Homeracing

Rosecroft Hosts Fall Meet Finale on Thursday

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Ted Black

December 15th, 2016

Temperatures are expected to plummet into the teens on Thursday night when Rosecroft Raceway offers its final card of the fall meet, but races among a quartet of human participants will likely provide an immediate warmth to owners, trainers, drivers and spectators alike.

In the chase for the drivers title, Russell Foster will head into Thursday's card with a tepid 50-49 lead over Roger Plante, Jr., two weeks after Foster appeared to have the title secured. Both drivers will be very busy on Thursday, but their battle is not the on ly one for humans. Trainers Brian Burton and Ken Schlotzhauer are tied for the lead atop the trainers' standings with 17 wins each although Schlotzhauer has sent out over 60 more starters.

In the opening race on the card, a non-winners of $4000 last five starts class for fillies and mares, much of the drama will center around the two battles for the human awards. Burton will send out Real Passing Lady, an aged pacing mare that he also drives, while Schlotzhauer will hand the lines to Frank Milby for Madges Lil Fortune. Foster has the morning line favorite in Toms Tulip for trainer Roger Hans and owner-breeder Thomas Cooke of Nuclear Breeze fame, while Plante will steer Blissfulla Cin from post eight for owner-trainer Phyllis Copeland.

Then  in the second race on the card, a non-winners of three races lifetime class for trotters, Foster will guide Nocount from post eight for owner-trainer Judy Welty, while Plante will take the lines from owner-trainer Trevor Stafford behind Bismarck. Schlotzhauer will send out Can't Tab This (Milby) from post nine, while Burton does not have a trainee in the race but will be in the bike behind Span From Gold for owner-trainer Brian Armour.

Then in the third race, a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares, Foster will guide Pearl Handlepistol from post five for owner-trainer George Leager, while Plante gets in the bike behind longshot Cam's Blue Belle from post seven. Burton will drive his own Specialbeck from post six, while Schlotzhauer will send out Text Me Hanover (Kim Vincent) from the rail. Outrageousdelightn (Milby) looms the favorite, however, from post three for owner-trainer Jeff Clark.

Then one race later in a non-winners of two races lifetime for pacers, Foster appears to have the advantage with Coming Out On Top for trainer Roger Hans, while Plante will again be in the bike for Copeland and A Storm Is Brewing. This will be the first race on the program in which neither Burton or Schlotzhauer will have a starter.

Then one race later in the fifth, a non-winners of $1000 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares, Little Miss Woohoo (Plante) and Toms Treasure (Foster) will vie for favoritism and supremacy in a pivotal affair regarding the drivers' standings. Again, neither Burton or Schlotzhauer will be represented in this bottom-level conditioned event for pacing distaffers.
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Then one race layer in a non-winners of $1000 last five starts class for trotters, an otherwise non-descript bottom-level event will take center stage since Plante will guide favored Lucky Mass from post eight, while Foster steers Swan Anna Miss from the rail for Welty. Schlotzhauer will hand the reins to talented attorney Ken Weckstein behind Buck ID, while Burton again will not be represented in this event.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares, Foster will look to gain the upper hand when he steers Girlfriend Back from post five for trainer Carlin Savage, while Plante will pilot longshot Casimir Jubilee from post nine. Burton will look to stay within striking distance of Schlotzhauer on Romantic Escape from post six, while Milby will steer favored A Wild Money Maker from the rail for Armour in another quest to spoil the title chase.

Then one race later in the $12,000 Maryland Special Open Handicap for pacing fillies and mares, Plante will seek to enliven the battle when he pilots Rhapsody Rose from post eight for trainer Brian Fisher in a rare event in which Foster does not have a drive. Likewise, Burton will seek to gain one win on Schlotzhauer, who is not represented in the Open, when he steers Breadcrumb Income, who owns four wins at the meet.

Cedar Hall Heiress (Jason Green) was second as the 8-5 favorite in this event last week and merits respect from post seven, while Pop Writer (Milby) will look to play an upset role after a solid third-place effort from post two. DVC Kolor Me Krazy (Kim Vincent) saw he three-race skein come to an end in this event last week, while CC's Munchkin (John Gazzerro) seeks her third win in her last four outings.

Then one race later in a non-winners of five races lifetime class for pacing fillies and mares, Foster will go from being briefly idle to steering favored Killally for trainer Jason Bowers. Plante will pilot long shot Cell Phone Hanover for owner-trainer Darryle Dennis. Ironically, Schlotzhauer will seek to garner the training title by handing the reins to Burton for Endless Summer.

Them in the 10th, a non-winners of $4000 last five event for pacing fillies and mares, Plante will pilot favored Jesse's Diamond for Copeland as the mare seeks her second straight score at this level. Foster will guide homebred Quik To Fool You, runner-up to Jesse's Diamond in this class last week, for owner-trainer Eli Scott, Jr. Shaker Rei (Gazzerro) drops out of the F-M Open and could play a spoiler role. Schlotzhauer will send out long shot Dragon Ruffles (Weckstein) but Burton does not have a mare in this spot.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $2500 last five class for pacers, Foster will steer Cams Rock for owner-trainer Jay Baxter, while Plante will guide aged veteran RCs Super Toy for owner-breeder-trainer William "Rusty" Cox from post eight as the 11-year-old gelding makes the 249th start of his career. Schlotzhauer will send out Pop Pop Joe for owner-driver Weckstein, but Burton will drive One Bad Shot for trainer Joe Eisenhower.

Thursdays penultimate race of the meet, another bottom-level non-winners of $1000 last five starts class for pacers, will likely have little impact on either standings. Foster will drive long shot Lyndale Magic, who has been idle for over a month, but Plante does not have a drive and neither Burton or Schlotzhauer will send out a trainee.

Then in the Thursday and meet finale, neither Burton or Schlotzhauer will have a starter in the field, but the driving title could be up for grabs. Plante will take the reins from trainer Brittany Bounds and pilot In Front Charlie from post six, while Foster will steer First Frost from post seven for trainer Greg Trotto. King Of The D (Milby), who has been the beaten favorite in his last two starts and four of his last five tries for owner-trainer Merle LaFointaine merits respect in this spot and could prevent either Foster or Plante from securing the title outright.
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