FORT WASHINGTON — When Rosecroft Raceway concluded its 2020 fall meet last week, area owners and trainers were hoping their various trotters and pacers would provide them with another winner or two that would make the Christmas and New Year's holidays all the more enjoyable.
Rosecroft offered several $20,000 Open events and recognized its top pacer, trotter, trainer and driver on its final night Wednesday, Dec. 23.
At least one horse with Mid-Shore connections competed in each of the three main events, and one local pacer was recognized for his successful fall season.
Following a brief hiatus, live racing will return to Rosecroft two nights each week for the 2021 winter-spring meet that runs from Jan. 17 to May 26. Post time is 7:15 p.m. each Sunday and Wednesday.
The penultimate event on the Dec. 23 card and the 2020 calendar was the $20,000 Maryland Invitational for older male pacers. The field included a pair of local trainees, Precision Blue Chip (Frank Milby) and Dance On The Beach (John Wagner).
Precision Blue Chip would settle for fourth after a long, first-over journey as Admiral Ballsy (Jonathan Roberts) held safe Rocktavius (Luke Hanners) to score by a neck in 1 minute, 51.3 seconds.
Precision Blue Chip, sporting four wins in the Open class, was named champion fall meet pacer. The 5-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding is owned and trained by Courtney Brooks of Church Hill.
Precision Blue Chip finished the season with an 11-2-3 slate and just over $57,000 banked from 27 starts. He had won the Open on consecutive occasions on Nov. 22 and Nov. 29 with Milby in the bike.
One race earlier in the $20,000 Maryland Trotting Derby for older trotters, Whiskeyinmywater (Wagner) finished a sharp second to odds-on choice Judge Bob (Roberts), who led throughout to score in 1:56.1.
A 5-year-old Conway Hall gelding trained by Trevor Stafford of Greensboro for owner Rusty Thawley, Whiskeyinmywater owns a 3-5-4 slate and $27,000 banked from 31 starts this year. He was a good second behind the local trotting champ in his season finale.
In the $20,000 Maryland Distaff for pacing fillies and mares, Psychic Blue Chip (Jason Thompson) carved out the early fractions as the 5-2 second choice but gave way in the lane and settled for fifth as Auntmillysmartini (Sean Bier) rallied widest of all to score in 1:53.1 for owner-trainer Brittany Bounds.
Psychic Blue Chip had won the Maryland Open two weeks earlier but settled for minor spoils on closing night for owner-trainer Jeff Clark of Centreville.
Earlier, in a a non-winners of one event for younger pacers, Born Free De Vie (Austin Hanners) overcame an extended first-over bid to prevail by three lengths in 1:56.3.
A sophomore son of Western Vintage trained by Arlene Cameron for owner John Wagner of Centreville, Born Free De Vie notched his first win in 12 starts this year and 18th overall after finishing second three times and third three times in his previous 17 outings.
Sunday night, Dec. 20 at Rosecroft, Warrawee Victor (Milby) finished a sharp second as the 2-1 second choice in a non-winners of three races lifetime class for younger pacers.
A sophomore son of Sweet Lou owned and trained by Ron Dixon of Greensboro, Warrawee Victor had prevailed four nights earlier on the Dec. 16 card in 1:59.4 as the odds-on choice over a very sloppy surface.
He owns a 1-7-4 slate and seasonal earnings of just under $30,000 from 21 starts this year after spending much of the campaign at tracks in Philadelphia.
Two races later in a non-winners of $2,500 last four starts class for older pacers, Going This Distance (James Trae Porter) closed willingly in the lane to finish third as Foiledbythebeach and Simple Man battled to a dead heat for the win in 1:54.4.
A 5-year-old World Of Rocknroll gelding owned and trained by Mackenzie Kiel of Church Hill, Going The Distance now owns a 1-4-5 slate and just over $10,000 banked from 27 seasonal outings for Kiel. His lone score was on Nov. 15 in 1:55.2 on the undercard of the $100,000 Potomac Pace Invitational.
In a non-winners of $1,250 last four starts class for pacers, Disturbia (Milby) carved out the early fractions but settled for second as the prohibitive 1-9 favorite. Our Jerry Lee N overhauled the choice in the lane to score by two lengths in 1:54.2.
A 5-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven stallion trained by Stafford for owner Jody Lee Cahall of Preston, Disturbia now owns a 2-6-3 slate and $22,000 banked from 28 starts this year.
In a non-winners of three races or $15,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, Road Ready Wes (Porter) angled out first over from third down the backside, then surged to command on the far turn and edged clear late to a 5-1 upset while stopping the timer in 1:55.
A sophomore son of Western Ideal trained by Eli Scott Jr. of Warwick for Bay Pond Racing, Road Ready Wes notched his third straight victory and lowered his lifetime mark by just over 2 full seconds in the process.
Later, in another non-winners of $2,500 last four starts class for pacers, R U Machin Me (John Gazzerro) got shuffled out of contention early but then rallied from well off the pace in the lane to finish a sharp second. The even-money choice Bettorever (Roberts) scored in 1:52.4.
An 8-year-old Mach Three gelding owned, trained and driven by Gazzerro of Warwick, R U Machin Me now owns a 4-2-4 slate and nearly $25,000 banked from 30 starts this year.
In another non-winners of $4,000 last four starts class for older pacers, Manaccount (Stafford) closed rapidly from well off the pace to finish a sharp second to Manattack (Brian Burton) in 1:53.1.
A sophomore son of American Ideal owned, trained and driven by Stafford, Manaccount now has a 3-3-1 slate and $15,000 banked from 11 seasonal and lifetime tries.
He had won three starts back in 1:54.3 with Stafford in the bike, and again four weeks earlier in 1:55.3.