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Rocklane Heads Passero-Trained Exacta in Don K. Series

Trainer Michael Passero made a successful showing in the third round of the $30,000 Don K. Memorial Starter Handicap Series at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Sept. 12 as his entry in the evening’s featured event finished first and second.

Rocklane once again successfully handled a stretch out from six furlongs to a mile to take home top honors with Daniel Coa in the irons.
Rocklane, a Littleexpectations gelding, was sent off as the third betting choice at 5-2 along with stablemate Only Win in a well-matched five horse field.
Rocklane broke from the inside and secured a stalking position, tracking in fifth and then fourth through opening fractions of :24.75 and :48.61 set by Tahquemenon and Djalma Macedo. Part’N Parcel, a winner in the first round of the Don K. series, was stalking the pace while racing three wide on the backstretch while the bettors’ choice, Victory Notion and Leandro Goncalves, raced four wide in fifth. Tahquemenon and pace-pressing Only Win continued to trade back and forth for the lead down the backside as the field reached the third station in 1:13.07, but both Rocklane and Part’N Parcel made moves on the outside to reach contention. As the field negotiated the final turn, it appeared to be anyone’s race. Only Win was able to take a short a lead but was quickly joined on the outside by Victory Notion as they dueled down the stretch. Coa angled Rocklane off the turn only to be bumped from both sides in midstretch.

Once he had a clear shot, Rocklane powered to the front to win by one half of a length in front of Only Win who was a game second. Part’N Parcel held on for the third place finish. Rocklane covered the one mile contest in 1:38.58 over a track rated fast and returned $7.40 to his backers.

“He broke well,” winning rider Daniel Coa noted of his mount. “He relaxed down the backside and I wanted to wait to make my move so it worked out. I asked my horse down the lane and he just kept running hard to the wire. I was a little nervous coming into the stretch, I didn’t know if I would be able to find the room I needed but it worked out.”

Owned and bred by G. Ray Trisler, Rocklane notched his 11 career victory in 63 outings. The seven-year-old gelding has now won three of 12 starts while bankrolling over $30,000 in 2012.