Homeracing

Rosecroft and Pompano highlight Sunday cards

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

March 18th, 2019

While fans of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament eagerly awaited the unveiling of the "March Madness" brackets on Sunday evening, standardbred fans were keen to focus their attention on a pair of five-eighths mile ovals more than 1,000 miles apart.

Just past the midway point of the Sunday card at Rosecroft in Maryland, Artic Adventure (Frank Milby) lived up to his billing as the 1-5 favorite in a non-winners of six races or $50,000 lifetime class for younger pacers when he gained command in a 26.3 opener, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 55.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.3 then held safe Yeahboyyeah (Chuck Perry, Jr.) and Crafty Ace (Russell Foster) to score by two lengths in 1:51.4.

A four-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained and driven by Frank Milby for owner and mother, Candy Milby, Artic Adventure notched his second straight score since returning from Dover Downs - he had also won on Wednesday in 1:52.1 - and now owns eight wins and $45,000 banked from 22 career tries. Milby noted that Artic Adventure had been hitting his knees at Dover and has since undergone a shoe change.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $2,500 last four starts class for older pacers, Crush Hanover (Eddie Davis, Jr.) benefited from patient handling through the first three calls then overhauled 4-5 favorite Blue Fox (John Wagner) in the lane to score by a head in 1:54.1. A four-year-old Russell Hanover gelding trained by Katie Flaherty for owner Eugene Robinson, Crush Hanover notched his first win in seven starts this year and now owns seven wins and over $23,500 banked from 37 lifetime outings.

Two races later in a non-winners of $4,000 last four starts class for pacers, JW Renegade (John Mackinnon) rallied from well off the pace and three-wide down the backside and eventually wore down a gritty Allie's Finale (Roger Plante, Jr.) in the lane to score in 1:52.2. A six-year-old Pacific Renegade stallion owned, trained and driven by Mackinnon, JW Renegade notched his first win in five starts this year and now owns 17 wins and nearly $157,000 banked from 111 career tries.

One race later in the featured, $11,000 Open Handicap for older pacers, Rock N Roll Jet (Kim Vincent) benefited from ample early action and rapid fractions of 27 flat and 54.3 for the first two calls, angled out third over nearing the half and then fanned three-wide down the backside and finally collared Bro Hanover (Sean Hanover) late far turn then outkicked Capital Builder (Jonathan Roberts) late to score by over a length in 1:51.2.

A 10-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by William "Buddy" Bright, Rock N Roll Jet earned his first win in nine starts this year and now owns 48 wins and nearly $393,000 lifetime from 256 career outings. The reigning overnight horse of the year at Rosecroft Raceway when he dominated the Open Handicap ranks and finished fifth in the $100,000 Potomac Pace behind Western Fame and company, Rock N Roll Jet ended his bridesmaid status to begin the current meet when he scored on Sunday in 1:51.2 as the 6-5 favorite.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $6,000 last four starts for older pacers, Rocktavius (Roberts) benefited from a pocket trip behind Mystical Wally (Russell Foster) through the first three calls, angled out at the head of the lane and wore down the leader late for a head score in 1:53. A six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Megan Roberts for owner William "Bib" Roberts, Rocktavius notched his second win in four starts this year and likely earned a berth in the Open Handicap next week where he will be coupled in the wagering with Capital Builder.

One race later in the penultimate race on the card, the $9,000 Winners Over Trot, Lindy's Big Bang (Richard Still) benefited from live cover second over down the backside and through the far turn, fanned three-wide for the drive and wore down 8-5 favorite Southwind Ferrari (Wagner) to score in 1:55.1. A four-year-old Explosive Matter gelding trained and driven by Still for Midsize Construction, Lindy's Big Bang notched his second win in three starts this year and now owns nine wins and over $193,000 banked from 31 career outings.

Lindy's Big Bang spent his sophomore season with trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman, winning the Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway and later finishing fifth in the Yonkers Trot. He went for only $14,000 last fall in the sales ring then Still and company brought him privately for $22,000. He showed little as the 3-5 favorite in his seasonal debut, but he has since won two straight outings and looms one of the top trotters on the grounds.

Then right at the midway point of the Sunday program at Pompano Park in Florida, Jimi Wind Rocks (Mike Simons) overcame a first over bid to post an 11-1 upset in the first, non-winners of $5,100 last four starts condition for pacers in 1:53.2. A six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding trained by John Mungillo, Jimi Wind Rocks notched his second win from seven starts this year and now owns 12 wins and nearly $76,000 banked from 84 career outings.

Two races later in a non-winners of $5,100 last four starts for pacers, He's A Love Shark (Simons) benefited from a pocket trip behind Here Comes William (Donald DuPont) through the first three calls, angled out between horses at the top of the lane and edged 3-5 favorite Caviart Reagan (David Ingraham) for a head victory at 18-1 in 1:52.4. A six-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding trained by Mungillo, He's A Love Shark recorded his third win in 10 starts this year and now owns 12 wins and $105,000 banked from 97 lifetime outings.

Then one race later in the $9,000 Open II class for pacers, Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) easily lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite when he gained command in a 27.1 opener, got a breather by the half in 56.2, raced unpressed by three-quarters in 1:24.3 then sprinted clear of the pocket-sitting Sporty Redhot (Bryce Fenn) to a two-length score in 1:51.3 for his third straight triumph while climbing back through the conditioned ladder. He has won exactly one-half of his 48 lifetime outings with earnings rapidly approaching $200,000.

A five-year-old Royal Millennium gelding owned and trained by Michael Deters, Prairie Panther has now won three straight races as the odds-on choice in sub-1:52 fashion and likely earned a berth in next week's Open I Handicap, a race he actually won last November 25 before starting his descent through the conditions. He regained his winning ways on March 3 when he easily handled non-winners of $1,600 last four starts class by seven lengths then prevailed again on March 10 by five lengths in the non-winners of $3,500 last four starts group.

One race later in the $10,000 Open I Handicap for pacers, SGT Pappa Daddy (John MacDonald) lived up to his role as the 6-5 favorite in the top class when he gained command from Four Socks before reaching the opener in 26.4, got a breather by the half in 55.4, met token pressure from Panocchio (Hennessey) by three-quarters in 1:23.2, shook loose from that one then held safe Rebellious (Jim Meitinnis) for a length score in 1:51.

A five-year-old Rockin Image gelding owned and trained by MacDonald, SGT Pappa Daddy recorded his third straight score since being claimed for $30,000 on Feb. 24 and he now owns five wins and $26,000 banked from 10 starts this year and boasts 25 victories and over $200,000 banked from 57 career tries while lowering his lifetime mark by more than a full second in the process on Sunday night. Rebellious raced well in defeat and is regaining the form that enabled him to win the $35,000 Preferred at Yonkers and $10,000 Open I Hcp at Pompano last fall for Deters.
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