Fort Washington, MD — Forgive Joe Offut, the owner and trainer of Rosecroft speedster Hickory Aloha, if he and the family have been distracted lately. Offut’s granddaughter, Paisley, just underwent serious surgery in a Maryland hospital, and while she shows positive signs in recovery, Hickory Aloha ($11.20) brought a smile for the Offut family with a win in Sunday’s (Feb. 24) $9,000 winners over pace, in 1:54.2.
Offut’s son, Timmy, put the gelding in his consistent spot on the lead, and cut a :31.1 second quarter into a 35-mph headwind. He then sprinted the back half in :56.2 and it was just enough to hold off 2018 Rosecroft Horse of the Year, Rock N’ Roll Jet (Kim Vincent) , who went side by side with the winner for the final quarter of a mile and came up inches short. Diamondkeeper (Russell Foster) was third.
In the $9,000 winners over trot, Sean Bier sent UKnow What To Do ($11.80) to the lead just past the opening quarter and never looked back scoring for a second straight week in 1:57. Bier trains the son of Muscle Mass for owner RJ Thomas.
Favorite Third Coast (Roger Plante) was a fast closing second, Dreamfair Bogart (Allan Davis) was third.
Jonathan Roberts won the first three races on the card and had four wins on the night. Jared Moyer copped a pair of wins as did trainers Brian Malone and Arlene Cameron.