Burke has been keeping Joe Bongiorno busy all summer. Saturday night he came up the inside with Dynamic Youth and held off Dan Patch winner JK Endofanera in 1:49 in the Pocono Downs open. The 6 YO Bettor’s Delight gelding has three wins in five starts since joining the Burke Barn, including two Yonkers opens. The Cane is his only open stakes win, but with an initial boost from the NYSS, he recently became a millionaire.
Another six-year-old, Daylon Miracle, crushed the boys in the open trot at the Downs, coming first over in a speedy 1:50.3 for the Allard brothers. She’s pretty much a one off in NA for her 17 YO SJs Photo stallion. He stood in Ohio and Ontario, with his last small crop of 18 coming in 2011.
Penji Hanover, who was second in his Cup elimination, but left into a 53.3 half in the final and got parked first over all the way to Death Valley, was very impressive in winning a $50,000 NYSS consolation at Vernon Downs on Saturday for Jim Morrill Jr. He drew off by six in 49.4 at 2/5. That was only his second win of the season, but it bodes well for the future.
Paternal brother Cartoon Daddy, who won a split of the Bluegrass last year and earned almost $300,000 in the NYSS, winning the sire stakes final, didn’t fare so well; he finished ninth, 31 lengths back, for Ron Burke.
Bettor’s Delight had a very good night at Vernon, as the 3 YO filly Hey Kobe won a $45,000 Excelsior A final in 51.2 for Matt Kakaley and the Drolets; another sophomore filly, Luck Be A Lindy, took a $50,000 consolation for Jeff Gregory; and the 3 YO gelding Masterson won an Excelsior A final for Morrill. The latter had three high dollar wins on the night.
They sold 37 fewer head at Sunday’s Canadian Yearling Sale at Flamboro Downs—118 as opposed to 155 last year—but the average was up a staggering 69.4%. Those 155 yearlings averaged $12,614 a year ago this week, but $21,370 on Sunday. There was only one for sale by Vintage Master, the first crop sire of Thatsoveryverynice. There are only 17 in the crop selling this year. And there were only a couple by Big Jim. There are 41 registered to the crop currently selling.
The five sold by Sportswriter averaged $31,500, while the eight Shadow Plays averaged $30,125. The star of the sale, Kadabra, averaged $40,000 for seven sold. A pair by Warrawee Needy went through the sale, one, a filly, for $50,000. There was also a colt by Daylon Magician sold.
Out of town drivers took all five of the Grand Circuit stakes at Mohawk on Saturday night—with Gingras winning three, and Sears and Tetrick one apiece. Burke won two; Takter, Alagna and Norman each one each.
Mission Brief gets the absolutely nasty award for her five length win in the Elegantimage, with Gingras taking a wake me up when it’s over catnap in the bike. Burke’s other stakes winner, Southwind Frank, was also very impressive. Wild Honey wasn’t going to beat Mission Brief under any circumstances—except a break—but she overcame the trip from hell in reign to Campbell to finish second. The undersized Cantab Hall miss is one tough customer.
Sears swung McWicked wide very late in the preferred at Mohawk Saturday and he paced enough to finish second. Maybe he’s coming around. Last year’s division champ didn’t start until the end of July and he’s now zero for six.
JL Cruze finished last in the Maple Leaf. He hasn’t made the board in his three starts since beating his fellow four-year-olds in the Hambo Maturity in late July. Crazed had an opportunity for a major breakthrough with Crazy Wow, JL Cruze and Gural Hanover, but it hasn’t happened.
With wins in the Wellwood, CTC and Elegantimage on Saturday, and five wins, including a split of the Liberty Bell at Harrah’s Sunday, Yannick Gingras has passed the $9 million mark. He needs $8.2 million in the next 16 weeks to match last year’s record total.
Ron Burke is up over $17 million. He needs more than $11 million to match last year’s record haul. Jimmy Takter is past the $8 million mark on only 561 starts.