Rocketry battled with Dabster through the stretch before prevailing by three-quarters of a length to capture the G2 Marathon Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The victory marked the first Graded Stakes win for the four-year-old son of Hard Spun, who took the Listed Temperence Hill Invitational in his previous start.
Breaking alertly under jockey Joel Rosario, Rocketry was settled at the rear of the field through the first eight furlongs of the mile-and-three-quarter marathon. Rocketry then began to make up ground on the far turn, and by the time the field hit the top of the stretch, the dark bay colt was challenging Dabster for the lead. The pair battled through the stretch with Rocketry finally putting his rival away late to win by three-quarters of a length.
Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd., Rocketry is out of Smart Farming, a winning daughter of Smart Strike. Smart Farming’s dam is the Listed Stakes winner, Health Farm, and she hails from the female family of such standouts as Champion Legarto and Graded Stakes winners Dream About (G2 Mazarine Stakes), Lockout (G2 Connaught Cup) and Deeply Undervalued (G2 Commonwealth Derby).
Hard Spun has over 60 career Stakes winners including 31 which have won in Group company, nine of those G1 winners. In fact, no stallion standing for less than $60,000 can match his seven G1 winners since 2012.