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Breeders' Cup 2017

Favored Freakin Rocket Romps Again

Favored Freakin Rocket remained undefeated with another easy victory in the $56,194 feature Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Nearly five weeks after debuting with a 9 ¾ length score against $75,000 maidens, the 3-year-old Rock Hard Ten colt dominated five opponents under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

Owned by breeder Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable LLC and trained by Tim Yakteen, Freakin Rocket ran the six furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:09.92. The margin of victory was 5 ½ lengths.

Out of the Tactical Advantage mare Freakin Streakin, the Kentucky bred has earned $52,200. He paid $4, $3 and $2.60 as the even-money choice.

After breaking from the outside, Freakin Rocket was widest of a threesome – that also included Wine Stock and Derringer – that chased clear leader Strong Wind through quick 21.88 and 44.22 splits for the opening half-mile.

Making his first start since finishing eighth in the King Glorious Stakes last Dec. 16 at Betfair Hollywood Park and first for trainer Mark Glatt, Strong Wind was collared inside the eighth pole by the eventual winner, then couldn’t contain Know More late, losing the place by a half-length.

Know More’s runner-up finish was his fourth in six starts since he debuted with a victory in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes last Aug. 5 at Del Mar. He returned $4.60 and $4.20.

The second longest shot in the field at nearly 12-1, Strong Wind, who was ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, paid $4.60 to show. Derringer, Wine Stock and Tizaplayer, who was re-loaded after acting up in the starting gate, completed the order of finish.

Jockey Joe Talamo won twice Thursday, moving him into a tie with defending Spring/Summer champion Rafael Bejarano in the rider standings. With 15 days remaining in the meet, Talamo and Bejarano both have 37 victories.


 

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