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(Berlin, MD) - Hyway Marcus leads a quartet of harness racing trotters in the $4,000 season opener of RUS MidAtlantic's 2018 Trotting Series at Ocean Downs on Sunday, July 15, one of several events taking place as part of Ocean Down's celebration of National I Love Horses Day. This will be the fifth year RUS (Riding Under Saddle) makes a stop at the resort track and has been well-received by race fans. Marcus, the 7 year old son of Gut Instinct has found a second life under saddle, sweeping the RUS MidAtlantic series last year, ridden by owner/trainer Sasha Moczulski who will be in the saddle Sunday. Last year the RUS specialist took the Ocean Downs leg in 2:02.1 and draws post four for this year's edition. Were this to be a wagering race, there's no doubt Hyway Marcus would be the overwhelming favorite, but the race needs to be run before the purse money is paid out as the possibility of an upset exists. Rider Hillary Harnett hopes to avenge One True Friend's defeat to Hyway Marcus last year at Rosecroft. The 11 year old mare by Dream Vacation is co-owned by Harnett and trainer Wesley Miller and is making her second purse start of the season, going off-stride at Historic Track on July 1. If the mare stays on-stride she will be a factor in this race. One True Friend drew post position 2 in Sunday's race. Starting from the rail, 10 year old Traverse Seelster (pp 1) comes into the race after a win last year in the Miller Memorial at Monticello Raceway, his only purse start in RUS events thus far. His last start on July 8, was in sulky at Saratoga Raceway where he finished third timed in 1:57.4 in a mid-level conditioned race. If he can flash some of his speed under saddle, Traverse Seelster may be a threat at the wire. Owner/Trainer Ashley Eldred rides the altered son of Angus Hall. Flowing James (pp 3) is well prepped for this race, competing at Historic track racing in three matinee races and one purse start where he finished second to Armbro Hall. The 13 year old gelding by Ilooklikemymother completed his preparations for the RUS MidAtlantic race with a victory at the fair track in Afton, New York. The last time Traverse Seelster raced at Ocean Downs was in 2015 when he finished second to Hyway Marcus. Flowing James is being ridden by his lessee/trainer Vanessa Karlewicz. Previous winners of RUS races at Ocean Downs are: 2014 - Truth In Action, ridden by Karen Isbell; 2015 - Hyway Marcus, Maria Buchanan; 2016 - Mr Protab, Stephanie Jacobs; 2017 - Hyway Marcus, Sasha Moczulski. Should Hyway Marcus be victorious, it will be a hat-trick in RUS racing at Ocean Downs. The non-wagering RUS event is scheduled for 8:55 PM, immediately after the sixth race on the wagering card. First race on Sunday is scheduled for 7:05 PM. There will be a meet and greet before and after the race. From the RUS MidAtlantic Chapter  

Ocean City, MD - Two divisions each of Maryland Standardbred Fund (foaled) Stakes for harness racing trotting fillies and pacing colts and geldings were contested at Ocean Downs on Monday July 9th. The card opened with the first division of filly trotters going to the gate. Pilot Russell Foster tucked Baby I'm Worth It (Explosive Matter) in the pocket behind Boo Boo Baa Baa (Googoo Gaagaa) and Corey Callahan catching the leader in an exciting stretch duel in the 1:59.3 mile. Arlene Cameron is the trainer-owner and breeder of Baby I'm Worth It. In the first split for pacing colts and geldings, driver Montrell Teague and the gelding Own It ( Roddy's Bags Again) did in fact 'own it' when they went gate to wire stopping the clock in 1:55.2. Toms Titanium charged down the stretch to get second. Josh Green trains for Bay Pond Racing Stable and breeder Winbak Farm. The trotting fillies were back on the track in race three. The Callahan brothers, driver Corey and trainer Shaun, returned to the winners circle after a week's absence when Gaagaa Gone (Googoo Gaagaa) minded her manners after an unusual misstep last week. Corey and Gaagaa Gone held off heavy pressure from Crystal's Pistol (Cam's Rocket) in the last quarter. Corey Callahan also owns and bred the winner. Favorite Slick Tony (No Spin Zone) gave driver Russell Foster his second trip to the winners circle. Foster was not content with getting away third and took over the lead before the half, ending the mile 3¾ lengths ahead of Jeff Fout and America First (Roddy's Bags Again). George Leager bred, trains and owns Slick Tony who is nearing the quarter million dollar mark in earings. The Maryland Sire Stakes return on Sunday July 15th and Monday July 16th with the $67,000 Finals at Ocean Downs. by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Fund

Three year old filly pacers and three year old colt and gelding trotters highlighted the harness racing card at Ocean Downs on a beautiful Sunday night.   The first race went as the first division for the filly pacers. Reinsman Vic Kirby pulled Pedal Power (Roddy's Bags Again) going to the ¾ pole, gaining on the leader with every stride. When the timer stopped in the 1:54.2 mile Pedal Power was a nose in front of Go Sandy Go (Roddy's Bags Again). Darrell and Leah Lewis own and train the filly and Winbak Farm is the breeder. The trotting colts and geldings were up next. The Rene Allard trained Whats The Word (Donato Hanover) dominated the field in a stakes and track record of 1:55 winning by 15 ¾ lengths over second place finisher What That Is (Cam's Rocket). Corey Callahan drove the winner for owners Go Fast Stable, Kapildeo Singh and Earl Hill Jr., Frederick Hertrich III is the breeder.   The final stake of the night was the second split for filly pacers. The betting favorite Cool Toy (Cool Flying Fun) did not disappoint going wire to wire in 1:56.3 for pilot Jason Green and owners Breakaway Racing. Elwood Tignor trains the filly and Nick Callahan is the breeder. Rissy's All In (Rusty's All In) was second.   Ocean Downs also hosted Hall of Fame driver John Campbell for a meet and greet with a large group of fans, both young and old. John's wife Paula was also there spreading the word about the Standardbred Retirement Foundation and taking donations to support these retired racehorses horses.   The Standardbred Fund (foaled) Stakes continue Monday night July 9 with a post of 7:05 pm.   by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund  

Ocean City, MD - The first split for pacing colts and geldings in the Maryland Sire Stakes prems opened the card at Ocean Downs Monday.   Driver Jared Moyer was not content with the pocket and sent Ronnies Rocket (Cam's Rocket) to the front by the half, opening up 3 lengths at the wire over E-Z Pass B (Total Truth) in the 1:54.2 mile. Arlene Cameron trains for owner-breeder Pamela Wagner.   Race two was the first division for trotting fillies. Showing great gate speed Crystal's Pistol (Cam's Rocket) flew to the front taking a 2 length lead over TV Sensation (T V Show Kosmos) by the quarter, extending the distance to 5 lengths in the 1:59.4 mile. Russell Foster was between the wheels for owner-breeder Syl King Jr. and trainer Arlene Cameron.   The second division for the trotting fillies gave trainer Arlene Cameron her third stakes winner when Jared Moyer put Maryann's A Player (Charlie De Vie) in the pocket until the head of the stretch catching the leader Diamonds Credit (Charlie De Vie) in the final strides. Pamela Wagner and Syl King Jr. are co-owners and breeders of Maryann's A Player, time for the mile was 2:01.4   Reinsman Roger Plante Jr. was not taking any chances with Allie's Finale (Allie's Western) making the final cut after a scratch last week. The pair went gate to wire holding off a fast closing Lloyd's All In (Rusty's All In) to win by a neck in 1:56.3 for owners LeBlanc Racing, Count De Money Stable, W. Lutz Jr. and J. Stuart. Steve LeBlanc trains the colt and J R Ramsburg is the breeder.   The top 8 in each division will return in two weeks for the $67,000 Maryland Sire Stake Finals.   by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Development Fund    

Ocean City, MD - On an extremely hot night Sunday night (july1) at Ocean Downs, HS Shauna (Up Front Charlie), with Art Stafford Jr. in the bike, took control of the fractions in the preliminary for three year old pacing fillies. HS Shauna was able to hold off several challenges from both Cool Toy and Miss Choptank, stopping the clock in a record setting 1:54.2. Joseph Carroll trains the filly for owner-breeder Cary Grady. In the preliminary for three year old trotting colts and geldings, driver Brian Burton sent What That is (Cam's Rocket) to his favorite spot on the front end. Uncle Ike tried to take over past the quarter but made a break in the turn, quickly recovering to maintain the place position the rest of the mile as What That Is crossed the wire 9 ½ lengths ahead of the field. Judy Welty trains for owner Brian Emerson, the breeders was Richard Hans. Time for the mile was 1:59. The Maryland Sire Stake preliminaries continue on Monday July 2 with the trotting fillies and pacing colts and geldings stepping onto the track at 7:05 pm. by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Development Fund

Ocean City, MD - Brothers Corey and Shaun Callahan teamed up to sweep the first round of Maryland Sire Stakes preliminaries for three year old harness racing filly trotters at Ocean Downs Monday. Driver Corey Callahan sent Gaagaa Gone (Googoo Gaagaa) a filly he owns and bred, to the lead from post 5 to claim the new stakes record of 1:58.1 at Ocean Downs. Shawn Callahan trains the filly. Crystals Pistol (Cam's Rocket) was up for second. In the second split Corey was content to put Boo Boo Baa Baa (Googoo Gaagaa) in the pocket, charging past the leader TV Sensation (T V Show Kosmos) to win by a nose in 2:02. Shaun trains this filly for their mom Dolly's Breakaway Racing, their dad Nick Callahan was the breeder. The first division for three year old pacing colt and geldings, was reduced to three horses due to a late scratch. Lloyd's All In (Rusty's All In) with Jared Moyer in the bike took control at the ¾ pole opening up 4¾ lengths to stop the clock in 1:55.2 for owner-breeder Pamela Wagner and trainer Arlene Cameron. Toms Tyrannosaurus (Cam's Rocket) took the place position. The Pamela Wagner - Arlene Cameron combination was unstoppable in the colt and gelding paces also taking the second division with Ronnies Rocket (Cam's Rocket). Reinsman John Wagner waited patiently following the leader BT's Breeze (Nuclear Breeze) till the head of the stretch where he ducked into the passing lane, catching the leader by a neck. Time for the mile was 1:56.3. The action continues Sunday July 1 and Monday July 2 with the second round of prelims at Ocean Downs. by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Fund

Ocean City, MD - A light rain before the races and a beautiful double rainbow greeted the Ocean Downs fans on Sunday June 24th. The Maryland Sire Stakes preliminaries for three year olds opened the program with the first division for filly pacers. HS Shauna (Up Front Charlie) with Art Stafford Jr. in the bike held off the pocket sitting Cool Toy (Cool Flying Fun) in the 1:55.1 mile. Joseph Carroll trains for owner - breeder Cary Grady. In race 2 for three year old trotting colts and geldings reinsman Russell Foster was content to put Chucky De Vie (Charlie De Vie) in the pocket behind rival What That Is (Cam's Rocket). When the stretch duel was over Chucky De Vie pulled away by 1 ½ lengths, stopping the clock in 1:59.1 for owner - breeder Joie De Vie Farm LLC and trainer Hermann Heitmann. Driver Victor Kirby pulled Miss Choptank (Total Truth) going up the backside to challenge Princess Rusty (Rusty's For Real) all the way to the wire with Miss Choptank getting the win for Legacy Racing of DE, Inc. and Stephen Townsend and trainer Wayne Givens. The breeder is Olive Branch Farm. Time for the mile was 1:56. The pacing colts and geldings and trotting fillies will contest their first round of preliminaries on Monday June 25th starting at 7:05 pm. by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Sire Stakes

The two year olds were on tap for the final harness racing stakes at Ocean Downs this summer. The trotting fillies went as a non-wagering event at 6:45 with a purse of $23,350. Art Stafford Jr. sent Iron Mine Krystal (Four Starz Robro) out of post 5 right to the front taking control and widening the gap at every quarter hitting the wire 5½ lengths in front of Crystals Pistol. Time for the mile was 2:00.4. Greg Haverstick trains for owner-breeder Iron Mine Branch LLC.   The first split for pacing fillies opened the card going for a purse of $13,875. The heavy favorite Michelle's Jazz (Roll With Joe) took air to the quarter in 28.4 but that did not stop her in the 1:58 mile. Cool Toy was up for place. Frank Millby was in the bike for trainer Joseph Columbo and Owners George and Tina Dennis Racing, Winbak Farm is the breeder.   The trotting colts and geldings stepped on the track next going for $23,600. Reinsman Ross Wolfenden took a good look at the program and put Chucky De Vie (Charlie De Vie) in his favorite spot on the engine from post five, leaving Iron Mine Bro and Judge Bob to fight for second and third in the 2:00.1 mile. Chris Ryder trains for owner-breeder Joie De Vie Farm LLC.   The second $13,875 division for pacing fillies had a lot of shuffling of positions with the Erv Miller trainee Act Like A Diva (Roll With Joe) taking command at the ¾ pole, stopping the timer in 1:57 for pilot Atlee Bender. Petal Power was up for place. Paymaq Racing, G. Gillis, L. A. Willinger and C. W. Henderson own the filly, Fred Hertrich III is the breeder.   Russell Foster's patience in the pocket paid off in the first division for pacing colts and geldings when he slipped up the passing lane with Slick Tony (No Spin Zone) to take the win with only 1¾ lengths separating the first four horses in the 1:56.4 clocking. Bo Breeze finished second. George Leager owns, trains and bred the colt. Purse was $13,800   Race 8 sent the second split for the pacing colts and gelding on the track. Driver Jared Moyer put Lloyd's All In (Rusty's All In) on the engine for the first time and he was up for the challenge taking the $13,800 race in 1:57.1. Arlene Cameron trains for owner-breeder Pam Wagner, Own It was up for place.   Ocean Downs started the night with a driver Meet & greet and finished it off with a fireworks display.   Watch for the two year olds to come back in October and November with Maryland Sire Stakes at Rosecroft.   By Cheri Stambaugh

Berlin, MD....... In the inaugural running of the "Powder Puff Derby at Ocean Downs Sunday night, Hannah Miller and the five year old trotting mare, Bella's Punkett, prove the best in a race that featured all harness racing women drivers.   The drivers initially dined before the races in the track's clubhouse restaurant and followed up the dinner with a meet and greet session with the fans on the track's apron prior to the races.   After a late scratch of Jarming Lady knocked down the field down to seven horses, the race, a conditioned trot carrying a purse of $4200, carded as the sixth of twelve races on the night, went off without a hitch.   Karen Moore and Joeyscash quarter pole moved and opened up on the field with quarters of 30.1, 59.2 and 1:30.1 before Miller, patiently waited for clearance and fired Bella's Punkett on a first over mission from fifth position.   Advancing smartly on the far turn, Bella's Punkett came along side the pace setter finishing the mile in 2:01.3, winning by five lengths. Linda Mac Donald and Let It Go rallied for the place edging Joeys cash.   "I was happy to be asked to participate", said Miller, "since it was a very worthwhile cause. All the ladies were glad to be part of this race."   Also participating were Miriam Toland aboard Rocketpedia, Lorie Davis and Tiger's Too Good, Stacy Chiodo and Whitesville Liz and Doreen Dailey and HS Deroy.   The late scratch cost Janet Haigh- Bivona a seat at the dance floor.   All the ladies donated their five percent winnings to the children's cancer foundation " Believe In Tomorrow" with the total amount being donated to the fund at $720.00 for the night's festivities.   by Ocean Downs Staff  

(Berlin, Maryland) - There are horses for courses and Hyway Marcus took advantage of this axiom by winning the first leg of the RUS MidAtlantic Monte Series in front of an appreciative audience at Ocean Downs Sunday (August 20) evening. Winning his seasonal debut under saddle, the harness racing six year old has a record of 3-2-1-0 at the resort track. The time of the mile was 2:02.1 over a fast track with Sasha Moczulski riding the Josh Green trainee to victory for winning owner Keith Pippi in the $5,000 tilt. The six horse field was reduced by one with the defection of Pine Tab who was scratched sick, leaving a field of five to contest the open leg. When the gate opened, One True Friend (Hillary Hartnett) used the rail position to get away with Hyway Marcus challenging early while Admirable Hanover (Vanessa Karlewicz) took to the pocket for third. The riders of Keenan (Maria Buchanan) and Catalyst (Stephanie Jacobs) decided to race off the pace sensing a quick tempo developing; sensing the opportunity to take advantage of the pace in the later portions of the race. By the time the horses hit the first station in :29.4, Hyway Marcus was racing on the outside with a one length lead. There was no change in position as the field hit the second station in :59.4 with Hyway Marcus extending his lead to three lengths. While Hyway Marcus was holding strong, it was a question of when the trailing horses would make their moves and if they could catch the leader. Past the half mile point of the race, One True Friend continued to race in second as Keenan kicked it into gear to take the third spot while Admirable Hanover dropped back to fourth and Catalyst remained in last but making up ground. The time at the third marker was 1:30.4. At the top of the stretch it was clear Hyway Marcus was not to be denied; it was a race for second between Keenan and Catalyst as they worked their way down the stretch. Hyway Marcus maintained his 4½ length lead to the wire while Keenan finished second maintaining his 1½ length lead over third place finisher Catalyst. One True Friend and Admirable Hanover finished fourth and fifth respectively. The fans were treated to a Meet and Greet before and after the race with the riders just as excited as the fans as they had a chance to talk to fans. Riders were happy to offer autographs to the fans in attendance. After the seventh race the riders joined in the t-shirt toss. The second leg of the RUS MidAtlantic series will be contested at the Meadowlands on Saturday, September 9 as additional horses are expected to join the chase to qualify for the final at Rosecroft Raceway on Sunday, October 8. The final will be limited the top nine horses point-wise who enter. Standings for the series are available on the RUS MidAtlantic website. By HANA Harness    

There were two divisions for freshmen filly pacers in the second week of harness racing prelims in the Maryland Sire Stakes at Ocean Downs.   Driver Art Stafford Jr. picked up the assignment behind Tell Me The Truth (Total Truth) giving her her first lifetime win in the 1:58 wire to wire mile with Bad Bitty up for second. Kevin Lare trains for owners Frank Chick and Julie Meirs. The breeders are Concord Stud Farm and Julie Meirs.   In the second split HS Shauna (Up Front Charlie) gained the lead from post 6 out of the gate holding off the favorite Miss Choptank stopping the clock in 1:57. Roger Plante Jr. was in the bile for trainer Steve LeBlanc and owner/breeder Cary Grady.   Judge Bob ( Great George Two) made his first lifetime start a winning one, coming from seventh at the half to taking a half-length lead over the favorite Uncle Ike in the two year old trotting colts and geldings. Jonathan Roberts was between the wheels for trainer Megan Roberts and owner/breeders Wm. B. Roberts, Graham Grace Stables and M & W Stables.   Maryland Sire Stakes continue Monday Aug. 21 with the freshmen pacing colts and geldings and the trotting fillies.   By Cheri Stambaugh

(Berlin, Maryland) - The 2017 RUS MidAtlantic Monte Trotting Series kicks off this Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Ocean Downs Racetrack and a select field of six trotters will be competing for a purse of $5,000 in this non-wagering event. The race is scheduled to be contested between the fifth and sixth races on the regular program. First race for the evening has a scheduled 7:05 post. For the initial leg of the series, the field of six trotters appear to present an interesting puzzle with several of the horses meriting serious consideration for top honors. Following this leg of the series, the series moves on to the Meadowlands on Saturday, September 9 for the second leg with the series final being contested at Rosecroft Raceway on Sunday, October 8. In post position order: One True Friend (post 1, Hillary Hartnett) has compiled a record of 5-2-2-0 this year with a lifetime mark of 2:03.3 set at Tioga Downs with seasonal earnings of $1,695. Since One True Friend's victory at Tioga, she has two second place finishes at Upstate New York fairs. With a return to the raceways, Hartnett is looking for the Wesley Miller trainee to return to her winning ways. 2016 RUS New York Fair Series Champion Admirable Hanover (post 2, Vanessa Karlewicz) comes into the race off a victory at the Oswego County Fair to account for his lone win thus far in three starts for 2017. The ten year old altered son of Cantab Hall has thus far this year a 3-1-2-0 record with $1,533 in earnings. His lifetime mark of 2:03.4 was set last year in the Fair Final held at Batavia Downs. Finishing second to One True Friend at Tioga Downs, Owner/Trainer/Rider Vanessa Karlewicz is hoping to turn the tables on his opponent. Making his seasonal debut this year is Hyway Marcus (post 3, Sasha Moczulski), a winner of three races out of five RUS starts lifetime. With a lifetime mark of 1:59.1 set in 2016, Marcus comes into this race off a qualifying effort at Monticello Raceway but benefits from returning to one of his favorite tracks, winning here in 2015 and finishing second in 2016. In last year's RUS America series, the talented son of Gut Instinct won at Rosecroft Raceway in addition to the previously mentioned second place finish at the Ocean. Trained by Josh Green, Sasha Moczulski gets the call on Hyway Marcus for the first time. While the first three horses figure to be prominent in the race, post positions four and five feature two horses making their RUS debuts. Making his first lifetime start under saddle for trainer John Calabrese is Keenan (post 4, Maria Buchanan). Keenan qualified at Ocean Downs last Friday (August 10), in 2:06.1 and hopes to build upon the qualifier. In sulky, Keenan has lifetime earnings of nearly $560,000. If any of that talent passes over to the saddle, Kennan will be a formidable foe. Another horse making their debut is Pine Tab (post 5, Helene Gregory). A Nick Surick trainee, Pine Tab was victorious in his only morning trial, winning his qualifier at Gaitway Farms back in June in a crisp 2:00.1. Helene Gregory returns to ride the son of Cantab Hall. Drawing the outside post six and making his first RUS start in two years is Catalyst (post 6, Stephanie Jacobs). In 2015, Catalyst compiled a 2-0-1-1 record and a 1:59Q mark set at Gaitway Farms. In his comeback qualifier, Catalyst was victorious in 2:01. Jody Dunning has the training duties while RUS MidAtlantic President Stephanie Jacobs gets the call on the eight year old gelding. In addition to the race, RUS Riders will be available trackside for a Meet and Greet. Fans and individuals interested in more information on racing under saddle are invited to attend. by RUS MidAtlantic

Russell Foster was the spring driving champion at Rosecroft Raceway and is the leading harness racing driver this summer at Ocean Downs. But the 28-year-old Maryland native never imagined this kind of success in the sulky. Prior to October 2015, Foster had won a total of 67 races over a span of more than six years. Since then, he has won 403 times. Foster's success can be traced to his purchase of pacer Hi Sir in June 2013. By the end of 2014, the Foster-trained-and-driven Hi Sir was a force on the Maryland circuit and helped propel Foster's career to new levels. In 2016, no one won more races than Foster at Rosecroft (96) and he visited the winner's circle a total of 192 times. This year, Foster has already won 185 races, good for 33rd most in North America, and his $1.20 million in purses is nearing his $1.35 million in 2016. Foster, the son of trainer Arty Foster Jr., recently took time to talk to Ken Weingartner from the U.S. Trotting Association's Harness Racing Communications division about his career. KW: You're having another great year. What have been the keys to your success? RF: I don't really know if there has been a key to it. I'm just showing up every night and trainers have been putting me on a lot of good horses. That makes my job a lot easier. I've just been lucky to get some good drives. KW: What have the last two years been like? Did you foresee this type of success? RF: No, I didn't. It's been a big lifestyle change. I had a horse of my own (Hi Sir) that I took over to Rosecroft and was doing really well there. My dad brought a couple over and they started doing well and people just started listing me (to drive). I didn't really think I was going to be a catch driver. It just took off on me. KW: At what point did you realize it was going in that direction? RF: I would say last year. I didn't realize it was going to take off the way it did. It just kept going the way it was going and I took it as it came. KW: You mentioned it's been a lifestyle change. What kind of adjustment was it? RF: You're spending a lot more time at the track. I worked for my grandfather for the last 10 years, so I was always at the track a lot paddocking horses for him. But I wasn't at the track every night until the last race every night. It's a lot more late nights, a lot more time at the track. It's tough to get used to, but you get used to it after a while. KW: Is it tough mentally, too, as you're getting acclimated? RF: It was tough at first. I was used to driving only a couple horses a night, so I was really focused in on those horses. Now when you're driving 10 or 12 a night, you don't really have the time to put all that much thought into every race. I really think that's better in a way because a lot of times when I was driving just a couple I'd really overthink things. Now I just kind of go with the flow of it. I think it's better. KW: Are you the type of person that would dwell on things when they didn't go well, or were you able to turn the page? RF: If I drove a bad race it used to really bother me and it took me a while to get over it. Now, five minutes later you have to get right back on the next one. You've got to learn to turn the page. That makes it a lot easier. You still feel bad about the bad ones, but you don't have time to dwell on it. You've got to be ready for the next one. KW: Is that one of the biggest adjustments you have to make? RF: Yeah, I would say so. You've got to be able to move on to the next one. KW: What have been the highlights for you so far? RF: I've had success with my horse (Hi Sir) at Rosecroft. He got horse of the meet a couple different times over there. Mr Ham Sandwich, I won three or four (Maryland) Sire Stakes finals with him. That was a big thrill. KW: Your family has been involved in racing for a long time. Is this something you always wanted to do? RF: Yeah, I always enjoyed it. When I was 10 or 11 years old, I loved going to the track with my dad; I loved going to Rosecroft. It's where I wanted to go every weekend and I had a lot of fun with it. Whenever I had spare time on the weekends and during summers, I spent a lot of time at the barn and always enjoyed jogging horses and all that. KW: How old were you when you started jogging horses? RF: I'd say 12 or 13. KW: Did you work with the horses during high school, or were you involved in other things? RF: I played soccer my freshman and sophomore year, but after that it was pretty much all the horses. KW: When did you decide you wanted to start training and driving a little on your own? RF: Right from the time I was 16 I wanted to try to have one or two of my own. When I turned 19, I got my driver's license and I gave it a shot. It didn't seem like it was a realistic thing for me at the time; I didn't do very good starting out. I just focused more on working for my grandfather. He had 20 head racing at the time, so I didn't really have time to focus on much else. Then around 2012, 2013, he started to cut back on horses. So I got focused more on driving at Rosecroft. That's when things kind of went that route. KW: Have you had any other jobs? RF: No, never had any other job than this. KW: What do you most enjoy about working with the horses? RF: I just love being around them. Even now with driving all the time, I still work at the barn every day. I still enjoy that aspect of it. I just love it. There's nothing else I ever wanted to do. KW: Is it nice to have success so close to home? RF: That's definitely a plus. Of course it would be nice to have success somewhere else too, but I loved going to Rosecroft when I was growing up, I used to love watching races there. So to have success there is pretty cool. KW: Have you thought about expanding to other tracks more? RF: I drive a few for my dad at (Harrah's Philadelphia) here or there. It's definitely tougher up there, tough to break in. But I give it a shot every now and then. I drive quite a few in Delaware. It's tough there also, but I'm trying my hand there. I hope to pick up a few drives this winter at Dover. KW: Do you see yourself doing more of that as time goes on? RF: I think so. Hopefully as I get better and my name gets out there more. Hopefully I can keep making the right moves and people give me a chance. KW: How have you seen yourself improve, what have you learned, in these last couple years? RF: You just feel a lot more comfortable out there. You become a lot more patient. I used to always press a little too hard, I think. The more you're out there, the more comfortable you feel. You get a better feel for how the races are going and take your shots at the right time. When you first start out, you're more nervous and worried about making the right move. Once you do it more and more, you stop thinking so much and it just kind of comes to you. KW: When Ocean Downs closes you'll have some time before Rosecroft reopens, so what are your plans? RF: Harrington goes four nights a week, so I'll be there every night. Those other three nights I'll just try to get some family time in before Rosecroft opens up. I'll be going six nights a week then. So now I just want to spend time with my wife (Megan) and son (Blake). My wife is a big help to me. I wouldn't be able to have horses on my own if she wasn't there. She takes care of things when I'm on the road. KW: What do you like to do when you're not busy at the track or at the barn? RF: I just like hanging out with my son and watch him play. He's almost a year-and-a-half now; he's getting to the fun stage. Other than that, I always liked fishing, going out on the boat and being on the water. KW: Where do you like to fish? RF: Just around here locally, the Chesapeake Bay, the Wye River, places like that. KW: Looking at your stats, you're going to go past last year's numbers pretty soon. That must feel good. RF: Yeah, coming into the year I was just hoping I would improve a little bit. I kind of set a goal for myself to get over 200 wins this year. I'm just hoping things keep going the way they're going. I never set any goals before, but I thought if I could get to 200 wins this year it would be a pretty good step up. KW: It's got to feel pretty good the way everything has come together these last couple years. RF: It definitely does. I didn't think it was going to happen, so it's a very pleasant surprise. KW: What does the future hold? What would you like to accomplish down the road? RF: I've never been real big on setting goals, so I haven't put much thought into that. I just hope to keep getting drives, keep competing and keep progressing each year. I'm just taking it as it comes right now. I just want to keep moving in the right direction. KW: That's worked for you so far. RF: Yeah (laughs), we'll just keep doing it the way we're doing it, I guess. Ken Weingartner

The Ocean Downs crowd watched the largest two-year-old crop in many years hit the track with three splits for harness racing filly pacers and one for colt and gelding trotters.   Reinsman Ross Wolfenden picked up the win in the first division for filly pacers behind Miss Choptank (Total Truth) cutting the mile in 1:59 with Cool Toy up for place. Wayne Givens trains for owners Legacy Racing of DE Inc. and Stephen Townsend. Olive Branch Farm and Philip Wilson are the breeders.   The offspring from first crop sire Charlie De Vie proved themselves in the colt/gelding trot finishing 1 -2. Chucky De Vie gave Wolfenden his second stakes win one length ahead of Uncle Ike stopping the timer in 2:01.2 for owner-breeder Joie De Vie Farm and trainer Chris Ryder.   Princess Rusty (Rusty's For Real) with Jonathan Roberts in the bike took the second race for filly pacers in 1:59 for trainer Mike Hall, owner Al Carter and breeder Carter Racing Stable. Tell Me The Truth crossed the wire second.   The final prelim of the night took a photo to show pocket sitting B N Hopeful (Total Truth) caught the leader Sansa at the wire. Justin Vincent was the pilot for trainer and co-owner Carlin Savage and Gregory Knepp, Only Money Inc is the breeder. Time for the mile was 2:02.1   Maryland sire stake prelims continue Monday Aug. 14 with two divisions for filly trotters and three splits for colt/gelding pacers.   By Cheri Stambaugh

Laurel, DE --- Maryland harness racing driver Ricky Still was injured while driving at Ocean Downs in July. With a broken kneecap and femur, Still is facing significant medical bills and won't be able to work for some time. His brother has launched a Go Fund Me page on his behalf, which can be reached at this link.

The Maryland Standardbred Race Fund stakes for harness racing two year olds continued at the Ocean with two divisions for filly trotters up first as non wagering events. Corey Callahan sent his homebred Gaagaa Gone (GooGoo GaaGaa), trained by Richard Hans, to the front opening up at every pole winning by 18 lengths in 2:03.2 giving us a performance reminiscent of her sires early career at Ocean Downs. Four Deuces was up for place.   Shazamm (Conway Hall) gave driver Corey Callahan a sweep of the filly trots winning in 2:01.4 over Iron Mine Krystal. Renaldo Morales III trains for owner Daniel Clements, and the breeder is Winbak Farm.   Redline Rusty (Rusty's For Real) improved his stats to 3 wins in 6 starts finishing the first split for colt/gelding pacers a half length in front of America First in 1:58.4. Roger Plante Jr. had the driving assignment for trainer Mike Hall and owner Al Carter. Carter Racing Stable LLC was the breeder.   Russell Foster picked up his first stakes win of the night behind Slick Tony (No Spin Zone) stopping the clock in 1:57.4 for owner/trainer/ breeder George Leager. Charlie J finished second.   The third division saw I Run The Show (Cam's Rocket) tie the stakes and track record for 2 year old pacing geldings of 1:55.4 sent way back in 2000 by Shimmering Joseph. Russell Foster was in the bike for owner/breeder Michael Hans and trainer Roger Hans. Toms Tyrannosaurus finished second.   Driver Jonathan Roberts and Bo Breeze (Nuclear Breeze) took advantage of his pocket trip charging down the stretch to win over Sea Bags in 1:58.1 for trainer Shawn Murray and owner Murray Stables. The breeder was Robert and Elberta Murray.   by Cheri Stambaugh  

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