Lea­ger home­bred’s late kick seals win in MDRF split

Kent County News - - SPORTS - By TED BLACK

— The hard work of own­ers, train­ers and driv­ers with Mid-Shore ties paid off at Ocean Downs and Har­ring­ton Race­way over La­bor Day weekend.

Right at the mid­way point of the 12-race card Sun­day night, Sept. 3 at Ocean Downs, Slick Tony (Rus­sell Foster) was sent out as the 2-5 fa­vorite from post two in the first of two $14,000 Mary­land Stan­dard­bred Race Fund di­vi­sions for 2-year-old pac­ing colts and geld­ings. The ju­ve­nile son of No Spin Zone is owned, bred and trained by Ge­orge “Ron­nie” Lea­ger of Sudlersville.

Slick Tony ar­rived with three wins from his first four ca­reer out­ings over the sea­side oval, and the tal­ented home­bred al­ready had won a MDRF event in just his se­cond ca­reer out­ing on July 31.

When the gate folded Sept. 3, Slick Tony left well enough to pro­tect the pocket be­hind Red­line Rusty (Art Stafford Jr.), who carved out hon­est frac­tions of 27.3 and 57.3 to the half. The Lea­ger home­bred ap­par­ently was com­fort­ably sit­ting a two hole.

But things got con­sid­er­ably more in­ter­est­ing down the back­side when Al­lies Fi­nale (Roger Plante Jr.) of­fered se­ri­ous firstover pres­sure and Bo Breeze (Al­lan Davis) loomed men­ac­ingly se­cond over as Red­line Rusty led the field by three-quar­ters in 1 minute, 27 sec­onds.

Around the fi­nal turn, Al­lies Fi­nale surged past Red­line Rusty to gain a short lead and Bo Breeze grad­u­ally an­gled three-wide to launch his late bid.

Slick Tony ap­peared trapped along the in­side be­hind a tir­ing leader, and for a minute it looked as though Foster was go­ing to steer the Lea­ger trainee to the far out­side. But the track’s lead­ing driver waited un­til the top of the lane and steered Slick Tony to the pass­ing lane.

Slick Tony shifted gears and out­kicked Bo Breeze to pre­vail by nearly a length in 1 minute, 56.4 sec­onds.

In five starts to be­gin his ca­reer, Slick Tony now owns four wins and earn­ings of nearly $17,000.

His lone set­back can be at­trib­uted in part to un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances.

Sent out as an over­looked 10-1 shot in an overnight race against older ri­vals, Slick Tony was locked in down the back­side, got im­peded by one foe, never found clear­ance out­side and ral­lied be­lat­edly along the pass­ing lane to fin­ish se­cond — beaten just a neck in 1:58.2.

Slick Tony has re­bounded to win two straight out­ings, tak­ing an overnight event by six lengths in 1:56.3 and then the Sept. 3 MDRF split in 1:56.4.

To­ward the lat­ter por­tion of the Sept. 3 card, catch driver Jared Moyer of War­wick recorded back-to-back win­ners with log­i­cal horses for the same con­di­tioner.

In the se­cond $14,000 MDRF split for 2-year-old pac­ing colts, Moyer steered Lloyd’s All In to a wire-to-wire score as the even-money choice in 1:57.1 for trainer Ar­lene Cameron and owner Pamela Wag­ner. This was the se­cond win in seven starts for the ju­ve­nile son of Rusty’s All In, push­ing his sea­sonal earn­ings past $16,000.

One race later, Moyer guided South­wind Fer­rari to a mild 9-5 up­set in a non-win­ners of $1,501 last five starts class for trot­ters. The sopho­more son of Chap­ter Seven, trained by Cameron for owner Scott Woogen, ral­lied se­cond over to over­haul even- money choice Fear (Kim Vin­cent) to score by a neck in 2:01.2.

This was the se­cond win in nine starts this year for South­wind Fer­rari, and his fourth win in 14 ca­reer tries while mak­ing his sea­side oval de­but.

On La­bor Day Mon­day at Har­ring­ton Race­way in south­ern Delaware, Man­dalay Hall capped the 10-race hol­i­day pro­gram by pre­vail­ing as the 7-2 se­cond choice in a non­win­ners of four races or $20,001 life­time con­di­tion for younger pac­ers.

A 4-year-old Third Straight geld­ing trained by Eli Scott Jr. of War­wick for owner Greg Si­mendinger, Man­dalay Hall quar­ter moved to com­mand and led the field by the half in 57.3. Meet­ing pres­sure from 4-5 choice Ain’t It Fun (Mon­trell Teague) down the back­side and through the far turn, Man­dalay Hall out­lasted the choice for a head tally in 1:56.1.

Man­dalay Hall now owns a 2-6-4 slate and $28,000 bankroll from 24 starts this year for Scott. The first win was dur­ing the spring meet at Rose­croft Race­way in Mary­land.

I’m The Di­rec­tor (Jonathan Roberts), a 3-year-old Art Di­rec­tor geld­ing owned and trained by Lea­ger, set­tled for fourth after sit­ting a pocket trip through the first three calls in the Har­ring­ton fi­nale on Mon­day. I’m The Di­rec­tor won his pre­vi­ous start at Har­ring­ton on Aug. 28 by a neck in 1:57.2 as the odds-on choice and won a con­di­tioned event at Ocean Downs as the 3-5 fa­vorite on July 12 in 1:56.3.

At the mid­way point of the clos­ing night at Ocean Downs, on La­bor Day, Maken­zie Mc (Kim Vin­cent) put the fin­ish­ing touches on his solid sum­mer sea­son at the sea­side oval by fin­ish­ing se­cond in a non-win­ners of $4,251 last five starts class for older pac­ers. The 9-year-old Pro Bono geld­ing owned and trained by Jay Bax­ter of Wor­ton ral­lied in­side to fin­ish se­cond be­hind 1-2 fa­vorite Whirl Mon­roe (Rus­sell Foster) in 1:54.4.

Maken­zie Mc sports a solid 5-3-1 slate and $19,500 bankroll from 24 starts this year, in­clud­ing four wins and two sec­ond­place fin­ishes at the sea­side oval this sum­mer.

Sev­eral races later on the last card of the Ocean Downs meet, Heart­safire (Bill Long) saved ground through­out and ral­lied late to fin­ish se­cond in a non-win­ners of $2,751 last five starts class for pac­ing fil­lies and mares. The 5-year-old Ar­tis­cape mare is owned and trained by Danny Myer, whose wife is Kent County na­tive Gigi Sil­cox Myer.

Heart­safire fin­ished se­cond in each of her last two out­ings. Over­all she won once and fin­ished se­cond four times at the Ocean Downs meet. She has a $14,000 bankroll from 24 sea­sonal starts.

Lo­cal train­ers also set­tled for mi­nor spoils in two of the last three races on the card. Yin And Out (Frank Milby) fin­ished a solid se­cond in a non-win­ners of two races life­time class for pac­ing fil­lies and mares. The 4-year-old Rockin Im­age mare owned and trained by Eli Scott had won her lo­cal de­but on Aug. 27 in 2:01.3.

In the penul­ti­mate race of the meet, Fire In The Belly (Roger Plante Jr.) fin­ished se­cond in a non-win­ners of $2,751 last five starts class for older pac­ers. The 6-year-old Real Artist geld­ing is trained by Trevor Stafford of Greens­boro.

Fire In The Belly earned the place spot in his last start over the oval, hav­ing de­feated tougher foes at Ocean Downs by two lengths in 1:54.4 on July 23.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.