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Maltese Artist heads to BC

July 25, 2006

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At first glance the numbers are mind-boggling. As of the last week of July, 69-year-old Mickey Burke, the leading dash-winning trainer in North America, has captured 255 races, nearly 60 more than his nearest competition. That is an average of a win a day, every day!

The mind-boggling statistic connected with those 255 wins is the fact that Burke has sent out more than 1,275 starters in 205 days of racing, an astounding 6.2 starts per day.

“On a Saturday night, we usually start between 20-25 horses,” Burke said from his Pennsylvania farm Monday morning. “Saturday night, I was in Saratoga, (son) Ronnie was at Rosecroft, (son) Mickey was at Indiana Downs and we had horses racing at The Meadows and Scioto as well as the big horse at the Meadowlands.”

“The big horse” is Maltese Artist and the 5-year-old gelded son of Artiscape is slated to race this Saturday evening in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Pace, part of the four-race $1.8 extravaganza at the Meadowlands.

In his Breeders Crown elimination Saturday night, Maltese Artist got a strong drive from pilot John Campbell, who settled back in the field in the early going, caught some outer tier flow down the backstretch, and finished third, a half length behind winner Holborn Hanover.

“That was the horse I expected,” Burke said after watching the race on TV from Saratoga Harness Saturday night. “He has the ability but has not been consistent. With the money we’re going for ($500,000) he doesn’t necessarily have to win it.” (From Breeders Crown)

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