Leager-bred Slick Tony scores 8-1 upset at Harrington

Slick Tony, with Russell Foster in the bike, captured the $18,000 Open at Harrington Raceway on May 13 for owner-breeder-trainer George "Ronnie" Leager of Sudlersville.

FORT WASHINGTON — When Rosecroft Raceway held its final night of live racing for the spring meet — not long after Pimlico hosted the latest renewal of the Preakness Stakes — several local owners and trainers were looking to earn their share of the spoils as the Maryland five-eighths-mile oval presented its “Sophomore Showdown” card along with many overnight races.

Just past the midway point Saturday, Sonny’s Blessing (Jared Moyer) finished third initially in the $70,000 Maryland Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old colt pacers and then was promoted to second when Rockin The Shades (Russell Foster) was disqualified for interference on the far turn. The sophomore son of Rusty’s All In is trained by Arlene Cameron for co-owner Kayla Moyer of Warwick.

Sonny’s Blessing has finished second once and third once in three starts this year. He owns a 2-4-3 slate and $50,000 banked from 11 career outings.

One race later in the $12,000 Open Handicap for older trotters, Don Dorado (Declan Donoway) got up for the show spot. Speed It (John Wagner) rallied second over and outlasted Lindy’s Big Bang (Richard Still) to prevail in 1 minute, 53 seconds.

Don Dorado saved ground through the first three calls while Deacons Valley (Russell Foster) and Fashion Smile (Jonathan Roberts) dueled through wicked fractions of 26.3, 55.2 and 1:24.2, and then found room along the passing lane.

The 8-year-old Donato Hanover gelding is trained by Erica Wagner for owners Harry Smith and Carolyn Smith of Millington.

Don Dorado has a 2-0-4 slate from 12 starts this year, and a 19-19-18 slate and $542,000 banked from 112 career tries.

Three races later in a non-winners of $2,500 last four starts class for older pacers, Spinout (Kenneth Weckstein) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to score by a length in 1:53.4. An 8-year-old Spun Out gelding trained by Ken Schlotzhauer for Weckstein, Spinout closed willingly late to notch his third win in 13 starts this year. He now owns 31 wins and $345,000 banked from 145 career tries.

Spinout was bred by Dan Myer, husband of Kent County native Gigi Silcox.

In a non-winners of $4,000 last four starts class for older pacers, Going The Distance (Foster) settled for minor spoils.

But earlier in the meet, Going the Distance provided Mackenzie Kiel of Centreville with her first-ever victory as an owner or trainer. On April 24, with Wagner in the bike, the 4-year-old World Of Rocknroll gelding defeated non-winners of $1,250 last four starts company by two lengths in 1:56.

At Harrington, on May 13, Slick Tony (Russell Foster) rallied from just off the pace to capture the $18,000 Open Handicap for older pacers. The 4-year-old No Spin Zone gelding owned, bred and trained by George “Ronnie” Leager of Sudlersville overcame an extended first-over bid to forge an 8-1 upset in 1:53.2.

In 17 seasonal outings, Slick Tony now owns a 5-1-4 slate and $72,000 banked. He took his mark of 1:51 earlier this year capturing an overnight race at Dover Downs.

At ages two and three, Slick Tony dominated the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund events at Dover and Harrington. Last fall, the Leager-bred bested older horses in the $25,000 Maryland Invitational on the Potomac Pace undercard at Rosecroft.

Earlier this month at Harrah’s Philadelphia, commonly referred to as “Chester” since the track opened as Chester Downs 12 years ago, Rollinlikethunder (Art Stafford Jr.) overcame a long, first-over grind to capture a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class by two lengths in 1:52.

The 4-year-old Roll With Joe gelding is trained by Eli Scot Jr. of Warwick for owner Dan Warrington of Galena.

Rollinlikethunder notched his fourth win in 13 starts this year, and now sports an 11-6-4 slate and just over $100,000 banked from 34 lifetime tries.

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