On a day dedicated to the Big Game, only one Standardbred track held racing. Hawthorne was the lone program, completing an afternoon of racing prior to the start of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Indiana sired Rockin Q brought in a little super action of her own with an impressive in the $7,000 fillies and mares conditioned pace.
Driven by Kyle Wilfong, Rockin Q got away on top to lead the way to the quarter in :29.0 but was overtaken by fellow Indiana sired contender M’s Magic and Brandon Bates, who crossed over just after the first panel and led the way to the half in :57.2. The outer flow of traffic formed early led by Chase the Bouquet and Juan Franco and they were half in half out around the final turn. Rockin Q was buried along the inside looking for racing room, but was content to follow along to the stretch.
In the stretch, horses began to fan out and gave Rockin Q the racing room she needed. She glided out and went right on by for the lead, opening up to one and three-quarter lengths at the wire in 1:55.4, a final quarter in :28.2. Ice Dance and Todd Warren rallied up for second followed by Indiana sired Fancy Like Always and Travis Seekman for third.
Rockin Q paid $6.20 for the win. The five-year-old daughter of Rockin Image is owned by Tipperary Horse Blankets and Richard Smith. Ronnie Roberts trains the mare, who was bred by Lavon Miller.
Rockin Q earned her first win of 2024 and has not missed the board in three starts. Overall, she has four wins and more than $37,000 on her card. Her career best time of 1:52.0 was taken as a three-year-old at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Later in the card, another Rockin Image was a near gate to wire winner for Michael Oosting. Play Me Rock went to the lead at the quarter in :27.4 and pulled away from the field, scoring the 1:50.4 victory by four lengths in the $8,000 conditioned pace. Playtorock and Juan Franco finished second followed by Fox Valley Cayman and Kyle Wilfong for third.
Play Me Rock was the favorite, paying $3.80 for the win. The six-year-old gelding is owned and trained by Perry Smith. Engle Equine LLC bred the gelding, who is now two for four in 2024. He made his 100th lifetime start in the race and has won 25 percent of his races with 26 career wins. He has more than $241,000 on his card with his career best time of 1:49.3 taken last year at Hawthorne. He has been with Smith for the past year.