Ft. Washington, MD — With Santa Claus waiting in the wings, drivers Jonathan Roberts and Sean Bier were piloting reindeer of their own Wednesday night (Dec. 23), as they came up with huge wins on Rosecroft’s card.
Bier scored five wins on the final night of the meet including the $20,000 Maryland Distaff with a parked out Auntmilly’smartini ($13.20) in 1:53.1. Brittany Bounds owns and trains the 5-year old mare by Three Olives who was making her 100th lifetime start. It was her fifth win of the year and career win number 16. It pushed her lifetime bankroll to $163,076.
“This is the biggest win we’ve ever had,” said Bounds, who trains her stable’s horses with her husband Michael in Sharptown, Md. “She normally loves to be on or near the front end, I never would have suspected she would win off that trip. It’s so exciting to watch her each week; she just gives everything she has.”
The trip wasn’t exactly how you draw it up. Leaving from post eight, Bier had to abort that leave attempt as Breadcrumb Income left from post seven, and Into The Night left hard for Justin Vincent as well from post two.
With 2-1 second choice Psychic Blue Chip waiting for everyone to be seated, that left Get Real Rusty and the eventual winner parked and racing as a team on the outside the entire mile.
Get Real Rusty ever so briefly put a a nose in front of leader Psychic Blue Chip in the stretch only to have Bier launch off his cover and win by 1-1/2 lengths over Breadcrumb Income and Get Real Rusty who was a game third. Into The Night was fourth and Psychic Blue Chip held on for the final purse check.
In the $20,000 Maryland Trotting Derby, Judge Bob ($3.60) and Roberts, no strangers to the outside of the wings, left and gained the front just before the opening quarter and never looked back through fractions of :27.4, :59, 1:27.3 and 1:56.1. Whiskeyinmywater was second, Luckycompeter third, Explosive Drama fourth and Believe In Him fifth.
“I didn’t want to take any chances tonight. He can leave, but when you get saddled with post eight and nine every week, it’s not the best thing for the horse. He’s really just matured a lot over the past two years and loves the Open here at Rosecroft,” Roberts said.
The homebred son of Great George Two is owned by Graham Grace Stables and trainer Megan Roberts and now has 19 wins over the past two years. The win pushed his seasonal bankroll to $73,960 in 24 starts. It gave Megan Roberts, the sister of the winning driver, 19 wins for the meet.
“It’s been a great meet for our family,” Jonthan Roberts said. “To win a driving title here is always special because this is where I started. My sister and Dad (Bib) work really hard to keep these horses in shape and it’s nice to see them have success.”
Roberts wasn’t finished as he then picked up his 40th and final win of the fall meet with Admiral Ballsy in the $20,000 Maryland Invitational.
Admiral Ballsy yielded to Rocktavious at the quarter pole in :26.4. Roberts retook the lead and got a :29 second quarter breather, carrying them past the half in :55.4. With both nemesis now behind and beside him as Pacer of the Meet Precision Bluechip came first up, Admiral Ballsy sprinted through a 27.2 third quarter but could not give either the slip.
As the field was in full flight coming for home, closer Jack Quick joined the proceedings as he and Rocktavious closed in, but neither could get by, and Admiral Ballsy took his sixth win of the year in 1:51.4.
Richard Malone Jr., owns and trains the 4-year-old son of Captaintreacherous who was first or second in his last five starts in the Open Handicap.
“Rocktavious had just beaten him out of the pocket last week, so I was concerned with him to my back and you know Precision Bluechip and Jack Quick are good horses. He really dug in,” Roberts said.
John Wagner won with trotter Parker Fly and Austin Hanners with Born Free De Vie, giving trainer Arlene Cameron a meet leading 34 wins in the fall, securing trainer of the meet.
Precision Bluechip won four Open Handicaps and 11 races on the year, gaining Pacer of the Meet honors for owner-trainer Courtney Brooks.
Jonathan Roberts won the driving title with 40 wins, while an injured Eddie Davis Jr. was second with 36 and Frank Milby third with 34.
Judge Bob was trotter of the meet.
Brittany Bounds had a training triple on the night as Bier won with Writteninred and Opulent for the Bounds barn, giving them 13 wins on the meet.
Rosecroft will reopen Jan. 17.