Day At The Track

Burke wins feature with homebred

01:35 PM 30 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Pace Baby Pace captured her second Mares Open Pace in the last three weeks, Harness racing
Pace Baby Pace captured her second Mares Open Pace in the last three weeks
Conrad photo

LEBANON, OH. - It is not unusual to see a horse from the Ron Burke Brigade win a race at any number of harness racing tracks across North America. It happens on an almost daily basis and often includes multiple wins at multiple venues.

What is rare, however, is to see the sport's leading trainer win with a homebred. It happened on Friday (Jan. 29) at Miami Valley, though, when Pace Baby Pace (Chris Page) pulled a mild upset in the $21,000 Mares Open.

As expected, The Bethinator (Tyler Smith)-who entered the race with five open class wins and two runnerup finishes in her last seven starts-sailed off the gate and assumed an easier-than-usual lead at the :28 quarter. When the timer flashed :57.2 at the half many thought the race would be for place behind the 3-2 favorite. At that point, Page angled outside from fourth along the pylons and soon thereafter flushed eventual runnerup Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) to gain second-over position at the 1:25 three quarters station.

With a closing kick under :28, Pace Baby Pace swept past Miss You N and held off show finisher Caviart Cherie (Brett Miller), while The Bethinator faded to fourth. The 1:53 final time, including a back half in :55.3, was impressive in light of the sub-freezing temperatures. The winner paid $8.40, the exacta was worth $44.60 and a 50-cent

Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC bred the 5-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou, whose earnings have swelled to $219,500 on the strength of 14 wins in 53 starts.

Miami Valley will present a strong 14-race card on Saturday (Jan. 30), featuring a $22,500 Open Pace and $166,500 in total purses. Post time is 4:05 p.m.

 

Gregg Keidel

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