06/19/2016 3:04PM

Tioga Downs: Rockeyed Optimist triumphant in Roll With Joe

Fred J. Brown
Rockeyed Optimist secured his first six-figure stakes victory with a 1:49 2/5 performance in the Roll With Joe

The $179,000 Roll With Joe for older male pacers was on the docket Sunday at Tioga Downs, and Rockeyed Optimist (Brett Miller) picked up his biggest career win to date behind a 1:49 2/5 effort.

McWicked (Tim Tetrick) was the first leader, taking the group to the opening quarter in 26 seconds, but All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), racing as part of a four-horse Ron Burke entry, came first-over out of fourth and took command prior to the 53 3/5 half.  All Bets Off continued to show the way at the 1:21 3/5 three-quarters, but fellow Burke trainee Always At My Place (Yannick Gingras) had moved into contention from first-over at that point, and Rockeyed Optimist was on his cover.

Always At My Place couldn't sustain his bid past three-quarters, though, and All Bets Off began to get away from the competition as they raced into the stretch.  He began to come back to the field late, though, and Rockeyed Optimist pounced, getting up to win by about a length and a half.  All Bets Off had to settle for second, and State Treasurer (Dave Miller) rallied from seventh and last to third.

"He's a nice, good-feeling horse," said Jake Leamon, assistant to winning trainer Steve Elliott.  "He's filled out nice as a 5-year-old.  He always digs and keeps digging to the wire."

Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, A And B Stable, and Joseph Battaglia of New Jersey and New York own Rockeyed Optimist, a gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover.  This was his 24th win from 48 starts, and he has now earned $515,045.  Sent off at odds of 9-5, Rockeyed Optimist paid $5.80 to win.