By Ken Weingartner, USTA — None of Ron Burke’s six winners from last week’s opening round of qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm were in action again this week but that didn’t prevent the trainer from having six more winners Monday (June 12) at the central New Jersey training center.
Burke’s winners were male pacers Dancin Champion and Dream Bird, male trotters Craigieburn and Classic Landing, female pacer Monsoon, and female trotter Cahira Hanover. Dancin Champion, Craigieburn, and Monsoon were making their debuts.
Dancin Champion (Sweet Lou-Dancewiththebest) is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services Inc., Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. The colt was bred by Anvil And Lace Farm and sold for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s a full brother to Breeders Crown winner Dancin Lou and a three-quarter brother to $2 million-earner Dancin Yankee.
The colt won in 1:58 with a :26.2 last quarter-mile with Yannick Gingras in the sulky.
“I was very happy with him,” Burke said. “He’s trained down like a nice colt all along. He’s very professional.”
Dream Bird (Sweet Lou-Osprey Blue Chip) is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services Inc., David Wills, and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. He was bred by Let It Ride Stables and Mr. Dana Parham and sold for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. His family includes Southwind Ozzi, who won the 2019 Little Brown Jug.
He won in 1:57.4 with David Miller driving.
“David really likes the colt,” Burke said. “He thinks he’s just in second gear right now and is going to get better.”
Classic Landing and Craigieburn won in 1:57.4 and 1:58, respectively, with Gingras.
Classic Landing (Tactical Landing-Classical Annie) is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services Inc., Larry Karr, and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. He was bred by Black Creek Farm and sold for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. His family includes former Burke star Southwind Frank.
“He’s a very nice colt,” Burke said. “He’s done everything well all the way down. We just have to keep him calm.”
Craigieburn (Tactical Landing-Crann Tara) is owned by breeder Bill Donovan. His dam was a winner on the Grand Circuit and Pennsylvania stakes circuit.
“He’s a very nice colt,” Burke said. “That was a nice surprise. He was very good.”
Monsoon (Captaintreacherous-Typhoon) is owned by breeder Bill Donovan. His third dam is multiple Dan Patch Award-recipient Galleria, who is the mother of Grand Circuit winners Gallie Bythe Beach, Sandbetweenmytoes, and Western Gallie.
She won in 1:56.3 with a :27.3 last quarter with Gingras.
“We knew she was a nice filly, but that was a bit more than we expected,” Burke said. “She was very good.”
Gingras also drove Cahira Hanover, who won in 2:01.2.
Cahira Hanover (Greenshoe-Creditover) is owned by Burke Racing Stable, James Simpson, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. She was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and sold for $80,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Her family includes O’Brien Award-winners Image Control, Pure Ivory, and The Game Plan. Pure Ivory is the dam of 2019 Hambletonian winner and Canadian Horse of the Year Forbidden Trade.
“She’s a nice filly,” Burke said. “She maybe acted a little flat finishing, so we’ll pull blood on her and see how she is.”
Burke said the freshmen that qualified both weeks at Gaitway would get a week off and then head to the races.
“We’re just trying to take it easy, not push them at all,” he said. “We let them stretch out a little bit this week, but we’re still just trying to not go as much early.”
Joe Holloway sent out two winners for the second week in a row, both male pacers, Newsroom and Ain’t Nostopn Time. Newsroom, who won in 1:53.4 with Miller driving, also was a winner in week one.
Newsroom (Always B Miki-Well Hello There) is owned by Val D’Or Farms and was bred by Mark Mullen and Stephen Dey III. He was purchased under the name Theresalwaysaway for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale.
Ain’t Nostopn Time (Lazarus N-Artstopper), who won in 1:54.4 for driver Corey Callahan, is owned by breeder Roll The Dice Stable. He is a half-brother to 2016 Horse of the Year Always B Miki and millionaire Yagonnakissmeornot. His mom, Artstopper, is in the Hall of Fame as a broodmare.
The remaining winner in Monday’s nine qualifiers for 2-year-olds was Calatrava, a 1:59.3 victor for driver Joe Bongiorno and trainer Jennifer Bongiorno. Calatrava (Tactical Landing-Stage Presence) is owned by One Legend Stable and was bred by Wiesman Farms. She was purchased under the name Hayley’s Landing for $60,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
For complete charts for Monday’s qualifiers at Gaitway, click here.