Manalapan, NJ — Ron Burke sent out 24 newcomers and two established stars Monday (June 7) as Gaitway Farm hosted the first of its four weekly qualifying days this month. Of the nine qualifiers for 2-year-olds, the Burke Brigade captured seven, as well as seeing multiple Dan Patch Award winners Atlanta and Warrawee Ubeaut win their respective events.
Burke’s winning 2-year-olds were female pacers Just Divine and Sweet Hello; 2-year-old female trotters Cowboy Crushn and Pink Gyspy; 2-year-old male pacers Silverstone and JM’s Finaltreasure; and male trotter Global Pandemic.
Pink Gypsy (by Father Patrick out of Margarita Momma) is a full sister to Dan Patch Award recipient Amigo Volo and Grand Circuit winner Reign Of Honor. She won in 1:57.1 with Yannick Gingras in the sulky. Purchased privately, she is owned by Crawford Farms Racing.
JM’s Finaltreasure (Sweet Lou-Worldly Treasure) is a half-brother to Hall of Famer Captaintreacherous. He won in 1:53.2, the day’s fastest time for the 2-year-olds, with Tim Tetrick driving. He was purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Phil Collura.
Just Divine (Huntsville-Divine Caroline) won in 1:54.3, with a day’s-best :25.2 final quarter, with Gingras. She was purchased for $160,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Bill Donovan, Craig Henderson, Joe Sbrocco, and Purnel & Libby.
Sweet Hello (Sweet Lou-Well Hello There) won in 1:56.2 with Tetrick. She was purchased for $27,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Knox Services, and Phil Collura.
Cowboy Crushn (Chapter Seven-Cowgirl Hall) won in 1:59 with Joe Bongiorno at the lines. She was purchased for $110,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Beasty LLC.
Silverstone (American Ideal-Upfrontandpersonal) won in 1:55.2 with Gingras. He was purchased under the name Six Feet Please for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Phil Collura.
Global Pandemic (Cantab Hall-Nicole’s Promise) won in 1:55.4 with Gingras. He was purchased for $120,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Hatfield Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. He is a half-brother to Grand Circuit winner Livininthefastlane.
“Really, my whole barn was great,” Burke said. “I couldn’t have been happier. Even the horses that made breaks, we’ll do a little bit of equipment changing and they’ll be ready to roll.
“We’re actually a week behind from when we normally would be qualifying, so I’ve got an extra time or two in bikes into them, so mine were ready. They were ready to go right now. I was very happy with them.”
A total of 43 rookies went behind the gate in the 2-year-old qualifiers. Other winners were male pacer Last Witch Hunt and male trotter Torrone.
Last Witch Hunt (Huntsville-Wichita Hanover) won in 1:56.1 with Bongiorno driving for trainer Jenn Bongiorno. He was purchased for $43,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Jason Maxon, Jacob Corlyon, and Heather Reese. He is a half-brother to multi-millionaire A Rocknroll Dance.
Torrone (Father Patrick-With Sugar) won in 1:58.4 with David Miller driving for trainer Joe Holloway. He was purchased for $25,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz.
In the qualifiers for older horses, 6-year-old female trotter Atlanta won in 1:54.1 with Gingras driving for Burke. She was Trotter of the Year in 2018, when she won the Hambletonian, and Trotting Mare of the Year in 2019. She has won 25 of 51 career races and $2.65 million.
Warrawee Ubeaut, a 5-year-old female pacer, won her qualifier in 1:56.1 for the Gingras-Burke duo. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at ages 2 and 3. For her career, she has won 21 of 45 starts and $1.79 million. Her time of 1:48.3 in 2018 remains tied for the best in history for a 2-year-old pacer.
“They couldn’t have been better,” Burke said. “We went a little bit more with Atlanta than we wanted to, but I think it was because that horse (leader Southwind Sylvestr) got away from her and Yannick let her chase. But, still, I was thrilled.
“We’ll give them another qualifier each, maybe two more. I’m in no hurry. They’re both professional horses.”
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