Day At The Track

World champ Pet Rock to stand at Yirribee

06:14 AM 08 May 2014 NZST
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Pet Rock, harness racing
Pet Rock to stand at Yirribee Pacing Stud
Lisa Photo

Pet Rock 1:47 ($1,984,204), the fastest pacer ever on a half-mile and five-eighths mile track, is to do stud duty at one of New South Wales' leading studs, Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga this season.

The brilliant, young stallion has just completed his first season at the prestige Midland Acres stud, Ohio where he served a full book of 140 mares at a $6,000 fee.

"We're thrilled to have been able to secure a horse of his accomplishments to stand stud in Australia," Global Stallion Management director Scott Robertson said. "His record speaks for itself."

Pet Rock started on 45 occasions over three seasons and totted up 16 wins and 18 minor placings.

A winner in 1:52.6 as a two-year-old, Pet Rock banked $934,518 at three racing against top horses such as A Rocknroll Dance, Bolt The Duer, Sweet Lou and Thinking Out Loud.

Among his successes were the $306,204 Art Rooney at Yonkers in a stakes and track record of 1:51 and the $215,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood Park in 1:51.8. He also finished second in the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace, $415,000 Messenger Stake, $322,000 Cane Pace and $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine and third in the $587,000 Confederation Cup.

As a four-year-old Pet Rock really came into his own, netting $972,820 from six wins and five placings in 18 appearances. He took his record of 1:47 at four years, winning the $471,800 William Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands, coming from post nine with a 26.6 seconds closing quarter.

He established world records on a half-mile track winning the Winbak Farm Pace9 at Delaware in 1:48.2 and a five-eighths track capturing the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs in 1:47.4 and was only one-fifth of a second away from being the fastest horse over a half-mile, five-eighths and one mile track.

Pet Rock - World Record

Pet Rock - World Record

Pet Rock's other successes at four included the $150,000 Roll With Joe in 1:48.2 (beating Foiled Again $6.2-million), $200,000 American National in 1:48.4 and the $223,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, while he finished runner-up in the $500,000 Breeders Crown, $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace and fourth in the Canadian Pacing Derby and US Pacing Championship.

Virgil Morgan Jnr, who trained Pet Rock, said: "He is such a consistent horse and never throws in a bad race. He can also do it any way you want. Sometimes it seems like he has three lungs!"

Hall of Fame driver David Miller said: "He's a pleasure to drive. Obviously his greatest asset is he can carry his speed as far as he can. He amazes me."

Pet Rock is a quality young horse bred on a classic cross of blood - that of Rocknroll Hanover his sire and Artsplace his maternal sire.

Rocknroll Hanover, the sire of Pet Rock, was twice America's champion pacing sire and from just five crops before his untimely death  and they have banked more than $62-million, with 142 $100,000 earners and 39 in the 1:50 list.

A champion pacer himself, with a record of 1:48.6, Rocknroll Hanover was the world's champion two-year-old pacer at which age he took a record of 1:49.8; was named 3YO of the Year and he ran up a record tally of $2,754,038 to the end of his two and three-year-old racing.

Pet Rock belongs to a noted female line, his dam Casual Beauty (1:54) being by Artsplace (1:49.4), champion sire and broodmare sire from Casual Brilliance (1:58), by Cam Fella (1:53.2) from Velvet Dream (1:55.2), by Albatross (1:54.6), who was dubbed 'Super Bird' for his outstanding racetrack and siring deeds.

Casual Beauty, the dam of Pet Rock, has proved a prolific broodmare. She is also the dam of Stonebridge Ideal (1:52.2), Casual Lauxmont (1:53.4) and Stonebridge Adonis (1:54) and, in all, nine winners from nine foals with eight in 2:00 and four in 1:55.

Casual Brilliance, the dam of Casual Beauty, left five winners in 1:57, two of whom took records of better than 1:55, while the third dam, Velvet Dream, left 13 winners with five in 1:55.

A striking bay horse, foaled in 2009, Pet Rock is the fastest performed son of  Rocknroll Hanover, and as a representative of the famed Western Hanover sire line his influence promises to be widely exerted. He is also a member of a winning family that has produced top racehorses and leading sires.

Pet Rock's service fee in America is $6,000 at which he was fully booked within 10 days, but he is available to Australian breeders for $4,400 payable on 42 day positive test which includes multiple mare and kindred body discounts. No further discounts will be available.

His progeny will be eligible for the NSW Breeders Challenge, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, Vicbred (conditions apply) and the Breeders Challenge Blue Series.

Peter Wharton

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