Thunder Quay & Rock Me Baby Find Winner's Circle
A win’s a win, whether it’s by 20 lengths, 5 lengths, a neck, or a nostril. WPT runners Thunder Quay and Rock Me Baby got their pictures taken over the weekend after making our hearts pound down the stretch.
A 3-year-old son of Circular Quay, Thunder Quay won his fourth straight race over the weekend, and third straight at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania.
Trained by Guadalupe Preciado, this horse found himself in an unfamiliar position in the early stages of the one mile starter allowance event. Typically a closer, Thunder Quay found himself on the lead after breaking sharply under Kendrick Carmouche.
Watch the race, and you’ll think on the turn ‘how in the world does this horse win’? After leading most of the way, he fell back in mid stretch before re-rallying and getting a whisker in front at the shadow of the wire.
“I was very surprised to see him on the lead, but Kendrick (Carmouche) knows this horse and got him into a good rhythm,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “He certainly showed a lot of heart today. At the top of the stretch I was hoping he had enough left to hold on for second. This colt has flourished since shipping to the Midatlantic -- it’s amazing what a drop in class can do for an underperforming horse.”
Thunder Quay will return in a first level allowance race in a few weeks at Parx.
On Sunday, the ever handsome Rock Me Baby (known as “Rocky” around the barn) won the fourth race of his seven race career for trainer Craig Dollase. Dispatched as the favorite in the field of first level allowance runners, the son of Rock Hard Ten stalked the pace from the inside before before making a bid leaving the second turn, and holding on gamely under regular rider Edwin Maldonado.
“Ya gotta love this horse,” said a smiling Dollase after the race. “He lays his body down every time and has a ton of heart. He finished third in his first try around two turns last time out after having a rough trip. We’ve always thought he handle routing, and gave him another try. He relaxed beautifully for Edwin (Maldonado) and came running when asked. This horse is as versatile as they come, he has wins on all three surfaces and is capable of sprinting and stretching out.”
This horse is a prime example of the ever important virtue of patience in this sport. Rock Me Baby acted like a precocious juvenile in the summer of 2011 before being sidelined by a hind end injury. “It certainly was frustrating at the time,” says Terry Finley. “We had him close to running on a few occassions, and he always seemed to come up with an issue that set us back. I appreciate the Partners’ patience as well as Craig’s patience with this horse. He didn’t run until almost four, but has made the wait worthwhile.”
Rock Me Baby is now pointing for the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf on Sunday, July 21 at Del Mar. This race is restricted to Cal-breds.
He has four wins, two seconds, and one third from seven lifetime starts and earnings of $156,964.