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Rock Hard Ten

Rock Hard Ten
Sire Kris S.
Dam Tersa
Grandsire Roberto
Damsire Mr. Prospector
Gender Stallion
Foaled 2001
Country United States
Color Dark Bay
Breeder Madeleine A. Paulson
Owner Mercedes Stable
Trainer Jason Orman
Richard Mandella (from December 2004)
Record 11: 7-1-1
Earnings US$1,870,380
Rock Hard Ten is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Tersa by Kris S.. He was born around 2001 in the United States, and was bred by Madeleine A. Paulson.
Major wins
Swaps Stakes (2004)
Malibu Stakes (2004)
Charles H. Strub Stakes (2005)
Santa Anita Handicap (2005)
Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (2005)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

Rock Hard Ten (foaled April 5, 2001 in Kentucky) is a millionaire American thoroughbred Stallion racehorse. Co-owned and bred by Madeleine Paulson, widow of prominent horseman Allen E. Paulson, the bay horse stands at 17 hands. He was sired by the great Kris S., out of the Mr. Prospector mare, Tersa.


Three year-old season

Rock Hard Ten was a late bloomer and did not race at age two due to shin splints. At age three he started late in relation to other three year-olds that began the march toward the Triple Crown in February or earlier. Rock Hard Ten stepped up in class in a big way four weeks before the Derby in the GI Santa Anita Derby and finished second to Castledale, but was disqualified and placed third for interference. Due to the late start in the season and disqualification in the Santa Anita Derby, Rock Hard Ten did not have enough graded stakes race earnings to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

The owners of Rock Hard Ten just bided their time and watched the Derby and waited two weeks later until the "Run for the Black-eyed Susans." In that race he was facing ten colts including the top four finishers from the Derby and eventual champion and "Dual Classic Winner Smarty Jones. In the grade one 2004 Preakness Stakes, Rock Hard Ten was fractious behind the gate and difficult to load. When the gates opened he broke alertly and jockey Gary Stevens placed him fourth in a field of ten runners. On Pimlico's famous club house turn jockey Mike Smith aboard Derby runner-up Lion Heart floated Smarty Jones out wide and in turn pushed every one else to the outside even further out. Rock Hard Ten was effected most, being pushed out to the six path on the turn and losing ground fading to seventh. Stevens wrestled with Rock Hard Ten fighting to hold him back and conserve ground. Then on the second turn he and Eddington made a charge at the leaders. The two moved up to challenge the Derby runner-up Lion Heart at the top of the lane together. Rock Hard Ten then passed in front Lion Heart for the place spot earning $200,000 as the Preakness runner-up. By that time Smarty Jones was five lengths in front and widening at every stride. Smarty Jones went on to win by the widest margin in 130 years at 11-1/2 lengths.

Later that year the late bloomer kicked it in gear winning two stakes races. Rock Hard Ten won the GII Swaps Stakes in July at Hollywood Park and the GI Malibu Stakes in December at Santa Anita Park.

Four year-old season

At age four Rock Hard Ten developed physically into one of the largest colts to hit the track in history standing 17.3 hands. In that season he won the grade two Charles H. Strub Stakes, then one of the biggest prizes for an older horse in the grade one Santa Anita Handicap and then the grade two Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap in succession. Rock Hard Ten finished his career with an in-the-money percentage of 82%. Out of eleven career starts, the grandson of Epsom Derby winner Roberto won seven, placed once, and came in third once.

In Retirement

As of 2009, Rock Hard Ten currently stands at stud at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky for $30,000 live foal.



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