Meadowlands Pace Elims Get 16
Published: July 3, 2012 3:31 pm ET
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Heading into Saturday’s Meadowlands Pace eliminations, comprised of 16 top three-year-old pacers, one trainer is hoping his prized pupil is back to finding his way back to the top of the charts.
The first elimination features A Rocknroll Dance along with two of 2012's fastest three-year-olds: North America Cup favourite Sweet Lou and Hempt elim winner Hurrikane Kingcole. The second elimination features N.A. Cup champ Thinking Out Loud and runner-up Time To Roll, as well as unbeaten sophomore Heston Blue Chip and speedy Bolt The Duer.
Elimination #1 - Race 5 - Purse $50,000
1 - Bettors Edge (T. Tetrick) - 5-1
2 - Sweet Lou (D. Palone) - 9-5
3 - Shakerattlenrock (J. Morrill Jr.) - 15-1
4 - Allstar Legend (B. Sears) - 5-1
5 - A Rocknroll Dance (Y. Gingras) - 3-1
6 - State Treasurer (D. Miller) - 10-1
7 - Simply Business (R. Pierce) - 12-1
8 - Hurrikane Kingcole (G. Brennan) - 4-1
(Note that Bettors Edge and Allstar Legend are a Brittany Farms-coupled entry)
Elimination #2 - Race 6 - Purse $50,000
1 - Pet Rock (B. Sears) - 6-1
2 - Heston Blue Chip (T. Tetrick) - 9-2
3 - Thinking Out Loud (R. Waples) - 5-2
4 - Mel Mara (G. Brennan) - 8-1
5 - Time To Roll (A. Miller) - 4-1
6 - Hillbilly Hanover (R. Pierce) - 15-1
7 - Bolt The Duer (M. MacDonald) - 7-2
8 - I Fought Dalaw (D. Miller) - 12-1
A Rocknroll Dance, who won seven of 11 races last year, snapped a four-race losing streak last weekend by winning the $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Although it was the three-year-old colt pacer’s first win since a season-opening victory on May 19 in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, Mulinix was not unhappy with A Rocknroll Dance’s efforts this year.
“He’s been real good, we’ve just been having terrible racing luck,” Mulinix said. “I can’t blame the horse; he’s just been in the wrong place at the wrong times and had some rough trips.
“It’s finally nice to get back in the winner’s circle. This gets us heading in the right direction.”
Mulinix owns A Rocknroll Dance with Denny Miller, Diamond Creek Farm and J&T Silva Stables. Last year, the son of Rocknroll Hanover-Wichita Hanover won the $510,000 Governor’s Cup and was second in the Breeders Crown and Metro Pace on his way to $858,961 in purses.
With his victory in the Hempt, the colt pushed his lifetime earnings to $1.06 million. Prior to the Hempt, A Rocknroll Dance was third in his Hempt elim, seventh in the North America Cup, fifth in his Cup elim (beaten a half-length despite interference) and second by a nose to Time To Roll in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship.
“You need to win a few of the bigger money races to make the money,” Mulinix said. “This puts him over the million-dollar mark, so that’s nice.
“He hasn’t been in a race yet that I didn’t think he could win. That’s what is frustrating.”
Mulinix purchased A Rocknroll Dance for $15,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. The colt’s mother, Wichita Hanover, is a half-sister to standout racehorse and sire Western Hanover as well as multiple stakes-winner Wendy M Hanover, who is the dam of 2003 Woodrow Wilson winner Modern Art.
The trainer believes he can still make improvements to A Rocknroll Dance prior to the Meadowlands Pace. His winning time of 1:48.3 in the Hempt was a career best.
“I thought he was good (but) there are still a few things I see that I need to work on,” Mulinix said. “He’s not always the easiest horse to drive going to the gate; he wants to go and he fusses. Once he gets away from the gate and gets settled in, then you can pretty much do what you want. But I still want to improve a few steps if I can.”
Mulinix knows the challenges get no easier the rest of the season, particularly in a deep and talented group of 3-year-old pacers.
“There are so many good horses; I think half a dozen horses can win if things go their way,” Mulinix said. “I think whoever can survive the longest will be the (season’s) champion.”
This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.