Harlem Rocker Home Page
Last Modified: Tuesday, 13th December, 2011 @ 10:26pm
Sired by Macho Uno and Dam to Freedom Come.
Harlem Rocker Update
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.
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
Rocker Headed for the Travers?
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
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..."
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...
eyes Travers for Harlem Rocker - From NTRA
eyes Travers for Harlem Rocker - And some more Pletcher Horse
Updates from ESPN
Blog with Travers Rumors - Timesunion.com Blog
on the Race
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.
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.
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.
what we are told, next up is "a race in Saratoga". I'm
hopping this means the Travers.
of Wales Stakes Results - PDF File
Rocker Wins 2008 Prince of Wales Stakes
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.
Rocker to Race in Prince of Wales Stakes
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.
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.
Rocker Update - Pointed Saratoga Way...
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
Things were looking
up I felt when Harlem Rocker turned in a bullet workout Saturday.
- Date: June 14,
- Track: Woodbine
- Distance: Five
- Time: 58:20
- Track Condition:
- Surface: All
- 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:
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
Rocker, Not So Hot...
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.
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."
Plate Trial Results - PDF File
Audio File - 2.89MB MP3
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
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.
Words for Harlem Rocker
has a pretty good article with some quotes about Harlem Rocker
not running the Preakness. Expect big things from him in the future!
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
and from Pletcher...
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...
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."
Rocker Not Preakness Bound
got an update from Dave W. about the plans for Harlem Rocker.
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."
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."
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."
latest from NTRA.com on Harlem
Rocker passing on the Preakness:
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."
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.”
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?
am really hoping that Harlem Rocker makes it to Saratoga this summer,
for the Jim Dandy, or my favorite, The Travers in August.
Photos and Preakness News
off, here is a neat article about the Preakness with a great quote
from Dutrow about Harlem Rocker:
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." "
Article From ESPN Here: Dutrow
has it all figured out
love that quote!
here's the official Withers Photos. Here is the contact information
NYRA / Official Track Photographer
a side note of fun, here's a little indirect shout out from Jen'
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."
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
Rocker to the Preakness?
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:
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."
Rocker has gotten some mentions in articles about to who will face
Big Brown in the Preakness. Here are a couple articles:
want no part of Big Brown in Preakness
Blood Horse: Dutrow
After Derby: 'The Horse is Good'
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?
Withers Stats on Harlem Rocker
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:"
||1 1/8 M
A Picture of Harlem Rocker after he passed J Be K in the stretch
(Courtesy of Equisport Photos)
Rocker Still Pointed Towards Canada?
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:
Rocker remains perfect in Withers
By DAVID GRENING
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.''
Rocker Wins GIII Withers
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:
Love For Harlem Rocker at BetUs.com
Horse Describes the Small Field for the 2008 Withers
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:
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:
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.
Audio 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!
Times - A Convincing Win
Horse - A Comfortable Win - With Race Video
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