09/10/2015 3:32PM

Harness: New Jersey breeding gets a shot in the arm

Conrad Photo
Rock N Roll Heaven will be standing in New Jersey in 2016.

Rock N Roll Heaven, currently the third money-winning sire among 3-year-old pacers in 2015, is leaving Blue Chip Farms for Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey.

After five years standing at Blue Chip, owner Frank Bellino thought it was time for a change and in true Bellino fashion, he elected to help New Jersey rather than seek a better deal elsewhere.

“Without a doubt it is the right thing to do for the sport,” said Joe Bellino, Frank’s son and manager of Bellino Stables. “The Meadowlands is the centerpiece of the sport and Jeff Gural went in and saved the track. My dad felt New Jersey needed a pacing stallion and wanted to help Jeff.”

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According to the younger Bellino, multiple offers were on the table but his dad decided last night that New Jersey was the best move.

“We know that New Jersey is not getting a casino soon, but we are hoping to bring the breeding business back to the state,” said Joe Bellino.

Rock N Roll Heaven was the 2010 Horse of the Year and earned $2,748,818 during his career. His career record stands at 30-20-6-2 with a lifetime best clocking of 1:47 3/5.

Standing for $8,500 at Blue Chip Farms in 2014, Rock N Roll Heaven was bred to just 59 mares according to Bellino. Sassa Hanover ($704,002) is the stallion’s leading money-winning foal and also the co-fastest along with Divine Caroline at 1:49 4/5.

With Lis Mara as the leading pacing stallion at Deo Volente, the addition of Rock N Roll Heaven is an intriguing one, especially considering the number of pacing mares currently at the farm.  On the trotting side, Trixton is the top attraction at Deo Volente with a $12,000 fee.

A stud fee for Rock N Roll Heaven has yet to be set for 2016.