Rockn Stien, with Peter Wrenn handling the five year-old gelding’s lines, took top honors in Pompano Park’s $12,000 Open Handicap Trot on Tuesday night, stopping the times in a lifetime best 1:53.1.
The sharp son of Valley Victor wore down the leading Tater Twister (Mike Simons) once they straightened away and then easily held off the late charging Sooo Handsome (Rick Plano) by 1 ½ lengths.
Tater Twister did hold on for third over Massive Lightning with Ruddy Rusty awarded the minor award after Prairie Fortune made a miscue in deep stretch while trying to challenge.
At the outset, it was Tater Twister pushing the wings out of his way as Sooo Handsome used his inside post position to get away in good order with Rockn Stien on the move from his outside six post and wending his way into second mid-way around the initial turn.
With an opening quarter in :27.3, positions remained virtually unchanged through the half in :56.1.
On the backside, Prairie Fortune, making his first start after a six week vacation, began to roll up and that one was within striking distance—2 ½ lengths—at the third station in 1:24.3. That when Rockn Stien left the coziness of his pocket and quickly moved alongside the leader turning for home.
Once in the lead, Rockn Stien had nary an anxious moment, using an effortless :28.2 finale to seal the deal—his second success in three starts this semester.
In a post-race interview, driver Peter Wrenn remarked, "this is the first time that I really left with this one. We recently got him and he’s been off the pace in his two starts.
"I really didn’t want to spot a horse like Murph has (Mike Murphy and Tater Twister) too much ground. Ya know, this is a classy field and I know that any of these can trot in (1):53 and a piece. I was fortunate to find that spot in second and, when I tilted him out around that final turn, he responded very nicely.
"It was a very good mile for him."
Owned by Wrenn Racing along with the MT Pockets Stables, Rockn Stien pushed his seasonal bounty to $15,000. Lifetime, Rockn Stien has earnings of $160,865 to go along with his new lifetime mark. As the 3 to 5 toteboard favorite, Rockn Stien paid $3.40 to win.
The $10,000 Open 2 Trot went to Kabu, handled by Tom Jackson for owner-trainer Tony Dinges. His chestnut Valley Victor gelding snuck through along the pylons in the lane to score by a neck over the pacesetting Gold Savage (Kevin Wallis) in 1:54.2, a lifetime best performance.
Stache (Rick Plano) closed quickest of all to get show honors while My Revenuer finished a late charging fourth. Swan Handicap earned the final award after a first over backside challenge that left him 1 1/2 lengths off the leader at the third station. The victory was the second straight for Kabu, who won a conditioned event one week ago.
Kabu now has 16-17-9 scorecard in 99 career starts, good for $118,614.
Off as third choice at 9 to 2, Kabu returned $11.20 to win.
On the "better for the bettor" agenda for Wednesday, Pompano Park’s Pentafecta Fourth went unclaimed on Tuesday night resulting in a $4,713 carryover going into the mid-week program. Also, the Pick-6 at the South Florida oval went unscathed on Tuesday night enabling a carryover of $2,300 going into the Wednesday program, as well.
Pompano Park’s Super Hi-5 finale carryover also continued to reach new heights as that event now hosts a $54,992 carryover for Wednesday.
Post time is set for 7:20 with a guaranteed $10,000 Pick-4 pool on tap. The Pick-4 cover races six through nine. (Pompano)