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Maven, Sweet Lou Win Qualifiers

Published: October 23, 2014 1:04 pm ET

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After suffering back-to-back losses for the first time since March, pacing powerhouse Sweet Lou put in a Thursday morning tightener ahead of a possible stakes test next Friday.

Sweet Lou returned to the site of his lifetime best 1:47 world record from earlier this year, Mohegan Sun Pocono. Leaving from the outside eight hole in his qualifier, Matt Kakaley guided the son of Yankee Cruiser through fractions of :28.4, 57.2 and 1:25.1 before pacing home in :27.2 to trip the timer in 1:52.3 over a sloppy surface rated two seconds off.

Owned by Pennsylvanians Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Phil Collura as well as Larry Karr of New Jersey, Sweet Lou has won 10 of 16 starts this year -- with those 10 wins coming consecutively, and all in sub-1:49 fashion. Burke told Trot Insider that Sweet Lou might start in next Friday's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.

Also qualifying for Burke on Thursday morning at Pocono was new addition Maven. Kakaley was also in the driver's seat for her first mile under Burke's care, and the trotter trounced her competition with a gate-to-wire 14-length win in 1:54.

Handover Belle, another recent acquistion for the Burke stable, also won a qualifier in 1:54 with Kakaley aboard over divisional rivals Classic Martine and Perfect Alliance. Burke confirmed that both Handover Belle and Maven will travel to Vernon Downs for next week's Muscle Hill.

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