A Rocknroll Dance, Googoo Gaagaa and Romantic Moment were the biggest of the big 3-year-old winners on the Super Sunday Stakes day at Harrah's Philadelphia Sunday afternoon. Also, free-for-aller Chapter Seven won the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational Trot in 1:52.1 by open lengths over Anders Bluestone.
A Rocknroll Dance, with regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky, captured the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine by about one-half length over Pet Rock in 1:48.1. The time was a track record and also equaled A Rocknroll Dance's personal best. The pacesetter Hurrikane Kingcole faded while Sweet Lou took third.
The race got underway as expected, with Hurrikane Kingcole showing his blazing speed by quickly taking the lead from post three. Dave Palone left hard as well with Sweet Lou from post eight but couldn't beat Hurrikane Kingcole, and Palone elected to drop in second, right in front of A Rocknroll Dance.
Hurrikane Kingcole hit the opening quarter in :25.3 and proceded uncontested to the half in :52.3. With the very fast pace, no one moved until the backstretch. Gingras sensed an opportunity and A Rocknroll Dance quickly shifted into high gear and drew alongside Hurrikane Kingcole before the turn. Just as the three-quarter time of 1:20.1 was flashed, Gingras guided his colt over to the pylons.
Hurrikane Kingcole was tired and began to fade and the race was then left to Sweet Lou and those from behind. Pet Rock, driven by Brian Sears, rallied for second while Sweet Lou held on for third. Hurrikane Kingcole faded to sixth.
A Rocknroll Dance, a colt by Rocknroll Hanover, picked up his fourth win in 11 starts this season and increased his 2012 bankroll to $901,425 for the A Rocknroll Dance Stable, which includes Jerry and Theresa Silva, trainer Jim Mulinix, Denny Miller and Diamond Creek Farm.
As for the romp by Chapter Seven in the Maxie Lee Memorial Trot, Chapter Seven's co-owner Richard Gutnick was friends with Lee, who died in 2001.
"Maxie Lee was my friend and my mentor,” said Gutnick, who lives 25 miles north of Harrah's Philadelphia and is the CFO of a medical supply company in the Philadelphia suburbs. "I had a trainer's license. Maxie and his grooms took me under their wings and taught me the old horsemanship. Maxie was a tremendous person, a real gentleman. I thought the world of him.
"To win this race had even more significance because of Maxie. There will always be fond memories in my mind because of Maxie.” (with files from Harness Racing Communications)