Day At The Track

Rockeyed Optimist super-impressive in Sonsam

12:47 AM 16 Feb 2015 NZDT
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Rockeyed Optimist exploded and powered away from the field Major Uptrend won while racing well within himself
Rockeyed Optimist exploded and powered away from the field
Lisa Photo
Major Uptrend won while racing well within himself
Lisa Photo

Coming off his first loss since December 13th, Rockeyed Optimist returned to the Meadowlands with a vengeance, winning his division of The Sonsam harness racing pacing series in 1:50.3.

The first $17,500 division went post-ward as race two on the Saturday program with a field of six and Rockeyed Optimist was sent off as the 3/5 betting choice from post position one. The early speed came from Bettorever, fresh off his runner-up effort in round one with Corey Callahan. In fact, Bettorever would proceed to cut the mile, establishing fractions of 26.3, 55.4 and 1:24.4, stealing a 58.1 middle-half under no pressure, that is until Rockeyed Optimist and Brett Miller made their move.

The favorite, a son of Rocknroll Hanover, sat back in fourth position early on and was guided to the outside approaching the half-mile pole where he would proceed first over, eventually racing on even terms with the pace-setter. Turning for home, Rockeyed Optimist exploded and powered away from the field winning in a sparkling 1:50.3, pacing the final quarter in an absurdly-fast 25.4. The win was one of four on the card for Brett Miller on the heels of his four-win performance Friday night.

Rockeyed Optimist is trained by Steve Elliot for Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, A and B Srable and Joseph Battaglia.

With the win, Rockeyed Optimist has surged past $100,000 in lifetime earnings while earning his ninth win of his career from 23 starts.

Major Uptrend will be shooting for the series sweep, following his win in the second division of The Sonsam on Saturday night. After briefly allowing JK Patriot to claim the early lead, Yannick Gingras quickly guided Major Uptrend to the lead before the opening quarter and would click off fractions of 28, 55.4 and 1:23.4 before facing just mild pressure from Company Man who moved first over. In the stretch, Gingras called to the Somebeachsomewhere gelding and the response was evident as there was never an anxious moment through the stretch. Major Uptrend won while racing well within himself equaling the mark of 1:50.3, identical to the winning time of Rockeyed Optimist in the first division of The Sonsam.

Major Uptrend is trained by Ron Burke for Howard Taylor.

In other racing action, National Seelster, the three year old colt that opened eyes winning upon debut two weeks ago returned to the races on Saturday night and returned with another win. Allowed to sit the pocket throughout the mile, National Seelster found room late in the stretch up the pylons and accelerated rapidly to win again, in 1:53.1. National Seelster, a son of Bettor's Delight is now two for two to start the career.

An intriguing match-up could be on the horizon between a pair of undefeated and lightly raced three olds in the William "Buddy" Gilmour series between National Seelster and Wiggle It Jiggle It. The latter won a division of the first round of the Sonsam series and will square off with Rockeyed Optimist and Major Uptrend in the final of that series before tackling National Seelster in the Gilmour.

The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed, but there were only two winning tickets which were paid a dividend of $4,257. The last race jackpot also carried over to the tune of $123,827 into the last race on the Thursday program, which will begin at 7:15 P.M.

Darin Zoccali

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