by John Mucciolo
Centennial Farms’ Rocketry rated well off the pace in the early going off the $200,000 Marathon (G2) in the Churchill Downs finale on Breeders’ Cup “Future Stars Friday.” The four-year-old colt made a bold move on the backside and into the stretch to take the lead, and then held off resilient pacesetter Dabster to win by three parts of a length.
Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Rocketry endured the 1 3/4 miles on the fast main oval in 2:57.62 with Joel Rosario in the silks, who booted home his third win on the day after taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) with Game Winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) aboard Jaywalk.
Dabster was 4 1/4 lengths clear in second with Big Dollar Bill rallying from well back to be third.
“We had a great trip even with how long the race was,” Rosario said. “This horse tries so hard every time and it says a lot about a horse’s ability when they continue to try hard after running that distance.”
Rocketry improved his career line to 16-5-3-2, $497,370. The Hard Spun colt earned his second lifetime stakes win after bagging the Temperence Hill Invitational at Belmont Park most recently.
The colt is two-for-two since moving to the dirt, prompting Jerkens to say, “I think that’s the end of his turf days.”
Rocketry was bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds and brought the gavel down as a $450,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2014. He is the first stakes winner produced from the Smart Strike mare Smart Farming.