posted on 6/22/2011 1:16 pm
It was a picture perfect late October afternoon for racing at The Red Mile with record highs reaching nearly 80 degrees in Lexington, and a magnificent closing day card to cap off a stellar two-week Grand Circuit meet.
Rock N Roll Heaven, the 2-5 betting favorite driven by Daniel Dube, made it back-to-back stakes victories at The Red Mile by parlaying a perfect pocket trip along with a 27.1 final quarter to hold off his rival, One More Laugh (Tim Tetrick), by a half length on the line to win the $604,000 Tattersalls Pace in 1:48.1.
It was a thrilling stretch duel to the finish, as Rock N Roll Heaven had only a length lead on One More Laugh as the two top 3-year olds turned for home, but the margin never got any closer than the half length deciding factor.
It was the 17th win in 27 career starts for the Rocknroll Hanover colt, who was bred only about 20 minutes from The Red Mile in Paris, Kentucky, by former University of Kentucky basketball All-American Cotton Nash and family, along with Steve Stewart at Hunterton Farms. The winner’s share of the rich stake increased Rock N Roll Heaven’s career earnings to over $2.4 million dollars for trainer Bruce Saunders and owner Frank Bellino. With 13 wins and over $1.8 million in earnings just this year, Rock N Roll Heaven is the major favorite to win “Horse of the Year.”
Dreamlands Art (Dave Palone), who was making his first start for trainer Ron Burke, finished only two lengths behind the winner in third, while Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras) closed from tenth at the top of the stretch to round out the superfecta.
In other action on the all stakes 9-race card, Lucky Chucky (John Campbell) turned the tables on Wishing Stone (George Brennan) in a $121,500 Bluegrass division for 3-year old colt trotters with a 1 ¾ length win in 1:50.4, the fastest trotting mile of the year in North America.
Wishing Stone had beaten Lucky Chucky by the exact same margin in last Saturday’s $501,000 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile, but could not close the gap after tracking the winner in second the entire mile.
The third place finisher in last week’s $501,000 Kentucky Futurity, Break The Bank K (Brian Sears), won the opposite $121,500 Bluegrass division for 3-year old colt trotters in 1:51.3.
A new World Record was established in the $77,000 Filly & Mare Allerage Farms Open Pace, as Southwind Tempo (Tim Tetrick) sat fifth through fractions of 26.4, 53.1, and 1:20.3, before unleashing a 3-wide rally down the lane to finally collar the early pacesetter, Chancey Lady (Andy Miller), by a neck on the wire in 1:48.2, the fastest mile of all-time for a female standardbred.
It was the 29th career win in 55 lifetime starts for the 5-year old daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Tsunami Hanover, who increased her career earnings to just shy of $2.4 million with the Saturday’s win. It was announced after the race that the start would be the final of Southwind Tempo’s career, as she will head off to the breeding shed for the 2011 season.
An $8,507 Pick 4 Carryover going into Saturday’s races sparked a total pool in excess of $44,000, which returned a $2 payout in excess of $333 for those who correctly selected the winners of races 5-8. Racing returns to The Red Mile July 31, 2011.