News & Notes
With two nights of action remaining, it appears the driving title will go down to the wire.
Frank Milby now leads Russell Foster 43-42 at the top of the standings, followed by Jonathan Roberts with 29, John Wagner with 26 and Jason Thompson with 23 to round out the top five. Milby has 15 more starts than Foster, who has been spending Wednesday nights at Dover Downs recently.
Arlene Cameron, who by far has the most starts with 164 so far during the fall meet, leads the trainer standings with 25 wins. Next in line is Brian Wright with 15, followed by Megan Roberts (11), Phil Jasper (10) and Ken Schlotzhauer (9). Twelve trainers have six to eight victories.
The fall meet ends Dec. 16 with racing scheduled to return in early February 2019. Here’s a look at a few races on the Wednesday, Dec. 12, program:
This “NW 2 life” trot is interesting in that all eight horses are coming out of the same race a week ago. The winner was Groffe, who received a perfect pocket trip behind Tzar, who led most of the way but fell short in the final yards and checked in fourth. Groffe moves from post 4 to post 8 this week. Skyway Raptor (post 7 tonight) had a decent second-over trip behind Counsler Lauxmont, stalled a bit on the far turn and then re-engaged to miss by a three-quarters of a length in second; makes third local after the trip from Indiana and could turn the tables in this rematch.
Luck Of The Deal defeated five of these at this level last Wednesday but came up a neck short after a strong brush to the lead through a :28 3/5 third quarter-mile. The 3-year-old filly showed decent late pace in her previous two starts locally after the transfer from Maine; presence of some early leavers here may mean another off-the-pace journey.
Whitesville Dixon is an unusual 0-for-the-meet but has shown improvement in his last two outings, including one against “winners over” company; gets the same post (8) in this same second-level money condition trotting class as last week. Accokeek Mercury has been on the fringes of late at this level but has the ability to land good early position off the gate.