The snow stopped for a few hours on Friday evening in East Rutherford, N.J., and live harness racing resumed at the Meadowlands thanks in a large part toa Herculean effort by the track and facilities staff.
Friday historically features trotters and pacing mares and the night was no exception,with the $30,000 trotting feature carded as the second race. DW's NY Yank crossed the river and ran his unbeaten streak to four on the year with a geared down 1:55.2 neck score over Modern Family.
Sent away as the 3-5 public choice after the defection of expected race favorite Daylon Magician (a sick scratch) DW's NY Yank and driver Yannick Gingras "stole" a :59.1 middle half after being starched to a :27 flat opening quarter, then coasted home in :29.1 against the wind. Modern Family was a well meant second and Not Afraid took the show spot. The win was one of six on the card for leading driver Gingras.
The winner is trained by Ron Burke, who won three races on the evening, for Burke Racing, Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. "Yank" has matured nicely, winning 20 of his past 31 starts for right around $300,000 after making $60,000 in his first 30 career starts.
The week's best pacing mares assembled for the 11th and the Burke/Gingras combination took that one as well with a wire-to-wire score by Continual Velocity. Gingras steered her through comfortable fractions then sprinted home in :27.4 on the end of a 1:52 mile.
The recent addition to the barn scored for the first time since being purchased by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, moving past $350,000 in career cash with the win.
The other Burke victory came in a nw3 trot in the fourth race, as Whata Donato sat a perfect pocket trip and stormed past Dough Dough to score a wrapped-up, 2 1/4-length victory in 1:56.1.
On the wagering front, it was a $3 million Friday as total handle for the Valentine's card was $3,000,504. (Meadowlands)