Burke discusses possible Elitlopp start for Atlanta
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Trainer Ron Burke told harnessracing.com Tuesday morning that while he has yet to receive an official invitation from Solvalla Racetrack officials to bring Atlanta to Sweden for the May 26 Elitlopp, unless he can find suitable travel arrangements he would not go.
On Monday, Atlanta was ultra-impressive in her 4-year-old debut in the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares at Miami Valley, cruising to a 7 3/4-length in 1:50.4 for driver Yannick Gingras. That led to immediate speculation that the 2018 Trotter of the Year could be an Elitlopp invitee; on Tuesday Solvalla officials in a Facebook Live video discussed Atlanta while a video of the Miami Valley Distaff was shown.
Atlanta wouldn’t be Burke’s first Elitlopp starter; in 2009 he sent the trotting mare Buck I St. Pat overseas, but she finished seventh in her elimination and failed to advance to the same-day final. Remembering the long journey Buck I St. Pat had to take to arrive at Solvalla, Burke said he wouldn’t put Atlanta through the same regimen.
“I know we can go, but if I don’t get the right flight for what’s best for her, I’m not going,” said Burke. “It was too much (for Buck I St. Pat), it was like, plane, train and automobile. I’m not doing that (again). If I can get straight in there or straight into France and come with the French horse, I’d do that.
“I also have to find out what is the total down time in quarantine, and stuff like that. I want to go as late as I can and I want to leave as quick as I can. I hope they get hold of me pretty soon. They haven’t really called me, only a couple of texts. We will need to work out my concerns as I am doing whatever is best for the horse.”