Rock n Roll Hanover (26-15-5-5 $3,069,063) died today at the age of 11, after complications in surgery.
The son of Western Ideal out of the super mare producer Rich n Elegant was more than just a tremendous racehorse, he was an all world sire. This is a huge loss for harness racing and for his current owners, Perretti Farms. As most know, Perretti has had some tough times of late being situated in New Jersey, where the Governor and other pols pulled the rug out from under racing a few years ago.
I remember first seeing Rock n Roll at the Metro Pace eliminations at Woodbine. he was a looker, but as a handicapper I sure wasn't sold. He paced a 27.4 third quarter wide, and came home in 27.1 in that elim, which was pretty sparkling, but I still wasn't sold. That was a mistake, as he won the $1,200,000 race in a World Record 1:49.4 and paid boxcars. You never got those odds on him again.
In the age of lighting up horses for their 3 year old debuts, it might come as a shock to remember Rock's first start at three when he won off cover in 154 and change. From there he demolished fields in the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace. He finished the year a dominating winner in the Breeders Crown.
After retirement he became a super sire. His sons and daughters are too many to mention in one column.
I never owned a Rock n' Roll yearling, although I always wanted to. Maybe this year. He was one of my favorite horses.