers in the country, signifies track management’s commitment to revitalize Maryland’s harness industry. “Our goal is to continue building racing in Maryland and we think this is a major step in the right direction for Rosecroft,” Sinatra added. With Always B Miki recently retired and Wiggle It Jiggleit on the sidelines for a couple months, the Potomac Pace will be contested by most of the best horses currently in training. Shamballa and Mach It So will be joined behind the mobile starting gate by Wakizashi Hanover, Dealt a Winner, Keystone Velocity, All Bets Off, Mel Mara and Split The House. Shamballa, a 6-year-old gelding owned by trainer Rick Zeron, TAO Racing, Cool Cat Racing and Howard Taylor, registered his career mile mark of 1:47.1 at Meadowlands Aug. 6 while finishing a length ahead of 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $225,000 U.S. Pacing Championship, in which Always B Miki finished fourth. Shamballa finished second, beaten by a length, when Always B Miki set a world record at the Red Mile in 1:46 Oct. 9. Scott Zeron will drive his father’s pacer in the Potomac Pace. Mach It So, trained by Jeffery Bamond Jr., is a winner of 33 career races and $1.6 million in purses while regularly competing against the best free-for-all pacers. Tim Tetrick is scheduled to return to the sulky after driving the 6-year-old gelding to his runner-up finish behind Always B Miki last weekend. Tri County Stable’s Wakizashi Hanover registered a career achievement last year by defeating Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1 million North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway. The son of Dragon Again, who will be driven by Trace Tetrick, broke through with a 1:49.2 victory in a Dover Downs Open Pace last week after missing the first half of the 2016 season following throat surgery. Mel Mara, a two-time open winner at Dover since finishing third behind Wiggle It Jiggleit, in a Yonkers invitational pace Oct.15; Split The House, fourth behind Always B Miki, Wiggle It Jiggleit and Shamballa in the Breeders’ Crown Oct. 28; All Bets Off, a $2 million earner who has been competitive with the top pacers all season; Keystone Velocity, runner-up behind Mach It So at Yonkers last time out; and Dealt a Winner, third behind Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki in the Canadian Derby at Mohawk in September; round out the field. “The Potomac Pace is awesome for our racing program. It puts us back on the map,” Rosecroft Racing Secretary Peter Hanley said.”The more people see our program, the more they will see that our races have good full fields and competitive payoffs. This race will help to grow our program.” David Joseph 

(Fort Washington, MD) - Due to the lack of sufficient harness racing entries, the RUS America Trot scheduled for November 15, 2016 at MJC at Rosecroft will not be contested. Plans are for the race to be rescheduled for the Spring of 2017. "With only six horses competing at the Meadowlands, we suspected it would be difficult getting a sufficient field at Rosecroft", said RUS America Board Member Allan Schott, "However, we felt we owed it to our members to attempt to race at Rosecroft as we had planned. Obviously, getting enough horses to race this late in the year was more problematic than we thought it would be". Board Member Clarissa Coughlin added, "We would like to thank MJC at Rosecroft for have given us the opportunity to race on November 15. While it was prudent to cancel the race due the lack of entries, we look forward to working with the Maryland Jockey Club in bring racing under saddle to Rosecroft in the spring of 2017". Allan Schott by RUS America      

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Harness racing drivers Russell Foster, Brian Burton, Jason Thompson and Mark Gray will take on some of Maryland's top Thoroughbred jockeys in a Sulky-Cycle Challenge Thursday, Oct. 20 at Rosecroft. The drivers will compete against Maryland-based jockeys Jevian Toledo, Kevin Gomez, Forest Boyce and Lauralea Glaser in both a sulky and bicycle race. Both drivers and jockeys will also take part in a Meet & Greet with fans between 5:45-6:15 p.m. in the grandstand. Bicycles used in the challenge will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington and the Capital Guardian Youth Challenge. First race post is 6:40 p.m. "This is a fun event and a great way to connect our athletes from the Thoroughbred and Standardbred worlds," said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. "I think our fans who watch and wager on each sport will have a good time whether meeting the drivers and jockeys or watching them compete for charity." Toledo, a graded-stakes winning jockey, practiced driving at Rosecroft Thursday. "It was different from what we're doing at [at Laurel Park], but it was fun," Toledo said. “I’m looking forward to it.” After the first race, two drivers and two jockeys will compete in a one mile exhibition race in double-seated carts. Drivers will have a VIP in their cart while jockeys will have a harness driver. The other two drivers and jockeys will compete in an exhibition after the third race. After the fifth race, drivers and trainers will compete in a bicycle race. Cash prizes between $500 and $100 will be awarded to the eight participants. For more information go to or call 301-567-4500. David Joseph

MARYLAND: Leading Canadian harness racing trainer Anthony MacDonald is out once again spreading the word about's unique, single-share fractional racehorse ownership program, this time at Maryland's Rosecroft Raceway.   MacDonald will join four industry insiders featured at an event sponsored by the Cloverleaf Horse Council at Rosecroft on Thursday, Oct, 20, 6 pm to 10 pm.    "Cloverleaf Standardbred Association is excited to build a productive relationship with Anthony MacDonald, who is the driving force behind," said Gina Maybee, executive assistant and benefits coordinator for the association. "The opportunity to bring affordable horse ownership to the harness racing industry and Maryland will open our sport up like we have never experienced before."   The evening will also feature racing analyst and sportswriter Ted Black, Corey Callahan, the leading harness driver in North America and Sal Sinatra, president of the Maryland Jockey Club and new owner of Rosecroft.   MacDonald and his wife Amy created in the fall of 2015 as an affordable way to boost harness racehorse ownership and to bring first time owners to the game.   To do that, offers an innovative single share program that allows owners to purchase anywhere from one to 100 shares in a promising yearling purchased at the fall sales or obtained directly through breeder purchases.   For a yearling valued at $25,000, this means an initial investment of just $250 per share plus a training fee of $20 per month.   In it's second year of operation,, which has over 80 owners in four countries, has proven to be an enormously popular way to bring owners into the sport.   This fall, MacDonald has blanketed the yearling sales in Canada and the Northern U.S., so far picking up two dozen youngsters at the Goshen, Ohio and Lexington Select sales, with more to come from the upcoming Harrisburg, Ohio and Forest City sales.   These babies from leading sires such as Yankee Glide, Manofmanymissions, Muscle Hill, American Ideal, McArdle, Dragon Again, Betterthancheddar and Rock N Roll Heaven will all be offered for sale on website over the next few weeks.   And more top trainers are climbing aboard the concept, with prominent trainers Tony O'Sullivan, Paul Kelley, Andrew Harris and Kyle Fellows joining's program.   These trainers will continue operating their own barns, but will team up with MacDonald in a training cooperative that will bring a new group of young harness horses to the races under banner.       Anthony MacDonald: (email); (cell) 519-400-4263; (website); (twitter) @thestablecanada; (Facebook) Anthony MacDonald. 

(October 13, 2016) - RUS America and Friends of Maryland Standardbreds (FOMS) is pleased to announce Racing Under Saddle (RUS) will be coming to Rosecroft Raceway on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 as a non-wagering event conducted between races on the evening harness racing program. Over the past three years, RUS has been contested at Ocean Downs and the race will be the first RUS event at Rosecroft during this period. "RUS events have been very popular at Ocean Downs and RUS America is pleased to bring racing under saddle to Rosecroft", said Clarissa Coughlin, a Director of FOMS and Board member of RUS America. "We thank the Stronach Group in allowing RUS to compete over the legendary Rosecroft oval and based on the response we received at Ocean Downs this past July, Rosecroft fans will be in for quite a treat'. "Horsemen with trotters able to compete under saddle have a rare opportunity to compete in two RUS events over a period of ten days. Rosecroft's race is a perfect follow-up to the November 5 race at the Meadowlands and we invite them to come down to compete afterwards", Coughlin continued, "For fans, not only will they be able to watch standardbreds race under saddle, they will have an opportunity to meet RUS riders at a meet and greet'. The purse is expected to go for an estimated $5,000. The exact conditions of the race remain to be determined. Conditions will be posted on the RUS America website under the horsemen's section as soon as they become available and will be available on the Rosecroft condition sheet at the appropriate time. Any questions regarding the Rosecroft Race should be directed to Clarissa Coughlin at . Sponsorship opportunities remain. Anyone interested in sponsoring the race is invited to contact Clarissa Coughlin. Allan Schott

Rosecroft Raceway hosted the final Maryland Sire Stakes of the year Thursday Oct. 6th. All four harness racing three-year-old finals went for purses of $39,000.   The three year old trotting colts and gelding were up first and it was no surprise when pilot Brian Burton sent Speed It (Cam's Rocket) to the front opening up 9 1/2 lengths on the field in the 1:59 mile giving him his 9th straight stakes win and 10th for the year. Righteous Renegade crossed the wire second. Richard Hans owns, trains and bred the winner.   Filly trotters were up next and reinsman Frank Milby cut a fast 27.2 quarter with Rock The Game (Cam's Rocket) to keep Star Rose parked out and keep control of the mile. Rock The Game crossed the wire 1:58.3 giving her a new lifetime mark. Shaun Callahan trains for owner Breakaway Racing. Nick Callahan was the breeder. Star Rose hung on for place.   Once again driver Frank Milby took Fastestgirlaround (Dontloseyourdayjob) to the front in the filly pace and never looked back as they stopped the clock in 1:56.2, a new lifetime mark. Mo Power finished second. Tony Sapienza trains for owner/breeder Gloria Kinnamon.   Frank Milby picked up a catch drive aboard Steal N Go (Bonnie And Clyde) in the pacing colts with Jeff Fout being in Kentucky this week. Milby was very content to sit in the pocket until the stretch catching the leader What I Say Goes by a neck at the wire in 1:58. This was a lifetime mark for the Winbak Farm owned and bred colt.   The Maryland Standardbred Race Fund wants to thank everyone that participated and supported our program in 2016.   By Cheri Stambaugh

The non-wagering events at Rosecroft opened with the filly trot final going for $40,475. Harness racing driver Roger Plante Jr. was able to keep the sometimes unpredictable Holy Trout (Holy Guacamolie) on gait, going straight to the front, maintaining an almost two length lead right to the wire in 2:00 over Camita. Dr. William Solomon owns and bred Holy Trout and Steve LeBlanc trains.   In the 'Earl Wagner Memorial' for colt/gelding trotters Hybrid Henry (Cam's Rocket) in his usual style, did not mind being on the outside to the quarter, opening up a 4½ length lead to stop the clock in 1:59.1 for driver Brian Burton. Richard Hans owns, trains and bred the winner. JA On The Way closed well to take the place position. Hybrid Henry finished his season with 9 wins in 10 starts. Purse for the races was $40,250.   The 'Smullin Memorial' for pacing colts /geldings went for a purse of $37,475. Pilot Russell Foster was content to sit back in sixth position with Mr Ham Sandwich (Cam's Rocket), letting Adios Muchachos lead the way to the half in :55.4. Mr Ham Sandwich circled the field by the ¾ mile opening up over six lengths by the wire in a speedy 1:53.2. Adios Muchachos held off the challenge by Toms Tarzan to finish second. Judy Welty trains the winner for owner/breeder Brian Emerson.   The filly pacers ended the night with the 'Ralph Hayward Memorial' with a purse of $35,150. Evergreen Marla and Cheap Ain't Fast battled to the quarter in 26.4 with the undefeated Miss Valerie (Allie's Western) sitting third watching the action. When the dust settled at the half, driver Roger Plante Jr. pulled Miss Valerie grinding his way to a 1½ length lead in the 1:57.4 mile. Miss Valerie ended her freshman season with a perfect 10 wins in 10 starts for owners Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable and William Lutz Jr. and trainer Steve LeBlanc.   The three year olds finish their season at Rosecroft on Thursday Oct. 6.   By Cheri Stambaugh

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