Day At The Track

Hometown quest for Dan Patch title

08:16 AM 10 Aug 2017 NZST
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Rock N' Roll World has banked $647,902 in his career.
Rock N' Roll World has banked $647,902 in his career

Columbus, OH --- He may not possess the physical frame, bankroll or the title of world champion which five of his nine harness racing rivals in Friday’s (Aug. 11) $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes can boast of, but Rock N’ Roll World can present his own credentials as to why he will be the horse standing in the winner’s circle in Hoosier Park’s signature event.

He also represents the faith his connections have placed in him and the Indiana program.

“He’s a small horse, but he takes such good care of himself,” said Tom Pollack, the stallion’s co-owner. “Jeff (Cullipher, trainer and fellow owner) was almost out of the business several years ago and it means a lot to us to have a horse that can compete in this race. We decided to supplement him (for $25,000) because we think he belongs, but it’s also an honor for us to have a horse in the Dan Patch, as well as be a part of this event at Hoosier Park.”

Although Rock N’ Roll World might not be as tall as the rest of the field of 10, the 5-year-old stallion certainly can flaunt a pedigree that occupies a lofty position in the sport. Purchased by Pollack and Cullipher for $165,000 at this year’s Tattersalls Spring Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands, the son of Rocknroll Hanover-Worldly Beauty descends from a lineage pedigree experts would stamp with an excessively strong seal of approval.

Rock N’ Roll World also has another item on his resume in addition to $647,902 in purse money, a record of 71-17-15-9 and a lifetime mark of 1:48.3. The most stellar mile of his career was acquired over the Anderson oval just five days (May 12) after taking up residence in his new barn and was the fastest mile of the season at that juncture.

In his return to Hoosier Park after a two-month absence, the stallion will leave from post position seven with John De Long holding the reins. The duo is rated 10-1 on the morning line, with the swift All Bets Off (post two, Matt Kakaley) as the early favorite at 7/2. Recent Sam McKee Memorial winner Check Six is the second choice at 4/1 odds with Yannick Gingras in post nine, while 2015 North America Cup victor Wakizashi Hanover (post 10, Tim Tetrick, 9/2) is the third selection.

“Tom and I talked it over and waited to see what horses would be coming,” Cullipher said. “We felt the horse deserved to be in and it’s home for him. I wish we would have drawn a little left of the car, but that’s why you race horses. He trained well (Tuesday) and we know he likes it here. We feel like it’s a wide-open race; anyone can win.”

Their analysis of the contest is quite valid. The field also includes 2015 Cane Pace winner Dealt A Winner (post one, Aaron Merriman, 15/1), the 2015 Breeders Crown winner Freaky Feet Pete (post four, Trace Tetrick, 8/1), 2014 O’Brien and Dan Patch Award-winner McWicked (post three, David Miller, 5/1) and Canada’s swiftest horse, Dr J Hanover (post six, 10/1). There is also the ever dangerous Rockin Ron (post eight, Ricky Macomber Jr., 6/1).

“Ed Hart and Jeff have done a tremendous job with this horse,” Pollack said. “They deserve all the credit. If Jeff can be in the winner’s circle with him at Hoosier Park we needed to take the chance with the supplement. I’m just thankful I have the opportunity to participate in events of this level and it makes it more meaningful to work with these guys. I can only imagine how Jeff will be holding the horse if he wins the race. It would mean so much to him.”

Always modest, Cullipher prefers to pursue a more divine course.

“All you can do is race your horses and see what the good Lord has in store,” he said. “It’s really up to him.”

The 2017 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes:

  1. Dealt A Winner         by Cams Card Shark          Tr: Mark Silva                Dr:  Aaron Merriman    15-1
  2. All Bets Off               by Bettor's Delight               Tr: Ron Burke                Dr:  Matt Kakaley       7-2
  3. McWicked                 by Mcardle                          Tr: Casie Coleman         Dr:  David Miller         5-1
  4. Freaky Feet Pete      by Rockin Image                 Tr: Marty Rheinheimer   Dr:  Trace Tetrick       8-1
  5. Manhattan Beach     by Somebeachsomewhere    Tr: Walter Haynes Jr.   Dr: Sam Widger        30-1
  6. Dr J Hanover            by Somebeachsomewhere    Tr: Tony Alagna            Dr: John De Long     10-1
  7. Rock N Roll World     by Rocknroll Hanover           Tr: Jeff Cullipher           Dr: John De Long     10-1
  8. Rockin Ron                by Real Desire                      Tr: Ron Burke               Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr. 6-1
  9. Check Six                  by Somebeachsomewhere   Tr: Ron Burke                Dr: Yannick Gingras    4-1
  10. Wakizashi Hanover   by Dragon Again                   Tr: Jo Ann Looney-King    Dr: Tim Tetrick       9-2

by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

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