Day At The Track

Can De Los Cielos Deo stay unbeaten at Meadows

12:37 PM 14 Aug 2018 NZST
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De Los Cielos Deo, harness racing
De Los Cielos Deo in prior win at The Meadows
Chris Gooden photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 13, 2018 -- When trainer Ron Burke confided to longtime owner Mark Weaver at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale that De Los Cielos Deo was his top-rated colt in the auction, Weaver thought he had a pretty good idea what was coming.

"Usually, we can't afford Ronnie's No. 1 picks," Weaver says. "We were pleasantly surprised to get him, and we're really happy now."

Happy, indeed. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune has won all four career starts, and in Tuesday's $188,111 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, he'll be looking to complete a sweep of PASS preliminary legs. He goes from post 4 in race 1 with Yannick Gingras at the helm.

De Los Cielos Deo didn't come cheaply, as Weaver and his partners -- Mike Bruscemi (they're Weaver Bruscemi LLC), Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby) had to give $140,000 for the colt.

"Believe it or not, we were prepared to go to about $300,000," Weaver says. "He's a half to I Luv The Nitelife, a fabulous filly who made close to $2 million, and Ronnie loved him as an individual. Anytime you can get one with that pedigree, you jump at the chance."

De Los Cielos Deo has captured his four starts by a combined 8 lengths; he's won on the front, with quarter-pole moves and by stalking from the pocket. The only potential rap -- every race has been on a five-eighths-mile track.

"I don't think bigger tracks will be a problem," Weaver says, "and I'm not sure he'll have to worry about a half-mile track until the Little Brown Jug."

After the Sept. 1 $252,000 PASS championship at The Meadows, De Los Cielos Deo is eligible for the Metro -- "That will be his first test against the rest of the world" -- a pair at the Red Mile and the Breeders Crown.

"From the day we bought him, he's probably been the most hyped horse we've had," Weaver says. "It reminds me of the Sweet Lou hype. They don't always come through, but so far, he has."

Burke will send out four others in Tuesday's PASS, with Pyro (race 3, post 1, Matt Kakaley) probably the most interesting. When the mares he bred to Sweet Lou produced exclusively fillies, Burke and his partners went looking for a Sweet Lou colt and found him in Pyro, who is out of the Somebeachsomewhere mare Whetstone Hanover.

"We bought him for $75,000 as a weanling," Weaver says. "That's a lot more than people thought we should have paid for him."

by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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