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News & Notes

The last of the Maryland Sire Stakes finals for 2-year-olds on Oct. 3 produced three divisional speed records in the series and gave two trotters a sweep of the big-money events in the state. The finals at Rosecroft and Ocean Downs each went for $67,000.

Owner, trainer and breeder Richard Hans’ Whoopdee Goo, a gelding by Googoo Gaagaa, took the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot in a sire stakes record of 1:55 1/5 for Jim Morand, who also drove him to victory in the final at the shore in late August. Hans also owns, trains bred Gaareat Gaazoo, another son of Googoo Gaagaa who finished second behind his stablemate in the final.

Hans developed the stallion and bred mares to him before he was moved to Nandi Farm in Pennsylvania in 2017 on behalf of Southwind Farms.

The second double winner was owner/breeder Pamela Wagner’s Pats A Keeper, who remained undefeated in six starts with a win in the 2-year-old filly trot final with Jared Moyer driving for trainer Arlene Cameron. The filly, who won the Ocean Downs final as well, won at Rosecroft in 1:57, also a Maryland Sire Stakes record.

The two pacing finals were won by progeny of Rusty’s For Real.

In the final for 2-year-old colts and geldings, Brandon, Clinton and Wanda Murray’s Berzerker avenged a break in the Ocean Downs final to win with Tony Morgan in the bike in a record 1:52 1/5. Bred by the Murrays and trained by Brandon Murray, the colt is now three-for-six in his career.

Owner/breeder Bryan Truitt won the final for 2-year-old filly pacers with B For Real, who was second in the Ocean Downs final, in 1:53 1/5—a tick off the stakes and track record—with Frank Milby driving. Trained by Bryan Truitt Jr., B For Real has finished worse than second only once—in her first start, in which she broke stride in a Maryland Standardbred Race Fund event.

Rusty’s For Real and Lockkeeper stand at Tom and Linda Winebrener’s Fox Den Farm in Union Bridge, Md. In all, 18 of the starters in the four sire stakes finals at Rosecroft are by stallions that currently stand at Fox Den.

Here’s a look at a few races on the Wednesday, Oct. 10, program:

Race 4

Royal Zebedee went 22 starts without a win—but had eight second-place finishes—this year through Sept. 5, but then arrived at Rosecroft and in three races at this “non-winners of 2 pari-mutuel races lifetime” condition has two victories and a near-miss second. The 4-year-old trotter won from post 9 last week and moves inside a few spots. Russell Foster picks up the drive from Roger Plante Jr., who regularly drives for trainer Steve Le Blanc—they have the 2-year-old Anaximenes, who drops from the Maryland Sire Stakes and drew post 3 but faces old, experienced trotters.

Race 10

The first filly and mare open pace of the fall meet brings together some local “winners over” types, several others stepping up from lower classes after decent efforts, and one mare from an open pace at Harrington.

The race is handicapped by money earned in the last 5 starts, and that allows Breadcrumb Income to move way inside to post 1 after displaying excellent early foot from post 7 in back-to-back quality efforts. She steps up several classes but on her best night is capable of winning in open company. Nerida Franco N went a big mile in 1:52 3/5 on the half-miler at Harrington in Open II company has won in under 1:51 on the bigger track at Dover Downs; she appears to be one of the fastest from the gate here so post 9 probably isn’t an issue. Little Sandyloam missed a week after a sneaky-good return in a 1:52 1/5 mile with a nice closing quarter-mile from post 9 and moves inside. She finished behind Winter Games, who also took a pass last week but has two strong parked-out miles in her two appearances at Rosecroft this fall and could be favored here.

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