10/23/2010 4:43PM

Meese Rocks all the way in Iroquois

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Meese Rocks, Ramon Dominguez up, wins the Iroquois.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The third time was the charm for Meese Rocks, who held off a late runs from R Betty Graybull and My Dinah to win Saturday's $125,000 Iroquois Stakes, after settling for second in two recent attempts against those rivals in seven-furlong overnight stakes.

Meese Rocks grabbed the early lead under Ramon Dominguez through fractions of 22.50 and 45.91 seconds, shook off challenges around the turn to remain clear in midstretch after six furlongs in 1:10.50, and held sway to score by 2 1/4 lengths.

"We were able to get in front, and she's pretty gutsy," said Dominguez. "The fractions weren't really all that slow for people to say she got away on the lead. She ran very hard, and she's got a lot of heart."

Meese Rocks ($10.40), whose first seven wins had come at six furlongs or shorter, ran the seven-eighths in 1:23.64. The consistent 5-year-old mare by Rock and Roll improved to 5-2-0 from 9 starts this year for trainer Eddie Barker.

"I thought she was the best horse in the race," said Barker. "I know people have been saying she couldn't get seven-eighths of a mile, but I knew she could as long as she switched leads, and Ramon got her to switch."

Meese Rocks was the third winner on the program for Dominguez.

R Betty Graybull outfinished My Dinah for second by 1 1/4 lengths. It was another length back to Mother Russia, who was disqualified from fourth and placed fifth after coming out nearing the quarter pole and bumping fifth-place finisher Lovely Lil, causing that rival to clip City Broad's heels and stumble.