Day At The Track

Can Ideal Rocky win the $685,000 Metro Pace?

09:48 AM 28 Aug 2015 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Ideal Rocky, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion
Ideal Rocky, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion
Lisa Photo

Freehold, NJ --- The test is coming soon. Harness racing trainer John Butenschoen hopes his young student Ideal Rocky is ready to excel.

Ideal Rocky is among 23 horses preparing for Saturday’s (Aug. 29) three eliminations for the Metro Pace for 2-year-old male pacers at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. The top three finishers from each division plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the C$685,000 final on Sept. 5.

The Mohawk card also includes eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby for older male pacers and the She’s A Great Lady Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers.

Ideal Rocky, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion, is in the second of the three Metro eliminations. He is 6-1 on the morning line, with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Butenschoen. Brad Maxwell’s Control The Moment, undefeated in five lifetime starts, is the 7-5 choice.

Eight of the last nine editions of the Metro Pace on a fast track have been won with times faster than 1:51, with four triumphs in less than 1:50. None of this year’s 23 Metro hopefuls have been quicker than 1:51.1 so far, and only four have won with times faster than 1:52. Ideal Rocky’s mark is 1:52.4, set in a non-stakes start Aug. 7 at the Meadowlands.

“It looks like it’s a real evenly matched group of colts up there,” Butenschoen said. “A lot of these horses are pacing big last halves and quarters. We know they have speed, but when they stretch them out and get to the three-quarters in 1:21 or 1:22 we’ll see which ones get tired and which ones have fight to them. We don’t know.

“It will be interesting to see which ones are going to step up. Time will tell. We’ll know in another week for sure. Hopefully when they push them a little harder (Ideal Rocky) will have enough fight left in him to push on and be a good colt.”

With a name like “Rocky,” he should show some fight.

“Hopefully he’ll be on the right side of the way we’re thinking than on the wrong side,” Butenschoen said, laughing.

Ideal Rocky is a son of stallion Rocknroll Hanover, who won the 2004 Metro Pace in 1:49.4, out of the mare Eternity’s Delight, who won the 2006 Jugette.

He was purchased for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick. His family also includes previous New Jersey Sire Stakes champion colt I Fought Dalaw as well as stakes-winners Emeritus Maximus, Racing Star, and Western Glory.

“We spend as much time at the farms as we can,” Butenschoen said. “We probably look at two-thirds of all the horses that are in the sale. He was on Bill’s list of pedigree and my list of conformation, so we went after him. He’s a real well-bred colt. He looked the part.

“If he had been New York-eligible or Pennsylvania-eligible, I think he would have been well over a six-figure horse. We got a discount for the New Jersey program. It’s hard to make money there. Hopefully things will get changed around; some legislation (in New Jersey) will prove fruitful. My Pennsylvania colts aren’t eligible to the Metro because they can race for enough money without having to go. But this colt has to go somewhere to get a shot at better money.”

Ideal Rocky has won three of six races and earned $82,144. He heads to his Metro Pace elimination off a third-place finish in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes on Aug. 22 at Mohawk. The Catamount Kid won the race, with Sossy’s King Kong finishing second.

“We made a couple little equipment changes on him after his start up there,” Butenschoen said. “He had the rail and was looking at stuff down on the inside. We kind of gave up the race a little bit last week when he wasn’t able to get out of there how we wanted to. Then coming first up into soft fractions wasn’t quite his trip.

“But it was a good race for him and a learning lesson for us. We trained him yesterday and he trained good. Hopefully with a start up there over the track he should be ready to roll. We’ll see what we’ve got.”

Below are the fields for the Metro eliminations, with drivers, trainers and morning line.

Elimination One

1. Bank Shot Hanover by The Panderosa, Corey Callahan, Daniel Renaud, 12-1

2. Blayde Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, Sylvain Filion, Tony O’Sullivan, 15-1

3. Stonebridge Beach by Mach Three, Stephane Pouliot, Stephane Larocque, 12-1

4. Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-2

5. Voracity by Sportswriter, Randy Waples, Tony Alagna, 2-1

6. American Passport by American Ideal, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 4-1

7. Cruise Patrol by Bettor's Delight, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 6-1

8. Nvestment Bluechip by Shadow Play, Jody Jamieson, Dave Menary, 8-1

Elimination Two

1. Carter Beach by Somebeachsomewhere, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 10-1

2. Highlandbeachycove by Somebeachsomewhere, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 12-1

3. Sossy’s King Kong by Dragon Again, Doug McNair, R. Nifty Norman, 8-1

4. Ideal Rocky by Rocknroll Hanover, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 6-1

5. Manny by American Ideal, David Miller, Howard Okusko Jr., 10-1

6. Control The Moment by Well Said, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell, 7-5

7. Racing Hill by Roll With Joe, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna, 5-1

8. Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 7-2

Elimination Three

1. Mind Trip by American Ideal, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna, 5-1

2. Talk Show by Art Major, John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 2-1

3. Betting Line by Bettor's Delight, Steve Condren, Casie Coleman, 3-1

4. Pretty Boy Hill by Somebeachsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1

5. Rodeo Rock by Rock N Roll Heaven, Randy Waples, Don Swick, 12-1

6. The Catamount Kid by Well Said, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 5-2

7. Real Kid by Real Desire, Doug McNair, Larry Ainsworth, 15-1

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: