EL’s Rocker didn’t pay attention to the morning line odds. The Indiana sired gelding powered through with authority to win the $14,000 conditioned claimer at Miami Valley Raceway Monday, Jan. 9 at odds of 6-1.
EL’s Rocker had his nose on the gate ready to go at the start and joined favorite Buddythebookie and Brett Miller in the first few strides before Buddythebookie gave way to EL’s Rocker and Mike Peterson, allowing them to move onto the lead. Once they were settled, Buddythebookie was back out and circled around to lead the way to the quarter in :27.4, probably a move Peterson was hoping for.
EL’s Rocker continued to follow along as Buddythebookie set the half mile mark in :57.2. Rock the Dragon and Chris Page formed the outer flow of traffic and flushed out Odds on Alpha Male and Josh Sutton before the three-quarter mile marker in 1:25.3. Heading into the stretch, Odds on Alpha Male began to tire, giving EL’s Rocker a shot to move to the outside to challenge Buddythebookie. EL’s Rocker rolled right on by for the win by a neck in 1:54.0, a final quarter in :28.1. Sweet Shuney Moon and Trace Tetrick held their own along the inside for third.
EL’s Rocker paid $14.20 for the win. Peterson also owns and trains the five-year-old son of Rockin Image, who was bred by Elmer Yoder. Buddythebookie was claimed out of the race.
It was the first start and the first win of 2023 for EL’s Rocker, who now has 10 wins to his credit. After starting his career on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit at two, winning two of his three starts as a freshman, EL’s Rocker has accumulated more than $78,000 in earnings for Peterson. His career best time was taken last year at Miami Valley in 1:51.0. He was purchased for $6,000 from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale in 2019.
EL’s Rocker is a full brother to Frequent Image, who has a mark of 1:50.4 and is still racing. The family has a two-year-old for the track in 2023 named Townline It Is, a colt by Tellitlikeitis.
Another surprise winner from Indiana on the Monday card was Ben Racin from the Perry Smith Stable. The four-year-old son of Always a Virgin, was parked to the quarter in :27.2 before taking over the top spot for driver Brandon Bates. At that point, Ben Racin controlled the tempo and kept his opponents at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. Lifetimeexperience and Josh Sutton finished second over Dirge and Chris Page for third.
Ben Racin was a $16.20 winner. The gelding is also owned by Smith and was bred by Lyle Slabach. It was his fourth career trip to the winner’s circle. Overall, he has $39,000 in earnings with a mark of 1:52.0 taken last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.