Gold Rocks & Ideal Helen capture Babic finals
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Gold Rocks and Ideal Helen were both easy winners in their respective divisions of the Lou Babic Memorial on Saturday, September 7, 2013 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 two-year-old pacers.
Gold Rocks [$2.20], a son of Rocknroll Hanover, was able to repel the challenge of Useful Hanover [by Western Ideal, to win by four and a half lengths in the ninth race. Rocknroll Reality [by Rocknroll Hanover] was third by seven and a quarter.
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 Eagle 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 eight and a half.
Ideal Helen, a daughter of Western Ideal, 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 DR Van Witzenburg of Crest Hill, IL.
UPDATE ON CAT MANZI & JEFF GREGORY
Both Cat Manzi and Jeff Gregory remain hospitalized with fractures suffered in a racing spill in Friday’s fourth race at Freehold Raceway.
Hall of Famer Manzi suffered breaks on both sides of his pelvis.
His wife, Ellen, reported Saturday morning that he was in a lot of pain, needed to sleep and not up to receiving visitors.
Gregory underwent a lengthy surgery on Friday night to repair a broken left elbow.
"It was very difficult [surgery],” said Gregory’s wife, Helene. "The surgeon said he had to call in a second doctor to help get all the pieces together. The bone was shattered. But he said they got him wired up and screwed tight so he sounded optimistic.”