12/08/2016 4:06PM

Harness: Rock N Roll Heaven on the move to Winbak Farm

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Rock N Roll Heaven is on the 2017 ballot to enter the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

One year after trying his luck in New Jersey at Deo Volente Farms, Rock N Roll Heaven is on the move again, this time to stand stud at Winbak Farm’s New York location.

Rock N Roll Heaven began his stallion career at Blue Chip Farms and moved to Deo Volente last year in the hopes that he could breathe some life into the New Jersey-bred pacing scene and potentially reap the rewards of casino legislation for racetracks. Unfortunately residents of New Jersey voted strongly against casinos in the northern part of the state and Bellino Stables, which owns the stallion, wasn’t exactly overwhelmed with the participation from in-state breeders.

“It was a difficult decision to leave New Jersey, but with the referendum coming up way short and any possible legislation to enact gaming at The Meadowlands years away, it just didn’t make sense to continue to stand him in the state,” said Bellino Stables manager Joe Bellino.

Former Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven was bred to 60-65 mares in 2016, which according to Bellino was more than his final year at Blue Chip. The now 9-year-old earned over $2.7 million in his career while compiling a 30-20-6-2 career record.

“Joe Thompson is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever talked to in my life,” said Bellino about the Winbak Farm owner. “He said that he would love to have the horse and wanted to stand him in New York. That’s not ideal for me since I bred eight mares to 'Heaven' last year and I can’t ship semen out of New York to my mares in Florida, but with the referendum not passing it just made sense.”

Winbak Farm currently stands pacing stallions Artiscape, Bolt The Duer, Heston Blue Chip and Quik Pulse Mindale in New York according to their website.

Rock N Roll Heaven stood at Deo Volente for a $6,500 fee. His 2017 rate has yet to be announced by Winbak.