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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rosecroft Raceway Sold

There was no secret once the casino referendum attempt failed for Rosecroft Raceway, it was a matter of time until Penn National Gaming would get out of harness racing in Maryland.  The question of course was would their departure would be marked by a plant closing or would a new buyer for the track be found.

Well, Rosecroft will survive with the purchase of the facility and OTB network by The Stronarch Group, the group which operates the Maryland Jockey Club, specifically Laurel Park and Pimlico.   While The Stronarch Group will support harness racing, make no mistake, its was Rosecroft's OTB network which is the most cherished part of the purchase.  After all, when your publicly state your goal is to get the daily handle at Rosecroft up to $25,000, it doesn't seem to be an area they consider having a potential of high growth, at least for the new future.  Alas, it could have been like Churchill Downs purchase of Louisville which was turned into an OTB and thoroughbred training center.

What the long term plans are for Rosecroft remains to be seen.  One thing going for Rosecroft is The Stronarch Group is dedicated to horse racing while Penn National Gaming considers themselves a casino operator first.

The sale is expected to close upon the conclusion of the current meet which ends June 11.  The trotters are scheduled to return to Rosecroft on September 13.

Everyone has been looking at Wiggle It Jiggleit's four year old racing season and so fat it looks promising but don't count out Freaky Feet Pete from having a stellar season as well as he is now two for two in 2016 at Hoosier Park.  The question is how much of Petey's campaign will be at Hoosier Park versus on the road.  Here's hoping he will be traveling more often this year to take on the best racing on the continent instead of being primarily a local sensation.

One last comment regarding the sixth race at Pocono Downs on April 19, the one with the bad start.  From the HANA Harness survey, it appears gamblers are their own worst enemies.  See why here.

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