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Maltese Artist at Plainridge

August 15, 2006

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Trainer Mickey Burke, North America’s leading dash-winning trainer, has confirmed that he will accept an invitation to bring 2005 Bert Beckwith Memorial Pace champion Maltese Artist back for the 2006 edition of the event.

The centerpiece event of the season and the Labor Day celebration, the 2006 Bert Beckwith Memorial Pace will be held on Monday afternoon, Sept. 4, at Plainridge Racecourse

Owned by John Howard of Morgantown, WV, James Koran of Macedonia, Ohio and Sylvia Burke of Fredericktown, PA, the wife of trainer Mickey Burke, Maltese Artist was a surprise entrant in last year’s Beckwith Memorial.

Due to a twist of fate, the then 4-year-old gelded son of Artiscape managed to come to New England because he had an unusually bad effort in the Breeders Crown Open Pace elimination at Mohawk on August 27, finishing eighth.

But all he did just nine days later was become the fastest horse in the history of Plainridge Racecourse when he paced to a new all-age track record as Bruce Ranger steered him to a 1:49.2 victory romping home with a spectacular :27.3 final quarter to win by nearly seven lengths.

Burke has become an annual visitor to Plainridge over the past several years for the Beckwith Day festivities.

Already this season, Maltese Artist has raced at The Meadows, Burke’s home track in Pennsylvania as well as Freehold and The Meadowlands in New Jersey, where he has competed in the Haughton and Graduate.

In addition he traveled to Harrington for the First State Invitational, Hoosier Park in Indiana for the Dan Patch Invitational, Northfield for the Battle of Lake Erie and Ontario where he raced at Woodbine in the elimination and Mohawk in the final of the $800,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the richest race of the year for aged pacers.

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