Gillespie sends Rip This Joint to Adios
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"We've been very fortunate."
The Adios, for 3-year-old pacers, attracted five participants from last weekend's Meadowlands Pace, with runner-up Racing Hill and third-place Check Six joined by fifth-place Lyons Snyder in the first elimination and fourth-place Manhattan Beach and 10th-place Another Daily Copy in the second division.
The top four finishers from both eliminations plus the fifth-place finisher with the highest lifetime purse earnings will advance to the $400,000 Adios final on July 30.
"(Rip This Joint) is not going to be the favorite, but you never know how things will shake out during a race," Gillespie said. "It's going to be fun. We live 20 minutes from the track and we'll have a bunch of people there."
A son of Western Terror out of the stakes-winning mare Cheryl Hanover, Rip This Joint was purchased for $13,000 under the name Rose Run Reily at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale. He was renamed by Gillespie, a Rolling Stones aficionado, after the group's second song on the "Exile on Main Street" album. Gillespie often renames horses after songs by the band.
"I'm a huge Rolling Stones fan," Gillespie said. "They've got so many songs that could be great horse names; I figured we'd start naming some of the ones we buy. I just thought it would be fun. Some of my favorites were already used, but Rip This Joint was available and I thought it sounded pretty cool. And it's a fantastic song."
Gillespie was happy to come away with Rip This Joint, especially since it seemed the hand of fate intervened.
"It was kind of a fluke that we got him," Gillespie said. "It was pouring down rain and a lot of people had already cleared out. Mike Palone was leaving the sale and as he was walking out he saw this horse walking into the ring. He decided to stick around; the horse looked so good he needed to bid on him.
"We got him for less than we ever expected, because he looked so good. We got him just by chance. I credit it to luck and to Mike."
Last year, Rip This Joint won two of 11 starts and earned $33,080. He had two wins and a second-place finish in his first three outings -- all conditioned races -- before heading on to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit.
"We liked the horse early on, and we probably liked him too much," Gillespie said. "In his third start he paced in (1):53.4 and we thought we had a sire stakes horse. He just got too tired last year chasing those horses. Our gut feeling was that we probably over-classified him and he wore down as the year went on."
This year, Rip This Joint has won five of 11 races and earned $53,112. He has competed mostly in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series and in conditioned races. He won in a career-best 1:51.2 on June 4 at The Meadows and heads to the Adios eliminations off a 1:52.1 victory on July 9 at The Meadows.
"We brought him back slowly and he's done very well in the Stallion Series, just gotten sharper and sharper every week," Gillespie said. "He's really looked sharp this year. By putting him in where he could compete every week he's kind of kept his edge.
"We thought that things were kind of lining up that if we were going to take a chance at the Adios with a horse, why not start with him. Hopefully he makes it to the final. We have to get past this Saturday and then hope for the best." (HRC)