by Al Cimaglia
November 15, 2020
Tonight, the scene is set for the Potomac Pace Invitational, which is the signature event at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington Maryland. The field this year is comprised of the top three finishers in the Breeders Crown Pace and they will be battling along with six other talented pacers for a share of a $100,000 purse.
Morning line favorite Bettor's Wish will be looking to start a new winning streak after finishing second to Century Farroh in the Crown Pace. Farroh took advantage of a great trip and Bettor's Wish was stuck with the 9 hole, but this time the post edge is negligible. Bettor's Wish has only one race left after tonight before retiring to stud at Diamond Creek Farms.
My play will be to use the third-place finisher in the Crown Pace #2 Backstreet Shadow with the two chalks. On a smaller oval Tetrick should have Shadow in play and could surprise if the trip works out.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
Race 11-Potomac Pace Invitational-Purse $100,000
1-This The Plan (8-1)-This is an interesting 5-year-old. He's made over a $1.6 million and I have to wonder how much better he would be if not so difficult to drive. Often rank behind the gate and can be a handful but when he gets going look out. I liked him in the Hoosier Park Derby and that win happened because of a great drive by Dexter Dunn. Not my choice for the top of the ticket and may have trouble hitting the board on the smaller oval starting from the rail.
2-Backstreet Shadow (6-1)-Burke trainee has been a notch below the big boys on a larger oval but did finish third in the Breeders Crown Pace. On the 5/8's from this post, chances for success go up. Tetrick should have him forwardly placed and I'm thinking the turns won't be an issue. No one in this field has raced at Rosecroft before. So, will use this 5-year-old from the inside looking for a top effort and to add some pop to the gimmicks.
3-Harambe Deo (10-1)-Allard should be blasting out as this Cullipher trainee can leave as fast as the gate car. Has raced well at the Big M winning 2 straight but this is a very difficult group and has been off since 10/17. Can't see a gate to wire scenario and that is probably the best chance for a picture.
4-World Of Secrets (12-1)-Ohio invader has won 12 out of 30 starts and is another who may try to leave. Should be a big price but the water is probably too deep tonight.
5-Century Farroh (7/2)-Farroh was my pick in the Breeders Crown Classic and he did not disappoint. May have to grind it out to win this but best to not overlook. Miller is a master at keeping a horse in a position to win and could cash the biggest check with the right trip.
6-Bettor's Wish (8-5)-Just missed from post 9 in the BC Classic as #5 took top honors. Dunn is in an interesting spot from this post and with speed inside it's a coin toss if he elects to leave. My guess is Dunn will duck and be on the move early. The pace could be hot and if this 4-year-old lands on the lead by the top of the lane he may be headed to the winner's circle.
7-Leonidas A (15-1)-Has performed well at Yonkers and Plainridge but lands in some tall cotton tonight. Doesn't have the gate speed to be put in play early and probably isn't good enough to make up enough ground late.
8-Stars Aline A (10-1)-Seven-year-old knows how to win and also knows how to race on the 5/8's. But this post is a crusher for a horse that needs the top to do its best work and is not as talented as most of the others. Might use underneath in gimmicks from the inside but can't endorse in this spot.
9-Highalator (12-1)-Post position #5 and #6 are by far the best spots to start at this track and tonight they belong to the two morning line chalks. This 6-year-old is a game battler and has gate speed, but this is an almost impossible task considering the post draw. Might be a use underneath in gimmicks but can't promote that notion from post 9 versus this crew.
$5 Exacta 2/5,6-Total Bet=$10
$5 Exacta 5,6/2-Total Bet=$10
$8 Trifecta 5,6/5,6/2-Total Bet=$16
$5 Trifecta 5,6/2/5,6-Total Bet=$10
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