Solvalla oval should suit Buck I St Pat

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Ken Weingartner

Freehold, NJ — When Buck I St Pat travels to Sweden’s Solvalla Racetrack for the Elitlopp in late May, she will be on foreign soil, but familiar ground. Solvalla is a five-eighths-mile oval, which seems to be the size Buck I St Pat most enjoys.

Last year, Buck I St Pat became the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths track, winning the Maxie Lee Memorial in 1:52.2 at Harrah’s Chester. Lifetime, the 6-year-old mare has won 15 of 23 starts on a five-eighths track, and over her most recent 14 starts on a five-eighths she has never been worse than third.

Which might be why trainer Ron Burke said: “If they said I could have one horse for one race on a five-eighths-mile track, I would take her.”

Burke and Buck I St Pat’s ownership group (Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Abraham Basen, and Ron Fuller) recently accepted an invitation to race in the Elitlopp. Tim Tetrick, who has won nine of 11 career drives behind Buck I St Pat, will also go to Sweden.

The group declined a chance to go to the race last season.

Lisa photo

2008 Dan Patch Award winner Buck I St Pat will be heading overseas next month for Sweden’s Elitlopp.

“This year, they had made up their minds they were definitely going to go,” Burke said. “Everybody is on board. I think they’re excited to give it a shot.

“Having Tim going makes us feel a lot better,” he added. “He knows her. I think you do need somebody that does know her.”

Buck I St Pat was the 2008 Dan Patch Award and Nova Award winner as best older female trotter. She won 10 of 14 races and earned $411,724 despite seeing her campaign cut short because of a tendon injury. This year, she has one victory and a third-place finish in two starts. She is coming off a 1:54.1, five length win on April 17 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

“Timmy said the other day that’s the best he’s ever felt her,” Burke said. “Hopefully, she can maintain it for another two months.”

Buck I St Pat’s pre-Elitlopp schedule has her pointed toward the second round of the Classic Series next week and the Cutler Memorial.

“I’d rather they don’t have Cutler eliminations so we didn’t have to race three times; it would be nice to just race twice,” Burke said.

Burke anticipates Buck I St Pat handling the trip overseas with no difficulty. She has raced at 19 different tracks during her career.

“I really don’t think it will affect her,” Burke said. “Maybe when she was younger, but now she’s a total professional. I don’t think anything you could throw at her would bother her anymore. I have a good feeling. We’re going to give her every opportunity to do it right.”

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