Rocks Shining Star Breaks Through in Oak Grove Open

Off a strong runner-up finish last week, Rocks Shining Star avenged his defeat with an aggressive trip to take the $30,000 Open Pace on Monday (April 8) at Oak Grove Gaming, Racing & Hotel. 

Leaving from post 4, driver Devon Tharps launched Rocks Shining Star for the front and would not settle for the pocket to even-money favorite He’zzz A Wise Sky (driven by Brandon Bates). Past a :26.2 first quarter, Rocks Shining Star pulled pocket and seized the lead before a :55 half. Rocks Shining Star stayed brave on the lead in a third-quarter sprint as No Lou Zing (Tony Hall) mounted a first-over attack. No Lou Zing stalled in his bid through three-quarters in 1:22.1 while Rocks Shining Star remained resolute and spun for home on a second wind, widening to a 2-1/2-length victory at the end of a 1:50.1 mile. Low Rider (Marvin Luna) rallied from last to take second with He’zzz A Wise Sky settling for third and No Lou Zing finishing fourth. 

Mickey Burke trains Rocks Shining Star, a 5-year-old gelding by Rockin Image, for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Philip Collura. He won his 13th race from 62 starts, has now banked $169,860 and paid $10.28 to win.

Earlier in the card, Ainthesamewithoutu (Tony Hall) scored a repeat victory with a much-the-best trip in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace. Hall charged Ainthesamewithoutu from post 7 to the lead through a :26.2 first quarter before snagging a breather to a :55.3 half. Southwind Bella (Devon Tharps) pulled off the pylons while the tempo stayed slow and blitzed Ainthesamewithoutu to the backside. The duo dueled through three-quarters in 1:23 and all through the final turn until Ainthesamewithoutu dug deep in the straightaway and held firm on the lead to win by a length at the beam. Southwind Bella settled for second with Soft Spot (Marvin Luna) charging home for third and Illusion Seelster (John MacDonald) riding a pocket trip for fourth. 

A 5-year-old mare by Sweet Lou, Ainthesamewithoutu has now won 18 times from 59 tries and accrued $360,515 in earnings for owner-trainer Anette Lorentzon. She paid $3.82 to win. 

Live racing continues at Oak Grove on Tuesday (April 9) and features a $30,000 Open Trot, carded as Race 5 on the 12-race card. First-race post time at Oak Grove is 3 p.m. (CDT). 

Rocks Shining Star with Devon Tharps winning the $30,000 Open Pace
Ainthesamewithoutu and Tony Hall winning the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace