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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Maywood Park (11/19/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SOUTHERN ROCKETOP POISED TO DEFEND “HOME TURF” IN GALT TROT
Although some untimely breaks plagued the headstrong son of Psychic Spirit early in his career, he still managed to etch his names into the record books as the fastest two-year-old gelding trotter of all time with his 1:54.4 clocking in the State Fair Stakes in Springfield in August of 2008.
Under the guidance of conditioner Monique Bernardi during his freshman campaign, Southern Rocketop put together a record of nine wins and one second in 14 starts while earning $152,105. Among the gelding's biggest wins were the $120,000 Lincoln Land Stake, the $52,500 Maxter Stake, the $50,000 State Fair Stake and the $47,850 Cardinal Stake.
Moved by owner Claude Powers to the barn of Tennessee-based conditioner Robert Taylor to prep for his three-year-old season, Southern Rocketop continued to mature, making him a much faster and much more versatile racehorse.
“He has really blossomed into a very good horse,” said Taylor. “He’s a real nice horse to be around. He has a good personality and he basically takes care of himself and once he hits the track he’s all business.”
Primed for a big second season, Southern Rocketop continued to dominate the state-bred ranks early in his 2009 campaign. That prompted his connections to send him outside the Prairie State and up to Canada where he finished fourth in the final of the Goodtimes Stake. He also caught the attention of many by winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk before finishing third behind Muscle Hill and Explosive Matter in the final of that event. Southern Rocketop also squared off against the great Muscle Hill in the World Trotting Derby and the American National, finishing second and third in those two starts.
A dual track record holder at Balmoral Park (2yo gelding 1:54.4 and 3yo gelding 1:52.2), Southern Rocketop comes into the Galt Stake fresh off a wire-to-wire score in the $33,100 Circle City Stake at Indiana Downs. For the year Southern Rocketop boasts a record of 10-3-2 in 16 starts with earnings of $433,036.
The bay gelding is also racing for a new owner after being purchased recently by Tor Birger Krageboen of Norway for an undisclosed sum. Future plans for his four-year-old campaign are unknown at this time.
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