Rotknee overwhelms field in Ontario County

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Rotknee destroys his opposition in Wednesday’s Ontario County Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

William “Buck” Butler’s second generation homebred Rotknee made quick and easy work of the field in Wednesday’s $48,500 Ontario County Stakes at Finger Lakes.

Despite being forced in at the start from Gimmedaymoney, whose inward beginning affected all five of the Ontario County starters, Rotknee recovered quickly and found an open early lead. The 3-year-old son of Runhappy cruised to a 12 ¾-length victory from there under John Davila Jr.

Rotknee improved to 5-for-7 with the victory, his third in a stakes to go with the Damon Runyon in March at Aqueduct and the Mike Lee in his most recent start on Memorial Day at Belmont Park.

Sent off 1-20 in the field of five reduced by three with the scratches of Mister Larry, Moped Dennis and Never Ever Home, Rotknee picked up $30,000 for Butler and trainer Mike Maker to pad his earnings to $256,600.

Rotknee took control after his bothered start and opened up a 2-length advantage over Gimmedamoney through the opening quarter mile in :22.51. He stretched the lead to 6 lengths through the half in :45.20, then poured it on in the lane to win going away. Gimmedamoney held second, 3 lengths clear of My Last Mission. Persistent Danger and Waheel completed the field. Rotknee won in 1:10.04.

Bred by Butler and foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, Rotknee is the second foal out of the winning Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama.

In Spite of Mama’s first foal, the 4-year-old New York-bred Into Mischief colt Lookin for Trouble, is a winner and multiple stakes-placed for Butler and Maker. He’s earned $168,120 through his most recent start, a third in allowance company at Aqueduct in late April. In Spite of Mama is also the dam of the 2-year-old New York-bred Bolt d’Oro colt Mama’s Gold, who is in training at New Haven Farm, and a yearling filly by Audible. She also delivered a New York-bred daughter of 2019 Preakness Stakes winner War of Will in May.

In Spite of Mama, a 10-year-old out of the Carson City mare Mama Theresa, went 3-2-2 in 17 starts for Butler and Maker from 2014 to 2016.

Butler bought Mama Theresa for $65,000 at the 2005 OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training. She won six of 25 starts, placed in two stakes and earned $240,898 for Butler and Timothy Twomey and the late trainer Dominic Galluscio. In Spite of Mama is Mama Theresa’s second foal and a half-sister to four other winners, including stakes winner A Freud of Mama, an earner of $399,818 who also finished third in the Grade 3 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park in 2019 for Butler and Maker.

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