On Thursday night at Ocean Downs the owners of five racehorses will be very happy once their horses cross the finish line. Even if they make breaks and run across the finish wire it won't matter as they will still get 65 percent of the purse for the race.
It's the Showcase of Champions Night at Ocean Downs, the climax of their 2013 Maryland Standardbred Race Fund (MSRF) season with more than $576,000 in total purses on the program. And yes, five of the races are non-wagering stakes events with just one horse in each race….a walkover.
But when you are a fledgling state just starting to get your breeding program back on course, it's a just reward to those who stayed with the breeding program in Maryland. In the seasons to come people will be breeding a lot more to Maryland stallions in hopes of grabbing a slice of the big purse pie. It won't be as easy as Thursday night's five of seven walkover events, but with the MSRF finals each racing for $73,000 to as high as $100,270 per division, the incentive is there for owners to bring their broodmares and breed them to Maryland stallions for the future.
Each of the seven MSRF finals are named in memory of great horsemen who helped develop, race and support the Standardbred industry in Maryland. They are Ralph Hayward, W.W. "Pete” Shaw, Earl M. Wagner, Charles Keller, Ronald "Doc” Banning, Wayne Smullin and Hubert Jackson. Family members have been invited to dinner at the track and to make the trophy presentations.
There are two divisions of the finals that are on the wagering card.
They are the 1st race $73,000 final for 3-year-old pacing colts. Heading the field is Roger Hans' Firecracker Steady who has won seven of eight starts this year and has a record of 1:53.3. The $73,000 3rd race is for 3-year-old pacing fillies and features Donnie Ben Jamin from post six who has won four of her six starts for trainer Judith Welty.
The "walkover” non-wagering races and horses are;
$75,225 2YO Colt Trot – Doc Danning
$75,225 2YO Filly Trot – Ruby Rayne
$75,225 2YO Filly Pace – Coming Out On Top
$75,225 2YO Colt Pace – Spinout
$100,270 3YO Colt Trot – Perfect Tententen