FORT WASHINGTON — Coinciding with the arrival of autumn-like weather, owners and trainers with Mid-Shore connections enjoyed the moderate climes with efforts at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland on Sunday and at Harrington Raceway in Delaware during the week.
A number of trotters and pacers were unable to make the long journey across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge due to the ongoing road work on Sunday night, but several others avoided the traffic woes and had an impact on the card.
In one of the early races, Stanhope (Jared Moyer) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite in a non-winners of $1,250 last four starts class for pacers. He overcame post seven to gain command before the half in 55.3, raced unpressed down the backside and then outlasted the serious late bid of Pace Car (Frank Milby) to score in 1 minute, 53.3 seconds. The 8-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is trained by Arlene Cameron for owner John Wagner of Centreville and steered to victory by Moyer, a Warwick resident.
Three races later in a non-winners of $3,000 last four starts class for trotters, Don Dorado (Declan Donoway) benefited from a pocket trip early, surged to command on the far turn and then was nailed late by the inside bid of 15-1 shot Windsun Cobra (Frank Milby) in 1:56.4.
An 8-year-old Donato Hanover gelding trained by Erica Wagner for owners Harry Smith and Carolyn Smith of Millington, Don Dorado owns a 3-2-6 slate and nearly $30,000 banked from 25 starts this year following his game try on Sunday.
One race later, Majestos (Allan Davis) notched his second straight victory over the oval in the non-winners of $1,250 last four class when he overcame an extended first-over journey again to score in 1:55.2 as the 9-2 third choice. The 7-year-old Three Olives gelding is owned and trained by Jason Bowers of Sudlersville.
Majestos owns two wins from 19 starts this year and sports a 12-11-11 slate from 112 career outings.
Still later on the card, Bowers was back in the winner's circle after Attention Please (Foster) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to score as the 5-2 second choice in a non-winners of $4,000 last four starts class in 1:54.2. A 5-year-old Rockin Image gelding owned and trained by Bowers, Attention Please recorded his second win in four starts at the meet. He now owns a 4-1-8 slate and nearly $30,000 banked from 30 starts this year.
Several nights earlier at Harrington Raceway, Aidan (Art Stafford Jr.) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to finish second at 13-1 in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders final for 2-year-old colt pacers. A juvenile son of Dream Away owned and bred by Karla Moffett of Church Hill and trained by Andrew Stafford, Aidan finished only a length behind 3-5 favorite American Nitro (Victor Kirby) in 1:55.
Aidan already has earned $32,000 while finishing second twice in three starts and appears to have a very promising future in the DSBF events.
Two nights earlier at Harrington, Slick Tony (Russell Foster) overcame post seven to gain command past the opener, got a breather by the half in 56.4, rebuffed a first- over bid down the backside and then held safe the late bid of even-money choice Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) — the 2015 harness racing horse of the year — for a two-length score in 1:52.2.
A 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion, Slick Tony edged past $150,000 this year and now owns 29 wins and $530,000 banked in his superb career for owner-breeder-trainer George "Ronnie" Leager of Sudlersville.
Earlier that afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, Rollinlikethunder (Kirby) settled for fifth as an overlooked 10-1 shot in a non-winners of $14,400 last five starts class for pacers. A winner one week earlier in the $12,000 Open at Rosecroft, Rollinlikethunder did not offer his usual late kick and settled for minor spoils as Weona Sizzler A (Jason Bartlett) scored in 1:52.
Trained by Eli Scott Jr. of Warwick for owners Danny Warrington of Galena and Donald Hawk of North Carolina, Rollinlikethunder owns a 7-4-2 slate and $83,000 banked from 26 starts this year.
Several races later on the same card at Harrah's — still commonly known as "Chester" among standardbred owners, trainers and fans — a pair of Winbak Farm products prevailed in minor stakes.
Blank Stare (Corey Callahan) forged an 8-1 upset in the $50,000 Bret Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers in 1:52.4. It was his second straight win and third score in seven career outings, doubling his earnings past $44,000 and lowering his lifetime mark in the process.
Then three races later on the card, Hell Patrol (George Napolitano, Jr.) posted a mild 4-1 upset in the $60,000 Super Bowl for 2-year-old colt trotters in 1:57. A juvenile son of Yankee Glide trained by Marcus Melander, whose Greenshoe captured the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky., that same afternoon, Hell Patrol notched his second win in nine starts and doubled his earnings to $58,000 while also lowering his lifetime mark.