Dee's Rocketman captures Tioga feature
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Dee's Rocketman (Andy Santeramo) won the Sunday matinee (July 8) Open Pace ($11,000) at Tioga Downs. Chumlee A (Larry Staubaum) covered all the early fractions (:27.1, :55.3, 1:23.3).
Dee's Rocketman ($18.40) went first-over and resembled his name, looking like a rocket in the stretch.
Owned by Joe Martinelli Sr. and trained by Mickey McNichol, he won in 1:52.0. Owosso Flash (Fern Paquet Jr.) charged late to get second money. Time Out I'm Tired (Aaron Byron) was third.
Dee's Rocketman is a 6-year-old ridgling by Rock N Roll Heaven. It was his ninth win in 2018 and his 20th career victory.
Bruce Clark gets a double double with training and driving wins with Niall Hanover ($9.20) and Heartbeat Hill ($3.00). Jim Taggart Jr. had a driving double with Bettorsluckystreak ($17.20) and Tarport Andy ($15.80).
The driving title for 2018 continues to be wide open. Jim Meittinis and Aaron Byron are tied for the lead with 31 wins each. Mike Merton and Jim Taggart Jr. are tied for third with 29 tallies. Andy Sateramo is fifth with 20 wins.
Gary Messenger continues to lead trainers in wins. He has won 22 races so far. Mike Deters is second with 18 victories. Joe Skowyra (13), Bruce Clarke (12) and Mark Major (10) round out the top five. (Tioga)