George Leager’s Slick Tony wins $25,000 Maryland Invitational
FORT WASHINGTON — While there were no local products in the main event of Sunday’s $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway, there were several pacers with Mid-Shore ties that were looking to garner more than their fair share of the minor spoils offered on a solid undercard contested under mild conditions and passing showers.
The $100,000 Potomac Pace for freefor-all pacers was the highlight of Sunday’s 13-race program.
One race earlier in the $25,000 Maryland Invitational, Slick Tony (Montrell Teague) was seeking to end a five-race skid when he was made the solid 4-5 favorite despite drawing post seven in a field of eight.
Among his serious foes was Sam’s Triple Crown (John Wagner), who had finished second to Rock N Roll Jet in the Open I Handicap one week earlier and had drawn post three.
When the gate folded, All The Cookies (Tyler Davis) left alertly to gain command in a 26.1 opener. Slick Tony tucked fifth early, then gradually got out second over behind Sam’s Triple Crown passing the finish line the first time.
All The Cookies got a breather by the half in 56.3, but Sam’s Triple Crown offered serious pressure down the back- side and Slick Tony followed that live cover by three-quarters in 1:24.
Around the final turn, Sam’s Triple Crown wore down All The Cookies to gain command briefly, then Slick Tony angled four-wide for the drive and just got up in the lane to score by a halflength in 1 minute, 52.2 seconds.
Slick Tony, a sophomore son of No Spin Zone owned, bred and trained by George “Ronnie” Leager of Sudlersville, notched his ninth win from 20 starts this year and banked $220,000. He now sports 18 wins and $370,000 earned from 31 career tries after dominating the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Finals at ages two and three.
Two races earlier in a non-winners of two races lifetime class for younger pacers, Redwood Again (Russell Foster) rallied second over down the backside and through the far turn and just nailed Rock King Deo (Frank Milby) at the wire for a dead-heat victory in 1:55.3.
A 3-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by William “Rusty” Cox for owner Courtney Brooks of Church Hill, Redwood Again notched his second win in three local tries and now sports a 2-1-3 slate from 22 seasonal outings.
Sunday’s feature at Rosecroft was the third renewal of the $100,000 Potomac Pace for older horses. Western Fame (Corey Callahan) benefited from a pocket trip behind favored Filibuster Hanover (Matt Kakaley) through honest fractions of 26.2, 55.1 and 1:21.4, angled out at the head of the lane, and wore down the favorite late to score in 1:49.2.
A 5-year-old Western Ideal stallion trained by Rene Allard, Western Fame notched his sixth win from 26 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings toward $360,000. He now owns 16 wins and more than $1 million banked from 67 career tries.
Filibuster Hanover owns a solid 5-5-5 slate and banked $660,000 from 19 starts this year. He owns a 12-14-8 slate and $1.5 million banked from 52 career tries.
Speaking of older horses, Foiled Again continued his farewell tour by making his first and only appearance at Rosecroft on Sunday in a race for genuine aged pacers at least 10 years old.
At age 14, Foiled Again is now in the last month of competition in his hall of fame career. On Sunday, he overcame post nine and a long, first-over journey to overtake Arts Blaze (Jason Thompson) and Real Flight (John Wagner) in the final eighth to score by a neck in 1:53.4.
In his first and only appearance at Rosecroft, Foiled Again lived up to his billing as the 1-5 favorite. This was his ninth win in 25 starts this year. He now boasts 107 wins and well over $7.6 million banked from 328 starts for trainer Ron Burke.