The Ron Burke Stable ATM, officially named Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, continued with Round 3 Saturday night. Burke trained the winners in all but one of the evening's four, $50,000 divisions.
Since the last (grouping) shall be first, let us begin where we usually do, with Foiled Again. He and driver Yannick Gingras went the distance, though not without having to work for it.
Drawing outside his six rivals, Foiled Again quickly negated that nuisance. He went around pole-sitting P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. From there, the match race was on. After a :55.4 half, these two separated themselves from the overmatched quintet.
Foiled Again found three-quarters in 1:24, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Then,
For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,105,968 (79-for-201). Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Foiled Again, now 3-for-3 in this series and the season, returned the legal-minimum $2.10, with the exacta (two wagering choices) paid a season-low $3.10. Triple wagering was a no-no in all divisions due to limited wagering interests.
"The first two weeks, he didn't have any pressure,” Gingras said. "(Tonight), I wanted to air it out a bit.
"Even so, he was loafing around until he heard (PH Supercam) coming. Then, he picked it up and he dug in. There was no way the other horse was going by me.”
Getting in the way of a Burke blitz was Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson). After a pair of seconds (one in a dead-heat) in this series, the Ontario contingent broke through. Leaving from post 3 in the third division, Apprentice Hanover was away third as Itrustyou (Gingras)—part of Burke's 1-2 favored entry—set sail through intervals of :26.4 and :56.3. Apprentice Hanover then moved to the leader, who offered just passive resistance. It was Apprentice Hanover grabbing the lead before a 1:23.3 three-quarters, leaving two-leg winner Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) first-up.
The lead was two lengths turning for home, and Apprentice Hanover needed all of it. Mach it So moved to him but missed a neck in 1:52.4. Third went to rallying Clear Vision (George Brennan), part of the favored twosome.
For Apprentice Hanover, a 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Brad Grant and trained by Ben Wallace, he returned $7.50 (third choice) for his sixth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.40.
"He was a little funny in the first turn, same as he was in the last turn in the opening round,” Jamieson said. "I thought it may have cost me early position.
"It's always a challenge for a 4-year-old in this series. All the credit goes to Ben (Wallace). He managed him very well (in Canada). He wasn't getting tested up there, and was racing every other week. Going into this series, I wanted to make him work harder, because I knew he'd be taking on top horses.”
Saturday night's other Levy winners were…
--Easy Again,r,5 (by Dragon Again); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 and Panhellenic Stbs/driver Brennan; 1:53.1/$2.40 (POE).
--Bettor's Edge,g,5 (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 Stb/driver Gingras; 1:52.2/$2.20 (POE).
As with Foiled Again, Bettor's Edge is 3-for-3 in this series.