07/05/2017 3:02PM

Marks: A pair of ‘Rocks’ roll out their first crops


A Rocknroll Dance and Pet Rock, two charter members of Rocknroll Hanover’s stellar third crop, battled long and hard during their tenure on the racetrack. And now with the debut of their first crop of 2-year-olds hitting the baby races at the various tracks, it looks like that rivalry may be extended.

While it is rare for two members of any stallions “crop” regardless of number to emerge as significant sires, it is not impossible judging from the exploits of both horses paternal grandsire Western Ideal, whose first crop featured two brilliant race horses and sires in Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal.

For the record, the ill-fated Rocknroll Hanover already has two rather successful siring sons from his first crop. The first is Rockin Image, who in addition to siring the exceptional Freaky Feet Pete, has pretty well emerged as the dominant pacing sire in Indiana. The other is Rock N Roll Heaven, arguably his best racing son, who has produced quality fillies in Sassa Hanover, Divine Caroline and Band Of Angels while son Soto has made the upper echelons of the open class pacers.

Both A Rocknroll Dance and Pet Rock had somewhat auspicious starts as their initial trainers—Jim Mulinix and Lester Clemens, both Midwesterners—were not exactly household names. After an impressive win at The Meadowlands, Pet Rock was acquired by the Bellino family and training was transferred to Virgil Morgan.  Mulinix campaigned A Rocknroll Dance throughout his career.

In all A Rocknroll Dance earned $2,429,441 in his 3-year-career taking a mark of 1:47 2/5 as a 4-year-old. His highlight was a victory over Pet Rock in the 2012 Meadowlands Pace.

Pet Rock meanwhile earned $1,984,204 in his three-year career and his best mark of 1:47 also came as a 4-year-old. His highlight might have been his 1:48 1/5 then world record on the half mile track at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

At 4, the two “Rocks” often went head-to-head. Pet Rock won the Roll With Joe on June 9 at Tioga in 1:49 3/5. On August 17, “Dance” got his revenge at Pocono wining in 1:48. “Dance” then beat his rival in the Canadian Pacing Derby elimination and final in 1:47 3/5 and 1:47 2/5, but once back in Ohio, it was Pet Rock over A Rocknroll Dance in 1:47 2/5 at Scioto and 1:48 1/5 at Delaware.

The two would meet one more time in the Allerage final at The Red Mile, though neither was a factor as Pet Rock finished an out of it sixth while A Rocknroll dance was tenth.

Both A Rocknroll Dance and Pet Rock retired after their 4-year-old seasons. Dance went to Diamond Creek in Pennsylvania where he’ll be competing against the likes of Somebeachsomewhere, Captaintreacherous, Western Ideal, Sweet Lou, etc. for “Keystone State” supremacy. Pet Rock went to Midland Acres in Ohio where he’ll compete with sires Dragon Again, McArdle, Big Bad John, and others for top honors in the “Buckeye State”. Thus the only time the progeny will get together is at the Grand Circuit level.              

Pet Rock and A Rocknroll Dance each bred 139 mares in their initial seasons in 2014. Pet Rock wound up with 99 foals of which 54 were sold at auction averaging $23,324. “Dance” got but 69 foals of which 48 were sold at auction averaging $26,681. Of those, Radical, the A Rocknroll Dance from the celebrated See You At Peelers, was the lone $100,000+ seller, attracting $120,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. The highest priced Pet Rock was Brangus from Can’t Quit Smiling, who brought $90,000 at The Buckeye Select sale in Ohio. 

Thus far Pet Rock has 65 starters of which 19 have won at least a qualifier, while A Rocknroll Dance has nine winners from 30 starters.

Perhaps the most impressive of the Pet Rock’s are Rockathon, a winner at Scioto in 1:56.  A Rocknroll Dance has had a couple of “overnight” winners including Yankee Will Dance from Bootleg Yankee, a winner at Pocono in 1:53 4/5. He’s also credited with Cuts Like a Knife from Whetstone Hanover, a winner at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:55 2/5.  

With the “baby race” season just getting underway, those numbers are likely to appreciate in the upcoming weeks.   

It should be noted that there are other impressive first crop stallions out this year. Among them pacers Betterthancheddar, So Surreal and We Will See, and trotters Wishing Stone, Guccio and My MVP.

Betterthancheddar has had several winners including All On Top Hanover (1:56 3/5), she ultra impressive finishing second to Rainbow Room at The Meadowlands last Friday.  He’s also credited with Tixnstones, a winner in 1:56 4/5 at Gaitway who will see Friday night at The Meadowlands.

So Surreal, the first Somebeachsomewhere to reach the stud, has a nice son in Real Raynenbow (1:54 1/5), a winner at Pocono. So Surreal is a half-brother to Well Said from Must See.

We Will See, the Western Hanover trained by Sammy DePinto, has a nice colt named Brown Camo, a 1:58 1/5 winner at Scioto.

As for the trotters, Guccio (Yankee Glide-Southern Senorita) has shown well in Indiana. My MVP, an Ohio-based son of Cantab Hall, had a nice Meadowlands winner in Wolfgang (1:58 4/5) for Jimmy Takter. Wishing Stone, now based in Ohio, has nine starters from just 16 foals, several of which we’ll see in the New Jersey Sires Stakes at The Meadowlands on Friday.

Stay posted!