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Racing Returns To Rosecroft

Monday, October 24, 2011  By: Standardbred Canada

Racing Returns To Rosecroft

On a crisp October evening harness racing returned to Rosecroft for the first time in more than three years. An enthusiastic crowd wagered with both fists and management was pleased with the handle.

An answer to a future trivia question is Last Minute Cindy. The question is, 'Who won the opening race at the reborn Rosecroft Raceway?”

The three year daughter of Metropolitan won the opening race in 2:01.2 in rein to longtime leading driver John Wagner. Syl King, Jr. co-owns and trains the winner who gamely out-dueled a valiant Royal House to claim the decision.

Wagner and King, Jr. combined to sweep the early daily double when BloomfieldcanIfly went down the road and held sway in a 2:04.2 score. King, Jr. leases the winner.

Father and son, Kim and Justin Vincent respectively, drove winners and old favourites William Long and Walter Callahan also visited the winners circle after scoring popular wins.

Driver Donnie Russell sat patiently off quick early fractions and rolled by late to score in the nightcap with Sharpest Edge and Brian Burton scored with his father’s (Marty) McKnows on a sharp wire to wire effort.

Youngster Justin Brenneman just missed exploding the toteboard with his stable’s El Kabong in the fourth race being caught in the final strides. He made amends in the eighth race with the classy veteran Park and Madison who visited the winner’s circle for the first time in the last couple years and paid $9.00 as the biggest price of the night.

Last, but most certainly not least, veteran Betsy Brown drilled a field with the powerful turnpiking effort in the seventh race with UB In The Money who blasted to the top and never looked back after several solid tries at Colonial Downs.

Saturday evening racing returned to 'The Raceway by the Beltway' and the week’s higher class races were held. The weekly co-features, both Winners Over, were the highlights of a competitive card. More importantly, all participants, both human and equine, suffered no serious injuries after a frightening spill in the final race.

John Wagner owns, trains and drove Susquehanna Belle to victory in the Winners Over Trot in the opener. This one grabbed the lead approaching the half and held off Good Feeling with a 29.3 final quarter to record her sixth victory of the year. Good Feeling, driven by Donnie Russell, was second best in a good effort.

This was just the beginning of a big night for Wagner, as he won four races and would have won a fifth except for an untimely early break which resulted in interference and a disqualification for Rosecroft’s early leading driver.

Wagner drove the streaking I Told Gordy to an upset victory in the co-feature for pacers as he sat close to the early pacesetter, angled out on the far turn and charged home boldly down the stretch to record fifth victory in the last six starts for the Thomas Swann owned and trained son of Cams Card Shark.

Wagner’s other wins included Four Starz F, in the third race, and Just Like Lloyd in the sixth race.

Donnie Russell scored two driving victories and the night and Kim Vincent also won.

The night’s fastest mile was turned in by Pence Hanover who rated kindly to the half and unleashed a :56.1 back half for driver Justin Hite. Ken Schlotzhauer trains the winner for owner Kelley Rogers.

The nightcap was won by Russell and Gold Like U who drew clear after Call Me Bud broke and fell in the deep stretch causing interference to more than half the field. Amazingly all horses were declared okay, despite a few cuts and bruises, while driver Chris Page was the only driver to be taken to a local hospital for x-rays and is reportedly sore but having suffered no serious damage.

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