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Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows

April 23, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

Raving Rocket Leads The Way in $50,000 Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows

PRAIRIE MEADOWS, Altoona, IA-Triple Crown nominee Raving Rocket was back atop his game in Saturday's $50,000 Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

The 3-year-old son of Lil's Lad out of the Lord Gaylord mare, Gayla, returned to Iowa to settle the score following a second place finish in last September's Prairie Meadows Freshman Stakes.

Raving Rocket was all business in Saturday's Golden Circle, breaking sharply at the call of announcer Jim McAulay.

From that point, the contest was for second place over the course of six furlongs as Raving Rocket charted swift fractions [22.22, 45.32, 57.43, 1:10.05] in the chilly, 40-degree springtime temperatures in front by more than two lengths entering the stretch.

Semaphore Man, the betting favorite owned by Double Bogey Stable (Darrell Rahe et al), could not run down Raving Rocket, who held on to a comfortable length and three-quarters margin in one minute, 10.05 seconds under jockey Eddie Baird. Nearly eight lengths back, S C King owned by Tracy L. Van Horn finished third.

Trainer Rivelli sent Nate Cole to accompany Raving Rocket to Iowa. Rivelli gave the saddling honors to Prairie Meadows trainer Glynn "Tee-Red" Bernis.

"(Raving Rocket) was sick after the last race he ran in Kentucky," said Nate Cole from the winner's circle following the trophy presentation made by Prairie Meadows Senior Vice President Gary Palmer. "(Raving Rocket) came back 100 percent. He's a nice colt. He's going to be real tough in the future."

"We were in the 1-hole," said jockey Baird. "Larry (Rivelli) and I talked about if he happened to break good, we'd just let him run out of there and give him a good trip. He ran a real good race. He was into the bridle the whole way. He was always underneath me. When I called on him, he ended up finishing down through the lane and just gave me a good run."

Eddie Baird was the winning rider aboard Raving Rocket on March 12, 2005 in the $40,000 Flag Officer Stakes at Hawthorne Park. Two thereafter, the duo stepped up to the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park, but fell short finishing last in the field of 10.

"He ran a mile and a sixteenth and then I rode him down at Turfway," said Baird on his third trip to Prairie Meadows. "Things happen. It's that time of year when the temperature changes and horses get sick or catch cold just like people. That happened to be a problem for him."

Baird also rode Raving Rocket here last year as a second time starter on September 4 in the Prairie Meadows Freshman, finishing second behind City Code in the $40,000 purse.

Including tonight's winnings of $30,000, Raving Rocket's purse earnings now total $97,350 for owner Michael Faber of Dare To Dream Stable LLC. W.S. Farish and Temple Webber, Jr. bred Raving Rocket in Kentucky on March 1, 2002.

Raving Rocket returned-$9.00 $2.60 $3.00. Semaphore Man-$2.40, $2.20. S C King-$4.60.

Official order of finish: Raving Rocket, Semaphore Man, S C King, Funny Reason, Really Big Boy, Slick Carson, Nothing But Cat.