Rockeyed Optimist holds off Miki at Big M
April 24, 2016
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Rockeyed Optimist worked out an ideal close-to-the-action trip, wore down the leader in deep stretch and held on despite the explosive late charge of Always B Miki to take the $25,000 open handicap pace at the Meadowlands Saturday night. McArdles Lightning was third.
Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the 5-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover into the three hole early behind McArdles Lightning and Atta Boy Dan. After an opening quarter of :27.2, Rockeyed Optimist, the 6-5 second choice, moved to the outside and began to grind away at the leader's advantage at the half in :55.2.
By the time the stellar field reached three-quarters, Rockeyed Optimist was up to the wheel of McArdles Lightning while 4-5 favorite Always B Miki, who had raced in a fourth-over flow, was dead last in the field of seven.
Rockeyed Optimist continued to inch his way closer to the top and finally got past the pacesetter with a sixteenth of a mile to go.
Up on the far outside came the airborne Always B Miki, who won all four of his starts a year ago in sub-1:50,pacing a sensational final quarter of :25.4 only to come up half a length short to Rockeyed Optimist in what was a superb seasonal debut.
The winner returned $4.40 to his backers, scoring for the sixth time in eight starts this year and went the mile in 1:50 for trainer Steve Elliott and owners Perretti, Berkner, A&B Stable and Battaglia.
Those hoping to hit the big one will have their chance on the next live race card as the 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not get hit again, upping the carryover to $194,741.03.
Total wagering on the program was $2,589,150. (Meadowlands)