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Sweet honey in MSRF

June 08, 2007

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Four exhilarating divisions of the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund for 3-year-old pacers were held during a special Thursday night card at Rosecroft Raceway, and both the weather and the pace were blazing.

In race four, Honeyland ($22, $6.80, $4.20) set a sharp lifetime mark, winning a $16,100 division for 3-year-old filly pacers in 1:53.1. Taking the lead after a swift opening quarter of :27.3, the daughter of Badlands Hanover was guided through middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.1 by driver Wayne Long. Honeyland, challenged in the stretch by My Aunt Margaret (Vic Kirby), held strong to win her third race of the year. Josh Green trains the filly for owner John Celii.

“She’s a different horse this year,” driver Wayne Long commented on Honeyland. “Last year, she was finishing second to Justasplashofwhite every race, but now she’s a lot more game. There’s a lot more race in her now.”

Leaving alertly from post eight, Lisphia ($6, $6) scored a pocket trip for second with Frank Milby in the sulky. The Camluck filly, trained by Harry Harvey, raced well along the rail. Timothy Rooney owns the filly.

After pacing three wide after the half with Victor Kirby at her lines, My Aunt Margaret ($5.20) held on for third. Racing on Lasix for the first time, the Masterman filly showed much improvement. Brooks Gray trains My Aunt Margaret for owner Ronald Davis.

The 2-5 betting choice Flashy Yankee attempted a quarter-pole move for the lead, but ended up parked through much of the mile. Despite the challenging trip, driver Corey Braden reined the daughter of The Panderosa to a fourth-place finish for trainer Doug Snyder. Snyder co-owns Flashy Yankee with Jan Snyder and Jacob Ramsburg.

Mountain Air ($7.60, $2.80, $2.10) took control of the fifth race, a $15,500 division for colt and gelding pacers, winning with a trip on the front end for driver Donnie Russell. The Badlands Hanover gelding, co-owned by trainer Syl King Jr., Rosalind Silletto, Frank Burgaretta and Joseph Benedetti Jr., quarter-poled for the lead after a slow :29 first quarter. Mountain Air paced to the wire through :58.4 and 1:28 middle fractions, and won with poise in 1:55.4.

“I wanted to put him on the lead,” Donnie Russell said when asked about his driving strategy. “He raced good on the front end before, so I wanted to try it this race.”

Jesse’s Bad Boy ($12, $3.60) was second with a two-hole trip; leaving the gate from post seven under the guidance of driver Frank Milby, the Badlands Hanover gelding sat securely along the rail. Wayne Whitson Jr. trains for owners Lester Allen Walls and Jack Upchurch.

Third was Philadelphiafreedom ($2.20) and driver Vic Kirby at even-money odds by post time. The Sharky Spur gelding, owned by the VIP Stable.com, paced first-over at the half to challenge Mountain Air head-to-head. After a valiant effort, the gelding tired late in the stretch. Greg Trotto trains Philadelphiafreedom.

Southern Myles ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10) romped in the second division for colts and geldings worth $15,500, equaling his lifetime mark with a mile in 1:51.4. The Nuclear High colt, driven by Jonathan Roberts, worked hard to earn the lead with a first quarter of :27, but once at the top, drew away through middle quarters of :56 and 1:24. Richard Hans trains the winner of over $110,000 for owner Gerald Kelly.

Recently, Roberts drove Southern Myles to a winning qualifier in 1:53.1 at Rosecroft, topping the trailers by over seven lengths.

“He’s much more mature this year,” Roberts said. “He needed a wake up call though, and that came in the qualifier. He had to pick it up a little.”

General Nelson ($6.80, $3.40) finished second, around eight lengths behind the winner. With John Wagner in the bike for trainer Manley Brown Jr., the Allie’s Western colt raced well considering it was his first start back since September of last year. Frederick Kessell owns the colt.

At 22-1 odds, Yokozuna Bo ($4.20) finished third. Matt Stelick reined the Allie’s Western colt through the mile for trainer Betsy Brown. Yokozuna Bo was third from an outside post last week in a non-winners class in 1:56.2 for owner Ralph Hayward.

Double Flip ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10) paced wire to wire in the second $16,100 division for fillies with John Wagner at her lines. Leading the field through quarters of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:24.4, the Badlands Hanover filly drew away for the win by 8 1/4 lengths in 1:53, earning a new lifetime mark. Wagner co-owns the winner of over $160,000 lifetime with his father, Earl, and the Winbak Farm. Manley Brown Jr. trains.

Miss Fanelli ($6.60, $3.00) finished second with Vic Kirby in the bike for trainer Robert Clark. The Badlands Hanover filly, co-owned by Tina Clark and the Cantwell Bridge Stable, closed up along the rail. (Rosecroft)

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