To watch a race replay of Rocknificent’s Breeders Crown victory, click here.
East Rutherford, NJ — Rocknificent, driven by Scott Zeron, made it two wins in a row over arch rival Lyons Sentinel with a 1:49 score in Saturday’s (Oct. 30) $330,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at The Meadowlands.
Racine Bell took charge through a :27 first quarter, but the early pace was not satisfactory for Zeron and his charge, who took the lead with gusto and left Racine Bell in second, Peaky Sneaky third, and with Lyons Sentinel a ground-saving spot fourth. Rocknificent was cool in command while JK First Lady left the pylons to ride the outside first-over with Indiana champion Rockin Nola picking up live cover through a :55.1 half.
Lyons Sentinel switched gears approaching three-quarters with no other mares making a strong impression upon Rocknificent’s lead. Lyons Sentinel was poised for her best challenge as the leader reached three-quarters in 1:22.3. Rocknificent accelerated home in :26.2 to keep 1-2 favorite Lyons Sentinel a half-length at bay. Racine Bell tried to make ground up the inside but gave way to the closing Peaky Sneaky for third.
“Driving her is really robotic,” Zeron said. “She gives me everything every time. She lets me start her up leaving, get some soft fractions, and (in this race, it) became a great stretch race. We’ve been in that situation before, and Lyons Sentinel is tough to fend off. But today, we got the upper hand.”
Toscano said, “It’s going to sound like a mutual admiration society, but she does what she does because (Zeron) taught her to do that. He has done a great job with her; she’s relaxed, shows up every week, gives a great effort and I’m tickled that she got the big one. I’d like to take credit for that, but that’s just her.”
Rocknificent earned millionaire status with the victory, putting her lifetime earnings at $1,133,662. Linda Toscano trains the daughter of Captaintreacherous out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Rocklamation, whom Deo Volente Farms and T L P Stable bred, for Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC.
“I thought she went another outstanding race,” said Jim King Jr. of his trainee, runner-up Lyons Sentinel. “The trip beat her — first-over for a long time off a slow half for the bunch. We’re not ashamed of her, that’s for sure. That was a very good mile she went. She’s got the TVG left, and then hopefully we’ll start over.”
Rocknificent paid $7.40 to win.