On the same night that millions of Americans watched the Baltimore Ravens throttle the Los Angeles Rams, 45-6, on Monday Night Football, Rosecroft Raceway offered a solid program that highlighted the top pacers and trotters owned by residents in the Free State.
In the feature race on the program, Romantic Interest (Frank Milby) lived up to his tole as the 8-5 favorite in the $12,000 Maryland Exclusive Open from post eight when he brushed to command past the opener, maintained an honest tempo to the half and three-quarters and prevailed by three lengths over Hi Sir (Jason Thompson) in 1:52. A four-year-old Always A Virgin gelding trained and driven by Frank Milby for owner and mother, Candy Milby, Romantic Interest recorded his seventh win in 35 starts to prevail in the “Happy Birthday Charlie Cardon” race, named for one of the track’s loyal patrons.
Two races earlier in the second half of the split, non-winners of $4,000 last four starts for older pacers, Pokerface Bluechip (Ricky Still) forged a mild upset as thr 4-1 third choice when he gained command soon after the start and led throughout en route to a two-length score over Lil Johnny (Milby) and 7-5 choice Capital Builder (Jonathan Roberts) in 1:54.1. A four-year-old Shadow Play gelding trained and driven by Still, Pokerface Bluechip notched his second win in six starts since being claimed for $25,000 from trainer Lance Hudson at Pocono Downs.
Then two races earlier in the other non-winners of $4,000 last four starts class for older pacers, In Record Time (Michael Greene) gained command soon after the start and led throughout to post a 5-1 upset in 1:54.1. An eight-year-old By A Length gelding trained and driven by Greene, In Record Time now owns a 7-3-1 slate and earnings of $28,000 from 20 starts this year and outlasted even-money choice B A Rocket (Tyler Davis) for the length victory.
Then two races earlier in a non-winners of $2,750 last four starts class for older pacers, Manattack (Brian Burton) just lived up to his role as the 1-2 choice when he gained command soon after the start and held safe 13-1 shot Foxland (Milby) to score in 1:54. A five-year-old American Ideal stallion owned and trained by Burton, Manattack now owns a 5-8-4 slate and $35,000 banked from 25 starts this year. He sports a 14-21-16 slate and earnings of $130,000 banked from 184 career tries.
Then two races earlier in the Monday opener, the $10,000 Open Trot, What That Is (Roger Plante, Jr.) rebounded from a sixth-place finish as the even-money choice in the top class one week earlier when he edged two-time Open hero, Judge Bob (Roberts) for a neck victory in 1:55.1. A four-year-old Cam’s Rocket gelding owned and trained by Kerry Welty, What That Is now owns a 5-5-3 slate and %50,000 banked from 25 seasonal outings, including three wins in the top class at the fall meet.
At Yonkers Raceway on Monday evening, Be Best (Jordan Stratton) benefited from a pocket trip behind duelers Passport Hanover and April Ava to prevail as the 6-5 favorite in a non-winners of four races or $50,000 lifetime class for younger pacers. The three-year-old daughter of Betterthancheddar trained by Carmen Auciello was bred in Maryland by Winbak Farm. That same evening at Northfield Park in Ohio, another Winbak Farm product, Lucky King (Ryan Stahl) also benefited from a two-hole trip to capture a non-winners of $5,500 last five starts class in 1:52.4.