Little Rocket Man and John DeLong scored the first sub 1:49 mile of 2022 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Friday, April 22. The duo covered the $22,000 Open Pace in 1:48.4.
Starting from post five, Little Rocket Man used his customary move and floated over to the inside as Beaumond Hanover and Trace Tetrick made their move to the lead, setting the first fraction in :26.3. They continued to lead the way to the half in :54.3 as Sectionline Bigry and Brett Miller made their move to the outside from the back, flushing out Little Rocket Man.
By the time the field had hit the top of the stretch, Little Rocket Man had the lead and had his motor in high gear. The six-year-old gelding paced home in :25.4, fending off a late charge by Sectionline Bigry to score the win by a head. Tivo Hanover and Tyler Smith held their ground inside for third.
Little Rocket Man paid $4.00 for the win. The Rockin Image gelding is owned by Russell Beeman and Jack Freeman and trained by Missy Essig. Victory Hill Farm bred the standout pacer, who was the state’s older pacing horse of the year last year. Little Rocket Man is now two for three in 2022 and is approaching $600,000 in career earnings. His best time of 1:47.2, which is a track record, was taken as a four-year-old.
Earlier in the night, Lucks on Time and Brandon Bates were victorious in the $18,000 Jerry Landess Final. The duo turned in a gate to wire effort for the win, holding off the late charge of Heavy Pressure and Archie Buford. JK Standingovation and Trace Tetrick finished third. The mile was recorded in 1:52.0.
Lucks on Time is trained by Leander Schwartz and owned by Black and White Stable of Milroy, Ind. Steve Jay Wagler bred the gelding, who is four for four this season. Overall, he is seven of nine in his brief career.
Series action continued with the $20,000 Final of the Mark Fransen Memorial. Caption This and LeWayne Miller started from the second tier, delaying their move to the lead until the half. From there, they dominated, rallying home to a nearly six length win in 1:51.2. Downbytheocean and Kyle Wilfong finished second over Oneshotatthetitle and Brett Miller for third.
Caption This is owned by Miller, James Hays and Nathan Yoder. The JK Endofanera four-year-old is trained by Miller.
Finally, This Kit Rocks closed out the night with a win in the $22,000 Jammin Joshua Final. Guided by Joey Putnam, the Rockin Image four-year-old gelding sat patiently in the two hole as Saddle Up and Brandon Bates set the tempo. In the stretch, This Kit Rocks moved up for the win by one-half length over Saddle Up. Rock Solid Image and Tyler Smith finished third.
This Kit Rocks paid $7.60 for the win. He is trained by Joe Putnam and owned by Putnam, Joey Putnam and Trent Stohler. The homebred earned his second win of the season and has not been worse than second in four outings. The mile in the Jammin Joshua Final was a new lifetime mark for This Kit Rocks in 1:51.0.