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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rock Me Gently, Divine Caroline sweep by rivals in Garnsey Memorial

By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY— Sophomore filly pacers were in competition at The Red Mile on Saturday, Oct. 10 with two divisions of the $232,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial.

Rock Me Gently upset the first division at odds of 17-1 by springing from the back off a fast pace. The speed was established by Bettor Be Steppin, taking the lead through a :26.3 first quarter. Storm Point flushed first over from fourth and pressured the pace into splits of :54.1 and 1:22.1, remaining game in the stretch drive. Wicked Little Minx slid by from off cover and took the lead at mid stretch, losing it to Rock Me Gently who surged by easily to take the top spot. Wicked Little Minx finished second, Daut Full was third.

From the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Cambest mare Cam Swifty, Rock Me Gently races for the interests of Old Block Stables Inc., The Fra Stables LLC, and Kenneth Klein and conditioner Steve Elliot. She was driven by David Miller to her fifth win in 15 starts this year. She paid $37.40 to win.

“She raced really good at Chester [Harrah’s Philadelphia] the last time I raced her,” David Miller said. “I wasn’t for sure that this was a big step up in class, but she raced very well; I had live cover right into the race and she did the rest.”

“The track’s in great shape today,” Miller also said.

The Joe Holloway-trained Divine Caroline was carried by cover towards the lead and maintained the front to win the second division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial in 1:49.2. After a quarter in :26.3 set by Moremercy Bluechip, Divine Caroline tracked Band Of Angels following a brief loss in stride on the backstretch. She followed Band Of Angels from second over past a :54 half and a 1:22.1 third-quarter before circling her to take the lead. Band Of Angels fought to her inside, but soon began to falter, while Devil Child roared from the back of the pack and down the center of the track to challenge Divine Caroline in the final stages of the mile, coming within a length of the winner.

Bedroomconfessions finished third.

Owned by Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables and Michael Ouriel and driven by David Miller, Divine Caroline returned $4.00 to win in her fifth victory in 18 tries this year. She’s by Rock N Roll Heaven, out of the Art Major mare Loving Caroline.

“Overall, David [Miller] did a fantastic job [getting her a trip], and I don’t say that too often,” Joe Holloway said. “But he did a great job. The filly has had issues jumping shadows when she was younger, and then with this racetrack and the bright sunny day, we knew there was going to be some [shadows]. They got jammed up, and he had to tip her out. When he did it, there was a big shadow right there and then when he had her attention, it was fine.”

When asked about Bettor Be Steppin following her off-the-board finish in the first division, Holloway said “Yeah, she came out okay. She needs different racing tactics, so Corey [Callahan] will adjust, and we’ll try something different next time.”

“We’ll stay here until Wednesday and then head up to Canada,” Holloway also said.