09/16/2005 11:00PM

Rockem Sockem due for victory


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Despite three straight second-place finishes, Rockem Sockem, the 2004 Michigan horse of the year, will be asked to carry top weight of 120 pounds in Monday's Frontier Handicap at Great Lakes Downs. The $50,000 Frontier, in its 81st running, is a 1 1/8-mile race for Michigan-breds, and it has attracted a full field of 10 colts and geldings.

Rockem Sockem, 4, a Maryland champion at 2 and 3, won the $50,000 Wolverine Stakes in his first outing at this meet back in June. He has suffered a touch of seconditis since then, though, rallying late in his last two starts, and dueling gamely in defeat the time before. Rockem Sockem, trained by Bob Gorham, will have leading rider Terry Houghton aboard and break from post 9

Dorthys Champ, in at 119 pounds, defeated Rockem Sockem in the Michigan Breeders' Handicap in July for his second win at the meet. In his most recent start, he was never a factor in the Arnault Memorial at Mountaineer. Trainer Ronnie Allen has engaged Freddie Mata to ride Dorthys Champ.

Exclusivenjoyment, a 2004 Michigan Sire Stakes winner, has two wins at the meet, both at the expense of Rockem Sockem. Regular rider Mary Doser will be aboard Exclusivenjoyment for trainer Richard Rettele.

- There will be a memorial service for longtime valet Bill McNerney Jr., who died Wednesday, at noon Monday at Great Lakes Downs.