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Dean On Classic Rock Nroll's Upside


Published: July 6, 2010 4:48 pm ET

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Possessing royal breeding and a hefty yearling price tag, it is safe to say that the best is still yet to come from Classic Rock Nroll, who has received plenty of post relief for Friday evening's $60,000 final of the Summertime Pacing Series at Mohawk Racetrack.

Carded as Race 7 (9:30 p.m.) on Mohawk's 11-dash docket, The 'Summertime' final showcases three-year-olds which were non-winners of two races or $10,000 in lifetime purse earnings as of March 31, 2010.

In a recent interview with the Woodbine Entertainment Group, Classic Rock Nroll's trainer, James 'Friday' Dean, explained how the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover is coming around just in time for his upcoming tilt.

"He's starting to learn that it's not quite as tough as he thought it was when we first started out with him," Dean said. "At the start he had absolutely no interest at all (in racing). Half way through the year (his two-year-old) he started to learn a little bit. He did win in (1:) 53 here (at Mohawk) and I took him to Lexington and that was a disaster. He didn't want to go that day; he didn't want [anything] to do with racing. So, we just though we'd shut 'er down after that and try to take a run at some of the three-year-old events that maybe some of the big boys don't go to."

2010 Summertime Pacing Series - Leg 1 - Classic Rock Nroll - 1:52.4

Classic Rock Nroll attracted a successful $180,000 bid when he went through the sales ring at the Harrisburg sale as a yearling in 2008. Much of that probably had to do with the fact that he is out of the same dam which produced pacing triple crown winner No Pan Intended and $2.5 million earner Bettors Delight. Although, as Dean explained during the WEG interview, the disinterested colt was eventually castrated. The move obviously cut short any chance of a post-race career in the breeding shed, but the now-gelding's career on track seems to be rounding into form.

"The first time we schooled the horse he didn't want to pass another horse or anything," the trainer explained. "Coming off the track he was more worried about the other animals beside him instead of what he was actually going to do. We castrated him. Mr. Grant was still with us then and he had no problem castrating the colt. He (Classic Rock Nroll) kind of came around after that. I think that he's starting to figure out that it's (racing is) not that tough."

In eight starts this year, Classic Rock Nroll has recorded a single victory, notched two second-place victories and stashed away over $69,000 in earnings. Previous to the Summertime Pacing Series, it was his fourth-place effort against some of the continent's top three-year-olds in the $500,000 New Jersey Classic which allowed Dean and company to see exactly what kind of gelding they have on their hands at this point.

Dean is quick to point out that even thought Classic Rock Nroll paced in 1:50 flat during the Jersey Classic at the Meadowlands Racetrack, the whipping rules are different in the Garden State, which is another factor to be considered when assessing how the gelding may race in Ontario.

"He's just a notch below the best," said Dean. "The whipping rule hurts us here. I'm not advocating the horse getting 'beat up' or anything like that, but at the Meadowlands you can hit them (horses), and it made a big difference with him down there. Here, the boys have to be careful, so that's the way the rules are."

Classic Rock Nroll will be facing a field of 10 competitors Friday and will be starting from the rail.

To view the entries for Mohawk's Friday card of racing, click here.

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