12/06/2012 9:57AM

Northfield: Changes for A Rocknroll Dance in Cleveland Classic

Derick Giwner
A Rocknroll Dance will race on Saturday and go on winter vacation until April.

The arduous stakes season for the top 3-year-old pacers can seem to go on forever. These sophomore warriors knock heads every week or two going brutal trips and monster miles. The divisional elite make their final stop of the year in the $130,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park on Saturday.

Few horses from 2012 have shown the wear and tear that a full campaign can have as A Rocknroll Dance. The Jim Mulinix trainee lived the highs of a Meadowlands Pace and Battle Of The Brandywine win during the summer and the lows of three consecutive winless months from September through Saturday’s Classic.

Despite the string of poor performances, Mulinix insists his colt remains as sound as ever and is no worse for the wear that he endured during the year. The old-school style trainer admits that he may have gotten caught up in the moment and has gone back to basics in an attempt to revive A Rocknroll Dance’s form.

“I went back to old fashioned training techniques,” said Mulinix after going two trips with A Rocknroll Dance on Wednesday morning. “A guy like me can get a little intimidated watching all these big stables. They have all these concoctions and know how to get blood perfect. I gave him more vitamins than normal (during the year) but have decided not to worry about fancy vitamins. I put steel shoes back on him and took his hood off at the suggestions of David Miller.”

Mulinix feels his stable star appreciated the home-style approach and seems more relaxed over the last month. Although the trainer is not a big fan of the medication and is not expecting it to improve his horse’s performance, A Rocknroll Dance will add Lasix for his start on Saturday, a change which is considered testing the waters.

“He had a trace of blood and mucus recently and the vet suggested we try [Lasix],” said Mulinix on the medication addition. “We plan on racing him next year and want to have as much information as possible. Most likely he won’t be on it next year, but I’ll leave that up to the vet.”

A Rocknroll Dance will also have to reacclimatize to a new driver. Miller, who drove the colt in his previous two starts, has jumped ship for Thinking Out Loud.

“[David] called my wife and said he needed to stick with the bigger stable and take the other horse,” said an understanding Mulinix.

Peter Wrenn, who drove A Rocknroll Dance on November 3 at Indiana Downs, gets the return assignment. He will have his hands full trying to overcome post 6 over the half-mile oval with his main competition- Thinking Out Loud, Pet Rock and Bolt The Duer- all lined up from the rail out.

Despite the lackluster form and the bad post, Mulinix has not lost any confidence in his near multi-millionaire.

“I’m not going to get bold and say we are going to smash them, but we are going there to race and win,” concluded the trainer.

Considered the final major stakes race of the year, the Cleveland Classic is slated as race 11 on the 14-race Northfield program.