Little Rocket Man earned yet another win Friday, April 21 in the $25,500 Open Pace at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. He led a full field of Indiana sired pacers to the wire in a time of 1:50.3.
Little Rocket Man and John DeLong got away third as General Dolan and Trace Tetrick set the early tempo of :26.4 and :55.1. Past the half Little Rocket Man was out and rolling moving up to match strides with General Dolan at the top of the stretch.
In the lane, Little Rocket Man took over and put the field to his back, pacing home in :26.2 to score the win by one and one-half lengths. Yourwishisgranted and Ricky Macomber Jr. finished inside for second while General Dolan hung on gamely for third.
Little Rocket Man paid $2.80 for the win. The seven-year-old gelding by Rockin Image is owned by Russ Beeman and Jack Freeman. Ken Rucker trains the standout, who is now four for six in 2023. Overall, he has 41 career wins with more than $730,000 in earnings. His career best time of 1:47.2 was taken as a four-year-old at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and at the time, equaled the track record before Bulldog Hanover lowered it last season.
Another favorite on the night was Starlit Beachboy, who won his fifth straight race to remain undefeated for the Mark P’Pool Stable. The Luck Be Withyou gelding, unraced last year at two, was strong in his win in the $18,000 Jerry Landess Final. Driven by Brandon Bates, the sophomore was a gate to wire winner in 1:52.2, just a half length ahead of Always Floating and Jordan Ross. Six Again and Trace Tetrick finished third.
Starlit Beachboy is owned by P’Pool and Frank Baldachino. John Wagler bred the gelding.
On the other end of the payouts was upset winner Dapper Fella in the $10,000 Non Winners of two. Michael Oosting was traveling the widest in the stretch and joined three other horses at the wire. South Point and Trace Tetrick went off stride at the wire and was placed back due to a lapped on break, pushing Dapper Fella up for the win. Dapper Fella was just a nose off of South Point, and was a neck ahead of The Opener and Kyle Wilfong on the inside of the pack. Coaches Corner and Jordan Ross finished another half length back in third.
Dapper Fella paid $124.80 for the win as the longest shot of the field. Luis “Tony” Quevedo trains the three-year-old Straight Shooting gelding, who is owned by breeder John Barnard.
It was the first start of 2023 for Dapper Fella, who took a new lifetime mark of 1:53.3 in the race. He only had one win last year at two for his connections.