Rocket Heat shakes loose in Twin Spires Turf Sprint

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 6th, 2016

Rocket Heat brought the heat in Friday's $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day. Sent to the lead early by jockey Flavien Prat, Rocket Heat encountered little pressure in establishing an opening quarter of :21.74 on the firm ground, led comfortably entering the stretch and came more than two lengths the best over Alsvid in the five-furlong test.

Owned by Mike Sanchez and trained by Vann Belvoir, Rocket Heat completed the dash in a time of :56.47 and paid $19.60 as an 8-1 chance.

Alsvid, primarily a main track performer but second over this course and trip in an allowance last September, rallied for second at odds of 10-1. Power Alert, the 2015 Twin Spires Turf Sprint winner, edged Summation Time narrowly for third.

This was the first career stakes win for Rocket Heat, who finished second in the $75,000 Clocker's Corner and $75,000 Joe Hernandez at Santa Anita earlier this year. However, in two prior graded attempts, Rocket Heat finished fourth in the Palos Verdes (G2) and seventh in the Shakertown (G3) at Keeneland. He dueled for the lead in the latter event April 9, where wicked fractions of :20.73 and :43.83 were posted.

"He ran a huge one. When we broke out of the gate good and was able to clear, I was real excited about that," Belvoir said. "He was displacing so I did a myectomy on him and we were hoping it would help and I was confident that it would. We worked him twice in between races and he worked real well and more so worked him to give him his confidence that he was able to breathe. He has been training a lot more relaxed and not as scared going to the track so I thought it helped him quite a bit."

Bred in Kentucky by Farfellow Farms, Rocket Heat is a four-year-old gelded son of Latent Heat and the Slew's Royalty mare Enjoy the Moment. That makes him a half-brother to two-time Phoenix (G3) winner Sum of the Parts.

(Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)