11/05/2015 12:58PM

Balmoral: Rockin Good ready to rebound in American National

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Rockin Good carries the hopes of trainer Jared Finn into Saturday's $120,000 American National 3-Year-Old Filly Pace.  The daughter of Rockin Image has amassed $267,914 in her career for Jared, who hails from Wheeler, IL and co-owner Mark Finn of Newton, IL.

This speedy sophomore boasts a career mark of 1:48, taken earlier this season over Lexington’s famed Red Mile oval.

Jared said he first spied Rockin Good at the 2013 Hoosier Classic Sale.

“I was looking for a Rockin Image filly and she just stood out to me,” Jared recalled. “She was the right size, stout and beautiful and we ended up getting her for $9,500—which was a lot less than what I figured she would go for.”

Rockin Good was just the third foal out of the Keystone Raider mare Do Me Good p, 5,1:52 4/5 ($435,346) and has a full sister in the Shadyshark Hanover mare Shady Caroline p,2,1:54 3/5 ($45,050).  Jared, who trains his horses at the Jasper County Fairgrounds, quickly discovered what a prize he had in Rockin Good.

“She was absolutely perfect from day one,” said Jared, who also drives the filly. “The first time I turned her and went a mile with her I knew she was going to be pretty special.  Riding behind her, she was just smooth as silk.”

As a freshman, Rockin Good earned $181,250 in 11 starts with five wins and a pair of seconds, recording a 2-year-old mark of 1:53 2/5 in the $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Final at Hoosier Park with her trainer in the sulky on Oct. 10, 2014.

“She was good last year and took that mark of 1:53 2/5,” Jared said. “Those are good numbers but not ‘killer’ numbers. I thought she would probably go faster this year but never imagined that she would have gone as fast as 1:48.  She had some trouble initially this season with her blood, but we got that straightened out and she has just continued to progress every step of the way as the year has gone on.”

After a well-deserved break over the winter months, Rockin Good returned for her sophomore campaign bigger and stouter than ever.  After getting off to a bit of a slow start, she literally blew her competition away on Aug. 22 in a Lexington overnighter when she paced to a career mark of 1:48, drawing off by nearly 20 lengths from her nearest rival.

“There were times when she just didn’t have any sire stakes engagements and I didn’t want to lay her off because she was so sharp,” Jared explained.  She’s always given me an indication of what she can do and what she can’t and when she’s feeling right I think she can go with any other 3-year-old in the country.

“That mark of 1:48 at the Red Mile was incredible,” he continued. “I never thought we were going anywhere near that fast, as that’s how smooth and effortlessly she was pacing that night.”

To date this season Rockin Good has added another $86,664 to her seasonal coffers, with six wins, two seconds and a third in 18 starts.  Lifetime, she has 11 wins, four seconds and a third in 29 career starts.  Jared says the key to his filly is how versatile she can be.

“She can race on the front or come from off the pace and it just never seems like she's moving as fast as she is,” he admitted.

After winning the $32,650 City Circle Stake on Oct. 23 at Hoosier Park, Rockin Good put in a dull effort in her last start at that Indiana venue on Oct. 30.  Despite that performance, Jared says he’s confident about his filly’s chances in the American National.

“In her last start at Hoosier Park, she wasn’t herself,” Jared said. “We pulled blood and she had some issues going on that we’ve since corrected.  She trained great for the American National and I’m expecting a really big effort from her on Saturday night.”

(edited release--Balmoral, Simon M. Augustus)