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Escape The News Scores In 1:48.4

Published: March 9, 2013 8:04 pm ET

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Escape The News converted from the pocket and edged past Warrawee Needy to win the $35,000 second leg of the Aquarius Series by a neck and match the fastest mile of the year on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Escape The News' 1:48.4 clocking matched the North American season's record set by Golden Receiver at The Big M on Jan. 5 and equalled on Jan. 19.

Leaving from post four in the field of five, Warrawee Needy (Mark MacDonald) was caught three-wide early on, but forged to the front and cleared ahead of Escape The News (Yannick Gingras) and Yo Cheyenne Rocky (Brandon Simpson) at the :26.2 opening quarter mark. The winner of last week's opening Aquarius leg carved out middle splits of :53.4 and 1:21.1 before being confronted by the pocket-sitter down the stretch. Escape The News wore down the pacesetter as the wire approached to establish a new lifetime mark. Bakin On The Beach (John Campbell) came from last to show.

Trainer Ron Burke co-owns the four-year-old Artiscape-Ideal News gelding (as Burke Racing Stable LLC) with Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables LLC, and Howard Taylor.

Escape The News, the first leg runner-up, paid $5.80 to win.

He now boasts four wins and two seconds in six 2013 starts with nearly $65,000 banked in purses. Lifetime, he has hit the board in more than half of his 41 starts, which includes 12 wins, and is on the verge of hitting the half-million dollar earnings mark.

The Gingras-Burke combination also won the $25,000 A-1/Preferred Handicap Pace with Rockin The House edging out Versado (Andy Miller) and Code Word (Tim Tetrick) by a neck for the 1:50.4 triumph.

Gingras ended the night with four victories, including three for Burke.

The betting windows saw large returns once again as the total handle for the Saturday card of $3,514,787 was an increase of 27 per cent from the $2,766,624 bet on this same Saturday in 2012.

The $57,500 Aquarius Series final will be held next Saturday night along with the $50,000 Horse & Groom Trotting Series final.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack.

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