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Rock N Roll Heaven heading to Deo Volente Farms
Friday, September 11, 2015 - by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

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Manalapan, NJ --- The Bellino family weighed the risks with the potential rewards and decided to relocate their 8-year-old stallion, Rock N Roll Heaven, to Deo Volente Farm in Flemington, N.J.

 
USTA/Mark Hall photo
Rock N Roll Heaven is relocating to Deo Volente Farm in New Jersey.

The 2010 Horse of the Year, owned by Joe and Frank Bellino, stood at Blue Chip Farms in New York for the past four seasons.

“The Bellinos want to help New Jersey because they see that New Jersey is working to help itself,” said Michael J. Gulotta, chief executive officer of Deo Volente Farm. “I told them all the negatives but also the potential upside.

“Forces are moving in the right direction, and there is a great chance at revitalization in New Jersey,” added Gulotta, who chairs the Breeders Committee of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. “Like the gentrification of Jersey City, where they took advantage of the natural resources, I think the same thing applies to horse breeding in this state. I believe that taking the risk associated with being in the business will pay off. And the greatest returns go to the greatest risk takers. I think it is a risk but not without its merits.”

Gulotta noted that the SBOANJ’s New Jersey Pacing Stallion Breeding Incentive Program played a role in the Bellinos' decision.

For the 2015 breeding season, the incentive program offers a rebate of the full advertised stallion fee (up to $2,500 maximum) for New Jersey resident mares and 50 percent of the stallion fee (up to a $1,250 maximum) for non-resident mares.

“I’m hopeful that program will be extended and attract more mares to New Jersey,” said Gulotta. “We need to attract stallions to have a New Jersey program. If there is no program, we won’t need New Jersey farms.”

Joe Bellino and his father, Frank, announced their decision on Thursday after considering several options for moving their stallion.

"We've been disappointed in his last couple of breeding books,” Joe Bellino told harnessracing.com. "Blue Chip tried their best with him, and I know they wanted to keep him, even until the end.”

Bellino said that regardless of the money or other issues, he wanted to step up and help New Jersey racing and breeding.

“Instead of everybody running away, maybe some people should run to help,” Bellino noted. “Let's do the right thing.”

“Now it is my obligation to make sure the horse’s career is a success,” said Gulotta, whose Deo Volente Farm was honored as New Jersey’s Breeder of the Year in 2014. “I’ll do everything in my power from marketing to legislation to innovative programs. I’ve been asked to run for state senate, but I’m having too much fun doing what I’m doing.

“Our farm manager, Fidencio Cervantez, has handled some of the top stallions in our industry, including Rock N Roll Heaven's own sire, Rocknroll Hanover, in addition to Muscles Yankee, Matt's Scooter, Artiscape, and others. And I have Bob Marks to market this horse,” Gulotta added. “We have a solid team.”

Deo Volente’s New Jersey farm stands the trotters Trixton and Wishing Stone along with the pacers World of Rocknroll, Lis Mara and If I Can Dream.

Rock N Roll Heaven’s first foals are 3-year-olds this year, led by the fillies Sassa Hanover p,1:49.4 ($704,002), Band Of Angels p,1:50 ($350,245) and Divine Caroline p,1:49.4f ($344,333).

Rock N Roll Heaven’s 2016 stud fee will be announced soon.


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