Special T Rocks has proven to be a special purchase by driver-trainer Daryl Bier.
The 4-year-old pacer rolled to his fifth straight victory with a decisive two-length score in the $16,000 second round of the Clyde Hirt Series on Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Special T Rocks came first up and drew off to a career best 1:51 clocking. Sent off the 3-1 second choice, he paid $7.80 to win the fifth race of the evening over Pansai Yamamoto and Real Flight. After a 1:52.4 score in the series opener, Special T Rocks heads into next week’s $73,000 Clyde Hirt final as one to beat.
Daryl Bier of Smyrna, DE, and partners Charles and Joann Dombeck and Forrest Bartlett (of Forrest Skipper fame) purchased the gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover for $75,000 from trainer Tom Artandi last March.
“He’s actually from a very good family,” noted Bier. “The first two foals of his dam, Ladys Special Girl, made $699,033 (I’m Just Special) and $822,469 (Special Sweetheart). He’s her fourth foal. I saw him win at Pompano Park by nine lengths in 1:52.4, and wondered what they wanted for him. Tom Artandi had the horse. Tom was sick, and that was the only reason he sold the horse to me. Tom assured me this horse was going to be something special and he urged me to just wait on him. He was right. We took our time and the horse came right around.”
According to Bier, patience has been the key to Special T Rocks.
“When I first got Special T Rocks he really didn’t know what to do,” explained Bier. “We took him down to Harrington Raceway and he’d follow, but he didn’t want to go. You’d have to ask him, yet I didn’t want to beat down on him. He developed and developed. Now he’s really turning into something special. The night he won in 1:51.1 on January 2 at Dover Downs, the Invitational went in 1:52. He came first up. He’s a killer.
“I think he’ll go in 1:50 or better,” Bier added. “He really needs the competition. He won’t go any more than he has to. If he has a target, you really don’t want him to come first up at you because he’ll run you right down.”
Since making an uncharacteristic break back on November 21 at Dover Downs, Special T Rocks has been nearly flawless. “The track was sort of glistening that night and he jumped a shadow,” recalls Bier. “So, I put a turned up shadow roll on him and he’s perfect now.”
Bier was a major player at the Tattersalls Mixed Sale on Monday, January 16 at the Meadowlands. He bought Divulge, a 3-year-old Tell All, for $160,000, the second-highest sale price of the day.
“I had heard there was a reserve for $140,000 and $150,000 was going to be our limit,” Bier said. “But somebody went to $155,000 and we decided to take one more shot to get him. I watched all his races. He won in Lexington in 1:51.3 with a final quarter of :25.4 for Jimmy Takter. Then, I saw him finish fourth down here in the Matron. I really think $160,000 is a good price for a horse like him.”
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