Older horses thrive at Ocean Downs

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Ted Black

July 24th, 2015

Throughout the summer months Ocean Downs, a half-mile harness racing oval in Berlin, Maryland five miles west of popular destination Ocean City, is a haven for older horses looking to regain their winning ways amid the cool breeze arriving from the Isle Of Wight Bay.

Last Monday evening the aged trotters and pacers clearly took center stage as four horses 10 years or older reached the winner's circle and two other youthful eight-year-olds also crossed the finish line first on the card. Perhaps the combination of the half-mile oval and the cool ocean air serves as a brief trip to the fountain of youth for those older trotters and pacers.

Fittingly enough in the feature race on the card, the B-2 for older pacers, Three Of Spades (Jonathan Roberts) lived up to his role as the 7-5 favorite in that event as he benefited from a pocket trip behind Chesapeake Bay - the horse, not the nearby body of water - then overhauled that one in the lane to score in 1:53.3. A 12-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding trained by William "Bib" Roberts of Trapeze and Yankee Co-Ed fame for owner William DeLodovico, Three Of Spades still appears to have plenty of youthful vigor in his aging legs.

Then in the secondary feature on the card, Talbot Redneck (Frank Milby) posted a 6-1 upset when he led throughout to capture a C-1 class for older pacers in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:55.3. An 11-year-old Misfit gelding trained by Ken Schlotzhauer and co-owned by Schlotzhauer and breeder David Donahue, Talbot Redneck gained command soon after the start and set all of the fractions en route to a narrow victory.

A pair of 1o-year-olds also joined the party at the seaside oval on Monday night. Stamped By Design (Milby) brushed to command before the half and then edged clear late to a tw0-length score as the 9-5 favorite to capture a C-2 class for trainer Justin Brenneman. Not to be outdone, SS Danny Girl (Roberts) led throughout to capture a C-3 class for pacing fillies and mares when she lasted for a neck score in 1:57.2 as the even-money choice.

In the opening race on the card, Curb Your Z Tam (Jason Thompson) notched his first win of the year in sharp fashion when the eight-year-old Cole Muffler gelding brushed to command down the backside and then drew clear to a five-length score in 1:56.4 in a C-3 conditioned event for owner-trainer Jeanmarie Kurowski. Toward the end of the card it was Rules Little Man (Kim Vincent) who posted a virtual wire-tio-wire victory in a C-2 class for trotters when the Alberto Collazo-trained eight-year-old romped home four lengths clear as the 9-5 second choice in 1:59.1.