Meadowlands Pace To A Rocknroll Dance; WR For Check Me Out

Published: July 14, 2012 10:39 pm EDT

A Rocknroll Dance made a quarter pole move and cruised home to capture the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday evening to top off a big night for Quebec native Yannick Gingras at Meadowlands Racetrack.

After outside starters Allstar Legend and Jim Morrill Jr. nearly pushed the gate away as they fired to the lead, inside starters A Rocknroll Dance and Gingras pulled the pocket as the field moved by the :26.4 opening quarter and swept to command.

North America Cup champions Thinking Out Loud and Randy Waples were flushed first up from third during the second interval, but only offered up mild pressure as A Rocknroll Dance rolled past middle fractions of :54.2 and 1:21.2. With that rival leveling off in the stretch, the Rocknroll Hanover-Wichita Hanover colt cruised home for the 1:48.1 triumph. Pet Rock, driven by Brian Sears, rallied off cover to finish second while Allstar Legend settled for third.

"My horse felt super," said Gingras after the victory. "He got a cheap half and when you're racing against horses like this, if you get a cheap half, it's catch-me-if-you-can. They didn't tonight.

"The last eighth I was thinking I wish my grandfather [Jean-Marc Gingras] was here," added the reinsman. "He's my number one fan and that's who I was thinking about."

Jim Mulinix trains and owns A Rocknroll Dance with Diamond Creek Farm LLC, Denny Miller, and J And T Silva Stables LLC.

“I was a little nervous because the weather’s been so hot, and my horse has been heading back and forth [to Ohio],” said Mulinix. “We ship him home every week and make sure he gets green grass every day.

“I sold almost every horse I had, but I wanted to buy something before I retired,” he added. “I’m 60 years old. It’s a good thing I had a partner on him. I spent $15,000 on him, but I spent $18,000 on staking him.”

Gingras also earned victories with the John McDermott-trained Hurrikane Kingcole, who was flushed first up near the half and sprinted home to a dazzling 1:47.3 open length victory in the $100,000 consolation, and Jimmy Takter trainee Little Brown Fox in a $153,000 division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial.

"This is definitely the best night I've ever had," said Gingras. "All of them are speicial. I think Little Brown Fox set himself up good for the Hambletonian, this horse [A Rocknroll Dance] now proved what a great horse he is and winning for my buddy John McDermott was really sweet too."

Little Brown Fox front-stepped his way to a stakes record 1:51.2 triumph over fellow Takter trainee Guccio and Possess The Will, with Tetrick in the sulky.

“I didn’t know [favourite Googoo Gaagaa] made a break [on the first turn], but my strategy didn’t change,” said Gingras following that win. “Around the last turn he was all on his own. I let him trot a little bit around the last turn, but I didn’t chase him. Like I told Jimmy after the race, I showed him the whip at the top of the stretch and he took up like he was behind the gate. He was very impressive.

“He had a couple of things that needed to be worked on at Pocono [his prior start, finishing third in the Beal] and Jimmy surely did,” Gingras added. “I’m not really surprised with the time, we were going right along.”

Little Brown Fox, a son of Muscles Yankee, is owned by Toronto's John and Jim Fielding, New Jersey's Christina Takter, and Brittany Farms of Kentucky.

Takter swept the Stanley Dancer divisions as Uncle Peter turned back a challenge from third-place finisher Appomattox en route to winning the other $150,500 split in 1:53.1 with Ron Pierce in tow. Banker Volo and Morrill Jr. finished second off a pocket trip. The Cantab Hall colt is also owned by the Fieldings, Christina Takter, and New Jersey's Falkbolagen Ab.

“It was a piece of cake,” said Pierce following the victory. “Tim [Tetrick with Appomattox] came at us down the backstretch a little bit. I just gave him his head and let him trot on just enough to where I could keep that horse [Banker Volo] in behind us. I let him coast home. I didn’t even have to pull the ear plugs. He was very much within himself.”

“I love this horse,” added Takter. “I’m so happy to see this performance. It was a great race for him. He wasn’t extended, and it was a perfect race for him [to prep] for the Hambletonian. With this heat we’re just making sure to keep him hydrated and making sure he stays healthy and doesn’t get sick because they’re all things you have to consider as possibilities.”

Major Look converted from the pocket to upset favourites American Jewel and Tetrick in the $190,850 Misletoe Shalee, winning in a career-best clocking of 1:49.3 with Andy Miller aboard. Gingras grabbed third with Bettor B Lucky.

The Art Major filly was harnessed for the Mistletoe Shalee final by Kevin McDermott, deputized to replace his former employee and the filly’s previous trainer, Bob Riddle.

“Bob was going to jog her on Sunday morning and the horse ran him over out of the stall and fractured his leg and foot and shattered his kneecap,” explained Kevin McDermott. “Bob deserves all the credit with this horse. Andy and I discussed it, and we’re splitting our five per cents with Bob Riddle. Believe it or not he just called me. His phone wasn’t working, and he wanted to know how she did. Bob worked with me for a long time, and I give him horses when I don’t have room. The owners and their friends had horses with me in the past, and Bob asked me to take this filly for him. He gets all the credit.”

Major Look is owned by New York's Joseph Balkunas, Mark Giordano, and Anthony Pancella.

The Mistletoe Shalee has been known as the graveyard of favourites for three-year-old pacing fillies. American Jewel joins the likes of Put On A Show, Yellow Diamond, Tug River Princess, Southwind Tempo, Darlins Delight, Rainbow Blue, and Cabrini Hanover who were all defeated in the stake final.

“She just got beat,” commented Tetrick after American Jewel's second-place finish. “She raced hard, and she’s been a contender all year. [Major Look] finished second to her a couple of times in the qualifiers, and she’s beat her at Vernon in her first start. She’s a really good filly. She got a two-hole trip right behind me.”

Tetrick later delivered with Check Me Out, who left little doubt that she is the dominant three-year-old trotting filly of her generation, scoring a two and a half-length victory in a world record 1:51.3 in the $245,500 Del Miller Memorial. The mile erased the three-year-old trotting filly record of 1:51.4 set by Highscore Kemp in 2009 at DuQuoin, Illinois and the Miller stakes record of 1:52.3 held by Peaceful Way since 2004. The daughter of Donato Hanover was on the lead at every call, extending her winning streak to five. Win Missy B and Sears were second best off a pocket trip with Personal Style and Dave Miller five lengths back in third.

“You never know, but I had a lot of confidence in my filly,” said Tetrick. “She’s a champion, and it’s well-deserved. She’s definitely a contender [for the Hambletonian]. Colts are always tough but she’s as good anything out there.”

“She’s a killer, and she’s a lot better off the pace,” said Ray Schnittker, the trainer and co-owner with Charles Iannazzo of New York. “Probably right now, I’m leaning toward the Hambo [with the colts instead of the Oaks for fillies], but I’ve got to do some thinking. It’s my call.”

(With files from SBOANJ/Meadowlands Racetrack)



Thanks Mr. Robinski,
since you often support my opinions (and I yours) I am happy to give you half the credit for writing it:)

Another right on target comment from Mr. Riga. Wish I had wrote it!!

So Gerard according to you then we the fans who support this game with our money, let me say that again WITH OUR MONEY, then we should just shut up and never criticize a drive because we have never driven in a race. And I guess nobody who has not played in the NHL,or NBA or MLB even if you are seasons ticket holders and support the game WITH YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS should just shut up and never say a word because we are not entitled. This is what drives me crazy about this game. The constant talking out of both sides of their mouth by people who on the one hand want us to come to the track and spend our hard earned money but please shut up while doing so. Here's a news flash for you. I have no intention of shutting up. If I place my bet be it $2 or $2000 I fully intend to give my opinion of the drive or ride I received. I will do so in a respectful manner and I will not get persoanl but it is my right to voice my opinion. On the other hand if you prefer that we stay at home and keep our money in our pockets and not say a word so that nobodys feelings will be hurt well we can do that too. See how long your track will stay open.
Once again the constant contempt shown to the fans and bettors is unbelievable.

Oh and by the way I am not being critical of Mark MacDonald here. While I do question while not only he but others did not leave when their horse showed speed on their chart lines I happen to think that Mark is a fine driver and I do understand that they sometimes will try strategies different then what I may expect.

Somehow, it seems just too easy to be able to decide from the grandstands how any horse in a race should be driven!

Mark gets it done most times though.If ontario is in trouble,what does that say about the Meadowlands?600,000 for the Meadowlands pace this year,yet one and a half million plus for the NA Cup and even the Maple Leaf Trot beats it out in purse money.Whats going on?

In reply to by monty2044

With the NJSEA no longer funding racing at The Meadowlands, the 'Pace' went for less this year. They [NJSEA] topped up the purse to $1 million in the past.

It is hard to believe when you are going for 600,000 that you do not bust off the gate when you are one of the faves. The ten horse at 99-1 leaves hard and ends up getting a great trip and a nice paycheck. While the one I thought would leave, did not and finishes last. Oh by the way great job Yannick with the Meadowlands Pace. You earned it.

In reply to by dogwatts

We all knew Sweet lou has lost a bit recently, hell, even palone admitted he was off his last race, despite winning it, and mark elects not to gun it, but sit and follow sweet lou, bad decision, everone saw the horse busting for space last week,

Congrats to an all around nice guy & down to earth trainer Jim Mulinix, who is "hands on" and sits behind his own horse everyday! For all your hard work you deserve a win at the top!

From, Kendra & Al Casselman

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