Sunday, June 24, 2012
Rollickin Red extended his winning streak to five with his wire-to-wire victory in the 870-yard, $75,000 New Mexico Horsemen's Association Handicap (R) at SunRay Park on Sunday.
Trained by Todd Fincher for the Rollickin Red Partnership, Rollickin Red stopped the timer in :44.652, earning a lifetime-best 97 speed index and missing by 44/100ths of a second the track record set by Kama Shootin on November 4, 2001. The 4-year-old Roll Hennessy Roll (TB) gelding's margin of victory was 2 ½ lengths from BRT Opulence, and he returned a $7 win mutuel as the 5-2 favorite in the full field of eight.
Winning jockey Casey Lambert rode Rollickin Red for the first time in a race.
“I'd worked him a couple of times, and he's just a really nice horse,” said Lambert. “I worked him out of the gates the other day, and he got away well – that's really the key for this horse. Fortunately, he broke the same way today, and within 50 yards he'd taken over. It was pretty smooth from there.”
“I was asking him at the end, that's for sure,” he added. “We weren't just taking it easy, but he did it fairly comfortably.”
Rollickin Red was bred by Robert A. Gentry of Lubbock, Texas, a longtime breeder whose homebreds include 1998 AQHA champion 2-year-old filly Deelish and more recent Grade 1 winner Fovee and Grade 3 winner Fredaville. The gelding's sire, Roll Hennessy Roll, won the 2002 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) and ran second to Posse in the '03 Lafayette Stakes (G3) at Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky.
A 12-year-old son of the late Storm Cat stallion Hennessy, Roll Hennessy Roll is a half brother to stakes winners Sing Baby Sing, Value Plus, and Majorbigtimesheet, and he has sired several New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred stakes winners, including Bewild Hennessy, Roll Bloomers Roll, and I Play Dirty. The stallion is owned by Fred Alexander and Brad King, and he stands for a $2,500 fee at Alexander's A & A Ranch in Anthony, New Mexico.
Rollickin Red's dam, Deeheiress, is an 11-year-old stakes-winning daughter of Mr Jess Perry and Deelish. The gelding's third dam, the Special Effort mare Such An Easy Effort, won the 1988 La Primera del Ano Derby (G1) at Bay Meadows.
The $45,000 winner's share of the New Mexico Horsemen's Association Handicap purse increased Rollickin Red's earnings to $121,802, of which $92,916 has been banked this season. The gelding has won five of his seven starts, including all four of his races at the 870 distance.
KC Royal Flush finished third, 3 ¾ lengths behind Rollickin Red, and was followed by Bullets Brother, Kokopellis Babycakes, Mary For Money, Corona Dream, and South Oak.
Runner-up BRT Opulence teamed with Rollickin Red for a $2 exacta payoff of $20. A sorrel 8-year-old gelding by the Runaway Winner stallion Real Runaway, BRT Opulence was coming off of a half-length victory in an 870-yard, open-condition state-bred allowance race for owners Rogelio Carrasco Sr. and Martin Orona Sr. at SunRay Park on May 15. All told, BRT Opulence has won 11 of 39 outs – including the last two runnings of the New Mexico Horsemen's Association Handicap – and he has earned $406,806.
KC Royal Flush is a 5-year-old Sixes Royal gelding campaigned by Kathryn Maynard and Carla Feerer. An earner of $202,836 from 31 races, KC Royal Flush has won five starts, including last year's 870-yard, $110,000 Challenger Six Handicap (R) at Sunland Park and 870-yard, $50,000 John Augustine Stakes (R) during the Lineage Day program at The Downs at Albuquerque.