Manalapan, NJ--It was a bittersweet Saturday night (July 13) at the Meadowlands as sons and daughters of the late Rocknroll Hanover displayed their skill, including victories in the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial for free-for all-pacers and the $184,250 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
At the same time these New Jersey-sired youngsters were displaying their stakes prowess, it spotlighted the loss of the young stallion in March from a gastric impaction.
A Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame inductee, Rocknroll Hanover was only 11. He spent most of his breeding career at Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge, N.J.
Pet Rock paced a stakes-record 1:47 to win the Haughton by three-quarters of a length with David Miller at the lines for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. The 4-year-old has banked $1,485,284 for owner Frank Bellino of Bronxville, N.Y.
Two races later, I Luv The Nitelife, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Chris Ryder, paced a mile in 1:50 and added the Mistletoe Shalee for her third straight stakes title, following the Fan Hanover at Mohawk and the Lynch at Pocono. She now has six wins in seven starts this year, 10 of 17 lifetime, with earnings of $1,191,577 for Richard & Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, Fla.
It has been a difficult setback for Perretti Farms to lose their premier pacing stallion. Each time one of Rocknroll Hanover’s offspring wins, it reminds them of what they have lost.
Rocknroll Hanover’s caretaker posted her thoughts on Facebook on Saturday night.
“Congrats to Pet Rock and I Luv The Nitelife, my Rocknroll darlings,” said Sarah Scott. “Very proud of the legacy my boy left.”
A member of the 2-year-old class of Rocknroll Hanover youngsters, Bolt Of Thunder also annexed a stakes on the Meadowlands card, taking the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. John Campbell drove the Larry Remmen trainee for owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ont. It was the filly’s first win in three starts and she covered the mile in 1:53.1.
Through mid-July, 589 starters by Rocknroll Hanover have accounted for more than $51 million in earnings.
The impact of Rocknroll Hanover did not end with his passing. He was able to breed some mares in 2013, and his sons and daughters, racing and breeding, will likely be quite impactful for decades to come.
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