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Dees Rocketman Shoots To Open Victory

Published: July 8, 2018 7:00 pm ET

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Dees Rocketman and driver Andy Santeramo won the $11,000 Open Pace on the Sunday matinee at Tioga Downs.

Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) covered all the early fractions (:27.1, :55.3, 1:23.3), but Dees Rocketman ($18.40) went first-over resembling his name, looking like a rocket in the stretch. Owned by Joe Martinelli Sr. and trained by Mickey McNichol, he won in 1:52 flat. Owosso Flash (Fern Paquet Jr.) charged late to get second money. Time Out Im Tired (Aaron Byron) was third.

Dees Rocketman is a six-year-old ridgling by Rock N Roll Heaven. The win was his ninth in 2018 and his 20th career victory.

Bruce Clark had a "double double" with training and driving wins with Niall Hanover ($9.20) and Heartbeat Hill ($3). Jim Taggart Jr. had a driving double with Bettorsluckystreak ($17.20) and Tarport Andy ($15.80).

The driving title for 2018 continues to be wide open. Jim Meittinis and Aaron Byron are tied for the lead with 31 wins each. Mike Merton and Jim Taggart Jr. are tied for third close behind with 29 tallies. Andy Santeramo is fifth with 20 wins.

Gary Messenger continues to lead the trainers for wins. He has won 22 races so far. Mike Deters is second with 18 victories. Joe Skowyra (13), Bruce Clarke (12) and Mark Major (10) round out the top five.

(With files from Tioga Downs)


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