Homeracing

Potomac Pace Heats Up Chilly Night at Rosecroft

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Ted Black

November 23rd, 2016

Temperatures hovered in the upper 30s on Tuesday evening when Rosecroft Raceway offered the inaugural edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace Invitational for free-for-all pacers, but the action in that event provided an immediate warmth.

Although Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit were not on hand, the inaugural Potomac Pace attracted eight of the best older pacers in the land with combined earnings of over $8 million. Four of the eight had competed in both the $400,000 TVG Final and $420,000 Breeders Crown Final and six of the eight owned a lifetime mark of 1:48 or better.

When the gate folded in the inaugural edition of the Potomac Pace, Split The House (David Miller), All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and Mel Mara (Corey Callahan) displayed the best early speed while 9-5 choice Shamballa got away fourth, just in front of Keystone Velocity and Wakizashi Hanover.

Split The House led the field by the opener in a wicked 25.3 then Mel Mara angled off the pylons and launched a brush bid past the finish line the first time. But Split The House showed no signs of yielding and he parked the 5-2 second choice past the half in 52.1 with All Bets Off biding his time from the pocket.
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Split The House continued to park Mel Mara down the backside and by three-quarters in an eye-opening 1:19.3 with All Bets Off tucked snugly in the pocket and Shamballa second over and Keystone Velocity third over with Mach It So slipping through along the inside to loom a danger before he far turn.

At the top of the lane, Split The House was put to a drive as All Bets Off angled out of the pocket and took dead aim on the leader. Mel Mara and Shamballa had nothing left for the stretch drive and neither earned a check, but Keystone Velocity fanned widest of all with plenty of pace and Wakizashi Hanover rallied along the passing lane.

Split The House was under serious encouragement late, but All Bets Off wore down that one to prevail by a head in 1:48.2. Walizashi Hanover slipped through along the inside to gain the show spot, with Keystone Velocity rallying widest of all for fourth with Mach It So fifth.

All Bets Off concluded his solid 2016 campaign with. 4-5-7 slate and $625,000 banked from 27 starts and the Ron Burke trainee now sports 22 wins and $2.2 million banked from 77 career outings. His 1:48.2 score represents a new lifetime mark and equalled the all-age track record at Rosecroft set seven years earlier by Nuclear Breeze.
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