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DOVER, Del. --- Downbytheseaside went out a winner rushing to a 1:48.3 victory in his final race prior to stallion duty. Harness racing driver Chris Page directed the convincing victory, his 14th of the season with a separately owned Brian Brown stablemate Fear The Dragon second. Russell Foster won two of the four $100,000 DSBF Two-Year-Old Dover Downs Finals on the Thursday, Nov. 30, the biggest day in 2017 Delaware harness racing. Diver Chris Page moved the Somebeachsomewhere colt quickly into the lead after a :26.2 opening panel. From there on it was a Downbytheseaside. The three-year-old passed the half in :54.2 and reached the three-quarters in 1:21.1 with Fear The Dragon (David Miller) 3-lengths off. A :27.1 final dash sealed the victory for owners Joe Sbrocco, Rich Lombardo, Country Club Acres and Diamond Creek Racing. For Chris Page, who was a Dover Downs regular several years back, it was the fifth time he drove Downbytheseaside, all wins. David Miller was high on Fear The Dragon's effort as well. "I thought he could go in 1:49, but the race was in 1:48.3. Bandolito and Heston Blue Chip share the track record of 1:48. This was the third edition of the Hap Hansen Progress Pace, so-named. Previously, on became the track's signature event in 1996, until adding the name of one of the sport's leading administrators, who was a part of the late Brandywine Raceway and Dover Downs. Russell Foster was star of the four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF). The 28-year-old Foster drove two of the winners in his personal biggest day in the sport. In the DSBF freshman filly trot, Foster guided Serendipity Sable's homebred Star Sapphire conditioned by Tui Stone to her third straight triumph with a near wire-to-wire 1:59 performance. From the first crop of Anders Bluestone-Victory Starburst, she won the $100,000 Harrington final and now has a seasonal total of $125,650. Race favorite Vandalous (Corey Callahan) finished second. Foster returned in the $100,000 Colt Pace nipping race favorite Evolution Tour (Tim Tetrick) by a nose in 1:51. George Leager, bred, owns and trains the No Spin Zone-Queen Kathy colt who has made the winner's circle nine times in 11 starts with two second earning $151.797. Transitioning Joy (Montrell Teague) finished third after leaving from outside post 8. In another photo finish verdict, Sky Marshall got up in the last stride for trainer Carlo Poliseno, who owns the CR Commando-Penny Lane colt with Jane Dunavant, to win the $100,000 Colt trot. Super Fly (Art Stafford Jr.) had built up a big lead turning for home, but could not hold off Sky Marshall, who won in1:56.4, his first victory. He now has earned $76,000 in the DSBF stakes. Brother Kenny (Tetrick) was the third finisher. In yet another race decided by the photo-finish camera, Go Sandy Go overtook front-pacing Pedal Power (Tetrick) in the last stride for a 1:53.4 victory in the $100,000 Filly Pace Final. Jason Green piloted the Roddy's Bags Again-Bit Of Trick daughter for owner-breeders trainer Josh Green and Brent Outten. She has now banked $65,000 this campaign. Bags To Riches, arguably the best Delaware-sired pacer, won the $25,000 Open pace on the undercard. David Miller steered the Roddy's Bags Again-Paint The Sky Blue sophomore to his sub 1:50 performance beating Sicily (Teague) and Cajon Lightning (Gingras) home in 1:49.4.He won for the eighth time this year raising his earnings to $174,927 and $261,789 lifetime for breeder Only Money Inc. and partner trainer Jason Skinner. In another fast mile, Major Uptrend and Tony Morgan negotiated a 1:49.3 victory in a $13,000 Winners-Over pace for owners Niss Allen Inc. and trainer TimCrissman. El Bloombito (Sean Bier) and Little Ben (Tetrick) were second and third respectively.. Monday through Thursday. post time is 4:30 p.m. The daily program features a 50-cent Pick 5 (races 2-6) and a late daily double ( races 12 and 13). There is no live racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Dover Downs. General parking and admission are free. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Buffet and for the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600.Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. LATE AFTERNOON EARTHQUAKE AT 4.4 MAGNITUDE THURSDAY Just before the 2nd race at Dover Downs, Thursday (Nov. 30), an earthquake, said to be 4.4 magnitude, shook the racetrack and Dover, Del. vicinity. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirms that at 4:48 p.m. EST, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake occurred.  The coordinates of the quake (39.2N  75.4W) put the center of the quake 10 miles northeast of Dover, in the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, at a depth of eight miles. Marv Bachrad  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Frank Chick's Awsome Valley ($13.40, Russell Foster) was a 1:55.4 harness racing winner in the $16,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. Awsome Valley took the lead at the opening quarter mile in 28.1 seconds as I Like My Boss relinquished in second. The 1-to-5 favorite, Wind Of The North, got in gear in second over position behind Theresademoninme while the leader marched to the half-mile in 58 seconds and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Awsome Valley drew away from his rivals in the stretch for a dominant win over Theresademoninme and I Like My Boss. Wind Of The North was fourth. It was the 39th career win for Awsome Valley, a son of Valley Victor who is trained by Kevin Lare. Foster drove three winners on the program. In the sub-featured $11,000 Open II trot, Jonathan Newman's Here's The Magic ($6.60, Allan Davis) was a 1:56.4 winner for trainer Josh Green in his first Harrington start after competing most of the summer in New York. Davis joined Foster with a driving triple. On the undercard ($10,000 trot), Louis Catana and Vincent Bradley's Sunset Mike ($11, Tyler Davis) had an auspicious local debut with a 1:57.3 triumph for co-owner/trainer Bradley, who recently acquired the 4-year-old trotter from the Indiana racing circuit. Matthew Sparacino  

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

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Driver Russell Foster celebrated an incredible spring meet at Rosecroft Wednesday evening by winning five races, including two Maryland Sire Stakes Finals, on his way to the harness racing driving title on closing night. Foster, a native of Easton who shared the spring and fall driving titles, ran away with the spring meet driving title with 70 wins, 25 more than runner-up Frank Milby. Roger Plante Jr. had 43 wins and Brian Burton 40. "The horses had a great meet," Foster said. "I got no complaints. I just have to thank everybody for letting me drive their horses. Anytime you win a leading driver it's cool. I'll take it." Foster won the $70,500 Maryland Sire Stakes Final for 3-year-old pacers with Mr Ham Sandwich and the $70,050 3-year-old trot final with Hybrid Henry. He then won behind Toms Treasure ($4.20), Rockin Glory ($2.40) and Dancing Rusty ($4.20). Kenneth Schlotzhauer, who just missed winning the fall meet title, took the spring meet title with 19 victories, two more than Judith Welty. Burton was third with 16 and Jerry Nock had 15. Schlotzhauer sent out Madges Lil Fortune ($6.60) to victory Wednesday evening. "They're going fast miles this year," Schlotzhauer said. "There's a lot better horses this year. Horses are flying. It ain't easy." Racing resumes at Rosecroft in October. David Joseph

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - After grabbing a share of the Spring and Fall Meet driving titles at Rosecroft last year, Russell Foster has gotten off to a fast start during the 2017 Spring Meet by driving 10 winners on the first three programs. The 27-year-old native of Easton, MD is enjoying the success he had never envisioned for himself a few years ago, when a concentration on training pacers and trotters seemed to be a more practical career path. "I never contemplated getting out of the business, but I didn't really think I was going to have much success driving," Foster said. "I thought I would be more on the training end of the business." Foster credits his unexpected ascension to the top of the Maryland harness industry to veteran pacer Hi Sir, whose affinity for the Rosecroft oval triggered his owner/trainer/driver's breakthrough into driving prominence. "I started going good with him down at Ocean (Downs). I figured I'd try him at Rosecroft in the fall, and he had a good year. The following spring I took him back over there and my dad took a couple other horses over. He saw how good I was doing and he brought a couple," Foster said. "I started doing good with them and a few other people gave me a chance, and things kind of took off." The still active Hi Sir, who finished third in the Open Pace on Sunday, has won 20 races while being honored with multiple Horse of the Meet titles during his four years with Foster. "He's really just a good horse. He doesn't require a lot of vet work. He stays sound and he's really easy to handle," Foster said. "When I first took him to Rosecroft, he liked to close. All the races there, they were going fast early and not come home really fast, and he'd pick up all the pieces. Races set up perfect for him." Foster has become a popular catch-driver at Rosecroft while maintaining his two-horse stable of Hi Sir and Rock on Precious and assisting his grandfather, Arty Foster, who has eight horses in training. Foster started helping out his grandfather when he turned 14 and obtained his qualifying driver's license at 18. "It didn't take long after that to get my full license, but I really didn't drive full time," he said. "I worked for my grandfather. At that time he had probably 20-25 horses and it kept me really busy. The last two or three years he really cut back on horses, and that gave me more time to focus on driving a little bit." Foster, whose father Arty Jr. also maintains a stable at Rosecroft, has enjoyed several multi-win programs the past two years, including a five-win day last week. "The day that sticks out to me was in the fall (Sept. 20) when I won seven, two of them were Sire Stakes races," he said. Foster isn't letting his success go to his head, well aware of the depth of a talented Rosecroft driving colony. "It's tough. It all depends on who has the best horses that night," he said. "The first few nights I got lucky and I had the right horses to drive. It can turn around in a hurry." However, he admits to deriving satisfaction in achieving success in his own backyard. "I was born and raised in Maryland and have been going to Rosecroft since I was a kid. I used to love going over there on weekends," he said. "It's really a lot of fun to be driving there and having such success there now." by David Joseph, for Rosecroft Raceway

DOVER, Del. ---- Some 300 horsemen, legislators, including the newly elected governor of Delaware John Carney and friends of harness racing turned out for the 19th annual Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) Awards-Dinner at the Modern Maturity Center, in Dover, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Preceded by the annual DSOA mid-day meeting, festivities began with an early evening cocktail hour, Again this year, Mistress of Ceremony Heather Moffett presented a colorful, fun-filled video of high spots of her weekly Post Parade programs seen during the year Sundays and rebroadcast Mondays on WBOC TV. During this year's review of the highlights of the 2016 racing season featuring top horses of the Dover Downs and the Harrington Raceway meets. The banquet also featured a silent auction to benefit Horse Lovers United, Inc., a Not-for Profit organization which provides a residence and care for retired horses. In addition to leading horsemen and friends in attendance at the banquet were many of Delaware's top legislative executives. The list included Governor-elect John Carney; Lt. Governor-elect Bethan Hall-Long; Delaware State Senator Gary Simpson and State Legislative Representatives Gerald Brady, William Carson, Ronald Gray, Harvey Kenton, John Kowlaka, Bobby Outten, Trey Paradee, Charles Postles, Dave Wilson and Lyndon Yearick. Among the attendees were Delaware Harness Racing Commission Executive Director Mark Davis; Judy Davis-Wilson, Executive Administrator Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund; Michael Scuse, Acting Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; Commission Chair Beth Steele. Also present were USTA District -11 Directors, Dr.William Moffett (chairman) Russell MacKinnon and John Hensley, Harness Horse International president Tom Luchento and the DSOA board of directors - president Andy Markano, Brenda Bramble, 1st vice president, George Dennis, Frank Deliberti, treasurer, Frances West, secretary and Sal DiMario, executive director. DSOA directors include, Victor Kirby, Russell MacKinnon, Dr. William Moffett, 2nd vice president, Presley Moore, treasurer, Frances West, secretary and George Teague, Jr., Max Walton and Valerie Warnick, Sal DiMario, DSOA Executive Director and his office staff Denise Rothermel and Lisa Pearson along with Daniel Camac. Ralph Holloway and Presley Moore, all directors emeritus. Also among the dignitaries were members of the media, Harry Farrow, former owner, publisher, writer of the Harrington Journal newspaper. DSOA 2015-16 award winners: The 5th annual James T. Case Jr. DSOA Horizon Award (to a horseman making outstanding progress during year) was presented to Russell Foster, one of the sport's rising stars. A DSOA Special Appreciation Award presented to Delaware Senate Minority Leader, senator Gary F. Simpson DSOA Special Recognition Award: George Teague Jr, Inc. and Teague Racing Partnership LLC's Wiggle It Jiggleit, trained by Clyde Francis, driven by Montrell Teague and caretaker Mike Tyson. Another DSOA Special Recognition Award: Frank Chick's Roaring To Go, owner Frank Chick, trainer Kevin Lare. Again this year, there were six James T. Case Jr. $1,000 Scholarships awarded, in memory of the longtime DSOA President. 2016 DSOA Horses Honored: Dover Downs Horse of the Meet- Leah and Darrell Lewis' Northern Rocknroll, trained by Darrell Lewis Trotter of the Meet-Michael Casalino Jr.'s Tough Mac, trained by Dylan Davis Claimer of the Meet- Thomas Lazzaro's Rocknroll Jewell, trained by Dylan Davis Harrington Raceway Horse of the Meet - JoAnn Looney-King's Purrfect Bags, trained by Jim King Jr. Trotter of the Meet - James Moore III's Royal Becca J, trained by Jack Parker Jr. Claimer of the Meet - Elizabeth Brittingham's Sir Jonathan Z Tam, trained by Don Brittingham 2-Year-Olds: Trotters, (filly) Luv Is Blind (colt) Master Clave; Pacers - Henry The Dragon (colt); (filly)Logan's Girl 3-Year-Olds: Trotters, (filly) Epic Smash (colt) Seafood Scrappy; Pacers - (filly) Apple Bottom Jeans (colt),Next Success Broodmares of the Year: Quick Question, Pacing Mare; Giant Smash, Trotting Mare A highly successful silent auction of harness memorabilia to benefit Horse Lovers United under the supervision of its founder, Lorraine Truitt, was supported for the care for horses whose racing careers had ended. 2016 Special Recognition Award to Wiggle It Jiggleit (The People's Horse) And pacer Roaring To Go Again this year a handsome-colored booklet containing all awards winning horses and owners was given to all attendees. Following award presentations - Mike Hines and The Look, provided musical entertainment. Marv Bachrad

Rosecroft's Fall Meet, highlighted by the inaugural Potomac Pace, came to a conclusion Thursday evening with harness racing drivers Russell Foster and Roger Plante Jr., sharing in the driving title and Brian Burton taking the training crown. For Plante Jr., the driver's title was his first at Rosecroft. "It's great," Plante Jr., said. "It's a lot of hard work and just the right horses. You appreciate the good horses you drive. It's a big plus. Diamondkeeper is just a great horse, week after week. The Sire Stakes were a lot of fun, too. We were lucky to win a few of them." For Foster, it was his second consecutive title at Rosecroft. He shared leading driving honors in the spring with Jonathan Roberts. "It means the world," said Foster, who heads to Dover before returning to Rosecroft in March. Burton's first training title at Rosecroft was special for the Maryland native. "We worked hard all week to make it happen," Burton said. "Winning the first race [with Real Passing Lady] was like hitting a home run. It's all a collective effort." Burton said he's optimistic about the future of Maryland's Standardbred industry. The Stronach Group, parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club which purchased Rosecroft over the summer, plans on extending Rosecroft's race days from two to three days a week next year. "I think you will see better horses going three days a week," he said. "I think you will see horsemen invest in better horses as well." Rosecroft's fall meet featured the inaugural running of the $100,000 Potomac Pace, a race won by All Bets Off that also featured Shamballa, Mach It So, Wakizashi Hanover and Keystone Victory. It was the first race of significance at Rosecroft in nearly 10 years. "Our first meet at Rosecroft was extremely gratifying," said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of The Maryland Jockey Club. "We were pleased with the response to the Potomac Pace and we're extremely happy with the support from horseman to the Potomac Pace and also our program. Our fans have provided us some wonderful feedback on how to improve our product and our facility. We're looking forward to expanding our schedule and continue improving the customer experience at Rosecroft." David Joseph 

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

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