Ge­orge Lea­ger’s Slick Tony wins $25,000 Mary­land In­vi­ta­tional

Kent County News - - SPORTS - By TED BLACK Spe­cial to the Kent County News

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.

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