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Rock N Roll Heaven sets pair of stakes records in winning the Jug
Thursday, September 23, 2010 - by Paul Ramlow, USTA Internet News Manager

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Delaware, OH --- Frank Bellino's Rock N Roll Heaven came to Delaware for the $604,100 Little Brown Jug as one of the favorites. He left with a pair of stakes records and the Jug trophy.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Rock N Roll Heaven claimed the 65th edition of the Jug on Thursday at the Delaware County Fair in straight heats.
Rock N Roll Heaven won his elimination with a stakes and world record equalling mile of 1:49.2, then duplicated that effort in the $289,969 second heat final to claim the 65th edition of the race on Thursday (Sept. 23) at the Delaware Ohio County Fair.

With Daniel Dube in the bike for trainer Bruce Saunders, Rock N Roll Heaven started from post position two in the final and got away second behind I'm Gorgeous (Andy Miller, post three) heading to the first turn.

But Dube was not content with the pocket trip and brushed to the front before the opening panel in :27.1. Dube cut middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:23, then pulled away in the lane for a 2-1/4 quarter length victory over I'm Gorgeous. Razzle Dazzle (David Miller) finsihed third.

The two victories give Rock N Roll Heaven nine wins in 14 season's starts and his share of the purse ($280,303) gives him 2010 earnings of $1,211,278.

The 1:49.2 clockings equalled the world record for a 3-year-old pacing colt on a half-mile track set by Somebeachsomewhere at Flamboro Downs in the 2008 Confederation Cup final. His two-heat time of 3:38.4 lowered the former time of 3:40.1 set by Shadow Play in the 2008 Jug.

"He's been so good the last couple weeks, but it (the little bit of a layoff) helped him," said winnning driver Daniel Dube. "I don't think he really minds to race.

"You know he went the second heat in 1:49.2 again and he doesn't look tired. Bruce does and did a great job with him, keeping him fresh and getting him fresh. He's so handy and you can do whatever you want with him."

"Rock N Roll Heaven is so handy," said trainer Bruce Saunders. "He is such a great horse, so tenacious. He can race first over, from the front or from behind. It is not the trainer who teaches him, but it is his pedigree -- a great sire."

Rock N Roll Heaven, Classic Rock Nroll, I'm Gorgeous win Jug eliminations

Rock N Roll Heaven brushed to the lead at the half-mile marker and then rolled to a stakes record and world record equalling 1:49.2 triumph in the $64,437 opening elimination of the Little Brown Jug.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Rock N Roll Heaven rolled to a stakes record 1:49.2 triumph in the $64,437 opening elimination of the Little Brown Jug.

Aracache Hanover and Doug McNair brushed to the lead from post eight to take early command, before yielding to Kyle Major (Mark MacDonald) by the fast opening quarter in :26.1. Kyle Major was still was on top heading to the :54 half-mile marker before being pressured on the outside by Rock N Roll Heaven and Daniel Dube.

As Rock N Roll Heaven cleared to the front, Kyle Major went on a break and headed inside the plyons. That left Rock N Roll Heaven alone on the front end and on his way to the 1:21.4 three-quarter pole.

From there it was all Rock N Roll Heaven, as he rolled to the finish line in a time of 1:49.2, defeating runner-up Razzle Dazzle (John Campbell) and Dreamlands Art (George Brennan).

The winner is owned by Frank Bellino and trained by Bruce Saunders.

In the second elimination, Kathleen Grant's Classic Rock Nroll took advantage of a three-hole trip then took over the lead on the final turn on the way to a 1:50.4 triumph, a national season's mark for a sophomore pacing gelding on a half-mile track.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Classic Rock Nroll took over the lead on the final turn on the way to a 1:50.4 triumph.
John Campbell was in the bike for trainer James "Friday" Dean as the Rocknroll Hanover gelding posted his third win of the season. He was a 1-1/2 length winner over Piece Of The Rock (Paul MacDonell) with Doc's Yankee (Dan Noble) third.

Delmarvalous and Brian Sears cut the fractions in this elimination, taking the field to the quarter in :25.4, the half in :53.3 and the three-quarters in 1:22.2. Campbell pulled off the wood and improved to second at the three-quarter pole, then passed the tiring Delmarvalous (who faded to fifth).

In the third and final elimination, Elmer Fannin and George Teague, Jr. Inc.'s I'm Gorgeous won a tight stretch duel with Rockin Image to emerge victorious in a time of 1:50.2.

Andy Miller was in the bike for trainer Teague as the Bettor's Delight colt won for the fourth time in 14 season's starts.

There was plenty of action on the front end in this elimination. Miller sent I'm Gorgeous to the lead from post three and they reached the opening quarter on top in :26.1, before yielding to One More Laugh (Tim Tetrick) on the second turn.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
I'm Gorgeous won a tight stretch duel with Rockin Image to emerge victorious in a time of 1:50.2. 
One More Laugh took the field to the :53.3 half-mile marker, but his lead was short lived, as he gave up the front end to Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras) by the 1:21 three-quarter pole.

Heading for home, Rockin Image was all out to hit the wire first, but was engaged by I'm Gorgeous who won a tight photo by a head in the 1:50 clocking. One More Laugh held on for third.

The top three horses in each elimination qualified for the final, but One More Laugh was scratched.

"We're all done," said trainer Ray Schnittker. "We're getting ready for the Breeders Crown next week."

-- Kim French also contributed to this report

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