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LEBANON, OH. - Just when the question was being raised: Has age finally caught up with Dancin Yankee?...the answer came back a resounding "No," when the 11-year-old $1.85 million harness racing earner captured Miami Valley's $24,000 Open I Pace on Saturday (Feb. 16) night. Following three uncharacteristic off-the-board finishes to open his 2019 season, the Ron Burke trainee scored his first seasonal victory in 1:50.4 for driver Chris Page. Dancin Yankee was fired off the gate and attained the lead prior to the :27.3 quarter-mile clocking. Maintaining a comfortable pace to the :55.3 halfway point, Page was forced to ask his winning charge for more throughout the second half. Challenged first by Cruise Patrol (Brett Miller) at the 1:23 third quarter junction and then Granite (Trace Tetrick) through the stretch, Dancin Yankee held tough right to the wire, winning by a head. Its rare to see any horse post a :55.1 back half after a :55.3 first half, but that is exactly what Page and Dancin Yankee did despite sub-freezing temperatures. Granite and Whatchyastartinat (Kyle Ater) finished in a dead-heat for second, just a head back of the winner. My Buddy Ninkster (Todd Warren) and My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) earned the final two paychecks in the classy field of eight. Page also captured the $20,000 Open II earlier in the card. He guided Swapportunity to a 1:52 triumph over Statement Made A (Tetrick) and Sammy The Bull N (Josh Sutton). Swapportunity was claimed from Miami Valley's Claim To Fame Series for $30,000 horses three weeks ago and finished second in the $37,500 series final last week before stepping into open company. The 7-year-old son of Mach Three is now owned by LaSalle Investments LLC and is a resident of the Becky Zubkoff Stable. Finalists for the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley late-closer were also determined on the Saturday card. Manny (Tetrick) topped The Dark Shadow (Page) and Rising To The Top (Mike Oosting) in the first $17,500 division timed in 1:52.2. Randy Smith trains the winner for his wife Jessica, who owns the 6-year-old son of American Ideal. Dakota Roadster (Oosting) copped the second split in 1:52, besting Account Rollover (Miller) and Angelo J Fra (Page). Perry Smith owns and trains the 7-year-old son of Duneside Perch. The nine horses with the highest combined earnings in the first two preliminary legs will gather again next Saturday (Feb. 23) to determine a champion in a 1-1/4 mile test for a $25,000 purse. In order of earnings, the hopefuls are The Dark Shadow, Manny, Dakota Roadster, Hunchie, Account Rollover, Duel Of Truth, Angelo J Fra, Southern Flight and Rising To The Top. From the Miami Valley Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Since returning from a four-week layoff on Jan. 25, Resita has been on a roll for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Friday night, the 5-year-old gelded son of Manofmanymissions-Winkys Magik won his third straight, scoring in the $15,750 conditioned trotting feature at the Meadowlands. Resita, who defeated non-winners of $5,000 and non-winners of $8,500 in his last two outings, respectively, took on one-rung below the Preferred Handicap types on Friday - the non-winners of $15,000 class - and passed the test with flying colors. The formful Derf Hanover was away quickly from post eight and had the lead at the quarter in :27.2. Resita rolled past that foe and had the point at the half in :56.4 as Pappy Go Go came after the leader and continued to press the issue at three-quarters in 1:24.4. The eventual winner shrugged off Pappy Go Go turning for home, but the horse Pappy towed into contention - 25-1 longshot Nows The Moment - tipped off cover and came after Resita. Nows The Moment was in position to pull off the upset, but as he inched to almost even with Resita in deep stretch, he went off stride, and Resita went on to a 1½-length win in a lifetime-best 1:53.1. Nows The Moment finished second, but was disqualified and placed fourth for being lapped on break to two other horses - Two Am and Derf Hanover - who were declared the official second- and third-place finishers, respectively. As the lukewarm 5-2 favorite, Resita returned $7.40 to win and stayed perfect in three starts this year. He's owned by Andrea Lea Racingstables and ASA Farm. Lifetime, he's won nine of 48 outings and banked $107,664. A LITTLE MORE: Gingras' remarkable February continued as the 39-year-old scored four times on the card, giving him 27 wins in 61 starts this month. ... A simulcast player in Montreal was the only bettor to last seven legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $15,161. ... Marcus Miller, Corey Callahan and Dexter Dunn all recorded driving doubles. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,661,109. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Tuxedo Bay seeks his third straight win in the weekly pacing feature, the $21,000 Preferred Handicap. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 15, 2019 -- Arthur Pendragon moved steadily first over and wore down the harness racing leader, Dapper Dude, to take Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Arthur Pendragon was third when Mike Wilder sent him after Dapper Dude, a millionaire who seldom gives up the lead late. But the determined Arthur Pendragon edged him by a head in 1:53, with New Evidence a close-up third. Ron Burke conditions the 6-year-old Dragon Again-Western Realist gelding, who now boasts $268,745 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura and Jack Piatt III. Wilder bagged four winners on the 12-race card while Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. enjoyed a triple.. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Converted Claimer I Want Kandy Captures $20,000 F&M Trot When I Want Kandy took a Jan. 21 $8,000 claiming race, it didn't seem especially noteworthy. Yet it launched a three-race winning streak that carried her to Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Did she belong with the track's elite distaff trotters? Did she ever. The 6-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Celebrity Kandy moved first over for Jim Pantaleano and triumphed in 1:59 over a sloppy, tiring track to extend her streak to four. You're Majestic finished second, 2 lengths back, with Goodtogo Hanover third. Scott Betts trains I Want Kandy, who pushed her lifetime earnings to $160,388, for Tim Betts. It was one of three victories on the 13-race program for Pantaleano. Camera Lady Wins Top Distaff Pace, Soars Over $300,000 Camera Lady controlled the mile after a quarter-pole move for Dave Palone and scored for the 46th time in 87 career starts in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Burke conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go, who soared over $300,000 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Graceful Vision was second, beaten 2-1/4 lengths, while Medusa rallied from last to third in her seasonal debut. Winning time in the slop was 1:54.4. Tony Hall collected four victories on the 13-race card while Wilbur Yoder fashioned a training/driving double. Uncle Leroy Upsets At 14-1 In $20K Trot Dismissed at 14-1, Uncle Leroy moved confidently to the lead past the quarter and notched a comfortable victory in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. The 6-year-old Neely Dunn-Plumao gelding drifted out in the sloppy stretch but held off Northern Skyway by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. Full Surge shot the Lightning Lane for show. Charles Vigneron trains Uncle Leroy, who extended his career bankroll to $163,181, for Richard McCormick. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday at 1:05 PM, the first of four consecutive Sunday cards. There will be no live racing on the Mondays following those special Sunday programs. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Yannick Gingras is having a record stretch for a harness racing driver while betting continues at a torrid clip during February at the Meadowlands. After winning 13 races over the span of Feb. 1-2, Gingras followed that up with 10 more wins last weekend (Feb. 8-9) at the Big M, giving him 23 victories in 49 starts, for an incredible win percentage of 47. Not surprisingly, trainer Ron Burke conditioned many of Gingras' winners. Over the course of the four race cards, Burke had 15 victories in 24 starts (63 percent), with all of the winners being driven by Gingras. Cold weather, hot handle: Big M betting is on a roll of late. The first weekend of February saw just over $6 million in action before last week saw all-source wagering total just short of $5.7 million. The Superfecta, which offers a 10-cent minimum bet and lowest in the game 20 percent takeout, has seen an average pool of $38,236 Since switching to a Race 1 start, betting in the 50-Cent Pick-5 has been strong, as an average of $58,213 has been poured into play on the wager with the low 15 percent takeout The Pick-3 ($1 minimum, 20 percent rake) has averaged $28,382 The 50-Cent Pick-4 (15 percent takeout), the track's signature wager, continues to be a hit with bettors, as $97,538 has been the average pool size. Saturdays have been especially good, with average action of $109,680 The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 (15 percent takeout) saw its first $20,000 pool of the year last Saturday, when a total of $21,633 was wagered. One lucky bettor in Ohio walked away with more than $18,000 after being the lone holder of a ticket "surviving" eight legs THIS WEEKEND: Racing continues Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ... The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five has a carryover of $40,545 awaiting players Friday. ... Free program pages for the Big M Pick-4 are available at www.ustrotting.com and www.playmeadowlands.com. WHHC QUALIFIER: The World Harness Handicapping Championship rolls on at the Meadowlands on Saturday (Feb. 16) with two spots to the April 6 WHHC final up for grabs. It's $200 to get in ($100 entry fee/$100 bankroll). Contest check-in and headquarters are at the main entrance to the Clubhouse, across from the Players Club Desk. Walk-ups are welcome, but must arrive between 5:30 and 7 p.m. For complete information, go to http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2019_February_WHHC_qualifier.pdf BRING YOUR SWEETIE: This Friday (Feb. 15), the Big M's Pink restaurant will offer a special Valentine's Day celebration with a $44.95 buffet that includes a glass of champagne and a red rose for the ladies. In addition, every time a driver with red in his colors wins, two lucky drawing winners will receive $50 betting vouchers in "Cupid's Cashout". The entry form will be in the live program. On Saturday (Feb. 16), the $44.95 buffet will be offered once again in Pink, and this time, a Florida vacation will be up for grabs, as one drawing winner will walk away with a trip to Orlando. Once again, entry forms will be in the live program. MADNESS IS COMING: It is upon us! March 19 marks the start of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament. Come on out to the Big M and watch and wager on the games in the FanDuel Sports Book. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

LEBANON, OH. - Feelin Red Hot (Chris Page) nosed out American Girl (Trace Tetrick) in Miami Valley's $25,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace on Friday night (Feb. 8), giving the 6-year-old harness racing daughter of Feelin Friskie her second straight weekly feature and postponing the christening of American Girl as a millionaire for at least another week. Page left enough to drop in fifth during the :27.1 opening panel, but was out and moving in the outer flow shortly thereafter. Positioned third-over and still in fifth past the halfway point in :56.1, Feelin Red Hot moved three-wide and was fourth after the 1:24.1 third stanza. As American Girl, who was setting the pace after clearing to the front just past the first quarter, began to tire on this chilly and windy night, Page and Feelin Red Hot showed the most resolve in the stretch by just barely wearing down her main adversary in 1:54. A win by American Girl would have pushed her career earnings to a few dollars more than $1 million, but now she'll have to wait in hopes of at least a second place finish in her next attempt. Ron Burke trains Feelin Red Hot for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She now sports 21 wins in 78 trips to the post, good for earnings of $238,479. Earlier on the card, two divisions of the first leg of the inaugural Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley for trotters were contested. The pair of first leg races were 5/8th mile dashes over Miami Valley's 5/8 mile oval. The second leg will be raced at the standard one mile distance; while the championship leg will be contested over 1-1/4 miles-or two laps. Brett Miller drove the winners of both $12,500 first leg dashes, Deweykknowigotit (1:11.2, $7.00 to win) and Double A Goldrush (1:11.1, $44.80). The North American record for the distance and track size is 1:10.3. Deweyknowigotit has now won four of his five starts at Miami Valley since the meet opened in early January. Lionel Watiker owns the 5-year-old gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe and his son Derek Watiker does the conditioning. Rockinthepines (Dan Noble) was a hard-charging second with Cruzen Cassi (Tetrick) grabbing the show dough. Double A Goldrush rallied from off the pace to beat Rompaway Galaxy (Jason Thompson) and Lets Go Bucks (Kyle Ater). Ross Leonard trains the 5-year-old altered son of Elegant Man for owners Michael and Laura Lee and Terry Leonard. With 14 victories in 62 lifetime starts the winner is closing in on $200,000 in earnings. Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 9) at Miami Valley with a $24,000 Open Handicap Pace and two divisions of the new Bill Dailey Memorial Medley on tap. Post time is 6:05 p.m. From the Miami Valley Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke and big action highlighted a huge weekend of harness racing at the Meadowlands last Friday and Saturday (Feb. 1-2). Formal records aren't available, but when it comes to what Burke and Gingras combined to do last week, they likely aren't necessary. Since the inception of the Big M racing primarily twice a week in 2013, it's hard to imagine any trainer-driver team winning 11 times (in only 13 starts) over the course of a weekend, as Burke and Gingras did a week ago, combining to win five times Friday before taking a half-dozen winner's circle trips Saturday. "Yannick thought we had won six in a night once before," said Burke, "but to go back-to-back like we did is really hard to do." Burke won't be able to equal his win output during this weekend's action at the Big M, however - he only has 10 horses entered. "The more you win with conditioned horses there's more of a chance the next losing streak is coming," said Burke, "because they are up in class after winning. I don't need to win that many in any weekend anyway, I just need to be consistent." Gingras won twice driving horses for someone other than Burke on Friday to total seven victories, one short of the single-card record shared by Brett Miller and Mike Lachance. Again, with formal records unavailable, it's not known if after winning six more on Saturday that his 13 wins (25 starts) over the weekend are a Big M best, but it's extremely likely. While Burke and Gingras were winning at a white-hot pace, betting was like a wildfire in high winds during the two 13-race programs. All-source wagering on Friday was $2,874,831, the second-highest total of 2019. The next night, play reached the magic $3 million mark for the first time this year, as $3,147,209 was pushed through the windows. "What a great weekend of racing it was," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, "and we are grateful to our fans, who supported us in a big way by betting over $6 million during the two cards." The Big M's popular 50-Cent Pick-4 wager took in a meet-high $110,700 on Saturday, and those who were sharp enough to cash a winning ticket walked away with $1,083.80. Free program pages for the upcoming Pick-4s this Friday and Saturday are available at www.ustrotting.com and www.playmeadowlands.com. The wager is offered on races eight through 11 and sports a low 15 percent takeout. STUDY YOUR FIVE COURSES: On Saturday (Feb. 9), come on out to the Big M's Pink restaurant and enjoy an incredible Italian feast. All five dinner courses will be paired with a wine that compliments each course perfectly. The cost is $70. To make reservations, call 201-460-4079. STUDY FOR THE WHHC: The World Harness Handicapping Championship rolls on at the Meadowlands on Saturday (Feb. 16) with a $200 entry fee and two spots to the April 6 WHHC Final on the line. Based on 100 entries, there will be $10,000 in prize money. For complete information, go to http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/2019_February_WHHC_qualifier.pdf. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Wagering reached the magic $3-million mark for the first time at the meeting and the team of harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras combined to win an incredible six races on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Twice during the course of the 13-race program, which saw all-source play total $3,147,209, single-race total wagering was in excess of $300,000. The Big M's signature 50-Cent Pick-4 saw its biggest pool of the year as $110,700 was pushed through the windows for the wager which spans races eight through 11. The sequence saw Burke and Gingras win twice, but when the dust cleared, no winning favorites scored leading to a payoff of $1,083.80. It was almost inconceivable that Burke and Gingras would top their five-win Friday night, but they did just that, scoring a half-dozen times on the Saturday program, good for a total of 11 victories over the course of the 26-race, two-card race week. Gingras won twice without Burke on Friday to tally a total of 13 times over the two cards. Saturday's edition of "Yannick and Ronnie's Awesome Night at the Races" started with a sweep of the Early Daily Double, as Try Try Again - making his first start for the Burke Brigade - scored from post nine in 1:55.1 in a non-winners of $5,000 trot as the 2-5 favorite. Approximately 20 minutes later, K-Lees Shakenbake won a $15,000 up to $20,000 claiming handicap pace in 1:51.3 as the 4-5 public choice, capping the $6.20 DD. Race six saw the dynamic duo win for the third time on the card with even-money choice Windsong Jack in 1:51.2 in a non-winners of $8,500 pace before the potent pair thrilled their backers with a pair of prices. Fireball took the ninth race non-winners of $8,500 pace in 1:52.2 at odds of 9-2 before 3-1 chance Ginger Tree Marty won race 10, a non-winners of $5,000 pace, in 1:52 to complete a Daily Double that returned $72.40. Larry Karr completed the sextet in race 12 as the 2-5 choice in a non-winners of four pace. The 4-year-old gelding went a tough uncovered trip to win for the fourth time in five starts. A LITTLE MORE: One simulcast player wagering into the Twin Spires hub was the only bettor to last eight legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and cashed in for $11,542.44. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

LEBANON, OH. - Feelin Red Hot (Chris Page), a 6-year-old Ohio-sired harness racing mare by Feelin Friskie, notched her 20th career victory in just 77 starts Friday night (Feb. 1) in Miami Valley's $25,000 Distaff Open Pace. The 1:52.1 tally was the winner's first at Miami Valley and increased her lifetime bankroll to $236,000. Page took no chances with the 4-5 favorite, cutting all the fractions before holding pocketsitter Lease Ness Monster (Sam Widger) at bay through the stretch. Zoe Ellasen (Trace Tetrick) closed well to earn the show check as her stablemate American Girl (Brady Galliers), who would eclipse $1 million in earnings with a win, ducked early from an assigned outside post position and failed to fire from the rear. Ron Burke trains Feelin Red Hot for the Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Driver Dan Noble scored a hat trick on the program to inch closer to leaders Trace Tetrick and Brett Miller in the current meet dash standings. He won with Southwind Indy, a conditioned pacer, for trainer Jeff Amann, then followed up with triumphs behind claimer David's Dream for conditioner Ray Farmer, trotter Semi Begonia from the Amy Wengerd Stable, and Mark Evers' Sugar Island in a higher conditions pace. Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 2) with a strong program that includes a $25,000 Open I, a $20,000 Open II, a $32,500 championship tilt between $20,000 claimers, and a pair of $27,500 divisions in the $30,000 Claim To Fame Series. There will be no racing at Miami Valley on Super Bowl Sunday. From the Miami Valley Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If you were wondering whether Ron Burke harness racing trainees could be bet with confidence off a layoff, wonder no more. The answer is a resounding "Yes!". Burke, and his go-to driver Yannick Gingras, teamed up to win three times on the Friday card at the Meadowlands, all with horses who have been out of action for a while. The potent pair got their evening underway in the third race trot for non-winners of $16,000 in their last five starts as 6-5 favorite Misslarose scored by a half-length in 1:54.4 after making the top at the half-mile marker. The 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Marion Chocolata qualified on Jan. 19 but had not been in a pari-mutuel race since Dec. 21. Tearful Of Happy, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Tear Drop, was next, overcoming post 10 and a 35-day layoff to storm home a 4½-length winner in 1:53 in the fourth race fillies and mares non-winners of $3,500 pace as the even-money public choice for her third win in four starts. Burke and Gingras capped their three-bagger in the eighth race non-winners of $5,000 trot with 8-5 second choice Resita, who had not been seen since Dec. 28. The 5-year-old gelded son of Manofmanymissions-Winkys Magik made a huge move on the far turn on the way to a 4¾-length score in 1:54.2. Gingras would go on to another win on the card, but his fourth victory of the night would come for trainer Jules Czermann Jr. in the 10th race pace for $7,500 claimers with 3-1 third choice Pop Pop Joe, an 8-year-old gelding by Royal Mattjesty-Ashlee's Way. A LITTLE MORE: Wagering on the Big M's signature bet, the 50-Cent Pick-4, was vigorous as $100,658 was poured into the pot, the third time in 2019 that pool has reached six figures. ... Driver Josert Fonseca and trainer Katie Remmerswaal teamed up to win the fifth race with 13-1 longshot Magic N Spice, and in the process, both registered their first-ever wins at the Big M. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race card was $2,571,729. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- One of the most spectacular, improbable, inspirational equine careers in harness racing history ended New Year's Eve at The Meadows with the final race of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever. Although his fifth-place finish disappointed the expectant crowd, his $650 check sent his career earnings to $7,635,588, a mark that likely won't be eclipsed anytime soon. The race, the 331stfor the Dragon Again-In A Safe Place gelding, also capped a hugely successful "Farewell Tour" in which Foiled Again's owners -- Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables -- campaigned him at 18 tracks across the continent. The tour was an athletic and an artistic success; not only did Foiled Again win 11 of those races, swelling his career total to 109, but he also was the centerpiece of special events that created handle and buzz for the venues he visited. In fact, the tour did so much for the sport that the United States Harness Writers Association voted Foiled Again the winner of the 2018 Stan Bergstein/Proximity Award, one of harness racing's most prestigious and coveted accolades. Foiled again and Yannick Gingras  post parade for the last time. (Raymond Lance Photo) The chances for victory in his final race took a hit when "Foiled Again's Last Call," as the event was styled, came up so tough that his trainer, Ron Burke, called it a "mini-open." All-day rain made for a sloppy, tiring surface, while his draw, post 8, certainly didn't help. As if all that weren't enough, one of Foiled Again's rivals, Knocking Around, a tough-as-nails, off-the-pace type, was piloted by David McNeight III seeking a milestone of his own -- career victory 1,000. It was a less-than-ideal spot, but the gallant gelding gave it his all, shooting to the top for Yannick Gingras and holding it through fractions of 28.4/57.4. When McNeight challenged first up with Knocking Around, a weary Foiled Again eventually yielded, defeated 3-1/2 lengths but missing show by only 1/4 length. Foiled Again leads the field Going to the ½...(Raymond Lance Photo) The scenario set off celebrations that The Meadows winners' circle seldom has seen. First was the mob that greeted McNeight and Knocking Around, still so full of himself that he would barely settle for the picture. Then the even more boisterous greeting for Foiled Again, who was calm and gentlemanly throughout. Burke Brigade and Foiled Again heading to Winners circle  for the retirement ceremony. (Raymond Lance Photo) Among those speaking in the winners' circle: Gingras, probably Foiled Again' most frequent driver, who cited the horse's victory in the 2013 Breeders Crown as his most memorable trip aboard Foiled Again. (Matt Kakaley, who also has driven Foiled Again, didn't speak but slipped quietly into the celebration.); Burke, who conceived and led the execution of the Farewell Tour. He also cited Foiled Again's Breeders Crown win as his most memorable; Mickey Burke, patriarch of the Burke clan, who decades ago left the auto sales industry to take a fling at harness racing . . . and launched a harness racing dynasty. An emotional Burke insisted that son Ron stand beside him while he made his remarks. Sylvia Burke, partners with son Ron in Burke Racing Stable, who expressed gratitude to the horse's legion of fans; Tessie Irey, Foiled Again's caretaker at The Meadows; Mike Tanner, executive vice president of the United States Trotting Association, who presented the owners with a handsome Foiled Again collage on behalf of USTA and the Harness Racing Fan Zone. USTA Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Tanner presents Ron Burke with Foiled Again Photo Collage. (Raymond Lance Photo) His ownership group purchased Foiled Again privately midway through his 4-year-old campaign, figuring they'd acquired a nice horse who fit their program. But as he developed his potential under Ron Burke's tutelage, he dominated older-horse company and was nigh well unbeatable on smaller tracks. When he captured that 2013 Breeders Crown at age 9, he became the oldest horse ever to win a Breeders Crown event. He won the Dan Patch Award for older males three consecutive times, a feat matched only by the legendary Rambling Willie. Indeed, Foiled Again became a phenomenon unseen since Rambling Willy; his middle-aged and Golden-Years exploits inspired fans -- particularly those with a few miles under their belts. But that phase of his life ended about three hours before his mandatory retirement at the age of 15. Burke indicated he would halt the gelding's training schedule immediately rather than cut back gradually, as Foiled Again always has responded well to being turned out. Burke said he would quarter skittish horses with the old boy so he could teach his nervous buddies to relax, and that Foiled Again would be available for promotional appearances. Now, as his front shoes were pulled for the final time, he turned to face the appreciative crowd, which serenaded him with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Then Foiled Again jogged into retirement. Into immortality. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

HARRISBURG, PA - Foiled Again, the highest-moneywinning Standardbred harness racin horse of all-time with $7,634,938 in his bankroll, in the final stages of a whirlwind Foiled Again Farewell Tour as he faces mandatory retirement upon reaching 15 years of age on January 1, has been selected for the Stan Bergstein / Proximity Award, the highest award in the sport voted on exclusively by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing's leading media association. Foiled Again is an altered son of Dragon Again out of the Artsplace mare In A Safe Place. He raced for trainer Herman Heitmann at two and three, and into his fourth year before being purchased by Sylvia Burke, Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Mark Weaver and Michael Bruscemi), and JJK Stables LLC (the late Joseph Koury Sr. and his sons Joseph Jr. and Kevin). Mickey Burke, Sylvia's husband and Ron's father, was transitioning from raceway activities to overseeing the younger horses, and he handled the conditioning of Foiled Again until Ron took over full-time training responsibility in November 2008. Foiled Again reached his full potential under his new connections, staying a vital member of the free-for-all pacing community for half-a-dozen years. He was Older Pacing Horse of the Year in 2011, 2012, and 2013, during each of which he earned over $1 million. Foiled Again took his mark of 1:48 in 2013 at the age of nine, in the elimination race of the Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono, coming back the next week to win the Franklin Final and then later in the year to sweep his Breeders Crown action over the red clay. Fans grew to embrace Foiled Again as he battled on at a high quality of performance over the years; they latched onto this "evergreen pacer" who they knew would always give them every ounce of his energy. Once he broke the record for earnings ($5.8 million by the trotter Ready Cash), he gained even more cache, and attracted media attention like few other Standardbreds (or any racehorse). As he entered his 14th year, perhaps a step or two off his peak speed but still competitive every time behind the gate, his connections decided to establish a "Foiled Again Farewell Tour," matching him against local horses and letting fans around the United States and Canada give one last salute to the gallant pacer. He raced at eighteen different tracks during 2018, in ten different states and provinces, and seemed very little the worse for wear. When he raced at Harrah's on December 9, he returned to a track where he had first raced 4165 days - 11 years, 4 months, and 25 days - earlier. Foiled Again's 331st and final start comes on Monday at The Meadows, the home track of the Burkes and Weaver Bruscemi, and as has been noted, "it's unlikely there will be a dry eye in the house." (Start 330 came at Mohawk last Saturday, where Foiled Again posted career victory 109.) Foiled Again is only the second horse to win the Bergstein - Proximity Award: the other was Rambling Willie, who was honored in 1984 after a career that strikingly parallels Foiled Again's in longevity, earnings recordsetting, competitiveness in the free-for-all ranks for years, and popularity among the racegoing public. In an ever-changing world, Foiled Again reaches across 34 years to join another horse who didn't know the meaning of the end of a mile, the end of a career, or making outstanding contributions to harness racing. Ron Burke Trainer of the Year, Team Burke Owners of the Year HARRISBURG, PA -- It seems fitting that as the spotlight finds Foiled Again in his last campaign, it also finds his trainer and his ownership, who have been instrumental in the tremendous success of the horse - Ron Burke has been named Trainer of the Year for the third time (2011 and 2013 previously), while the Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC combine will follow their 2013 Owners of the Year prize with another in 2018, in voting conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Ron Burke, who as noted took over the training of the Burke Stable in late October 2008, has been an unstoppable force the last ten years, achieving success levels unreached in the sport. He will reach 1000 victories with his far-flung barn in 2018, his third time posting four figures, and his stable will top the $21 million mark in purses won for the sixth year. For his outstanding 2018, Burke got more votes from USHWA than did any other human (one horse did top him, though - Foiled Again). And as always, there was quality in with the quality. The stable sent out divisional champions Warrawee Ubeaut (2PF) and Dorsoduro Hanover (3PC and millionaire); these two teamed with Percy Blue Chip (3PF) to give Burke three Breeders Crown Championships during 2018. Seasoned pacers Filibuster Hanover and Rockin Ron also earned over $500,000, giving Burke Racing / Weaver Bruscemi five horses who took down over half a million; trainer Burke had a sixth in 3PF Youaremycandygirl. And then there was of course Foiled Again, who kept in good condition to race every year a Standardbred can race - 13, from the minimum of age two to the maximum of age fourteen. Youaremycandygirl is an exception to the usual makeup of Ron Burke's outfit - most of its horses are earned, in whole or in part, by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. So if trainer Burke has a good year, it's probable that Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC followed along in suit. An important component of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC is the amount that they give back to the sport which has provided them with successes and thrills. The Foiled Again Farewell Tour is a prime example. So too is their "policy" of usually having partners on most of their stakes horses - this is a way to give owners who might have a slight chance (to no chance) to have a Grand Circuit horses be a part of the excitement of campaigning a world-class competitor against the best in their division throughout the stakes season. Foiled Again and his connections will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2018 will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. Reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.org; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com (the 2018 journal is online at the writers' website). Information about purchasing tickets for the dinner will become available and will be posted shortly. From the United States Trotting Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 19, 2018 -- Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred all time with more than $7.6 million in career earnings, will race for the final time in his incomparable harness racing career on a special New Year's Eve card at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. He faces mandatory retirement the next day when he turns 15. The Dec. 31 program begins at 5:30 PM. An official retirement ceremony will take place in the winners' circle following the race, called "Foiled Again's Last Call," when his connections will pull his shoes for the final time. The ceremony also will feature a video of Foiled Again's career highlights. In addition, the action-packed program includes the finals of six Holiday Claiming Series and the "Night of Champions," when The Meadows Horses of the Year are presented their awards. Patrons will receive New Year's party hats and noisemakers and will be invited to participate in the holiday festivities in the casino. The "Last Call" not only will conclude the great gelding's career, but it also will wrap-up his spectacular "Farewell Tour," through which his connections -- The Meadows-based trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables -- campaigned him across the continent to create special events for tracks and allow fans to see him compete one more time. This was no mere star turn, as the son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place has won 10 times this year with a season's best 1:53 at Freehold, pushing his career victory total to 108. Among Foiled Again's many accomplishments: He was named Pacer of the Year in 2011 at the age of 7, becoming the only pacer older than 4 to receive that honor. In that 2011 campaign, he won six $100,000 events.  He was named Best Older Male Pacer in three consecutive seasons (2011-2013); only Rambling Willie has matched that achievement.  In 2013, at the age of 9, he won the Breeders Crown Open Pace to become the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown event. This year, he's been nominated for the Proximity Award, one of harness racing's most prestigious accolades. The Meadows next week will announce details of "Foiled Again's Last Call." by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 10, 2018 -- Aided by a second-quarter breather, Dayson drew away from the pocket-sitting Wind Of The North in the lane and captured Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Dayson was looped from the gate and had to work hard for the lead on a subfreezing day. But the 5-year-old Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus gelding was refreshed by the 30.3 second panel Dave Palone gave him and downed Wind Of The North by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. TSM Photo Bugger rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Dayson, who lifted his career bankroll to $987,712, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Rossie Smith. Dan Rawlings collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

Chester, PA -- A mere three weeks away from mandatory retirement, Foiled Again ($2.20) withstood three strong challenges en route to a gritty 1:54.2 win -- the 108th of his career -- in Sunday's (Dec. 9) $10,000 Foiled Again Farewell Tour Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia.   The richest pacer of all time and usual driver Yannick Gingras were tested from the outset by Cabbie's Delight (George Napolitano Jr.), but held their ground through a :27.4 first-quarter duel. After rating a comfortable :57 half, the 14-year-old son of Dragon Again faced first-over pressure from Machtu N (Brett Miller) up the far side of the course. Machtu N worked to within half a length of the lead past three-quarters in 1:25.4 before dismissing that challenger, only for Cabbie's Delight to re-emerge up the open stretch.   Driven out to the winning post, Foiled Again refused to lose, parrying Cabbie's Delight's inside challenge by a quarter length for his tenth seasonal score. Hypothetical (Tony Morgan) made late inroads to take third.   "There's tears every time I get to sit behind him, and it gets harder every time," said an emotional Gingras after the win over the same racetrack Foiled Again made a name for himself in 2008 with ten wins, eight of them against open competition.   "There's no doubt that he's helped me to get to where I'm at."   Trainer Ron Burke expressed similar sentiments of the veteran, whose farewell tour will wrap up on Dec. 31 at The Meadows.   It's really energized us as a barn and made us enjoy everything," Burke said about the tour before reminiscing about his star pacer's legacy.   "Probably at seven, he was better than everyone out there. All of a sudden, there wasn't anyone better, and he went for two or three years where he was the best horse in the country." In his 2011 campaign, Foiled Again won six $100,000 events en route to amassing well over $7.6 million in career earnings.   The Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables own Foiled Again, and have have campaigned him since acquiring him in July of 2008.   Live racing resumes at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Dec. 12); first post is slated for 12:25 p.m.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - For Ron Burke, North America's leading harness racing trainer in victories and earnings, Sunday's $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway is just another pari-mutuel mission. For trainer Buddy Bright, it's the opportunity of a lifetime and it comes less than a week before his 71st birthday. Burke will be represented by Filibuster Hanover, the probable favorite, and stablemate Rockin Ron. Bright, a regular at Rosecroft for years, sends out longshot Rock N Roll Jet, a one-eyed pacer and winner of five of the last six Open Paces at the Fort Washington, MD. oval. It could be a classic case of David vs. Goliath. Burke's stable has won over 900 races and more than $20 million this year. Bright's barn has 16 victories and $114,256. Filibuster Hanover and Rockin Ron combine for 10 victories and $1.16 million in earnings this year. Rock N Roll Jet has nine victories and $73,975 in earnings. But as far as horses being on top of their game, it's Bright's Rock N Roll Jet that is in the spotlight. The 9-year-old gelding has won his last four starts, all at Rosecroft oval. "He's sharp right now," said Bright. "He won last week from the eight hole. Never saw the wood (rail) and got up in time (by a neck) in 1:51 3/5." Bright said Rock N Roll lost his left eye to a fungus four years ago, but that it hasn't affected his performance. "He's the same. He doesn't care. He just races hard." As for upsetting Burke's two entries, Bright is eager to try them. I don't know if we can beat them, but if we draw inside of them, we'll give a heckuva try." Rock N Roll Jet drew the No. 5 post, between Filibuster Hanover (4 hole) and Rockin Ron (8 post). The Burke trainee has raced in all the top level races this season, but both are on losing streaks. Filibuster Hanover hasn't won since scoring in the June 10 Graduate at Tioga Downs, having lost his last 13 starts. Rockin Ron's last victory came in the May 26 Camluck. He has since lost 14 starts. The victory droughts do not faze Burke. "I don't buy into the belief that horses need victories to boost their confidence," said Burke. "It's a big mistake to attempting to tie human emotions to horses." ROSECROFT EXTRAS: In addition to the $100,000 Potomac Pace, Sunday's card will feature the $25,000 Maryland Invitational for horses owned, sired or bred in the state, as well as the $15,000 Foiled Again Invitational. Slick Tony and Sams Triple Crown, both eight-time winners this year, head the Maryland Invitational. Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness history with earnings of $7.6 million, has drawn the No. 9 post for his farewell tour appearance. The Burke-trained Foiled Again is 14 and faces mandatory retirement following his final start on Dec. 31 at The Meadows. David Joseph

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Ron Burke is a numbers guy. You would expect as much from a trainer juggling a 250-horse stable of trotters and pacers and has been the best in the harness racing business for a decade. Burke, based in Washington, Pa. at The Meadows as well as a nearby farm, never misses one of his pupil's starts, be it in person or via a computer or television screen. He will have his eye on the mobile starting gate Sunday when he sends out both Filibuster Hanover and Rockin Ron in the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. Not only does Burke, 49, know his business in and out, he also knows the storyline of outstanding accomplishments by others in the Standardbred community. He took notice last weekend when Aaron Merriman, a regular at both The Meadows and Northfield Park in northeastern Ohio, became the first driver in harness history to win 1,000 races in two seasons. "Aaron drives for me. I've done what he's done twice as a trainer. I'm hoping to do it again this year," said Burke who has sent out 924 winners this year through Nov. 28. "I'm very proud of having that many wins." And a stack of purse dollars, as well. Burke became the first harness trainer to cash for more than $100 million in career earnings (in 2014) and this year soared over the $200 million mark. Another Burke milestone was becoming the first trainer to earn $20 million in a single season. He has done so six consecutive years, including this season. The $28,414,071 his stable banked in 2014 is the highest by a trainer of any breed. All this from a 6-foot-5 horseman who once told the New York Times that, as a youngster, "I was scared to death of (horses), and that's not a lie." Burke, won the inaugural Potomac Pace in 2016 when his All Bets Off rallied to prevail by a nose over Split The House while equaling the Rosecroft then track record of 1:48 2/5. All Bets Off finished second in last year's Potomac renewal. "The race has been good to me," said Burke. Burke believes that while Rockin Ron has banked $532,311 this season, Filibuster Hanover gives him his best shot at winning this year's Potomac. "He's ready to roll," said Burke. "He's been facing the best of the best all season." Filibuster Hanover drew the No. 4 post in the Potomac field of eight and has won five of 18 starts and $636,601 this year. His biggest victories came earlier this year when he won the May 27 Commodore Barry Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia and May 20 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. Filibuster Hanover ran into the red-hot McWicked (12 for 19 for $1.5 million this year) in the Oct. 27 Breeders Crown Final Open Pace and had to settle for second money. "He's only four and that was a big effort in the Breeders Crown," said Burke. "I'm confident he'll race well in the Potomac." David Joseph

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