Springfield, IL --- State-bred standout trotter Rock Hollywood will get an opportunity to follow last year’s Illinois State Fair Colt Stake 2-year-old championship with another in the sophomore division at Springfield.
|Photo courtesy of IHHA|
|Rock Hollywood has banked $41,100 in 2010.|
For the time being Rock Hollywood has been reunited with his former owner, breeder and trainer Mike Brink and Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee, who teamed-up to guide the son of Physic Spirit -- out of Brink’s broodmare Serafina The Great -- to stake triumphs at Springfield and in Balmoral’s $100,000 Lincoln Land Final last year prior to the colt’s sale to Kjell Magne Anderson of Oslo, Norway.
Under the care of Norwegian conditioner Torgeir Hagmann, Rock Hollywood held his own with some of the elite second season trotters in North America in the Goodtimes events in June at Mohawk, finishing a close second in his elimination and then fifth in the $375,390 championship, beaten only 1-1/2 lengths.
“Rock Hollywood was eligible to the Colonial at Chester (to be held on Sunday, August 22). That final goes for $500,000 and they have consolations of $200,000 and $100,000. In his last race at Mohawk, even though he did trot in (1):54 and a piece, he did scope sick,” said Brink.
“So they treated him for something like 10 days or two weeks and opted to send him down here to me for an Illinois bred stake (the Kadabra) two weeks ago,” continued the Springfield, Ill. based trainer. “It’s a 10-hour drive to Illinois and Rock Hollywood got here on a Saturday around three in the afternoon and it was 95 degrees. He raced the very next night and I had to have him in Balmoral’s detention barn that Sunday by 12 noon.
“The horse raced okay (third, beaten almost three lengths) but both Dave (Magee) and I thought he wasn’t as sharp as he could be. Not to make excuses but we did find out later he was dehydrated.
“I talked to the owner Mr. Andersen in Norway and he decided to leave the horse here in Illinois for a couple of weeks and have me work on him and see if I could get him good again. If Rock Hollywood races up to our expectations at Springfield he’ll go back up to Canada and compete in the Trotting Classic.
“Then he’ll come back to Illinois and race on Super Night in the Su Mac Lad (eliminations on Sept. 11),” added Brink.
“I’ve been working on Rock Hollywood every day. I trained him Tuesday and he trained pretty well. He’ll go prep race at Springfield today and we’ll just see from there how it goes.”
With nine horses passing the entry box for the Illinois State Fair Colt Stake for 3-year-old colts and geldings, eliminations weren’t needed and instead all nine state-bred trotters will compete in a prep (race 7) on the 11-race card. The $40,000 (est.) final will be contested on Wednesday, August 18, along with the championship for second season Illinois bred male pacers.
The 3-1 programmed favorite, Rock Hollywood landed the two-slot with Magee in today’s prep race. He’ll be challenged by Dutch Commander (Mike Oosting), Leaveitonthetrack (Bob Smolin), last year’s American-National champion Run And Tell Pap (Mike Cox), Fox Valley Smarty (Brent Ballinger), Super Sonic Flash (Rick Schrock), recent Kadabra winner Muscatine (Dale Hiteman), Powerful Speed (Todd Warren) and 2009 Illinois Colt Trotter of the Year Showmeyourstuff (Marcus Miller).
-- Mike Paradise writes a daily column for the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association at www.harnessillinois.com.