By Ken Weingartner, USTA Media — Ron Burke sent out 26 freshmen during Monday’s qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm, with In Italian, a full sister to multiple Dan Patch Award-winner Atlanta, attracting a good deal of attention.
But the $750,000 yearling purchase was not alone in generating a buzz during the first of this month’s weekly sessions at the training center.
In Italian, who was the sales topper at last fall’s Standardbred Horse Sale, won her qualifying debut in 1:59 for Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip is owned by Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. She was bred by Order By Stable.
Also winning in 1:59 for Burke and Gingras was male trotter Celebrity Bambino, from the family of Dan Patch Award winners Housethatruthbuilt and Master Lavec. Celebrity Bambino trotted the second half of his mile in :56. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva Stables, Knox Services, and Phil Collura. The son of Muscle Hill-Celebrity Ruth was bred by White Birch Farm and purchased for $120,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.
“(In Italian) was very good,” Burke said. “She gets better all the time. Every time we ask her to go faster, she goes faster. She is very much like her sister; I think that if she has a target, somebody to aim at, she’s going to be even better.
“She’s very professional, does everything right. She reminds me of her sister. I don’t know if she has the speed yet that Atlanta has, but not too many do.
“We love (Celebrity Bambino). He trained down like a killer. He seems like a top colt. We’re very happy with him. He’s just perfect. He does everything perfect. He really does.”
Celebrity Bambino and In Italian were among Burke’s eight winning 2-year-olds on Monday. He swept the three qualifiers for filly pacers with Stop The Show, Hungry For Love, and Esperanza Hanover and also won with male trotter Herodotus and male pacers Ervin Hanover and Loubet.
Stop The Show, a $400,000 buy at the Lexington Selected Sale from the family of Dan Patch Award-winning filly Put On A Show, won her qualifier in 1:54.2 with a :27.2 last quarter. The Sweet Lou-Come See The Show filly is owned by Brixton Medical Inc., Hatfield Stables, and Marvin Katz. She was bred by Steve Jones and Maumee River Stables.
Esperanza Hanover (Sweet Lou-Emily R Hanover) won in 1:56.1 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services, James Simpson, and Weaver Bruscemi. The Hanover Shoe Farms-bred filly was purchased for $70,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale.
Hungry For Love (Stay Hungry-Lover Of Art) is a half-sister to stakes winners Art Scene and Summer Charm. She won in 1:57.1 for owners Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillion. She was bred by Brittany Farms and purchased for $80,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.
Herodotus (Bar Hopping-Regal Woman) won in 1:59.4. The colt is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Hatfield Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. He was bred by Dr. William Solomon and sold for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.
Ervin Hanover (Captaintreacherous-Eloquent Grace) won in 1:54.1. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva Stables, James Simpson, and Weaver Bruscemi. He was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and purchased for $115,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. His family includes millionaires Ginger And Fred and Fred And Ginger.
Loubet (Sweet Lou-Atsallrite Hanover) won in 1:57.2 for breeder/owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Michelle Yanek and Phil Collura.
“Overall, it was good,” Burke said. “There were a couple that were real good, but we expect them to be good too. Overall, I was very happy.”
Trainer Julie Miller won two of the 2-year-old qualifiers with female trotters, Friends After Six and Wind Chime.
Wind Chime (Father Patrick-Wind Stroll) won in 1:59 with a :27.4 last quarter. She is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Gty Stable, Walter Zent, and Tony Holmes. She was bred by Holmes and Zent and was purchased for $60,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. She is a three-quarter sister to Valley Victory and Kindergarten Classic winner Fast As The Wind.
Friends After Six (Tactical Landing-Bambino Supreme), from the family of multiple Dan Patch Award-winner Six Pack, won in 1:59.2. She is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Never 2 Late Stable, and William Devan Jr. She was bred by Steve Jones and sold for $55,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.
Rounding out the day’s 2-year-old winners was male pacer Ammo (Sweet Lou-Beach Gal) from the stable of Joe Holloway. He won in 1:56 for owners Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. He was bred by Sergent Stables and sold under the name Lou’s Guy for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He is a half-brother to Grand Circuit winner Always A Miki.