Keystone Velocity set a new standard at historic Rosecroft Sunday evening when he set a track record while winning the second edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace in 1:47.3. Defending champion All Bets Off was 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner in second and Dealt A Winner was third.Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old trained by Rene Allard and driven by Daniel Dube, shattered the previous track record of 1:48.2 set in 2007 by Nuclear Breeze and equaled in last year’s Potomac Pace by All Bets Off.
Purchased by Allard, VIP Internet Stable, Earl Hill Jr., and Kapildeo Singh in 2016 after being off the track for nearly two years due to an ownership dispute, Keystone Velocity won for the eighth time in 22 starts this year, adding to wins in the $529,000 final of the Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers and $500,000 Ben Franklin at Pocono. He has now earned $783,442 this year. Keystone Velocity returned $14.80 to win.
"I had the perfect trip," Dube said.
While Breeders Crown winner Split The House shot to the front and set an opening fraction of :25.3, Keystone Velocity and Dube paced fourth behind a :53.1 half before picking up the cover of All Bets Off down the backstretch. All Bets Off took the lead around the final turn while entering the stretch, but Dube guided Keystone Velocity to the outside and shot past the defending champion inside the final 50 yards.
"Second over with those fractions," Dube said. "My horse was really strong today and feeling good. He’s a nice horse and he likes that kind of trip. You can tell. At the end of the year to go (1:47.3), that’s a nice horse."
The Potomac, which boasted three of the top six older earners this year and three of the first four finishers from last weekend’s Breeders Crown, was created just two years ago shortly after The Stronach Group, owners of Rosecroft, purchased the historic Standardbred track from Penn National Gaming.
Earlier in the evening, Rocktavius made a bold move to take the lead past a :54.2 half to win the $20,000 Maryland Invitational for driver Matt Kakaley. It was the 4-year-old gelding’s second consecutive win and sixth in 20 starts this year.