Local pacers honored

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

June 5th, 2015

As the Rosecroft Raceway spring meet draws to a close this weekend, the track's top two horses, a pacing gelding and a pacing mare, were both honored by the track on Tuesday evening while the driver and trainer awards remain on hold until Saturday's finale.

While much of the chatter all week centered around the Belmont Stakes and Saturday's cards at Belmont Park and at The Meadowlands, Rosecroft Raceway honored its top two pacers on Tuesday evening amid mild, showery conditions. Little Miss Woohoo, who won six of 12 starts at meet for trainer Clyde Oglesby, Jr. and the Denmar Stables, was tabbed as the horse of the meet by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Associatio. Hot Art, who won four of 10 starts for owner-trainer John Baxter, was selected by track management as its horse of the meet.

Little Miss Woohoo recorded four victories against conditioned pacing fillies and mares on March 17 and 31 and on April 21 and 28 then stepped up to defeat Open 2 company on May 19 and 26 with Daryl Bier in the bike. In her most recent outing on June 2 with Sean Bier at the lines, Little Miss Woohoo brushed to command and led through three-quarters but was overhauled in the lane by 3-5 favorite Feelingmtygood (Art Stafford, Jr.), who notched her third win in five starts at the meet.

One race later on the card, Hot Art (Frank Milby) finished a nondescript fourth in the $11,500 Open 1 Handicap as Hi Sir (Russell Foster) rallied second over to notch his second straight tally in the top class and his third win in his last four outings at the meet. Hot Art won four times at the Open 2 level, with victories on March 10, 31, April 14 and May 5. Hi Sir would also win four times at the meet for his owner-trainer-driver, nearly duplicating his fall performances when he won his last five starts to garner horse of the meet honors from track management.

One race later on the card, Mystical Dew (Donald Dancer) delivered one of the best performances of the meet for trotters when he led throughout and held safe Awsome Valley (Jonathan Roberts) to score in 1:54.4 to capture the Open 2 Handicap. Mystical Dew had won his previous two outings at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey against conditioned foes, but he will likely be asked to face much tougher at Yonkers Raceway or Pocono Downs in subsequent starts.

After being trounced by Bandolito in his previous local start, Jet Blue Miracle (Sean Bier) found the Open 2 more to his liking on Tuesday. The odds-on favorite brushed to command before the half and held sway in the lane to score in 1:52.3 for his trainer-driver. Bier promptly capped the card by taking the late double with Change Your Luck for owner-trainer Jason Walters, who romped home eight lengths clear in 1:52.1 for Bier's fourth win of the night.

Heading into Saturday's closing night card, Milby owned a commanding lead in the drivers' standings but was still in a cautionary mood when asked about successfully defending his title. The trainers standings, however, was still clearly up for grabs with five trainers all within striking distance of the title.