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Rock The Boat impressive in NYSS debut

July 30, 2016
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First-time starter Rock The Boat ($4.30) dropped jaws in his career debut on Friday evening at Tioga Downs, dominating eight other 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings in his $37,966 New York Sires Stakes event in going-away fashion.
 
Jim Marohn, Jr. was patient early with the royally-bred son of Rock N Roll Heaven and Tug River Princess, stalking comfortably behind an early charge led by 100-1 outsider This Is My Song (Aaron Byron), who pushed clear from post 9 through a :26.4 initial quarter. With a circuit to go, Rock The Boat powered clear from fourth, making up nearly five lengths to overtake This Is My Song on approach to the clubhouse turn.
 
After pulling the pace back through a :56.3 half, Rock The Boat braced for a first-over bid from Pointomygranson (Jim Morrill Jr.), but accelerated in kind through a :27.4 third quarter. Once Pointomygranson's bid concluded, the main danger for Rock the Boat was Very Special Agent (Jason Bartlett), who switched off cover to keep the pressure on just above the eighth pole. Rock the Boat accelerated away while kept to task, mounting a 3 1/4-length margin en route to a 1:52.4 victory. Very Special Agent maintained runner-up honors, while Octane Blue Chip (Phil Fluet) emerged off third-over cover to claim third.

Ross Croghan trains Rock The Boat for the Let It Ride Stables, Inc. and Mr. Dana Parham.

Sons of Roll With Joe captured the other two Sire Stakes splits on the 13-race card for trainer Ron Burke, with Miso Fast ($2.50, part of entry) and Rock It Scott ($5.80) prevailing in their respective events.

Miso Fast, a son of Roll With Joe and Sakura Hanover, used a second-over trip behind Thrdthrsdaynsptmbr (Ken Holliday) to work closer to pacesetter Windsong Napoleon (Scott Coulter) on the far turn before vaulting to the fore off the corner. Morrill drove Miso Fast to a 1:53.1 victory over stablemate Offdahook Bluechip (Joe Bongiorno), while Windsong Napoleon checked in a worn-down third.

Rock It Scott had a more eventful journey, yielding to an aggressive Music Is Art (Morrill) on approach to the clubhouse turn before retaking and sprinting off by 4 1/2 lengths in the final quarter of a 1:54.1 mile under Joe Bongiorno. The son of Roll With Joe and Vanite Semalu held clear of a late bid from runner-up Willie Joe Hill (Patrick Lachance), while Americanfirewater (Marohn) saved third from a tracking trip

Jason Bartlett led all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card, while Morrill tallied three. (Tioga)

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