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05/29/10DEL1 M 70YFast$500004
08/23/08SAR1 1/4 MFast$10000004
07/13/08FE1 3/16 MFast$5000001
06/01/08WO1 1/8 MFast$1500004

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Harlem Rocker Home Page
Last Modified: Tuesday, 13th December, 2011 @ 10:26pm

Harlem Rocker is Sired by Macho Uno and Dam to Freedom Come.


Quick Harlem Rocker Update
September 13TH, 2008

It looks like Harlem Rocker is headed to the $150,000 Grade II Jerome Handicap on October 5 at Belmont Park. Its also possible he may run on November 29 in the Grade I Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct racetrack. I am not sure if I will make it out to Belmont to see the race. I've never been, and it might be exciting to go, but I have been doing A LOT of traveling lately, and a trip to Belmont and fighting the tolls and the bridges may be a bit much. We'll see though. I also may be camping in the Adirondacks too, so we'll see, we'll see.

Travers Coverage
August 24TH, 2008

Well, we went out to the Travers this year and had a great time. I am pretty devastated that Harlem Rocker didn't win, but I have to tell myself that 4th place against those top horses is actually really good. I am working on going through all my photos from the weekend (All 270 of them). For now, here is a start of the Travers Gallery. Visit the gallery for my thoughts on the trip, and the race.

Harlem Rocker Headed for the Travers?
July 18TH, 2008

Adena SpringsGrumblings are afoot on the NTRA and picked up by ESPN today that Harlem Rocker could be headed for the Travers at Saratoga this August. The $1 Million Mid Summer Derby is one of the biggest races of the summer. Quotes from Pletcher:

"Harlem Rocker, who remained undefeated on dirt with his victory in the Prince of Wales Stakes last Sunday, could make his next start in the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga, trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday. "I would say it's a possibility; I haven't had a chance to speak with the Stronachs yet, but the spacing is good," Pletcher said..."

Do dreams come true? Being a pessimist, I would usually say no. But I've been dreaming of seeing Harlem Rocker in the Travers since he won his Maiden Race. We've got our tickets already, and man, the Travers is one hell of a fun party each summer as it is. I can't imagine how awesome it would be if we had a horse running in it... and he won. Keeping all my fingers crossed...


Pletcher eyes Travers for Harlem Rocker - From NTRA

Pletcher eyes Travers for Harlem Rocker - And some more Pletcher Horse Updates from ESPN

Racing Blog with Travers Rumors - Blog

Thoughts on the Race
July 15TH, 2008

Harlem Rocker really looked ready to go for this race. Walking by to the paddock area he had his ears perked up and was ready to go. During the warm up, Eibar Coa did not use a track rider and Harlem Rocker bounced about playfully, he was ready to race. Coa gave HR a trot by on the way to the gate, and we were eager to see what he could do. As the track announcer had said, the speed was winning today, but that was only for shorter distances, we felt Harlem Rocker could run his race and beat this field.

It took a little for Harlem Rocker to get into the gate, which had me a bit worried. We would read latter that he's a feisty horse and usually takes a little effort to get in. Out of the gate Harlem Rocker settled into 5th with East End Tap beside him in 4th, and a trio of front runners sprinted to the front. Coming around the third turn, it seemed as though Harlem Rocker started to break a little early. We would read latter that Coa did this to get the jump on Not Bourbon, and prevent getting stuck on the inside.

Already starting his run, HR broke 3 wide onto the front straightaway and started towards the finish. I was a little worried as East End Tap appeared to close on him, but HR broke free again and won by 2-3 lengths. We were right on the front stretch rail to get the great photos you can see of the race in the gallery. We were overjoyed with his win, and we made some $$$ in the process.

From what we are told, next up is "a race in Saratoga". I'm hopping this means the Travers.

Prince of Wales Stakes Results - PDF File

Harlem Rocker Wins 2008 Prince of Wales Stakes
July 13TH, 2008

Today Tracy and I drove the short distance (1 hour) to Fort Erie Canada to witness the running of the Prince of Wales Stakes. Harlem Rocker, the horse we own a share of through Adena Racing Venture 2 and Horse Hats Racing Club was running in the $500,000 8th race. Morning Line Odds were 2-1 but he eventually went off as the 4-5 favorite. We made some bets and were highly confident of a win. Harlem Rocker did not disappoint, and won by a length over East End Tap. It was a great race, and a great day. View a bunch of the photos I took in our Harlem Rocker Prince of Wales Stakes Photo Gallery.

Harlem Rocker to Race in Prince of Wales Stakes
July 9TH, 2008

Harlem Rocker is set to run Sunday, July 13th in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack. Located just over the Peace Bridge near Buffalo NY, this track hosts the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. The race is 1 3/16 mile on a dirt oval. The total purse is $500,000. 8 Horses will partake in this years running.

Harlem Rocker drew post 4, and has morning line odds of 2-1. The favorite, Queens Plate Winner Not Bourbon drew post 7 and odds of 7-5. I think harlem Rocker has had some good workouts lately, and will do well. Looks like Eibar Coa is back up top. I am planning on making the trip to the track, as I only live about a 1.5 hours away.

Harlem Rocker Update - Pointed Saratoga Way...
June 15TH, 2008

For those of keeping track, Harlem Rocker had a poor polytrack outing in his Queen's Plate trial. I was wondering how often he worked the track, and If they had an idea he may not like the polytrack or not. With such low odds 1-5, I did not make a bet on him in the trial, and he disappointed, finishing 4th. The plan was to continue training and work towards the $1,000,000 Queen's Plate on June 22nd (Is that in Canadian or American $$$$?).

Things were looking up I felt when Harlem Rocker turned in a bullet workout Saturday.

  • Date: June 14, 2008
  • Track: Woodbine
  • Distance: Five Furlongs
  • Time: 58:20
  • Track Condition: Fast
  • Surface: All Weather Track
  • Rank: 1/70

I was eagerly looking forward to seeing him race next weekend, and had plans to make the trip up to Woodbine for a day of betting and racing. Then we got this update from Dave W:

"Although Harlem Rocker's workout yesterday at Woodine was fast, he still didn't like the track. He appeared uncomfortable on the surface and Adena feels that it will probably be in his best interest to skip the Queens Plate.

The plan now is for him to reunite with Pletcher at Belmont and start looking for a race at Saratoga."

Doh! Rats, I had hoped to see him this weekend. But even more disappointing, was that he had skipped the Preakness because it was felt his best route was the Queen's Plate. I think he could have given Big Brown (who I never liked anyway, and is obviously beatable) a run for his money.

BUT... I have said all along I'd love to see this horse race Saratoga, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. The Jim Dandy is held at the end of July and the past 3 winners (Street Sense, Bernardini, and Flower Alley) have all gone on to race and win the Travers. I love Saratoga, and I would love to see Harlem Rocker win there... and take out Big Brown in August!

Harlem Rocker, Not So Hot...
June 2ND, 2008

Well, we all knew that Harlem Rocker was headed towards the Plate Trial on June 1st, but official confirmation never came until Forday afternoon. I was out of town this weekend, or else I would have made the trip up there, for what prmoised to be a easy race. I had hoped to make a heft y wager on this race, and make some nice scratch, but when I saw the past perfomrances the only horse in the same league as Harem Rocker was Not Bourbon. From what I saw, Harlem Rocker would go off at very poor (betting) odds. I was not surprised when morning line odds came out a 1/1 for Harlem Rocker. There was no money to be made here on what would obviously be a Harlem Rocker / Not Bourbon Exacta.

Queen's Plate Trial Past Performance - PDF File

After I saw the morning line odds, I decided not to bet. I figured he would go off around 1/5 for 1/3, and what is the point of wagering $100 to win maybe $25? When you could easily lose that $100, as anything can happen in horse racing. If Harlem Rocker had worked out on the Polytrack, I may have felt more confident in betting. How would he behave on the poly track? Well, the answer may have been poorly.

I never saw the race (link anyone?) but from Dave W. "Harlem Rocker ran 4th today in the Plate Trial at Woodbine. He seemed to struggle on the surface and this may be a case of a horse not liking polytrack. He looked to be "swimming" a bit around the final turn and failed to launch into his usual stretch run."

Queen's Plate Trial Results - PDF File

Race Audio File - 2.89MB MP3 MP3 File

More info from Dave W. about Harlem Rocker's Performance "I spoke with Adena today about Harlem Rocker and he seems to have come
out of the race OK. As of now, the plan is for HR to remain at Woodbine. They have not given up on the Queen's Plate as an immediate target and want HR to have a chance to train over the Woodbine surface before making a final decision about his ability to handle that kind of track.

Coa said this after the race: "He kind of made a move and realized it wasn't his game and he decided not to run. He never made me feel that he was handling it at the beginning of the race, I wasn't worried about it. But he never picked up the bit."

Coa told Adena that the distance was not the problem, and that HR was not really acting like himself prior to the race either. He did not load easily, and never really got into the bit at all during the race. I'm sure we will get some updates on his training over the next week or so and will let you know how he is doing."

Here are a few more articles on Harlem Rocker's Disappointing performance:

From Blood Horse: Harlem Rocker Empty in Plate Trial

From the Toronto Sun: Not So Hot...

Toronto Sun - Praise for Harlem Rocker (Before the Race)

Well, I don't know what to think now. It would be easy to say, well the horse didn;t like the poly, but how do we bet him at the Queen's Plate now? Which horse will show up? I plan on trying to make the trip our for the Queen's Plate this month. I can't wait to get some photos of this fine horse. I hope he can rebound.

Kind Words for Harlem Rocker
May 13TH, 2008

ESPN has a pretty good article with some quotes about Harlem Rocker not running the Preakness. Expect big things from him in the future!

"Harlem Rocker's defection may have made Big Brown's task a little easier. Harlem Rocker was coming off a victory in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, and worked sharply on Sunday morning on Belmont Park's training track. But Frank Stronach, who bred and owns Harlem Rocker - and whose Magna Entertainment owns Pimlico - decided not to run after conferring by telephone from his native Austria with Harlem Rocker's trainer, Todd Pletcher. "He felt like it's early in this horse's career, [and] it's a long year," Pletcher said in his Belmont Park barn office Monday morning. "He wants to play it conservative for now."

and from Pletcher...

"So, rather than run in the Preakness, Harlem Rocker's goal is now the Queen's Plate at Woodbine on June 22, a race that is restricted to Canadian-breds. Pletcher wanted to go to the Preakness, in which Big Brown will be racing on just two weeks' rest for the first time in his career. "The horse is doing well," Pletcher said. "He had a very good breeze. You could make the case now might be the right time to catch Big Brown. But there are a lot of important races down the road."

and from Dutrow...

"Richard Dutrow Jr., who trains Big Brown, had said last week that the Preakness rival he would fear most was Harlem Rocker. When informed on Monday that Harlem Rocker was passing the race, Dutrow said, "I'm happy he's out. How could I not be happy about it?" "Plus," Dutrow added, laughing, "I don't like beating Stronach in big races."

Harlem Rocker Not Preakness Bound
May 12TH, 2008

We got an update from Dave W. about the plans for Harlem Rocker.

"Mr. Stronach has decided not to send Harlem Rocker to the Preakness. He will continue to train for the Queen's Plate and that will be his immediate goal."

So that's it, he will not be headed to the Preakness. Harlem Rocker worked 5 furlongs in 1:00:10 Sunday morning, and an article at NTRA had this to say: "If Harlem Rocker runs in the Preakness, he would most likely be the second betting choice behind Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown. If Harlem Rocker doesn’t run, Behindatthebar could become the second choice."

From Pletcher: "That was the best I’ve ever seen the gray horse work," Pletcher said of Harlem Rocker. "He’s not traditionally a real willing horse, he was very willing this morning."

The latest from on Harlem Rocker passing on the Preakness:

"Big Brown’s task just got a little – or a lot – easier with the decision of Harlem Rocker’s owner Frank Stronach to bypass Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and await the $1-million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine June 22."

“We really believe the horse has a bright future, and (Mr. Stronach) decided to take a step back right now,” Adena Springs Farm managaer Dan Hall said. “Our next main objective will be the Queen’s Plate. Todd (Pletcher) is very high on the horse and wanted to run him in the Preakness, but we almost always take the conservative approach, so we’re going to be patient and stick to our program.”

I think Giant Moon has a good shot at the Preakness. But with an admittedly weak Kentucky Derby field, and no horses from that field challenging Big Brown, how strong could the Preakness field really be? I don't believe horse racing needs a triple crown winner like indy car needed Danica Patrick. Do we really want someone with as many drug suspensions as Dutrow to be the poster boy of thoroughbred racing?

I am really hoping that Harlem Rocker makes it to Saratoga this summer, for the Jim Dandy, or my favorite, The Travers in August.

Withers Photos and Preakness News
May 8TH, 2008

First off, here is a neat article about the Preakness with a great quote from Dutrow about Harlem Rocker:

"...and Dutrow already is sizing up the prospective opposition for the 1 3/16-mile race. He said "Pletcher's white horse" - Harlem Rocker, the Withers Stakes winner trained by Todd Pletcher - is the only one that concerns him, but otherwise, a horse to upset Big Brown "is going to have to be a really good one." "

Full Article From ESPN Here: Dutrow has it all figured out

I love that quote!

Also, here's the official Withers Photos. Here is the contact information for ordering:

Adam Coglianese
NYRA / Official Track Photographer

As a side note of fun, here's a little indirect shout out from Jen' Thoroughbred's Blog:

"HARLEM ROCKER is 80% owned by Stronach Stables and 20% by Adena Racing Venture II, the 2nd of 3 syndicate packages of 6 horses offered by Adena Springs. According to Adena, there are no Canadian owners in the 20% but there sure a lot of fellow bloggers out there who have little pieces of the grey colt."

Her website offers an intersting look at what's going on in thoroughbred racing, and a wide variety of information on the Queensplate and other Canadian races

Harlem Rocker to the Preakness?
May 6TH, 2008

Well the word is floating around... Preakness. Will Harlem Rocker go there or not? Word from Dave W is that the Stronach family is deciding soon, with consultation with Pletcher as to what to do. The latest update from Dave W:

"Harlem Rocker is scheduled to workout this Saturday. Depending on how he comes out of the work, Pletcher will determine if he should go on to the Preakness or head to the Plate Trial. At this point Mr. Stronach has decided to aim for the Preakness, but only after getting the "A-OK" from Pletcher.We should know which way we are headed late this weekend or early next week."

Harlem Rocker has gotten some mentions in articles about to who will face Big Brown in the Preakness. Here are a couple articles:

From ESPN: Rivals want no part of Big Brown in Preakness

From Blood Horse: Dutrow After Derby: 'The Horse is Good'

I remember a race in April, where everyone thought the favorite would win, and very few horses entered. It was the G3 Withers, and J Be K was so favored he "scared" everyone away, and there was a field of 4. Well, Harlem Rocker won that race. So here we are, Big Brown, a big favorite heading into the Preakness, will Harlem Rocker be there to unseat him?

Some Withers Stats on Harlem Rocker
May 6TH, 2008

Dave W sent us some stats on the best Beyer numbers for 3 year olds this year. Harlem Rocker is in some good company with the 106 number he put up at the Withers. From Dave W: "Harlem Rocker earned a 106 Beyer number for his win yesterday in the Withers. That ties us with Big Brown from a Beyer standpoint....Here is a list of the best Beyer numbers by 3 year old colts this year:"

Beyer Number
Motovato CRC 25 Apr 7F 111
Bob Black Jack SA 26 Jan 6F 109
Big Brown GP 05 Mar 1M 106
Big Brown GP 29 Mar 1 1/8 M 106
Harlem Rocker AQU 26 Apr 1M 106
Gattopardo LRL 01 Mar 7F 103
Gayego OP 12 Apr 1 1/8M 103
Georgie Boy SA 10 Feb 7F 103
Gayego SA 20 Jan 6 1/2F 102

Also A Picture of Harlem Rocker after he passed J Be K in the stretch (Courtesy of Equisport Photos)

Harlem Rocker Still Pointed Towards Canada?
April 27TH, 2008

This article from the Daily Racing Form mentions that Harlem Rocker may still be pointed towards the Queen's Plate and the Queen's Plate Trial at the start of the month of June. There's also a shout out to the Adena Racing Venture, that we are a small part of. From DRF:

Harlem Rocker remains perfect in Withers
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Todd Pletcher's recent assault on North America's 3-year-old graded stakes continued Saturday at Aqueduct when Harlem Rocker blew past odds-on favorite J Be K inside the eighth pole to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Withers Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths.

J Be K, who set all the early fractions under Garrett Gomez, finished second by 7 3/4 lengths over Double or Nothing. Face the Cat was last.

The victory was the third from as many starts for Harlem Rocker, a Canadian-bred son of Macho Uno owned and bred by Frank Stronach. Harlem Rocker is part of the Adena Springs Racing Venture, a package of six Stronach-bred colts that Stronach owns with other partners.

For Pletcher, the Withers victory comes two weeks after Monba and Cowboy Cal ran one-two in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland and one week after Behindatthebar won the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes, also at Keeneland.

While the Withers did produce 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini, Harlem Rocker is most likely going to target the $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine on June 1 and then the $1 million Queen's Plate on June 22.

Under Eibar Coa, Harlem Rocker settled into fourth position while J Be K set fractions of 23.91 seconds, 46.41, and 1:09.53 being chased by Double or Nothing.

Harlem Rocker moved into third after a half-mile, came four wide into the stretch, went past J Be K inside the eighth pole, and drew clear while lugging in somewhat late. Harlem Rocker ($6.60) covered the mile in 1:34.50. "I was a little bit concerned that he was a little bit too close today, but he took me there himself so I kind of let him be,'' said Coa, who has ridden Harlem Rocker in all three starts. "At the five-sixteenths pole I thought if Garrett and J Be K are just good enough they're going to draw off and beat me, but I knew he was going to finish. At the end he started playing around just because he's still green, but he showed he can compete against these horses.''

Harlem Rocker Wins GIII Withers
April 26TH, 2008

Going into the Grade 3 Withers 2008, there wasn't a lot of love for Harlem Rocker. The experts were going the way of J Be K, and so were many of the bettors. Harlem Rocker was getting some play, eventually going off at 2:1. Here's a selection of articles from various online
publications about the race:

No Love For Harlem Rocker at

Blood Horse Describes the Small Field for the 2008 Withers

Daily Racing Form Race 3 Analysis

There were 40 horses eligible for the 2008 Withers, but word on the street was that J Be K scared most of them away. Here's a list of
the eligible horses:

Withers 2008 Nominations - PDF File

So only 4 horses showed up for the race. Harlem Rocker, J Be K, Double or Nothing, and Face the Cat. I saw picks all over the board for this one, but most online analysts, and the bettors went with J Be K.

I was able to watch the race on TVG, and the analysts liked J Be K. "Simon" made him his sole pick in his Pick 4 for the day. I hoped Harlem Rocker would prove him wrong. Harlem Rocker was clean out of the gate, J Be K to the front, followed by Double or Nothing, HRock and Face the Cat. They stayed this way down the back stretch with J Be K taking the lead and Harlem Rocker hanging Back in third with the Cat. On the corner to the front stretch, Harlem Rocker made his move, and Face the Cat started to fade. Harlem Rocker powered down the stretch, passing J Be K who could not rally, and both of them left Double or Nothing in the dust. Here's the results:

Withers 2008 Results - PDF File

Wow, what a great win. I love the way this horse races. Coa has him hanging back, racing his race, not taking the urge to run up front.
Then he lets him loose to power down the stretch.

Race Audio MP3 File MP3 File

What's next for Harlem Rocker? Well, Stronach sure has been pushing his Adena Racing Venture 3 in the Daily Racing Form each week. What better way to promote the newest venture than by making a superstar out of your horses from Venture 2. Promote this horse, keep him in the USA. I'd love to see this horse follow Bernardini's path of success. On to the Preakness and then a variety of Summer dates taking him to Saratoga for the Jim Dandy and, my Favorite, The Travers (which I already have hotel reservations for this summer). Out of Ontario, this Horse is eligible for the Canadian Triple Crown starting at Woodbine this summer. But who really hears that much about the Queens Plate? I'd love to see him race the Preakness.

At the same time, this horse seems well suited to the mile races. What can he do at longer distances? He seems to be coming out of his races in good shape, so he may be capable of more. This fan is voting PREAKNESS!

Results Publications:

Thoroughbred Times - A Convincing Win

Blood Horse - A Comfortable Win - With Race Video

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Harlem Rocker
Harlem Rocker

 Harlem Rocker Cigar Mile
Cigar Mile 2008

Cigar Mile 2008

Harlem Rocker - Travers 2008
Travers 2008

Harlem Rocker - Prince of Wales 2008
Prince of Wales Stakes 2008

Harlem Rocker - Eibar Coa
Prince of Wales Stakes 2008

Harlem Rocker Winning Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales Stakes 2008

For more Racing Photos, visit my Flickr Gallery