On a night that mirrored much of the uncertainty facing the nation amid the growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, Rosecroft Raceway offered a 14-race card last Sunday although spectators were not permitted.
As was the case at various horse racing venues, both thoroughbred and standardbred, Rosecroft’s entire 14-race card last Sunday, March 15, was contested amid no spectators. Granted, onlookers could watch and wager from various simulcast outlets around the country, but viewing and wagering trackside was essentially prohibited.
Of course, those who watched the action unfold through the track’s streaming live video feed were treated to a handful of good performances. As warmer weather arrives and perhaps the coronavirus pandemic subsides, onlookers will venture back to their normal viewing spots along the fence adjacent to the five-eighths mile oval.
Right at the midway point of the card, Drinkin Again (Sean Bier) brushed to command before the half in 56 seconds flat, led the way by three-quarters in 1:24.1 then edged clear to a two-length score in 1:52.4 in a non-winners of $6,001 last four starts class. Veteran pacer Hickory Aloha (Timmy Offutt) settled for the place spot.
A 6-year-old Real Artist stallion trained by Joe Eisenhower, Drinkin Again notched his third win from 11 starts this year and he now owns a 12-28-11 slate and roughly $190,000 banked from 134 career outings.
Then two races later in a non-winners of $4,001 last four starts class for older pacers, Rusty’s Houdini (Bier) rallied from midpack and swept to a five-length score in 1:54. A 5-year-old Rusty’s For Real gelding trained by Jerry Nock for owner-breeder Andrew Scheller, Rusty’s Houdini recorded his second win from eight starts this year and he now owns an 8-8-7 slate and almost $70,000 banked from 50 career outings.
Then two races later in a non-winners of four races lifetime class for younger pacers, Mittnite Delight (Russell Foster) maintained his winning ways when he overcame a first over journey to score in 1:54.1 for his third straight triumph. A 4-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding trained by James Eveland, Mittnite Delight now owns a 7-5-7 slate and roughly $46,000 banked from 39 career tries.
“One thing about this colt, he doesn’t mind taking air,” Foster said about Mittnite Delight’s first over prowess. “He keeps getting better, too. I think he’s got a lot more in the tank.”
One race later in the featured, $11,000 Open Handicap for older pacers, American Rock (Eddie Davis Jr.) continued his local success when he brushed to command before the half in 55 flat, led the way by three-quarters in 1:23 then dew clear from In Record Time (Michael Greene) to a three-length score in 1:52 as the 2-1 favorite.
An 8-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Janet Davis, American Rock recorded his third win in seven starts this year — his first came in the bottom-level, non-winners of $1,250 last four starts class — and he now sports 30 wins and over $255,000 banked from 119 career tries.
One race later in the penultimate race on the card, Where’s My Money (Allan Davis) rallied from well off the pace to notch his fourth straight triumph. A 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned and trained by Howard Birney, Where’s My Money now owns a 5-2-6 slate and roughly $30,000 banked from 33 career outings.
Then one race later in the finale, Concert Artist (Luke Hanners) rallied from midpack and swept to command on the far turn en route to a five-length score in 1:54.2 in a conditioned event. A 9-year-old Artistic Fella gelding owned and trained by Brian Tomlinson, Concert Artist recorded his first win in seven starts this year and he now owns a 28-28-21 slate and nearly $200,000 bankroll from 197 lifetime tries.
Rosecroft offered a live card last Wednesday, March 18, but its Sunday, March 22, card was belatedly nixed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), as were the weekend cards at Laurel Park, a thoroughbred race track in Anne Arundel County. No firm date has been set for the resumption of live racing at either venue amid the fluid situation of the COVID-19 outbreak.