Keeneland Grad Rocketry a Record-Setting Winner of Temperence Hill Inv.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Centennial Farm's Rocketry exploded late in the stretch to earn his first stakes victory and break a track record previously held by the legendary Man o' War in the $200,000 Temperence Hill Invitational going 1 5/8 miles.

Centennial Farm purchased the 4-year-old son of Hard Spun for $450,000 out of the Hidden Brook draft at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling sale.

Breaking from the rail with Joel Rosario aboard, Rocketry stalked comfortably as War Story and Archanova battled up front, setting fractions of 49.58 seconds for the half-mile with three quarters in 1:13.73.

Sent forward from the back of the pack at the three-eighths pole, Rocketry hooked up with You’re to Blame and War Story at the quarter pole, as the three were nearly even at the top of the stretch.

Set down in a full drive, Rocketry first overtook War Story and extended away from You’re to Blame in the late stretch to secure the victory by 1 ½ lengths in a final time of 2:40.18. That bested Man o’ War’s mark of 2:40.80 set on September 4, 1920.

Rocketry boosted his career earnings to $371,590 in his first start on the dirt for winning trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

“I was glad to see he was a lot more on the bridle than he is on the turf, so I felt good going into the backside that he wasn’t pumping on him just to keep him close like you do on the turf,” said Jerkens. “He can fall way back on the turf even when the pace was slow. The way he was galloping into the backstretch, I felt good.”

Following the runner-up You’re to Blame was favored War Story, Archanova and G Zap.

Rocketry is one of two Hidden Brook September grads to capture weekend stakes along with Louder Than Bombs, winner of the September 29 Armed Forces S. at Gulfstream Park.

- edited from