Record performance in Michigan Breeders Futurity

NORTHVILLE, Mich. — Princess Rockette parried a mid-race challenge from Man Dontforget Me and sped away to equal the Northville Downs track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies in Saturday’s (Oct. 10) Michigan Breeders Futurity.
Princess Rockette was headed by Man Dontforget Me through a :56.3 half, but accelerated to three-quarters in 1:24.4 to turn that rival aside. The daughter of Pet Rock edged clear in the stretch to defeat pocket rival Vicious Circle by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:54.3, equaling the divisional track record established by Itstimeformetofly in 2011.
Jason Merriman drove Princess Rockette to victory in her $12,450 Futurity division — which was the 10th of her career — for owner, breeder and trainer George Hensley Jr.
Gabe The Babe extended his winning streak to 10 by way of a pillar-to-post score in the $12,450 Futurity for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. After holding off a push from pocket rival Night’s Watch in the Michigan Sire Stakes Final on Sept. 29, the Manhardt colt called all the shots again and evaded that foe by 1-3/4 lengths to win in 1:57. Charles Taylor drove Gabe The Babe to his 18th career victory in 22 tries for trainer Jeff Rowley and owner-breeder Oscar Sievert.
In the $12,150 Futurity for sophomore trotting fillies, Come On Loretta avenged a narrow defeat to Classic Rewind in the Sire Stakes, riding the pocket and collaring her arch rival by a neck in 2:03.1 to claim her 12th career victory. Trainer-driver Tim Roach bred the daughter of Crest, and shares ownership with Larry Elvin.
Claires Pirate proved best in the $12,600 Futurity for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings, steadily encroaching from off the pace to eclipse dueling leaders YSS Toddys Prince and Storm’s Coming to win by a half length in 2:01.2. Charles Taylor drove the Rompaway Wally gelding to his sixth win this season for trainer Ryan Barrett and owner Tom Barrett.
Two-year-olds contested their Michigan Breeders Futurity divisions on Friday (Oct. 9), and Honor’s Image captured her ninth win in 10 starts to date with a 1:59.4 score in the $12,450 event for rookie pacing fillies. The daughter of Rockin Image and Do Me Honor turned aside a challenge from Pink Sunglasses on the far turn and edged clear by 1-3/4 lengths. Carl Putnam Jr. drove the Engle Equine LLC homebred for trainer Al Tomlinson.
Willy’s Last Wish broke maiden in the $12,300 split for rookie pacing colts and geldings by way of a front-end 2:04 score over Boppi Still Smokin. David Lake drove the We Will See-Saint Marlene gelding for trainer Kent Hess and owner-breeder Tamra Grover.

Muscle Gene earned his second win in as many starts for trainer-driver Tim Roach with a 2:02.4 victory in the $12,450 Futurity for freshman trotting colts and geldings, while Wishful Mar (Bob Rowland, 2:03.2) and Shy Princess (Scott Altizer, 2:04.3) took their respective $6,525 divisions for 2-year-old trotting fillies.