08/07/2013 4:33PM

Del Mar: Freakin Rocket gets second chance in La Jolla

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Benoit & Associates
The La Jolla at 1 1/16 miles on turf will be the longest race for Freakin Rocket.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Proven in sprints, Freakin Rocket will be given a second opportunity to show he can run around two turns in Saturday’s $150,000 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

After winning a maiden claimer and an allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park in the spring in his first two starts, Freakin Rocket was third after a wide trip in a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar on July 17. The Oceanside was Freakin Rocket’s first start at a mile and first race on turf.

Owned by Mercedes Stable and trained by Tim Yakteen, Freakin Rocket was beaten 1 1/4 lengths. The La Jolla is run over 1 1/16 on turf for 3-year-olds.

“I think he’ll benefit from the race last time,” Yakteen said. “If he wins this weekend, he’ll either validate that he’s a two-turn horse or he’ll tell us he’s a sprinter.”

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Freakin Rocket is part of a projected field of nine in the Grade 2 La Jolla, a prep for the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 1. The La Jolla field is expected to include the stakes winners Den’s Legacy, Dice Flavor, Dry Summer, and Rosengold.

Freakin Rocket is quick, but Yakteen said he would like the colt to stalk expected pacesetter Rosengold. Yakteen, who won his first Grade 1 when Points Offthebench won the Bing Crosby Stakes on July 28, expects Freakin Rocket to rebound.

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

“You’re disappointed because of the loss,” he said of the Oceanside. “They’re not all Zenyattas. You want to see the wins continue.”