Rosecroft Raceway offers a unique program tonight with 10 of the 11 races on the card being Maryland Sire Stakes races. Dubbed the Maryland Night of Champions, the only Monday night card of the year will offer $413,903 in purses to horses fathered by Maryland-based stallions.
Started in 1983 to improve the quality of the standardbred breed in Maryland, the Sire Stakes program appears to have done just that. Several top stallions including T V Yankee and Tyler's Mark now stand in Maryland and their offspring are competitive throughout the country.
"We're very happy with the success of this program," said Billy Perkins, Rosecroft's racing secretary. Because of the program, Perkins said: "You get more interest in the state. You attract more owners. You attract more attention to your racetrack."
Still, the Sire Stakes program has room for improvement for some of its participants. Trotting fillies have been particularly slow to develop in the state. T V Beauty made tonight's final for 2-year-old fillies by winning a preliminary event in a slow 2:08 3/5 (the divisional record is 1:59 4/5).
On the other hand, T P's Express, racing in tonight's final for 2-year-old pacing colts, has won five of six races this year, including four events at harness racing's premier track, the Meadowlands.
Sulky Built for Two
In one of the strangest occurrences in Maryland racing history, two men ended up driving the same horse in the fourth race at Delmarva Downs last night.
Clifton Green, who was driving E Rockette, was unseated when Nicholson's Miss broke stride and interfered. At that time, Joe Sullivan drove past with Joy Maid. Green fell onto Sullivan's sulky and Joy Maid pulled both of them to the wire.
According to Delmarva judges, no rule prohibits more than one driver from driving the same horse, so Joy Maid will receive a fifth-place purse check. . . .
Yankee Co-Ed set a Rosecroft record for 2-year-old pacing fillies in winning a division of the Lady Baltimore Saturday night in 1:54 4/5, but most attention was focused on the final division and Miss Easy.
Miss Easy handily won her 11th straight race in 1:55 4/5 to the delight of the fans who bet her down to 1 to 20.