Sweet Lou overpowered a stellar field of fast class pacers to win the $50,000 second leg of the TVG Free For All Championship Series in 1:48 on Saturday night at The Meadowlands.
Ron Pierce was in the driver's seat again and used Sweet Lou's speed to get into the race early from post ten, tucking third as first Golden Receiver then Bolt The Duer took turns on the lead through the 26.1 opener. Pierce edged Sweet Lou to the outside and had command in a matter of strides, clicking off a half in :54.2 and three quarters in 1:22 before streaking home in 26 flat for the win. Clear Vision parlayed an uncovered move into the place finish behind his barn mate for Matt Kakaley (who won both ends of tonight's Daily Double). Thinking Out Loud closed to be third with John Campbell aboard and looks like he might be sitting on a big one for conditioner Bob McIntosh.
Now five years of age, Sweet Lou is in career form currently for the Ron Burke stable and the partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. The 1:48 mile is a mere fifth of a second off his lifetime best, taken in an elimination for the North America Cup at age three.
Owner Larry Karr mentioned in a post race Bob "Hollywood" Heyden interview that a trip to Tioga Downs for next Sunday's $160,000 Roll With Joe FFA Pace may be the next objective for the partnership's star player.
Doo Wop Hanover exploded in mid-stretch and drew away from the field to win the $48,500 second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, the fifth race on Saturday night, May 24, 2014 at the Meadowlands.
Driver John Campbell bided his time with 3-5 favorite Doo Wop Hanover [$3.40], sitting in the outside tier, then fanning out to mid-track in the stretch and blowing by for a two and a quarter length victory in 1:50.4 on a racing surface rated good.
The Steve Elliott trainee put away runner-up Dancin Hill and Rock Out, who was third by three and a quarter lengths. All three top finishers are sons of Rocknroll Hanover.
At two, Doo Wop Hanover finished in-the-money in six of 12 starts and was second to Western Vintage in his 2014 debut last week. The $52,000 Harrisburg Yearling has now earned more than $87,000 for owners Peter Blood of Pompano Beach, FL; Rick Berks of Boca Raton, FL and Gary Piontkowski of North Smithfield, RI.
Sayitall BB and Act Now each paced career best miles in taking their respective $21,000 division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies.
Sayitall BB [$3.20], driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Ron Burke, took the lead at the quarter and drew away to a three length victory in 1:51 flat in the first division, the third race.
The daughter of Tell All –Challo BB picked up her fourth win in six starts this year after winning all five of her outings at two.
Rockingham Park [Rocknroll Hanover] was second best while it was four and a half lengths to Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover] in third.
Sayitall BB has now banked more than $60,000 for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA.
Act Now [$2.80], a daughter of Western Ideal-CPA, was a wrapped up winner in 1:50 flat in the second division of three-year-old pacing fillies, the fourth race, finishing four and a half lengths ahead of Blixtra [Rocknroll Hanover]. It was four and three-quarter lengths to Highland Rockstar [Rocknroll Hanover] in third.
Act Now, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Nikolas Drennan, was a $40,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase who has now banked more than $200,000 for Joseph Davino of Clarksburg, NJ and Patrick O’Brien of New Hyde Park, NY.
This year she has a first and a third in two tries and last year she posted three wins, a second and a third in nine starts with her largest payday in the $394,950 Three Diamonds when she finished second by a neck to Delightful Dragon.
The $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals for all the three-year-old divisions will take place on May 31.
Despite less than stellar weather conditions, live handle at The Meadowlands showed gains of 15-percent.
Racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday with first post time of 7:15 P.M. Saturday is the next blockbuster night at the Big M, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships, Jerseyfest and an appearance from Victor Espinoza who will ride California Chrome in search of a Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. Go to PlayMeadowlands.com for details.