Rosecroft Raceway hosts third annual Potomac Pace

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Ted Black

December 3rd, 2018

Amid balmy, misty conditions on Sunday evening, Rosecroft Raceway hosted the third edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace on a stellar card that also included a $25,000 Maryland Invitational and a special invite featuring Foiled Again as part of his farewell tour.

Sunday's feature was the $100,000 Potomac Pace for free-for-all pacers and the event, while not attracting division leader and harness racing horse of the year front-runner McWicked, the Potomac did attract a solid group. Filibuster Hanover (Matt Kakaley) was made the 7-5 favorite from post four, Dealt A Winner (David Miller) was the 2-1 second choice from the rail while Western Fame (Corey Callahan) was the 5-2 third choice from post six.

When the gate folded in the $100,000 Potomac Pace, Western Fame, Filibuster Hanover and Endeavor (Trace Tetrick) both left alertly and the favorite got a few taps from his driver to assure the advantage a sharp 26.2 opener. Filibuster Hanover got a breather by the half in 55.1 then faced modest pressure from Endeavor down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:21.4.

Filibuster Hanover shook loose from Endeavor through the far turn, but Dealt A Winner (David Miller) angled three-wide on the far turn and loomed a serious threat at the head of the lane as Western Fame angled out of the pocket. Filibuster Hanover was under serious urging at the head of the lane but Western Fame continued to wear him down and then just got up for a neck victory in 1:49.2.

A five-year-old Western Ideal stallion now trained by Rene Allard, Western Fame notched his sixth win from 24 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings toward $360,000. Filibuster Hanover finished a sharp second in defeat, while Duplicated N (Tim Tetrick) rallied along the pylons late to finish third in a good try.

"It looked like me and Matty (Kakaley) were the only real speed in the race," Callahan said. "When I saw Matty get after his horse I decided to just drop in behind me. Filibuster Hanover is good, but cutting it is not his game. At the top of the lane, I had some room and he really responded when I got after him."

One race earlier in the $25,000 Maryland Invitational, a veritable "Free State Free-For-All" for the top Maryland-owned and sired pacers, Slick Tony (Montrell Teague) benefited from a second over journey behind Sam's Triple Crown (John Wagner) down the backside and through the far turn, angled three-wide turning for home and edged past the early leaders late for a neck score in 1:52.2.

A sophomore son of No Spin Zone owned, bred and trained by George "Ronnie" Leager of Sudlersville, Slick Tony ended a modest five-race skid and notched his ninth win from 20 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $220,000. The homebred gelding now owns 18 wins and over $370,000 banked from 31 career tries. He was able to defeat older rivals despite missing two weeks and facing older rivals.

Then one race earlier in a non-winners of $6,000 last five starts condition for older pacers, Capital Builder (Matt Kakaley) gained command in a 27.1 opener, got a breather to the half in 57 flat, dueled with Sam McSmith (Tim Tetrick) down the backside and through the far turn and those two pacers battled to the wire to a dead-heat in 1:52.4. Sam McSmith notched his first win in 13 starts this year for trainer Mike Hall, while Capital Builder recorded his 12th win from 35 seasonal outings.

One race earlier in a non-winners of $4,000 last five starts, Lloyd's All In (Jared Moyer) brushed to command pst the half in 54.3, opened a clear lead by three-quarters in 1:23 and just outlasted bid of 4-5 favorite Yankee Artillery (Foster) for a neck score in 1:53. A sophomore son of Rusty's All In notched his fourth win in 19 starts this year and he now boasts seven wins and $65,000 banked from 32 career outings.

Then four races earlier in the Foiled Again Invitational, Foiled Again (Matt Kakaley) lived up to his billing as the 1-5 favorite despite drawing post position nine on the outside when he tucked fourth early, grinded his way alongside Arts Blaze (Jason Thompson) down the backside, tucked into the pocket briefly, angled out again at the head of the lane and wore down the leader and the pocket-sitting Real Flight (John Wagner) for a neck score in 1:53.4.

A 14-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again notched his ninth win from 25 starts this year and now boasts 107 victories from 328 career outings. He will make one more start in Canada this month and then conclude his Hall of Fame career on New Year's Eve at the Meadows.

"He's just a once-in-a-lifetime horse," Kakaley said. "Turning for home, I knew he would get there. He's tough such tough old horse."