Rosecroft Raceway, with a reshaped track, begins its 29th season of harness racing tonight.
The Oxon Hill track will race for 60 nights through Saturday, June 27, with Sundays dark along with Wednesdays, June 8, 15 and 22.
In addition to its revamped track and a new lighting system, Rosecroft will have a new announcer in New Englander Lloyd Johnson; who replaces Billy Perkins, the voice of Rosecroft since 1970.
Perkins will be race secretary, replacing Ted Leonard, who has moved to Brandywine Raceway.
Rosecroft's opening night card, with a post time of 8 p.m., includes eight divisions of the Northern Virginia early closing pacing series. Five more divisions will be held Friday.
Top pacers in the field include the entry of Many Thanks and Strike Out from the Bib Roberts stable.
Most of Rosecroft's top pacers from last year, including Nickawampus Joe, the track record holder (1:58 3/5) and Hunter's Chief will return. Top drivers Roger Hammer and Paul Battis will drive at Rosecroft, but Jim Doherty will keep most of his stock this summer at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
The opening of Rosecroft marks the return of racing to Maryland. A strike by local 692 of the Retail Stores Employees Union closed Bowie on March 12 and has prevented the opening of Pimlico.