Manalapan, NJ--Gold Rocks and Ideal Helen were both easy winners in their respective divisions of the Lou Babic Memorial on Saturday (Sept. 7) at Freehold Raceway.
Gold Rocks captured the $96,200 Babic Open in 1:54.4 while Ideal Helen annexed the $61,900 Babic Filly in a stakes-record 1:54.3.
Both stakes are for New Jersey-sired 2-year-old pacers.
Gold Rocks [$2.20], a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Full Of Gold, was able to repel the challenge of Useful Hanover (by Western Ideal), to win by 4-1/2 lengths in the ninth race. Rocknroll Reality [by Rocknroll Hanover] was third by 7-1/4 lengths.
George Brennan was at the lines of the Tony Alagna-trained Gold Rocks, sent off at odds of 1-9. The colt paced the mile in a career-best 1:54.4.
Gold Rocks picked up his second straight win in four tries and lifted his earnings to $59,400 for Eagles Soar Partners, Alan Alber, Joe Sbrocco and Mystical Marker Farms.
Ideal Helen overcame a restart to win the Babic Filly, the third race, by three-quarters of a length over Beautiful Lady (Rocknroll Hanover), whose broken equipment caused the recall. Rosie De Vie (Western Ideal) was third by 8-1/2 lengths.
Ideal Helen, a daughter of Western Ideal-Armbro Nectarine, settled into a two-hole trip until Marcus Miller sent her after Beautiful Lady, who cut the fractions. The final time of 1:54.3 eclipsed the stakes record of 1:55.1 set by Happy Dreamer in 2007.
Ideal Helen now has three wins and two seconds in eight tries. She has banked $72,380 for owner-breeder D. Van Witzenburg of Crest Hill, Ill.