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HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($9.20, Russell Foster) was a 1:51.4 winner in the $20,000 Open harness racing  feature Monday at Harrington Raceway. The 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion overcame post 8, with a confident first over brush that saw him clear tiring pacesetter Sicily near the half-mile and open up multiple lengths on the field. Slick Tony overpowered his rivals from there and won by five lengths over Ideal Kiss and Q's Cruise. It was the 28th career win in 62 starts for Slick Tony, who is trained by his owner. Not only was "Tony" the scourge of his sire stakes at 2 and 3, but quickly he has become a force on the Open circuit, where most of his 10 seasonal wins have come. The win could be a prelude to a appearance (stay tuned) in next week's September 16 $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial., the marquee event of the season at Harrington, featuring some of the sport's top pacers. The field will be drawn tomorrow (Tuesday). Foster joined Ross Wolfenden, Tony Morgan and Art Stafford Jr. with driving doubles on the 13-race card. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway    

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($2.40, Russell Foster) notched a 1:52.1 win in the $20,000 Open Pace harness racing feature Monday at Harrington Raceway. The 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion continued his accomplished career that saw him surpass $505,000 in career earnings with his 27th career win. "Tony" was driven confidently in customary first-over fashion by Russell Foster who grinded away at pacesetter Daiymir before edging clear in mid stretch. Daiymir finished second while Fashionbythebeach was third. Leager is also the trainer and breeder for Slick Tony, who has banked more than $129,000 in his 4-year-old campaign after a banner sophomore season, when he earned nearly $225,000. Foster, Allan Davis, Ross Wolfenden, Tony Morgan and Art Stafford Jr. each had two wins on the card. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway        

Ocean City, MD - The freshman Maryland Sire Stakes preliminaries for pacing fillies and trotting colts and geldings concluded at Ocean Downs on Wed. August 21. In race one, the first division for the trotting colts and geldings, Andy American (Andoversure) repeated his trip from last week going gait to wire, 7 lengths ahead of Lg's Jet (Lear Jetta) in the 2:03.3 mile. Jonathan Roberts received the driving assignment from trainer Charlie Norris for owner-breeder Robert Key. The first split for the pacing fillies saw Fire Me Up (Rusty's All In) pickup her second preliminary win for owner-breeder Pamela Wagner stopping the clock in 1:59.4. Fire Me Up is trained by Shannon Trader and driven by Jared Moyer. My Girl Lu (Rusty's For Real) finished second. Despite a broken buxton flapping most of the mile, Yall Beneath Me (Googoo Gaagaa) destroyed the second split for colt and gelding trotters, winning by 33 lengths in 1:57.2 on the half mile oval. K J Larry (Lockkeeper) took the place spot. Reinsman Russell Foster was in the bike behind Yall Beneath Me for owner-trainer-breeder Richard Hans. Eddie Davis Jr. pulled Maizee Blue (Rusty's All In) first over near the half taking the lead by the ¾ pole and coasting home in the 1:59.2 second division for the pacing fillies. I'd Be Rich (Rusty's For Real) held on for second. Les Givens trains the winner for owners and breeders Leslie Moore and Robert Weyforth. The $70,000 Maryland Sire Stakes Finals for two year olds will be contested on Sunday August 25th and Wednesday August 28th. By Cheri Stambaugh, for Maryland Development Fund

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($6.80, Russell Foster) was a repeat harness racing winner Monday in the featured $16,000 Open at Harrington Raceway in 1:51.4. The win looked like an instant replay from his win on May 13 as he once again battled first-over against leader Blazing Bobby Sox and used a steady and sustained charge to clear the lead and draw away from his rivals late for owner/trainer Leager. Q's Cruise closed well late to be second, while Blazing Bobby Sox was third. It was the 24th career win for Slick Tony, a 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion, who has banked more than $80,000 this year and nearly $500,000 in his career.   Matthew Sparacino  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Frank Chick's Majestic Mistress ($7.80, Russell Foster) was a 1:56.4 winner in the featured $18,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The 6-year-old Majestic Son harness racing mare sat second much of the mile behind pacesetter Ridgeway Springs, before surging clear in the stretch via the passing lane for an open length win for trainer Kevin Lare. It was the seventh win of the year for Majestic Mistress. Battle Mage finished second, while favored Jack Vernon closed late for third. Majestic Mistress, who had been racing in Pennsylvania, returned to Harrington a winner. She was the scourge of the Open ranks for a stint last year when she won three straight over the half-mile track. Mike Cole had three wins on the card. Sean Bier had a double.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($5.80, Russell Foster) was a 1:52.4 winner in the $18,000 Open Monday at Harrington Raceway. The 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion surged to the lead in the stretch, passing pacesetter Blazing Bobby Sox for his fourth harness racing win of the year. Sicily was third. Slick Tony settled in fourth position early before a game first over bid under confident handling by Foster. Trained by Leager, it was the 22nd career win in 48 starts for "Tony," who was the youngest horse in the field. Jo Ann Looney-King's Little Ben ($3.60, Victor Kirby) won the sub-featured $11,000 Open II in 1:52.3 for trainer Jim King Jr. Kirby and Ross Wolfenden each had four wins.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway's 73rd season of live harness racing kicked off Monday with a 12-race program that saw wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Inside horses ruled the program as horses from post three or better won 10 of 12 races. Not until the seventh race, the $15,000 featured Delaware Special did a horse outside post three reign victorious. George Leager's Slick Tony ($23.20, Russell Foster), who started from post position four was a 1:54 winner over Daiymir and Q's Cruise. The Leager-trainee notched his third win of the year after nabbing the lead late and holding off a late charge from Daiymir. It wasn't until race 11 that a horse outside post four prevailed when Silver Fox J ($7, Mike Cole) triumphed. Victor Kirby had a driving triple, while last year's leading trainer/driver combination of Joe Columbo and Mike Cole each had a double. Live racing will continue on a Monday through Wednesday schedule   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, DE - Harrington Raceway's richest program of the season, the annual Governor's Day program at the Delaware State Fair, was contested Thursday, highlighted by four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for 3-year-olds as well, three of which were won by driver Russell Foster, and program fixtures like the $40,000 Governor's Cup for older horses. The day showcases many of Delaware's top horses as every horse on the program was either fully Delaware owned or bred. In the Governor's Cup Arthur Stafford and Arthur Stafford Jr's Blazing Bobby Sox ($2.60, Stafford Jr.) was a 1:50.1 winner over Options Are a Dream and Silver Fox J. Driven by his trainer, the 7-year-old Panderosa gelding was a decisive front end winner to boost his seasonal earnings in excess of $100,000. Governor John Carney was on hand and presented the trophy to the winning connections. The first DSBF final was for filly pacers as Deborah and Jamie Bozman's Jamie's Renegade ($2.20, Foster) scored a 1:53.1 win over Go Sandy Go and Gracefully Forgiven. The Pacific Renegade filly remained unbeaten as a 3-year-old in five starts and started the Foster hat trick of DSBF finals. Foster doubled up in the filly trotting final with Shirley Shand and Serendipity Stable's Star Sapphire ($5.60) with a 2:01.4 win over Vandalous and Press Pass. Race favorite Déjà Vu Blue made a break near the start and finished fourth. Trained by Tui Stone, Star Sapphire notched her seventh career win. The Anders Bluestone filly has now banked more than $230,000 in her career. Foster notched a triple in the pacing colt final aboard favorite Slick Tony ($2.60), who cruised to an easy win over Evolution Tour and America First. Owned and trained by George Leager, the No Spin Zone-sired colt led wire-to-wire in achieving his 15th career win in 19 starts. In the only DSBF final event not won by Foster, favorite Super Fly ($2.40, Stafford Jr.) overcame post seven to win in 1:57.2 over Seafood Suzie Blue and Brother Kenny. Owned by Leigh Raymer, Stephen Moss and Stacy Johnson-Stafford, Super Fly has dominated DSBF rivals and recorded his 9th win in 16 lifetime starts. The Super Punk gelding was trained by his driver. On the undercard, Tate Lewis' Mr. Right ($3.20, Allan Davis) won the $30,000 Charles Murphy Memorial in 1:55.3. Kdk Standardbreds' Apple Bottom Jeans ($2.20, Tim Tetrick) captured the $30,000 Legislator's Cup in 1:51.2. Louis Tomczak Jr.'s Proper One ($6.40, Cody Poliseno) won the $20,000 President's Cup in 1:52.3. Wade Wyatt and Francis Di Mondi Jr's Common Parlance ($2.80, Sean Bier) captured a $10,000 conditioned trot in 1:56 and Nanticoke Racing, Josh Parker and Donna Messick's Spondulicks N ($3.40, Stafford Jr.) was victorious in a $10,000 conditioned pace in 1:55.1. William Moffett's Lydia ($5.60, Ross Wolfenden) won a $15,000 DSBF filly pacing consolation in 1:59.3. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

Ocean CIty, MD - The $67,000 Maryland Sire Stake for three year old filly trotters went to post as race three with a large harness racing crowd in attendance at Ocean Downs. Crystals Pistol (Cam's Rocket) with reinsman Russell Foster in the bike took control from the gate repelling a challenge early on by Diamonds Credit (Charlie De Vie), while the favorite Gaagaa Gone (Googoo Gaagaa) had to contend with a lot of road trouble from some early breakers going three deep up the backside. When the clocked stopped in the 1:59.3 mile Crystals Pistol was able to hold off Gaagaa Gone by a head for owner -breeder Syl King Jr. and trainer Arlene Cameron. Race five sent the colt and gelding pacers to post for their $67,000 final. In a race where post positions changed frequently it took a three deep move up the back stretch for B T's Breeze (Nuclear Breeze) with Victor Kirby in the bike to cross the wire first in a stakes record mile of 1:54.4 for pacing geldings. Lloyd's All In (Rusty's All In) was second and Allie's Finale (Allie's Western) was up for show. B T's Breeze is owned and trained by Bryan Truitt Jr. by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Fund

HARRINGTON, DE - Deborah and Jamie Bozman's Jamie's Renegade ($5.20, Russell Foster) completed a sweep of her Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 3-year-old pacing filly eliminations Tuesday with a 1:54.2 victory in the $20,000 second leg at Harrington Raceway. The Pacific Renegade filly made an impressive first-over move near three-quarters and drew away from her rivals decisively. Ibetyoucanwiggle was second with Pedal Power third. In the remaining division, Bay Pond Racing's Time and Motion scored a 1:55.2 upset over Go Sandy Go and Studio Session. Trained by Eli Scott Jr., it was the third career win for the daughter of Dream Away. It was the fourth career win in just six starts for "Renegade" who is trained by Walter Bozman Jr. The top eight point earners will compete in the $100,000 final on July 26 during the Delaware State Fair. In the $16,000 Mares Open, Chris White's Fashion Showdown ($12, Allan Davis) was a 1:52.3 winner over Apple Bottom Jeans and Shesarocker. Tony Morgan had four wins on the card. Ross Wolfenden and Russell Foster had a driving triple. The second leg of DSBF action for trotters will take place on the Wednesday June 20 program with two divisions. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

HARRINGTON, DE - George Leager's Slick Tony ($2.10, Russell Foster) completed a sweep of his Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 3-year-old eliminations at Harrington Raceway Monday with a 1:53.1 win in the first of two $20,000 divisions. The No Spin Zone colt has dominated the DSBF ranks, with 13 wins in 17 career starts. Sent off as the 1-to-9 favorite, Slick Tony cruised to an easy win over Cinder Block and GWT for owner/trainer Leager. He will undoubtedly be the favorite in the $100,000 final on July 26. In the second division for colts and geldings, Jo Ann Looney-King's Evolution Tour ($4, Tim Tetrick) prevailed in 1:53.3. The Roddy's Bags Again gelding held off a late charge from Transitioning Joy to pickup his eighth career win for trainer Jim King Jr. Sea Bags was third. In the overnight feature, the $15,000 Open for pacers, Arthur Stafford and Arthur Stafford Jr.'s Blazing Bobby Sox ($6, Stafford Jr.) notched his fourth straight win. Trained by his co-owner and driver, the 7-year-old Panderosa gelding led most of the mile in achieving his 8th win of the year. Mel Mara was second with Little Ben third. Owner Howard Taylor won three races on the program. Ross Wolfenden had three driving wins. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

HARRINGTON, DE. - Deborah Bozman and Jamie Bozman's Jamie's Renegade ($5.40, Russell Foster), made her Delaware Standardbred Breeders fund debut a winning one Tuesday with a 1:55.1 win in the first $20,000 leg at Harrington Raceway. The Pacific Renegade 3-year-old filly was making just her 5th career start and sprung a mild upset over pacesetting favorite Go Sandy Go with a strong surge in the stretch to prevail. Trained by Walter Bozman Jr.,it was her third career victory. Go Sandy Go held second with Time and Motion third. George Teague Jr.'s Ibetyoucanwiggle ($5.60, Montrell Teague) was a 1:55.1 winner in the second division. The Clyde Francis trainee was a decisive winner over Peak Of Chic and Gracefullyforgiven. "Wiggle" was a pocket trip recipient before exploding with pace to overpower front stepping Gracefullyforgiven. A daughter of Mr. Wiggles, it was her 5th career win and one of three on the card for driver Teague. In the $15,000 Mares Open, backers of 1-to-5 favorite Apple Bottom Jeans ($2.40, Foster) had to sweat out a tight photo finish before her number was posted first in a 1:54 victory. The 5-year-old Mr. Apples mare mounted a fierce attack from last on the final turn and edged clear of pacesetter Empress Deo in the nick of time for her fifth win of the year. Fashion Showdown was third. Owned by KDK Standardbreds, Apple Bottom Jeans recorded her 20th career win for trainer Kevin Switzer. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

HARRINGTON, DE - Kdk Standardbreds' Apple Bottom Jeans ($4.40, Russell Foster) was a 1:52.4 winner despite post eight Tuesday in the $15,000 Mares Open at Harrington Raceway. Sayulita marched to the early lead from post position four where she would lead the seven horse field most of the way unchallenged until a first over Empress Deo applied pressure. At the top of the stretch, Apple Bottom Jeans gathered momentum from the final turn and exploded with pace to the lead for a powerful triumph. Sayulita held second with Fashion Showdown third. The 5-year-old Mr. Apples mare registered her fourth win of the season for trainer Kevin Switzer. Apple Bottom Jeans has been well traveled this year, racing against top mares in three different states over the past two months. Foster had four wins on the program. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

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

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