Rockincam and driver Pete Wrenn used a valiant stretch drive to overtake a field of nine opponents in the 19th installment of the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational Pace on Saturday (June 2) at Hoosier Park. Driven by Pete Wrenn, the 5-year-old horse stopped the timer in 1:51.1 for his fourth win in six starts in 2012.
Starting from post nine in the nine horse lineup, Rockincam was unhurried out of the gate to find a spot in eighth. The heavy betting favorite was the first to get the call as Dave Palone fired Golden Receiver out of the gate from post five to reach the first marker in :26.3. Ideal Choice and Sam Widger got away well in second as Ok Commander followed intently in third. Golden Receiver continued to dictate the fractions down the backside and reached the half mile marker in a soft :55.0. Special T Rocks and Daryl Bier were the first to commit as they pulled first over heading into the final turn with Ricky Macomber Jr. and Atochia in tow. Rockincam and Wrenn were poised for the stretch drive third over around the three quarters in 1:23.4.
Special T Rocks and Rockincam were the two strongest contenders for the title halfway down the homestretch as Golden Receiver began to tire. In the final strides, Rockincam charged home the quickest to win by one and three-quarter lengths over Special T Rocks who fought a tough first-over journey. Atochia took advantage of a perfect second over trip to get up for the third place finish. Rockincam paid $10.60 to win as the bettors’ third choice.
“To be honest with you, at the quarter pole I was excited with the way the race was working out,” Wrenn noted of his trip. “ Nifty (Norman) told me not to leave real hard with him so I didn’t, but I had two nice horses to follow and carry me down the lane. It really worked out the way you always hope it would. He took right off after I tipped him like a good horse would. He really raced great.”
Trained by Nifty Norman, the 5-year-old son of Cambest pushed his lifetime earnings over the $490,000 mark with the lion’s share of the purse. Owned by Stephen Farrell of Ocala, Fl, Rockincam has now won 19 starts in 34 outings.