Rosecroft hosts Potomac Pace

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

November 6th, 2017

Hours after a series of light showers departed the Mid-Atlantic region and mild temperatures enveloped the region, Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington hosted the second edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace, a race that again attracted nine of the best aged free-for-all pacers in training.

Heading into the Potomac Pace, onlookers had a difficult time deciding on the favorite. Mach It So (David Miller), the beaten favorite in the $420,000 Breeders Crown Open final, was the 3-1 morning line favorite eventually was the 3-1 third choice while and Breeders Crown winner Split The House (Brett Miller) was made the 8-5 favorite from post nine. Defending Potomac Pace champion All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) was the 5-2 second choice.

When the gate folded in the Potomac Pace, Mach It So and Split The House both left from the outside while All Bets Off got away third, just in front of Keystone Velocity (Daniel Dube), while Dealt A Winner (Brent Holland), Wakizashi Hanover (Victor Kirby), Mel Mara (Corey Callahan) and Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) were reserved well off the early tempo as Split The House carved out the opener in 25.3.

Split The House maintained an honest tempo rolling past the grandstands with Mach It So sitting the pocket and All Bets Off sitting third just in front of Keystone Velocity. The favorite led the field by the half in 53.1 then braced for the challenge from All Bets Off, who loomed a serious threat first over as Keystone Velocity followed the live cover second over and looked to have plenty left for the stretch drive.

At the top of the lane, All Bets Off surged past Split The House to take command then braced for the challenge of Keystone Velocity who fanned three-wide for the drive and wore down All Bets Off in the final 100 yards to score in 1:47.3, shattering the all-age track record of 1:48.2 shared by Nuclear Breeze and All Bets Off. Keystone Velocity, earlier hero of the $600,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Series final and the $500,000 Ben Franklin final at Pocono Downs, notched his eighth win from 22 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $780,000 for trainer Rene Allard.

A nine-year-old Western Hanover stallion, Keystone Velocity now owns 27 wins and $1.32 million banked from 110 career tries and now looms one of the serious contenders for champion aged pacer. All Bets Off now owns a 5-5-3 slate and $693,000 banked from 25 starts this year and sports a 27-23-14 slate and nearly $2.9 million banked from 102 career tries. Dealt A Winner (Brent Holland) rallied late to get third, while Mach It So settled for fourth.

One race earlier in the $20,000 Maryland Invitational for the top local pacers on the circuit, Rocktavius (Matt Kakaley) angled out out first over before the half, grinded his way past Hickory Aloha down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:21.4 and held sway through the lane in 1:50.3. A four-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by William "Bib" Roberts of Yankee Co-Ed fame, Rocktavius notched his second straight Open score and owns a 6-3-0 slate and $40,000 banked from 20 starts this year.

Onlookers got an indication as to how fast the racing surface would be on Sunday in the first two races on the card. Last Shot Leeton benefited from a pocket trip in the opener and posted a 17-1 shocker in 1:51.3 in a non-winners of $2,500 last five starts conditioned event for older pacers. Then one race later, Simple Man (Brian Burton) lived up to his billing as the 4-5 favorite when he captured a non-winners of one event in 1:53.3.