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With storms threatening on Sunday afternoon, the first of three splits for paces opened the non-wagering card with the harenss racing mares.    Rissy’s All In ( Rusty’s All In) with John Wagner in the bike, took the lead just passed the quarter in 27.1 opening up on the field to win by seven lengths in the record shattering mile of 1:52.1.   This was also a lifetime best for Rissy’s All In trained by Arlene Cameron for owner Pamela Wagner. O K Daisey was up for place.   Early race two was for the trotters. Driver Jared Moyer guided Hybrid Henry (Cam’s Rocket) to the lead at the 3/8 holding off a challenge by both EI EI O and What That Is in the 1:55.4. Arlene Cameron is both the owner and trainer.   In the second division for pacers the boys played musical chairs with the lead changing three times.   When the dust settled Jack Quick (Nuclear Breeze) edged out Allie’s Finale setting a new stakes record for geldings of 1:52.1 for owner & trainer Basil Sapienza.   The final stake of the afternoon brought the male pacers out for their last split. BT’s Breeze crossed the wire first but was disqualified and placed fifth due to interference in the stretch. Bo Breeze (Nuclear Breeze) driven by Allan Davis was placed first with Adios Muchachos placed second.   Bo Breeze is trained by Shawn Murray for owners Murray Racing LLC.   The first preliminaries for the three year old Maryland Sire Stakes will be on Sunday April 28th at Rosecroft.     Cheryl Stambaugh

Roger Plante, Russell Foster, Jason Thompson and Jared Moyer had driving doubles as Rosecroft pulled the curtain down on the 2018 harness racing season. Plante and Moyer drivers pulled off big upsets pari-mutually speaking, as Plante sat the pocket and edged pace setting Major Blue Coat (Jason Green) with 25-1 shot The truthaboutdavid who had not hit the board in 23 starts this year. It was his fourth start for new owners Paul and Carolyn Gsell who also condition the son of Total Truth. Plante also put Sum For All in a similar trip position and found the winners circle paying $6.60 for owner-trainer Kerry Welty. Moyer won with Atomic Art ($5.40) for Wife Kayla and Rosecroft leading trainer for the Fall Meet, Arlene Cameron, who finished with 27 wins. His second win was a puzzler as BP Burner, 9-2 on the morning line, was dismissed at 17-1, and got a gorgeous drive from Moyer who sent the closer three-wide before three quarters and got the jump on Smart Rokker (Declan Donoway) and Sword Of The Spirit (Allan Davis). Foster needed to erase a three win deficit to catch Frank Milby for the Fall dash driving championship. Anderson Valley carried Foster to his first win for Trainer Greg Trotto and co- owners Jeff Livingston and Freed Sporrer. Foster and Mr Big Bucks took the claiming finale for owner Chris Devine and trainer Jason Walters. Thompson returned from rodeo action in Las Vegas in time to score with longshot Moveoutofmyway for owner Bob Weyforth and trainer Jeff Stafford, returning $24.20. Thompson's backers were rewarded as Real Flight pulled an upset paying $38.60 for Bryson Dunning and trainer, Jody Dunning. Robert Hoffman took the featured trot with Overnight Shipper blowing by three-wide on the final turn and returning $15.80. Milby held off Foster, 45-44 to win the Dash Driving title, while Rock N Roll Jet was named Pacer of the year, and Fashion Smile was Trotter of the meet. It also marked the final start for 14-year old Talbot Redneck, the homebred of David Donahue and co owned by trainer Ken Schlotzhauer. 382 starts 56 wins and $327,687 in lifetime earnings. Arts Blaze, another 14 year old, broke in Maryland as a youngster, finished third in the finale. He could start at Freehold for owner-trainer John Urbanski before December 31, and made start 366 last night. Rosecroft will re-open for live racing February 6, 2019. Peter Medhurst                         Pete Medhurst Air personality 106.7 The Fan Entercom Radio PXP Voice Navy Athletics Washington, D.C. 443-845-5470

When your Grandfather and Father have won races at Rosecroft, you might as well follow in their footsteps, right? Harness racing driver Jason Green continues to do that, as last night he piloted four winners including the mares feature with KG Rocks in 1:53.4. Sent off as the third choice in the wagering, KG Rocks watched as a ton of activity went on in front of her over the first 5/8ths of a mile. Fearless Chance (John Mackinnon) left hard from the rail before yielding to Arts and Flowers (Roger Plante) through a opening quarter of :27. Iheartquestionmark (Eric Davis) was left parked and pressed on clearing before the half in :55.2. At this point, favored Sweetnfamous and Frank Milby sprung forward to grab the lead while the rest of the outer flow moved up. Green, who started fifth over, eventually brushed three wide with the eventual winner who zipped home for her third win of the fall meet. Arts And Flowers was second while Sweetnfamous was third. Heidi Van Vliet owns and trains the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven who won for the 15th time in her career. While she had rested up over the summer, KG Rocks has now gone 3-1-1 in her last 6 starts at Rosecroft. "She really likes the Winter" said Van Vliet who also teamed with Green for a trotting win with Winston Hall in a lifetime best 1:59. Jason Green's Dad, Clifton, piloted Maryland Sires Stakes trotting champions Old Dan and Bo Jam at Rosecroft and also garnered MSS wins with Tuggit who was trained by his Dad, Clayton. Green won a pair for Michael and Brittany Bounds as the 10-year old trotter Magglio picked up his third win of the fall meet, and Im Done Talking pulled an 8-1 upset. Leading driver Frank Milby won a pair as Luck Of The Deal rallied for a win for owner Marc Tardiff and trainer Eric Davis, while Accokeek Mercury held off favored Believe In Him (Ricky Still) to post a 13-1 upset for owner-trainer Rusty Cox. Milby now leads Russell Foster, 45-42, going into the final night of the meet Sunday. Wednesday night cards are dominated by pacing mares, and last night was dominated by female trainers, Van Vliet and Bounds had doubles, while Megan Tolson, Amanda Malone and meet leading trainer Arlene Cameron all had wins on the 12-race card. Pete Medhurst

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Ron Burke is a numbers guy. You would expect as much from a trainer juggling a 250-horse stable of trotters and pacers and has been the best in the harness racing business for a decade. Burke, based in Washington, Pa. at The Meadows as well as a nearby farm, never misses one of his pupil's starts, be it in person or via a computer or television screen. He will have his eye on the mobile starting gate Sunday when he sends out both Filibuster Hanover and Rockin Ron in the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. Not only does Burke, 49, know his business in and out, he also knows the storyline of outstanding accomplishments by others in the Standardbred community. He took notice last weekend when Aaron Merriman, a regular at both The Meadows and Northfield Park in northeastern Ohio, became the first driver in harness history to win 1,000 races in two seasons. "Aaron drives for me. I've done what he's done twice as a trainer. I'm hoping to do it again this year," said Burke who has sent out 924 winners this year through Nov. 28. "I'm very proud of having that many wins." And a stack of purse dollars, as well. Burke became the first harness trainer to cash for more than $100 million in career earnings (in 2014) and this year soared over the $200 million mark. Another Burke milestone was becoming the first trainer to earn $20 million in a single season. He has done so six consecutive years, including this season. The $28,414,071 his stable banked in 2014 is the highest by a trainer of any breed. All this from a 6-foot-5 horseman who once told the New York Times that, as a youngster, "I was scared to death of (horses), and that's not a lie." Burke, won the inaugural Potomac Pace in 2016 when his All Bets Off rallied to prevail by a nose over Split The House while equaling the Rosecroft then track record of 1:48 2/5. All Bets Off finished second in last year's Potomac renewal. "The race has been good to me," said Burke. Burke believes that while Rockin Ron has banked $532,311 this season, Filibuster Hanover gives him his best shot at winning this year's Potomac. "He's ready to roll," said Burke. "He's been facing the best of the best all season." Filibuster Hanover drew the No. 4 post in the Potomac field of eight and has won five of 18 starts and $636,601 this year. His biggest victories came earlier this year when he won the May 27 Commodore Barry Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia and May 20 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. Filibuster Hanover ran into the red-hot McWicked (12 for 19 for $1.5 million this year) in the Oct. 27 Breeders Crown Final Open Pace and had to settle for second money. "He's only four and that was a big effort in the Breeders Crown," said Burke. "I'm confident he'll race well in the Potomac." David Joseph

A week away from the $100,000 Potomac Pace Invitational and the harness racing local horse couldn't be any sharper. Rock N' Roll Jet has certainly earned his opportunity, winning Sunday night for the fifth time in his last six Open starts at Rosecroft in 1:51.3. The nine-year old son of Rocknroll Hanover could not be any sharper. Winning for the ninth time this year and 46th time in his career, driver Kim Vincent floated out from handicapped post nine and tucked ever so briefly fifth on the pylons at the opening quarter. 1-5 Favorite Options Are A Dream (Ross Wolfenden) cleared from post and yielded the lead for a short time to Kiss A Dragon (Russell Foster) but ultimately reclaimed the lead by the half. Vincent by then was within a length of the leader on the outside and they raced as partners until the last eight of a mile when Sams Triple Crown and John Wagner looked poised breeze on by only to see Rock N' Roll Jet dig in and hold him off by a head for the win. Sent off as the 9-2 second choice, Rock N' Roll Jet is likely for the $100,000 Potomac Pace next Sunday night at Rosecroft. Dawn Webb and trainer Buddy Bright own the winner who now has seasonal earnings of $73,975. Driver Jonathan Roberts had three wins on the card, winning with Pace Car ($14.00) for Deborah and Jamie Bozman and trainer Walter Bozman Jr. Roberts sat the son of Foreclosure N in the pocket behind pace setter B A Rocket (Russell Foster) and blasted up the passing lane holding off 48-1 long shot Seen Before Heard who closed stoutly from the back for Allan Davis in 1:54.3. Roberts picked up an easy win for Donald Fowler as Rock N Row ($3.20) wired the field in 1:54.4. Willard Reynolds conditions the winner who won for the eighth time this year. His final win of the night came with A Major Impulse who went coast to coast in 1:53.4 for Joseph Karrat and trainer Luis Collazo. John Wagner took the $9,000 featured trot with Southwind Ferrari for Scott Woogen and trainer Arlene Cameron. It was the ninth win in 23 starts for the four year old son of Chapter Seven who returned a surprising $15.80. The time of the mile was 1:55.4. Wagner and Cameron gained a double as Choreographer ($11.40) won upon first calling for his new barn, in 1:55. Rosecroft will play host to the $100,00 Potomac Pace next Sunday at 4:40. Horses that are expected as of now include Dealt A Winner, who finished second in Saturday's TVG Final to McWicked. Trainer Mark Silva will be sending Dealt A Winner to his Third Potomac Pace. Filibuster Hanover who was third is expected for trainer Ron Burke and Endeavor who won Saturday's Tom Horner Memorial at Dayton in 1:50 for trainer Jeff Cullipher. There will be a $25,000 Maryland Invitational which is expected to include Slick Tony, Hickory Aloha, Sam's Triple Crown, All The Cookies, a winner last night for Tyler Davis in 1:51.4, and Rocktavious among others who have been invited. Harness Racing's richest horse ever Foiled Again will stop at Rosecroft on his farewell tour in the $15,000 Foiled Again Invitational for horses 10 and older. That field is expected to include Real Flight, who last week at Rosecroft in 1:53.4 for trainer Jody Dunning, 14-year old Arts Blaze who won last night at Rosecroft in 1:54.2 for owner-trainer John Urbanski. It was the 54th career win for Arts Blaze as Urbanski teamed with Jason Thompson for a double as Andwin Hanover scored in race 3.   Pete Medhurst

Reminder that sustaining forms and possible payment are due Feb. 15, 2018 for the 4 & 5 year old Open Maryland Sire Stakes for harness racing trotters and pacers (foals of 2013 & 2014).   Three Year Old payments (foals of 2015) are due to the Maryland Standardbred Fund and the Maryland Sire Stakes on Feb. 15, 2018.   All stallion pedigree's, staking forms, and stake dates are now available online including a printable calendar! Please use our website www.msrfonline.com for all your current MSRF info and any updates as they become available.   We recommend that all payments be sent by certified mail. Please remember to check and make sure you use this address for the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund, P.O. Box 540, Union Bridge, MD 21791.   Regulations can be found on our website at www.msrfonline.com or you may call 410-775-0152 (o) or my cell at 240-285-0326.   By Cheri Stambaugh

All stallions standing in Maryland for the 2018 harness racing breeding season must be registered with the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund by Dec. 1, 2017 for their foals to be eligible to the Maryland Sire Stakes.   We recommend that all payments be sent by certified mail. Please note the mailing address:   P.O. Box 540, Union Bridge, MD 21791-0540   Stallion Registration forms and regulations can be found on our website at www.msrfonline.com or you may call (410) 775-0152 (office) or my cell at (240) 285-0326.   Cheryl Stambaugh  

For the second night in a row the unseasonably warm weather and a lightning fast harness racing track at Rosecroft Raceway have produced new stakes and track records for two-year-old Maryland sired horses.   The first split for filly pacers went as an early non wagering event. HS Shauna (Up Front Charlie) took air to the quarter in 28.2 before gaining the lead, stopping the timer in a stakes record 1:54.2 for reinsman Roger Plant Jr. Steve LeBlanc trains for owner/breeder Cary Grady. Tell Me The Truth was up for place.   That new record only stood for 15 minutes as Cool Toy (Cool Flying Fun) with Jason Green in the bike brushed out of the pocket to catch Princess Rusty in the 1:53.3 stakes and track record in the second division. Elwood Tignor trains for owner Breakaway Racing, Nick Callahan was the breeder.   The trotting colts and geldings opened the overnight card. Driver Brian Burton put What That Is (Cam's Rocket) in the pocket for most of the mile, charging down the stretch to win by four lengths over Iron Mine Bro shattering the stakes and track record in the 1:57.2 mile. Judy Welty trains for owner Brian Emerson, Richard Hans is the breeder.   Stakes action continues with the second round of preliminaries on Saturday Oct 14 and Sunday Oct 15.   By Cheri Stambaugh

(Fort Washington, MD) - The race unfolded differently but at the end the result was the same as Hyway Marcus was victorious Sunday evening (October 8) in the harness racing RUS MidAtlantic Monte Trotting Series Final at Rosecroft Raceway. With the victory, Hyway Marcus completed the hat trick, sweeping the harness racing series. Determined not to let Hyway Marcus have his own way, One True Friend (Hillary Hartnett) powered to the front, parking Hyway Marcus to the first quarter with Keenan (Maria Buchanan) third, racing along the rail following the leader. Hartnett had her horse, the lone mare in the race, in front by one and a quarter length in a brisk :28.1 at the first station. After being stung throughout the first quarter, Sascha Moczulski took Hyway Marcus to the front with One True Friend sitting second through middle fractions of :58.1 and 1:28.1 with the leader being two lengths in front at the three-quarter mark. By this time Keenan was beginning to tire, six lengths behind the leader in third place. Once past the three-quarter marker, the all-to-familiar story played out as Hyway Marcus opened up on the field with a seven length lead at the top of the stretch to coast home in a final quarter of :31.4 to stop the teletimer in 2:00, seven and a half lengths over One True Friend who put the victor to task in the early portion of the race. Closing from sixth at the three quarter mark was Catalyst (Stephanie Jacobs) finishing third another length behind. Fourth, but placed fifth for violation of the breaking rule was Mr Protab while Pine Tab was elevated to fourth. Keenan, paying the price for his early pace finished sixth. With the victory, Hyway Marcus finished the season with a perfect three for three record and now has a lifetime RUS record of 8-6-1-0. The six year old son of Gut Instinct is owned by Joseph Faraldo, Gilbert Teitel, and Charels Wittstruck. Moczulski was the winning trainer. RUS MidAtlantic would like to thank all its sponsors of the series, Back on Track, Knutsson Trotting, Miller Lite, Poulin Grain, in addition to numerous others. Plans are already underway for the 2018 series. Anyone interested in becoming a member of RUS MidAtlantic or a sponsor of the 2018 series may contact RUS MidAtlantic through their website. By Allan Schott for RUS MidAtlantic   RUS MidAtlantic - Bringing racing under saddle to DE, MD, NJ, and VA      

The first harness racing preliminaries for the Maryland Sire Stakes freshmen pacing colts and geldings and trotting fillies went to post Sat Oct 7 at Rosecroft Raceway.   In the first early non-wagering event for the pacing colts and geldings, Russel Foster put I Run The Show (Cam's Rocket) in the pocket til the head of the stretch, winning by a ½ length over Bo Breeze in the 1:55 mile for owner/breeder Michael Hans and trainer Roger Hans.   The first division for trotting fillies saw a lot of change in positions with Iron Mine Krystal (Four Starz Robro) coming from mid pack at the half to win by a length in 1:59 setting the Stakes Record for 2 year old trotting fillies. Dancing Spirit was second. Art Stafford Jr. was in the bike for trainer Greg Haverstick and owner/breeder Iron Mine Branch LLC.   The second split for pacing colts and geldings saw Roger Plante Jr. pull Allie's Finale (Allie's Western) from fourth to take the lead at the half, opening up 3¾ lengths on the field in the 1:53.3 Stakes and track record mile for 2 year old pacing geldings. Lloyd's All In was up for place. Steve LeBlanc trains for owners Leblanc Racing, Count De Money Stable, Wm. Lutz Jr and J. Stuart. Jacob Ramsburg is the breeder.   Gaagaa Gone (GooGoo GaaGaa) remains undefeated (5 - 5) winning the second division for trotting fillies in the first wagering race. Reinsman Russel Foster sent Gaagaa Gone to the engine and never looked back with Worthy Renegade crossing the wire second in the 2:00.1 mile. Richard Hans trains the filly for owner/breeder Corey Callahan.   Stakes action continues Sunday (Oct. 8) with early non-wagering events starting at 5:15 pm.   By Cheri Stambaugh

(Fort Washington, MD) - A field of six trotters will compete Sunday (October 8) evening in the RUS MidAtlantic Monte Series Final, being contested at Rosecroft Raceway. The $5,000 race is headlined by Hyway Marcus, who won the first two legs of the series and is looking to complete the series sweep. The tilt will go as a non-wagering event after the third race on the regular harness racing card with an estimated post time of 7:30pm. Hyway Marcus (post 2), is trained and ridden by Sasha Moczulski for new owners Joseph Faraldo, Gilbert Teitel, and Charles Wittstruck. The six-year-old son of Gut Instinct has developed a reputation for being a star RUS trotter with a lifetime record of 7-5-1-0. The horse has made only two starts this year under saddle, winning series legs at Ocean Downs and the Meadowlands with a seasonal mark of 1:59.4 set at the Meadowlands. Looking to be his main contender is Pine Tab (post 5), ridden by Helene Gregory. The Nick Surick trainee in his first lifetime start was dueling Hyway Marcus in the stretch at the Meadowlands, getting to within a ¼ length when he went off-stride. With a race under his belt, his connections are looking for an improved effort here. Another contender is One True Friend (post 3) who finished second in the second leg of the series at the Meadowlands. Since that effort, the lone mare in the race came in first at Saratoga, followed by second place finishes at Batavia and in the Elizabeth Miller Memorial at Monticello this past Monday. Hillary Hartnett is once again in the irons for trainer Wesley Miller. Other horses in the race are Mr Protab (post 1, Emma Wahlberg) who won his lone start last year at Ocean Downs and looks to improve off a third-place finish at the Meadowlands in his seasonal debut. Catalyst (post 2, Stephanie Jacobs) looks to improve with the return to the 5/8 mile oval after putting in a dull race at the Meadowlands. Keenan (post 6, Maria Buchanan) finished second in his lifetime debut at Ocean Downs but jumped off before the start at the Meadowlands. With a cleaner start, he may be in the thick of things late. First race on the wagering card is slated for a 6:40pm post. Allan Schott RUS MidAtlantic - Bringing racing under saddle to DE, MD, NJ, and VA      

Standardbred horses are a mainstay at The Great Frederick Fair, and this year, breed aficionados hope to bring more fans to the sport of harness racing and the horses themselves. Saturday is Standardbred Day at the fair, although there will be harness racing through Saturday. On Saturday, horse lovers will be treated to harness racing, the exciting Sulky to Saddle races and the Standardbred Horse Show. Sulky to Saddle will feature Standardbreds being ridden a mile at the trot in the speedy time of around two minutes. The Standardbred Show will feature retired racers and those too slow to race. These horses will show off their gaits, their jumping ability and other traditional equine pursuits. Like thoroughbred owners, Standardbred owners are hoping to show the public that retired racing Standardbreds make good saddle horses and companion horses. “There are only two fairs in Maryland that do harness racing,” said Colby Hubble, who stables horses at the Frederick Fairgrounds all year long. “The Pocomoke Fair and the Frederick Fair.” Harness racing brings out the betters at Ocean Downs, near Ocean City, and Rosecroft, in Prince George’s County. Betting doesn’t happen at the Frederick races, but by watching the local races, you can get an idea of what to look for if you want to try your hand at your closest off-track betting facility. What makes Standardbred racing fun is the horses themselves, Hubble said. “They’re very mild-mannered.” Standardbreds have two gaits, trotting and pacing. Some lineages are better for trotting, while others are geared to pacing. Most trainers have both. Hubble trains her horses nearly every day after work. “My grandfather had Standardbreds,” she said. “I started coming to the barn when I was 12, and I got my first horse at 14.” Standardbreds aren’t as tall as their racing counterparts, thoroughbreds. They are more muscular, however. Size isn’t usually a factor, Hubble said. “Smaller ones can be faster than the larger ones.” The driver’s weight doesn’t matter, either. Drivers, like jockeys, tend to be athletic and drive anywhere from eight to 10 horses a night. “We start from a moving gate, not a standstill,” Hubble said. “It’s the ball in motion theory. Once they get going, weight doesn’t matter.” Harness horses travel an average of 30 to 33 miles per hour. Nearly all the races are a mile long — twice around the track at the fairgrounds. The Sulky to Saddle Race, also known as Racing Under Saddle, is becoming a fan favorite at other tracks, said Clarissa Coughlin, one of the coordinators of the Sulky to Saddle and the Standardbred Horse Show. “We want to highlight the Standardbred and the versatility of the Standardbred,” she said. “They’re very giving horses. Some will race the night before a show the next day.” Racing Under Saddle with Standardbreds is popular in Europe and has been revived at the Meadowlands Racetrack, where harness racing’s biggest American race, the Hambletonian, takes place. Most of the saddle jockeys are women. “It’s not easy to get on the back of a Standardbred and trot at 30 miles per hour,” said Coughlin, who recently rode her retired winning Standardbred, Game Day, in a saddle race. By Karen Gardner Special to 72 Hours Reprinted with permission of The Frederick News-Post

Berlin, MD....... In the inaugural running of the "Powder Puff Derby at Ocean Downs Sunday night, Hannah Miller and the five year old trotting mare, Bella's Punkett, prove the best in a race that featured all harness racing women drivers.   The drivers initially dined before the races in the track's clubhouse restaurant and followed up the dinner with a meet and greet session with the fans on the track's apron prior to the races.   After a late scratch of Jarming Lady knocked down the field down to seven horses, the race, a conditioned trot carrying a purse of $4200, carded as the sixth of twelve races on the night, went off without a hitch.   Karen Moore and Joeyscash quarter pole moved and opened up on the field with quarters of 30.1, 59.2 and 1:30.1 before Miller, patiently waited for clearance and fired Bella's Punkett on a first over mission from fifth position.   Advancing smartly on the far turn, Bella's Punkett came along side the pace setter finishing the mile in 2:01.3, winning by five lengths. Linda Mac Donald and Let It Go rallied for the place edging Joeys cash.   "I was happy to be asked to participate", said Miller, "since it was a very worthwhile cause. All the ladies were glad to be part of this race."   Also participating were Miriam Toland aboard Rocketpedia, Lorie Davis and Tiger's Too Good, Stacy Chiodo and Whitesville Liz and Doreen Dailey and HS Deroy.   The late scratch cost Janet Haigh- Bivona a seat at the dance floor.   All the ladies donated their five percent winnings to the children's cancer foundation " Believe In Tomorrow" with the total amount being donated to the fund at $720.00 for the night's festivities.   by Ocean Downs Staff  

Russell Foster was the spring driving champion at Rosecroft Raceway and is the leading harness racing driver this summer at Ocean Downs. But the 28-year-old Maryland native never imagined this kind of success in the sulky. Prior to October 2015, Foster had won a total of 67 races over a span of more than six years. Since then, he has won 403 times. Foster's success can be traced to his purchase of pacer Hi Sir in June 2013. By the end of 2014, the Foster-trained-and-driven Hi Sir was a force on the Maryland circuit and helped propel Foster's career to new levels. In 2016, no one won more races than Foster at Rosecroft (96) and he visited the winner's circle a total of 192 times. This year, Foster has already won 185 races, good for 33rd most in North America, and his $1.20 million in purses is nearing his $1.35 million in 2016. Foster, the son of trainer Arty Foster Jr., recently took time to talk to Ken Weingartner from the U.S. Trotting Association's Harness Racing Communications division about his career. KW: You're having another great year. What have been the keys to your success? RF: I don't really know if there has been a key to it. I'm just showing up every night and trainers have been putting me on a lot of good horses. That makes my job a lot easier. I've just been lucky to get some good drives. KW: What have the last two years been like? Did you foresee this type of success? RF: No, I didn't. It's been a big lifestyle change. I had a horse of my own (Hi Sir) that I took over to Rosecroft and was doing really well there. My dad brought a couple over and they started doing well and people just started listing me (to drive). I didn't really think I was going to be a catch driver. It just took off on me. KW: At what point did you realize it was going in that direction? RF: I would say last year. I didn't realize it was going to take off the way it did. It just kept going the way it was going and I took it as it came. KW: You mentioned it's been a lifestyle change. What kind of adjustment was it? RF: You're spending a lot more time at the track. I worked for my grandfather for the last 10 years, so I was always at the track a lot paddocking horses for him. But I wasn't at the track every night until the last race every night. It's a lot more late nights, a lot more time at the track. It's tough to get used to, but you get used to it after a while. KW: Is it tough mentally, too, as you're getting acclimated? RF: It was tough at first. I was used to driving only a couple horses a night, so I was really focused in on those horses. Now when you're driving 10 or 12 a night, you don't really have the time to put all that much thought into every race. I really think that's better in a way because a lot of times when I was driving just a couple I'd really overthink things. Now I just kind of go with the flow of it. I think it's better. KW: Are you the type of person that would dwell on things when they didn't go well, or were you able to turn the page? RF: If I drove a bad race it used to really bother me and it took me a while to get over it. Now, five minutes later you have to get right back on the next one. You've got to learn to turn the page. That makes it a lot easier. You still feel bad about the bad ones, but you don't have time to dwell on it. You've got to be ready for the next one. KW: Is that one of the biggest adjustments you have to make? RF: Yeah, I would say so. You've got to be able to move on to the next one. KW: What have been the highlights for you so far? RF: I've had success with my horse (Hi Sir) at Rosecroft. He got horse of the meet a couple different times over there. Mr Ham Sandwich, I won three or four (Maryland) Sire Stakes finals with him. That was a big thrill. KW: Your family has been involved in racing for a long time. Is this something you always wanted to do? RF: Yeah, I always enjoyed it. When I was 10 or 11 years old, I loved going to the track with my dad; I loved going to Rosecroft. It's where I wanted to go every weekend and I had a lot of fun with it. Whenever I had spare time on the weekends and during summers, I spent a lot of time at the barn and always enjoyed jogging horses and all that. KW: How old were you when you started jogging horses? RF: I'd say 12 or 13. KW: Did you work with the horses during high school, or were you involved in other things? RF: I played soccer my freshman and sophomore year, but after that it was pretty much all the horses. KW: When did you decide you wanted to start training and driving a little on your own? RF: Right from the time I was 16 I wanted to try to have one or two of my own. When I turned 19, I got my driver's license and I gave it a shot. It didn't seem like it was a realistic thing for me at the time; I didn't do very good starting out. I just focused more on working for my grandfather. He had 20 head racing at the time, so I didn't really have time to focus on much else. Then around 2012, 2013, he started to cut back on horses. So I got focused more on driving at Rosecroft. That's when things kind of went that route. KW: Have you had any other jobs? RF: No, never had any other job than this. KW: What do you most enjoy about working with the horses? RF: I just love being around them. Even now with driving all the time, I still work at the barn every day. I still enjoy that aspect of it. I just love it. There's nothing else I ever wanted to do. KW: Is it nice to have success so close to home? RF: That's definitely a plus. Of course it would be nice to have success somewhere else too, but I loved going to Rosecroft when I was growing up, I used to love watching races there. So to have success there is pretty cool. KW: Have you thought about expanding to other tracks more? RF: I drive a few for my dad at (Harrah's Philadelphia) here or there. It's definitely tougher up there, tough to break in. But I give it a shot every now and then. I drive quite a few in Delaware. It's tough there also, but I'm trying my hand there. I hope to pick up a few drives this winter at Dover. KW: Do you see yourself doing more of that as time goes on? RF: I think so. Hopefully as I get better and my name gets out there more. Hopefully I can keep making the right moves and people give me a chance. KW: How have you seen yourself improve, what have you learned, in these last couple years? RF: You just feel a lot more comfortable out there. You become a lot more patient. I used to always press a little too hard, I think. The more you're out there, the more comfortable you feel. You get a better feel for how the races are going and take your shots at the right time. When you first start out, you're more nervous and worried about making the right move. Once you do it more and more, you stop thinking so much and it just kind of comes to you. KW: When Ocean Downs closes you'll have some time before Rosecroft reopens, so what are your plans? RF: Harrington goes four nights a week, so I'll be there every night. Those other three nights I'll just try to get some family time in before Rosecroft opens up. I'll be going six nights a week then. So now I just want to spend time with my wife (Megan) and son (Blake). My wife is a big help to me. I wouldn't be able to have horses on my own if she wasn't there. She takes care of things when I'm on the road. KW: What do you like to do when you're not busy at the track or at the barn? RF: I just like hanging out with my son and watch him play. He's almost a year-and-a-half now; he's getting to the fun stage. Other than that, I always liked fishing, going out on the boat and being on the water. KW: Where do you like to fish? RF: Just around here locally, the Chesapeake Bay, the Wye River, places like that. KW: Looking at your stats, you're going to go past last year's numbers pretty soon. That must feel good. RF: Yeah, coming into the year I was just hoping I would improve a little bit. I kind of set a goal for myself to get over 200 wins this year. I'm just hoping things keep going the way they're going. I never set any goals before, but I thought if I could get to 200 wins this year it would be a pretty good step up. KW: It's got to feel pretty good the way everything has come together these last couple years. RF: It definitely does. I didn't think it was going to happen, so it's a very pleasant surprise. KW: What does the future hold? What would you like to accomplish down the road? RF: I've never been real big on setting goals, so I haven't put much thought into that. I just hope to keep getting drives, keep competing and keep progressing each year. I'm just taking it as it comes right now. I just want to keep moving in the right direction. KW: That's worked for you so far. RF: Yeah (laughs), we'll just keep doing it the way we're doing it, I guess. Ken Weingartner

Laurel, DE --- Maryland harness racing driver Ricky Still was injured while driving at Ocean Downs in July. With a broken kneecap and femur, Still is facing significant medical bills and won't be able to work for some time. His brother has launched a Go Fund Me page on his behalf, which can be reached at this link.

On Sunday July 30 the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund (foaled) Stakes for harness racing two year olds started with the trotting colts and geldings going to post in race two.   Driver Chuck Connor Jr. sent Whats The Word (Donato Hanover) to the lead, striding off to win by 17½ lengths in the 1:58.2 mile. Iron Mine Bro was up for place. Arden Homestead Stable and Janice Connor are the owners with Janice also picking up training duties. Fred Hertrich is the breeder.   The filly pacers split in three divisions. In the first split George and Tina Dennis Racing's Michelle's Jazz (Roll With Joe) moved up from mid pack going up the back stretch to take a two length victory over leader Cheyenne Zone. Frank Milby was in the bike for trainer Joe Columbo in the 1:56.4 mile, Winbak Farm was the breeder.   Race six saw the lead change several times, after a couple of miscue's at the start. Pedal Power (Roddy's Bags Again) made a break at the start, recovered and worked her way passed the pack going three deep at the ¾ pole to win by a neck over Toms Trophy in 2:02.2. Reinsman Art Stafford Jr. drove for trainer and co-owner Darrell Lewis and Leah Lewis. The breeder was Winbak Farm.   The final split of the night had the crowd screaming for their favorite in the tight photo. Jason Green gave Cool Toy (Cool Flying Fun) the perfect pocket trip, charging down the stretch to win by a nose over Tell Me The Truth and Sanza. Elwood Tignor trains for owner Breakaway Racing and breeder Nick Callahan.   The action continues on Monday July 31 with two divisions for 2 year old filly trotters and four splits for colt and gelding pacers.   By Cheri Stambaugh

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