BERLIN- Ocean Downs opened its 60th summer season of live racing in front of a big opening night crowd which did not go away disappointed as a few familiar faces and a couple of new ones got off to fast starts.
Last year’s Driver of the Year Frank Milby got off to a fast start with three wins on opening night on Saturday. Milby, who collected 67 wins during the 40-day live meet last year for the highest total in 10 years, is also the leading driver thus far at Rosecroft in Western Maryland. His biggest win last Saturday came in the second division of the Bud Light Pace behind 4-year-old Presidential Sam.
Milby’s position at the top of the driver’s standings was short-lived, however, as relative newcomer to Ocean Downs Wayne Long collected four wins in five starts on Sunday to take the early lead after just two days of live racing. Long’s showing at Ocean Downs on Sunday came a night after he collected five wins at Rosecroft.
Long’s four wins on Sunday put him one ahead of Milby and William Carter as the 2008 live meet at Ocean Downs heads into his second week. Carter had a pair of wins on Saturday and added another on Sunday when he drove 5-year-old Manda’s Misty Clover to victory. Another familiar face, three-time Ocean Downs leading driver Ray “Shorty” Robinson, Jr., got his first win of the year at Ocean Downs on Sunday, piloting 7-year-old Bold Xample to victory in the night’s fourth race.
Another one of the highlights of opening night last Saturday was a win by nationally known driver George Napolitano, Jr. who drove High Brook Lou to victory in the first leg of the Bud Light Pace series in his first race ever at Ocean Downs.
“The track is awesome, an excellent half-mile track,” he said. “It’s more like fair racing here. There’s no stress and pressure. I think people come here just to enjoy the game.”
The 40-day summer live meet at Ocean Downs will feature 10 races nightly with the first post-time each night at 7:35 p.m. Live racing will be held each Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and the meet will end a little late this year on August 24. The famous Budweiser Clydesdales visit Ocean Downs tomorrow, Saturday, June 21. The entire Budweiser Clydesdale hitch will be at Ocean Downs with single horses available for viewing and picture-taking tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon.
Ocean Downs continues to be family-friendly with arcade and horse games for children along with plenty of great food and drink in the grandstand and in the restaurants at the facility. As always parking and admission are free at Ocean Downs. For more information, contact the track at (410) 641-0600.