Ft, Washington, MD — It’s not often you get a perfect ten in anything in life, let alone harness racing. Thursday night (Oct. 13) at Rosecroft, Val’s Girl made it a perfect 10-for-10 in her freshman season, as she held off her chief rival Spy’s Last Game in a new Maryland Sires Stakes record time of 1:53.1 in winning the $75,000 series final.
Her seasonal earnings now sit at $114,203. She also matched the perfect freshman season of her mother, Miss Valerie. Roger Plante drove the winner for trainer and co-owner Steve LeBlanc, and his partners William Lutz Jr. and Count De Money Stable.
“She was really on cruise control tonight. Once she made the front she was really good,” Plante said. “She was great on the half but got even better on the big track.”
Jonathan Roberts won a pair of Maryland Sires Stakes finals as Tenouttaten, bred, owned and trained by Kerry Welty, stole the show in the opener picking up his first win of his career at the best time. The freshman trotting gelding missed the series at the Ocean after a good third in his debut in a Maryland Standardbred Race Fund race. A sickness cost him a month, but he rebounded with two second place finishes in the preliminary legs.
The favorite, Sultan Of Sultans, made a break at the start and Roberts inherited a lead from the rail and was never headed in 2:01.1.
“I didn’t foresee those other horses making a break. It allowed me to get the fractions I wanted. He was good in both eliminations, but he was even better tonight,’’ Roberts said.
Roberts won aboard Graham Grace Stables’ Call Me Goo in the freshman filly trot. She and her rival Goolishness have now each won a $75,000 final this year as Roberts followed in the pocket and won in 1:56.4. Jason Skinner conditions the daughter of Googoo Gaagaa who is the sires stakes record holder, winning an elimination in 1:56.3 two starts back.
Jared Moyer and Babes All In wrapped up the Sires Stakes action with a 7-1 upset in the freshman male pace, going to the lead and winning in 1:52.1 to tie the track and stakes standard for owner-breeder Ronald Short. The 1-9 favorite Smooth Rocket was a handful to steer for Russell Foster. Sitting third for a half-mile, Foster finally got his horse to mount a challenge down the backside, but that’s when the winner did his best work.
“He was awesome. When Russell’s horse (Smooth Rocket) came to us, my horse just dug in,’’ Moyer said.
Roberts won the $17,500 Maryland Exclusive Handicap with Can’t Beach That in 1:50.3 for trainer Mike Hall, who had three wins on the night.
Roberts won five on the night, while Russell Foster won three times.