Jake And Elwood continued to award his owners for their faith in him by winning the Messenger Stakes at Rosecroft Raceway Saturday night in stakes-record time of 1:52 3/5. Rosecroft management also was awarded for putting together a quality racing card with a record Maryland harness-racing handle.
Jake And Elwood also won the Cane Pace, the middle jewel of the pacing triple crown, two weeks ago at Yonkers Raceway, but is ineligible for the Little Brown Jug, which does not accept supplementary entries. So there will be no triple crown winner this year.
"We paid a quarter of a million for him," said Ken Seeber, who trains and partly owns Jake And Elwood. "He wasn't staked and he was by an unknown stallion." To make him eligible to the Cane, Jake And Elwood's owners paid a $25,000 supplemental fee. That gamble paid off and Jake And Elwood's win earned them $120,000.
On the morning of the Cane, a $30,000 supplement was paid to get Jake And Elwood eligible to the Messenger. "A very game move to say the least," said Seeber.
The gamble again paid off as Jake And Elwood bounced back from a third-place finish in his elimination to win the Messenger final by 1 1/2 lengths over favored Beach Towel, which passed up the Cane. The 3-year-old colt won $163,527.
It also was a big night for driver John Campbell who, besides driving Jake And Elwood to victory, also won with In The Pocket in a Messenger elimination, Miss Easy in a division of the Kentucky Standardbred Sale Co. Pace, Resonator in the Hanover Stakes, as well as three other wins. Campbell's seven victories on the card set a state record.
The big card at Rosecroft resulted in a record handle of $1,195,691, a number that includes betting at Delmarva Downs via simulcasting. The old mark was $1,094,054, set at Freestate Raceway in 1984.
The big handle resulted from large show wagers made on Beach Towel and Miss Easy. The filly had $239,489 wagered on her out of a total show pool of $245,583. Beach Towel took in $168,447 of $174,664. The outcome: a total minus pool of $84,699.