Rock N Roll Heaven made a resounding statement toward Horse of the Year honors with a dominating 1:49 victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old colt pacers Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The event wrapped up the 12-race Crown extravaganza that resulted in all 12 divisions setting new stakes records for the races on a five-eighths mile oval.
Although it was longshot Shoobee's Place who got the first call to the lead out of the gate, it was One More Laugh and Tim Tetrick who emerged in front when the dust cleared. After a :26.1 quarter led to a :53.2 half, it was Rock N Roll Heaven and driver Daniel Dube who had secured the front. As the field headed down the backstretch, a parked-out Rockin Image was then dropped into the two hole by Yannick Gingras, directly in front of One More Laugh.
One More Laugh has had breaking issues at Pocono in the past and the gremlins once again surfaced as that colt went offstride a few moments later. Dube still had his foot on the gas pedal as Rock N Roll Heaven reached the three-quarters in a blazing 1:19.4. There was no letting up as the son of Rocknroll Hanover rushed home to the 1:49 victory, easingly besting Fred And Ginger and driver Brian Sears by 5 1/2 lengths. We Will See was third for Brett Miller.
"That's him. He does it so easy; he's a great horse," Dube answered when asked in the winner''s circle about the fast fractions.
"Those were bizarre fractions," added Bruce Saunders, who trains the winner for owner Frank Bellino. "On the backside it looked to me like he was on cruise control. To go :19.4 and still have plenty to spare, that's impressive."
The win was the fifth straight for Rock N Roll Heaven, a streak that includes his world-record, straight-heat win in the Little Brown Jug. Overall, Rock N Roll Heaven has 11 wins in 16 starts this year with earnings of more than $1.47 million. Saunders indicated afterward that with Rock N Roll Heaven is now headed for The Red Mile for possible starts in the Bluegrass on Oct. 16 and Tattersalls on Oct. 23, the latter of which the colt would have to be supplemented into by Bellino.