Sweet Lou overpowered a stellar field of fast class pacers to win the $50,000 second leg of the TVG Free For All Championship Series in 1:48 on Saturday night at the Meadowlands.
Ron Pierce was in the driver's seat again and used Sweet Lou's speed to get into the race early from post 10, tucking third as first Golden Receiver then Bolt The Duer took turns on the lead through the :26.1 opener. Pierce edged Sweet Lou to the outside and had command in a matter of strides, clicking off a half in :54.2 and three quarters in 1:22 before streaking home in :26 flat for the win.
Clear Vision parlayed an uncovered move into the place finish behind his barn mate for Matt Kakaley (who won both ends of Saturday's Daily Double). Thinking Out Loud closed to be third with John Campbell aboard and looks like he might be sitting on a big one for conditioner Bob McIntosh.
Now five years of age, Sweet Lou is in career form currently for the Ron Burke Stable and the partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. The 1:48 mile is a mere fifth of a second off his lifetime best, taken in an elimination for the North America Cup at age three.
Owner Karr mentioned in a post race Bob "Hollywood" Heyden interview that a trip to Tioga Downs for next Sunday's $160,000 Roll With Joe FFA Pace may be the next objective for the partnership's star player.
Doo Wop Hanover exploded in midstretch and drew away from the field to win the $48,500 second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.
Driver Campbell bided his time with 3-5 favorite Doo Wop Hanover ($3.40), sitting in the outside tier, then fanning out to mid-track in the stretch and blowing by for a 2 1/4-length victory in 1:50.4 on a racing surface rated "good."
The Steve Elliott trainee put away runner-up Dancin Hill and Rock Out, who was third by 3 1/4 lengths. All three top finishers are sons of Rocknroll Hanover.
At two, Doo Wop Hanover finished in the money in six of 12 starts and was second to Western Vintage in his 2014 debut last week. The $52,000 Harrisburg yearling has now earned more than $87,000 for owners Peter Blood, Rick Berks and Gary Piontkowski.
Sayitall BB and Act Now each paced career best miles in taking their respective $21,000 division of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
Sayitall BB ($3.20), driven by Pierce and trained by Burke, took the lead at the quarter and drew away to a three-length victory in 1:51 flat in the first division, the third race.
The daughter of Tell All-Challo BB picked up her fourth win in six starts this year after winning all five of her outings at two.
Rockingham Park [Rocknroll Hanover] was second best while it was 4 1/2 lengths to Fanticipation (Rocknroll Hanover) in third.
Sayitall BB has now banked more than $60,000 for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Act Now ($2.80), a daughter of Western Ideal-CPA, was a wrapped up winner in 1:50 flat in the second division of 3-year-old pacing fillies, the fourth race, finishing 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Blixtra (Rocknroll Hanover). It was 4 3/4 lengths to Highland Rockstar (Rocknroll Hanover) in third.
Act Now, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Nikolas Drennan, was a $40,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase who has now banked more than $200,000 for Joseph Davino and Patrick O'Brien.
This year she has a first and a third in two tries and last year she posted three wins, a second and a third in nine starts with her largest payday in the $394,950 Three Diamonds when she finished second by a neck to Delightful Dragon.
The $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes finals for all the 3-year-old divisions will take place on May 31. (Meadowlands)