Talk about a comeback. After winning eight starts this year dating back to early April at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Little Rocket Man tired to the back of the pack in his last start, the $50,500 Indiana Sires Stakes Leg 4 in late July. A few adjustments by his connections and the three-year-old Rockin Image is back on track, scoring an impressive win in his qualifier in a near career matching time of 1:50.3.
Trained by Missy Essig, Little Rocket Man and Trace Tetrick went straight to the lead in his return, opening up to a six and one-quarter length victory at the wire, pacing his final panel in :25.2. Tellitsassymae and Sam Widger finished second over Saskatoon and Peter Wrenn for third.
Little Rocket Man is owned by Russ Beeman of Alexandria, Ind. and Jack Freeman of Anderson. He was unraced at two and was an $18,000 purchase out of the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale in 2017. Sold under the name of Just Like Pete, Little Rocket Man is the son of GT Miss Royal, a Pilgrims Punch mare that had impressive credentials of her own. She won 31 races during her career and in excess of $230,000. Little Rocket Man is the first foal and has a full brother named Royal Rocks, who is a two-year-old this season also from the Essig Stable and was purchased as a yearling from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale last fall for $10,000. Victory Hill Farm is the breeder of both Little Rocket Man and Royal Rocks.