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  Not So Rosy at Rosecroft !     

Rosecroft RacewayRosecroft Logo

Rosecroft Raceway is a five eights mile harness track located seven miles southeast of Washington D.C. It has a winterized, glass enclosed grandstand, and clubhouse. The clubhouse seating 6,000, the grandstand 9,000. Live racing is held at night and simulcasting is available year round. The stables can accommodate 1,200 horses. There is parking for 5,800 cars.    

Rosecroft Raceway opened in 1949 as Maryland's first standardbred venue. It was built by a local horseman William E. Miller who was an owner, driver, and trainer. It remained a family business until 1987. Rosecroft was also part of the Atlantic Seaboard Circuit, during that period. 

Rosecroft RacewayFine Dining Tonight

In 1987 the Miller family was no longer able to maintain a controlling interest in the track and they were bought out. From then on it was pretty much downhill from there. In 1995 the once prestigious track informed the harness world that it couldn't hold the Messenger Stakes (the first leg of pacing's triple crown) because it didn't have enough funds for the purse money. More ownership changes occurred over the years and in 2008 live racing was finally halted. Simulcasting was allowed to continue for a year or so and that was also shut down leaving the track shuttered.

 In 2011 Rosecroft received a re-birth when it was purchased by Penn National Gaming, but that wasn't a smooth ride either. After much wrangling with the Maryland Racing Commission the track was finally able to open for simulcasting in late 2011. On the bright side live racing is set to return early in 2012 but the whole deal could hinge on whether Rosecroft will be granted a casino license, and that's not a given!

In 2012 live racing returned with two cards a week from March to December, with a dark period during the Ocean Downs meet. In the drivers race, Justin Vincent came away with top honors. Starting on January 1st 2013, simulcasting returns to Rosecroft after a three year hiatus.

I've made a couple of stops at Rosecroft. Both times just passing by and taking a quick look see, never having seen an actual race there. The first was in 2002, it was a Saturday and there was live racing but I couldn't stay that long. The late afternoon crowd was good sized for simulcasting. The last trip was in November of 2014, it was a Tuesday and there was a decent amount of bettors for simulcasting. The facility itself looked pretty good for a place left for dead a few years earlier. Does the grandstand look remind you of an old Kentucky Fried Chicken? or is it just me!