view counter
view counter

Ready To 'Rock' The Cup?

Published: May 12, 2016 8:11 pm ET

No Comments | Jump to Comments

Rockin In Heaven made a name for himself last year as a surprising Grand Circuit competitor and Sunday he will look to continue making a mark in the $244,000 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs.

The Dr. Ian Moore trainee will be making his third start of his four-year-old season on Sunday after earning more than $367,000 last season as a sophomore.

Rockin In Heaven was not on many, if any, radars to be a Grand Circuit level colt last year and his conditioner is not shy to admit even he was caught off guard by his trainee’s breakout season.

“As I stated last year, he has been one of the most pleasant surprising horses I’ve ever had in my entire life,” said Dr. Moore, Thursday afternoon. “How he went from a two-year-old that was so-so to a nice stakes horse last year, hopefully he will become a nice four-year-old this year.”

The journey to a nice four-year-old season has certainly started off well for the son of Rock N Roll Heaven. Rockin In Heaven finished a close fourth in his season debut on April 30 and followed it up with an impressive 1:50.1 victory last Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.

The Dr. Moore trainee will now tackle his first stakes engagement of the season Sunday and will be forced to overcome the tough starting spot of post seven.

“He’s really feeling good and all that sort of thing,” Moore said. “It’s really a shame that we drew so bad, which as everybody knows is very important in a half-mile track race of that calibre or any calibre.”

Rockin In Heaven, who is 7-1 on the morning line, is no stranger to stepping up in big moments.

He was an 11-1 upset winner in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes last June at Mohawk and a few months later, at the exact same price, won the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs.

Rockin In Heaven spent most of last summer on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, becoming well adjusted to racing on a half-mile track. Sunday’s Confederation Cup will put him against some familiar faces from his Empire State battles.

“There is a lot of New York horses in there that he raced against, including National Seelster and Americanprimetime,” said Moore. “So they are all good half-mile horses.”

Dr. Moore is confident his driver, who is very familiar with Ontario’s half-mile tracks, gives Rockin In Heaven a bit of an added boost in Sunday’s dash.

“Trevor [Henry] is well-versed on a half-mile track, so I’m glad we have Trevor to drive,” said Moore. “He got along very well with him last year and we are looking forward to Sunday.”

Henry and Rockin In Heaven have teamed up on 13 occasions and visited the winner’s circle in six of those starts.

Dr. Moore will leave the strategy up to his driver on Sunday, but with heavy favourite Wiggle It Jiggleit starting from the second tier, the start and first turn at Flamboro could be interesting.

“Our horse has raced at Flamboro as a two-year-old and he finished his two-year-old season there,” noted Moore. “I presume there will be a bit of a mad dash [at the start].”

Dr. Moore co-owns the four-year-old with Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordon McComb. Rockin In Heaven is entering the Confederation Cup less than $2,000 away from $400,000 in career earnings.

Whether Rockin In Heaven is able to stun his rivals on Sunday, Moore knows his pleasant surprise will certainly give him and his co-owners a great effort.

“He’s a very tough animal. He’s always up to the task and no matter what he always gives us his best.”


view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal