BERLIN- After briefly relinquishing the lead in the driver’s standings in the live meet at Ocean Downs this summer, local driver Raymond “Shorty” Robinson, Jr. posted three wins last Saturday to nudge back into the top of the standings.
Robinson got off to a fast start when the live meet at Ocean Downs opened and June, jumping out to a big early lead in the driver’s standings. Robinson posted multiple wins in six straight racing nights to start the season and had 14 wins after the first week of live racing at the historic track just south of Ocean Pines.
Robinson did cool off somewhat over the last several weeks but continued to pad his win total with steady performances night after night. His lead was first challenged by last year’s driver of the year Tony Morgan but continued to maintain his lead in the standings.
However, driver Frank Milby has come on strong in the last few weeks and briefly overtook Robinson at the top of the standings. After the close of racing on July 19, Milby had 18 wins at Ocean Downs, which left him eight behind Robinson on the leader board, but since then he has gone on a hot streak the likes of which are rarely seen at Ocean Downs or anywhere on the harness racing circuit.
Milby won 14 races over three nights at Ocean Downs last week including one stretch when he won 12 of 15 starts. “I’ve been hot before, but not quite like this,” said Milby after his incredible run.
The outburst of wins briefly put Milby on top of the driver’s standings at Ocean Downs. His four wins last Thursday nudged him ahead of Robinson, 31-30, going into last weekend’s action, but the veteran local driver Robinson had a few tricks up his sleeve. Robinson posted a driving triple on Saturday night to go back in front of Milby, 33-31, and joked after the race about retaking the lead.
“That’s because Milby wasn’t there tonight,” he said. “That’s the only reason.”
Robinson and Milby have been friends for a long time and they appear to be feeding off each other’s success thus far in the 2007 live meet at Ocean Downs.
“We learn from each other,” said Robinson. “He’s driving really well, making some very smart moves. I think we both drive very smart on the racetrack and that helps out a lot.”
Robinson’s first win last Saturday gave him his 31st of the year at Ocean Downs and came behind seven-year-old Waseem, a horse which he is very familiar with. His wife Carolyn Robinson trains the horse and he has raced him several times.
“He’s always raced good here at Ocean Downs and I credit my wife and kids,” he said. They take good care of him.”
Robinson collected his second win of the night, and his 32nd of the live meet, behind three-year-old filly Super Snappy, which built a big lead and hung on to win by a neck. He completed his driving triple behind Perfect Cam to collect his 33rd win of the season and vault back into the lead in the driver’s standings.
Live racing at Ocean Downs in heading into the backstretch for the 2007 summer live meet, which will conclude on August 25. Live racing his held four nights a week, Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday and Sunday, with post time each night at 7:35 p.m. As always, parking and admission are free. Call the track at (410) 641-0600.