Ocean Downs offers bevy of Maryland-bred events

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Ted Black

July 7th, 2016

Throughout the summer the scene in Maryland shifts from Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington to Ocean Downs in Berlin where the half-mile oval five miles west of Ocean City has long been a favorite stop for serious and novice harness racing fans alike for nearly 70 years.

This Thursday evening Ocean Downs will host shine the spotlight on the Maryland-bred three-year-old trotters and pacers of both genders, with many of them on hand to use their various Maryland Standardbred Race Fund events as potential preps for the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals on the Governor's Day card at Harrington Raceway on July 28.

Thursday's third race is a $28,000 MDRF event for three-year-old filly trotters and the compact field of five sophomore fillies looks like a virtual match race on paper. Triple Bottom Line, a Winbak Farm product trained and driven by Jeff Fout, has the rail while Rock The Game (Corey Callahan) will leave from post three. Triple Bottom Line is also pointing for her $100,000 DSBF final at Harrington later this month.

Two races later at the seaside oval, another virtual match race will ensue in the $25,000 MDRF for three-year-old colt trotters. Kent County (Callahan) and Speed It (Jim Morand) have displayed good form all spring and summer and both will be vying for position early and both should be in contention in the late stages of this affair.

Then two races later in the fifth, a $15,000 MDRF event for three-year-old filly pacers, Use Your Noodle (Morand), Fastestgirlaround (Frank Milby) and railbound Toms Tulip (Jonathan Roberts) will vie for favoritism in this event. Use Your Noodle has won five of 11 starts, while Fastestgirlaround has won both of her starts this year and Toms Tulip has scored in three of five tries.

Three races later in the $25,000 MDRF event for sophomore pacing colts, railbound Next Success (Morand) looms as the odds-on favorite having won seven of 14 starts and over $100,000 this year for trainer Les Givens and he looms as the solid favorite for the $100,000 DSBF final on Governor's Day. Ideal Kiss has won four of six starts and Power To Perform has raced in a handful of narrow defeats this year.

Then one race later the other MDRF event for sophomore pacers, the Brian Wright-trained tandem of Cedal Hall Dream (Callahan) and Perchance To Dream (Milby) will look to keep the talented but unlucky All Artist (Fout) winless in nine starts this year.