Little Rocket Man Scores In Pace Baby Pace Invite

Little Rocket Man wins the Pace Baby Pace Invite
Published: May 6, 2023 08:56 pm EDT

Little Rocket Man, despite drawing the outermost post position, won a cavalry charge to the wire and was victorious in the $100,000 Pace Baby Pace Invitational honouring the memory of the late Pacey “The Wizard” Mindlin on closing day (May 6) at Miami Valley Raceway.

A neck separated the first four horses, all of whom were timed in 1:49.3. This Is The Plan was second and favoured Ruthless Hanover, who cut the mile, was third. Hemsworth N was fourth and Bernie claimed the final paycheque by finishing fifth.

Ruthless Hanover rushed to the quarter-mile timer in :26.1, then slowed the pace to the half in :55.1. He was forced to speed it up with a :26.2 third panel, then was collared by Little Rocket Man and This Is The Plan in the final stride.

All eight of the starters (Let It Ride N was scratched) paced in 1:50 or faster as the entire field finished within 2-1/2 lengths at the finish.

Little Rocket Man never saw a pylon during the mile. The seven-year-old son of Rockin Image was parked in eighth in the early going, advanced to seventh in the outer flow at the half and sixth at the three-quarters, then fifth at the head of the stretch before winning the mad dash to the wire.

Russell Beeman and Jack Freeman own Little Rocket Man, who is trained by Ken Rucker. It was the winner’s 43rd victory in 79 tries, good for lifetime earnings of $797,965.

Leading driver Trace Tetrick, who entered the final card with 150 wins, was declared the dash champion. He received a $250 gift card to Cin City Steakhouse. Leading trainer Jason Brewer, who notched 58 wins during the winter session, was honoured with the same award.

A total of seven drivers earned in excess of $1 million during the four-month meet, led by Tetrick, who won his second dash title at Miami Valley. Others were Brett Miller, Dan Noble, Chris Page, Tyler Smith, Sam Widger and Kayne Kauffman.

On the training side, Brewer lead 26 conditioners who won 10 or more races. Other top 10 trainers were Tyler George, Ron Burke, Virgil Morgan Jr., Brewer Adams, Peter Redder, Steve Carter, Michael Hitchcock, Pat Melloy Jr. and Todd Luther.

Rollinlikethunder and Trace Tetrick beat Big Booty Rudy and Later Dudes in the $36,000 Gregg Keidel Retirement Pace on the undercard. The winner also stopped the timer in 1:49.3 for owners Carl Hambleton, Donald Fennell and trainer Tyler George.

Track records fall in Ohio Sire Stakes

The final program of the meet also featured Ohio Sires Stakes action. Eight three-year-old races of $55,000 each were contested with two divisions for each class.

The sophomore filly trotters were the first to take the track. Rose Run Yanae won for the second time in four starts this year as she went gate-to-wire in 1:55.3.  Chris Page drove for trainer Ron Burke. The daughter of Triumphant Caviar is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Hatfield Stables, Knox Services and Weaver Bruscemi. Rose Run Yanae has earned $158,663 in her career.  Swinging Senorita was second with Along In Time finishing third.

In the second division of three-year-old filly trotters, Rose Run Yolanda and Brett Miller grabbed the lead at the half-mile pole and never looked back, cruising to an easy six-length victory 1:53.2. The time was a new track record for three-year-old filly trotters.  Todd Luther trains the Triumphant Caviar filly for his brother Greg Luther Racing.  Rose Run Yolanda has hit the board in her three starts this year, winning two. She raised her lifetime earnings to $340,528.  Global Girl finished second with Waddupgee third.

Rose Run Yolanda winning at Miami Valley Raceway

In the first division for the filly three-year-old pacers, Kassagi with Sam Widger had the lead at the top of the stretch, but Dragon By The Sea and Tyler Smith battled the entire stretch and won a photo finish to claim the win.  Smith drove the Downbytheseaside filly for his father Jeff, winning in 1:52.  It was the second win in as many starts for the Dragon By The Sea. Owned by John Van Horn, Dragon By The Sea has earned $33,500 this year.  Tarapasta finished third.

Daughters of Downbytheseaside swept the two divisions as Hey Hey Mama and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. blistered the Miami Valley track in 1:50.2, a new track record for three-year-old filly pacers.  Trained by Brian Brown and owned by Country Club Acres, Milton Leeman, Joe Sbracco and Acadia Farms, Hey Hey Mama is a perfect four-for-four debuting this year, earning $39,500.  Cruise Alert finished second with Seaside Tina third.

Hey Hey Mama winning at Miami Valley Raceway

In the first division of sophomore colt trotters, Rumble Strips, making his first start of the year, went gate-to-wire for the win in 1:54.1. The son of Long Tom, with Kayne Kaufman, grabbed the lead at the quarter pole and hung on down the stretch to win for trainer Mike Polhamus.  Rumble Strips is owned by Constance Polhamus and Mary Beth Walters.  The son of Long Tom has now won $323,135 in his career.  Grand Revival was second with A Real Legend third.

In the second division, Jet Hill, with Kurt Sugg driving went gate-to-wire but had to hold on at the finish to win by a nose in 1:54.2  The Edward Miller trainee is two-for-two this year with lifetime earnings of $205,625.  The son of What The Hill is owned by Serenity Racing Stables.  Jogging Full Trot finished second with John Dutton finishing third.

In the first division for three-year-old colt pacers, Brett Miller picked up his second win in Sires Stakes action as he drove Foronce Inmy Life to a two-length victory for trainer Noel Daley in 1:50.1. It was the first win of the year for the son of Downbytheseaside.  Owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, John Fodera and Steve Wienick Racing, For Once Inmy life has earned $42,300 this year.  Act Fast was second with Mossys Dragon third.

In the final Ohio Sires Stakes race of the day, Ron Burke picked up his second training win of the day as Wicked Character and Tony Hall rallied from the back of the pack charging down the stretch to win by a neck in 1:51.3.  Owned by Mark Adams, Timothy Sullivan, Robert Jackson and Tom Wilson, the son of Yankee Cruiser won for the second time this year and raised his lifetime earnings to $121,050.  Racing Rampage finished second with Rockmelikeyameanit third.

The second leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes will begin Monday, May 29 at Scioto Downs when the three-year-old filly trotters and pacers take the track. 

(With files from Miami Valley Raceway and Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association)

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