Sweet Lou sailed down the homestretch for his sixth straight win to take the $463,300 William Haughton Memorial for open pacers in 1:47.1 Saturday night at the Meadowlands.
Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce got away in fifth, content to let others slug it out on the front end, as first Bettor's Edge got the lead at the :25.3 quarter. Tim Tetrick rushed to the lead with Captaintreacherous by the three-eighths marker with Bolt The Duer in behind him along the rail.
Captaintreacherous held the lead at the :53 half, but then John Campbell applied pressure with Thinking Out Loud, who was quickly alongside. That pinned Bolt The Duer inside, and Thinking Out Loud continued applying pressure on the outside, all the way down the backstretch and through the turn.
When the field turned for home, Captaintreacherous held the lead at the 1:21 three quarters, but was soon set upon on the inside by Bettor's Edge (Matt Kakaley) and on the outside by Sweet Lou. At the wire, it was Sweet Lou with stablemate Bettor's Edge coming up the inside to take second and Captaintreacherous holding on for third.
Sweet Lou is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura.
"I was very happy,” said Burke. "Ronnie's been using the same move every week where he brushes up the backside and bottoms them out and I wondered what would happen if we couldn't do that, if we were put in another position. What I liked best is at the wire, he was just starting to stretch out full speed to get going. I was very happy with him and Bettor's Edge.
"He's a good little horse; he's getting stronger; he's getting better,” he said of second-place finisher Bettor's Edge. "He's doing more than we could ask of any horse. We raced him hard right through the winter, so he's doing more than we could ask of any horse.”
The Burke Stable's Rocklamation upset at odds of 12-1 in the $183,450 Golden Girls for pacing mares, this time with Gingras in the sulky.
Anndrovette took the early lead in a :25.4 opening quarter-mile before yielding to Somwherovrarainbow in a 53.4 half. Somwherovrarainbow faced a first-over challenge from Shebestingin with Rocklamation following.
Rocklamation was fourth entering the stretch, but was able to win by three-quarters of a length over Drop The Ball, who was 18-1, in 1:48.3. Jerseylicious, at 70-1, was third. The trifecta paid $8,879.60.
"I left hard and they were leaving harder than I was on the inside,” Gingras said. "I was lucky enough to land in fifth and got good cover from there. [Somwherovrarainbow] is a great mare, but my mare is a hard knocker. She's getting up there in age, but she's such a sweetheart.
"I got a good second-over trip and I thought I had a good chance turning for home because sometimes the third quarter is the only quarter that's hard to make her go. But at 1:21.1 I was right on David's helmet and he got me where I needed to go.”
Rocklamation has now won two of 10 races this year. She is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, and J&T Silva Stables. She has earned just shy of $2 million lifetime. (Harness Racing Communications)