Maryland-breds Continue to Impress at Several Venues

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Ted Black

July 11th, 2017

While Maryland-breds such as Lady Shadow and Devious Man have already earned their fair share of the spotlight on a national stage, several others garnered local bragging rights on Monday night at a pair of half-mile ovals in two different states.

Monday evening at Ocean Downs, five miles west of Ocean City, Mr Ham Sandwich (Russell Foster) continued his dominance over his fellow Maryland-sired rivals when he gained command soon after the outset and led throughout en route to a five-length score in 1:55 as the 1-20 favorite. A sophomore son of Cam's Rocket trained by Judy Welty for owner-breeder Brian Emerson, Mr Ham Sandwich has won six of seven starts this year and looms the odds-on choice to capture another MDSS final next Monday at the seaside oval.

One race later on the card, Holy Trout (Roger Plante, Jr.) continued her perfect ways this season by cruising to a wire-to-wire score as the 1-5 choice in the MDSS prelim for sophomore filly trotters. A three-year-old daughter of Holy Guacamole trained by Steve LeBlanc, Holy Trout has won all seven of her starts this year after keeping Daygone (Bill Long) at bay through the lane to prevail by a length in 2:01.3. Like Mr Ham Sandwich, Holy Trout will be the odds-on favorite in next Monday's MDSS final for her age, gait and gender.

That same evening at Yonkers Raceway in New York, one Maryland-bred emerged triumphant in one of the four New York Sire Stakes events for three-year-old pacing colts. America's Fleet (Jason Bartlett), overcame a first over trip to narrowly prevail as an overlooked 13-1 shot in the first of four $42,000 Hugh Grant NYSS divisions for trainer Ed Hart. The sophomore son of American Ideal grinded his way to a victory in clearly the weakest, slowest of the quartet of splits, however.

Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) won the next leg in 1:52, Heaven's Gait (Tim Tetrick) prevailed in the next division in 1:52.2 then In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) scored in 1:52.3 in the fourth split. All three colts won as the odds-on choice and all three recorded considerably faster times than the Maryland-bred winner of the opening division.

Speaking of Maryland-bred sophomore pacers, Classic Pro, a free-legged sort for trainer Dr. Ian Moore, accepted a bye into the $750,000 Meadowlands Pace final this Saturday night at the Big M and will seek to upend Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, the logical top two choices who will start from posts four and five, respectively. Classic Pro has displayed plenty of ability despite being one of the few pacers in the country to race without hobbles, so the hopes of the Free State breeding program will fall on his shoulders this weekend at the Meadowlands.