With modest rains moving into the Mid-Atlantic region late last weekend courtesy of Hurricane Delta, Rosecroft Raceway offered a superb Sunday evening program that was an interesting contrast to the approaching conditions.
With intermittent showers arriving just before post time, the surface became “sloppy” relatively quickly and that made things interesting for horses and drivers. Those owners who were on hand for the card remained in their vehicles to watch the races trackside, which proved to be the best seat in the house for anyone on Sunday.
In the opening race on the parimutuel portion of the card, Fantastic Voyage (Allan Davis) forged a mild upset in the first $5,000 Maryland Sire Stakes elimination for three-year-old colt pacers. Trained by Shaun Callahan for owner Dawn Amiss, Fantastic Voyage upset odds-on choice Nvrfearlloydishere (Eddie Davis, Jr.) for his fourth win in 11 starts this year.
“He was really good tonight,” Davis said. “He really seems to be coming into his own. He handled the track great. I’m hoping he stays this good for the next elim [this Sunday] and then the final [on Oct. 28].”
One race later in the MDSS elim for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, Yall Beneath Me (Russell Foster) easily lived up to his role as the prohibitive 1-9 favorite when he quarter moved to command then carved out all the fractions on an uncontested lead and romped home eight lengths clear in 1:57.3. It was the 12th victory in 13 career outings for the Richard Hans trainee.
“He just did it so easily,” Foster said. “I had a lot of horse left. Even over this track, he handled it pretty well. He should be good for the next elim this Sunday and then ready for the [$45,000] final.”
Two races later in a non-winners of $4,000 last four starts class for older pacers, Disturbia (Frank Milby) lived up to his role as the 9-5 choice when he gained command in a 27.1 opener then carved out the fractions en route to a three-length score in 1:54.2. A five-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven stallion trained by Trevor Stafford, Disturbia notched his second win from 18 starts this year and now owns an 11-14-9 slate and nearly $100,000 banked from 85 lifetime tries.
In one of the most contentious races on the card, Dirt On My Boots (John Wagner) overcame a first over journey to wear down even-money choice Stonebridge Surf (Jared Moyer) and edge 9-5 second choice Rockin Jukebox (Foster) for a nose score in 1:51.2 in a non-winners of six races or $15,000 lifetime class for younger pacers.
A four-year-old Tobago Cays gelding trained by Jody Dunning, Dirt Of My Boots notched his third win in 17 starts this year and now sports a solid 6-9-2 slate and $44,000 banked from 30 career tries. Rockin Jukebox rallied inside to gain the place spot, edging favored Stonebridge Surf in a three-way thriller over the sloppy going.
One race later in the featured $12,000 Open Handicap for older pacers, Precision Blue Chip (Jason Thompson) maintained his winning ways when he benefited from a perfect trip behind even-money favorite Romantic Interest (Frank Milby) through the first three calls then overhauled that one in the passing lane for a neck score in 1:52.
A five-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding owned and trained by Courtney Brooks of Church Hill, Precision Blue Chip has now won the Open three straight weeks to start the fall meet, owns a 9-2-2 slate from 19 starts this year and now sports a 12-11-7 slate and $55,000 banked from 61 career tries. Romantic Interest has been second in each of those two victories for the Brooks trainee.
“He was really good tonight,” Thompson said. “He still has plenty more in him. I think he’ll hit 1:50 here this meet.”
Sunday afternoon at The Red Mile in Lexington, Bettor’s Wish (Dexter Dunn) prevailed as the 8-5 favorite in 1:48 in the $150,000 Allerage Open, besting Ron Burke trainees This Is The Plan and Backstreet Shadow. All three pacers and several others in the Allerage could be headed to Rosecroft Raceway next month for the fifth edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace Invitational.
In the quartet of early, non-betting races on Sunday, Hillbilly Kisses (Frank Milby) and Breeze Away B (Allan Davis) won the MDSS splits for three-year-old filly pacers in 1:54.2 and 1:55.3, respectively. Then in the two MDSS elims for three-year-old filly trotters, Gooreatness (Russell Foster) and Trout’s Legacy (Roger Plante, Jr.) scored in 1:57 and 1:57.1, respectively.