05/29/2011 4:49PM

River Downs: Master Rocket relishes switch to turf route to upset Green Carpet


Master Rocket, a maiden who was kept just off a slow pace by jockey Nathan Solomon until upper stretch, rushed past pacesetting odds-on favorite Trophy Boy in deep stretch to upset the $50,000 Green Carpet Stakes for Ohio-bred 3-year-olds Sunday at River Downs.

Trained by Kris Nemann, Master Rocket was the second longest shot on the board at 16-1. Trophy Boy held on for second, 1 ¾  lengths  in front of Ten Martinis.

It was a compact field of five that contested the 1 1/16-mile turf race after Incantation was scratched at the gate after flipping when all horses were loaded. Cousin Vinnie dwelt at the start and was led off the course, leaving only five running.

The Green Carpet was the first lifetime win for Master Rocket ($35.20), a Butch and Kris Nemann homebred who had lost his first five races by a combined 75 lengths, including four tries against maiden claimers. He was racing beyond seven furlongs and on turf for the first time.  The winning time over a firm course was 1:48.39.