Trainer and co-owner Ron Burke sent out three of his top pacers in the $50,000 opening round of the TVG Free-For-All Pacing Series and when it was over he had a first and second place finish by Sweet Lou and Foiled Again respectively at the Meadowlands Racetrack Saturday.
The three-horse entry, which also included Bettor’s Edge, was the 1-2 wagering favorite and rightly so, Sweet Lou was the 2011 Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year and Foiled Again, well he is just the richest harness horse in the history of racing with $6.159 million in career earnings and several Dan Patch Older Pacer of the Year awards to his credit.
It was Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce who saw the early lead from the starting gate but that was short lived as Bold the Duer and driver Mark MacDonald, making their first start of 2014 after three qualifying wins, went right to the top before the opening quarter mile in :26.2. But Ron Pierce wanted Sweet Lou on the front end for a reason and just as Bolt The Duer settled in on the lead, Pierce came right back to take command with Sweet Lou and they led the field to the half mile in :55.1.
Yannick Gingras waited through the backstretch and then came first-over with Foiled Again as those three horses rounded the final turn at the three-quarters in 1:22.3. As soon as they came to the top of the stretch, Sweet Lou found another gear and began to pull away with every stride and crossed the wire a winner by three and one-half lengths in 1:48.3. Foiled Again wore down Bolt The Duer for second place and Bolt The Duer held on for third.
“I never drove him (Sweet Lou) before,” said Ron Pierce. “He was extremely handy tonight. I did pull his ear plugs but I didn’t have to. I didn’t even have to show him the whip, he just went on.”
It was the second start and first win this year for Sweet Lou. The five-year-old son of Yankee Cruise is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, L. Karr and P. Collura. He paid $3.00 to win.
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com