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Burke On Selling Levy Leader

Published: April 25, 2013 8:45 pm ET

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Even though Ron Burke sold this year’s top money-winning horse heading into Saturday’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series final at Yonkers Raceway, the trainer still likes his chances in the $450,000 event.

Something For Doc, who led the Levy standings in points thanks to four wins in the five preliminary rounds and tops all harness racing horses in North America with $161,300 in purses, was purchased by trainer Mark Ford for owners Dean Davis and James Snyder of Ohio.

The sale came prior to last weekend’s final Levy prelims, where Something For Doc won his division by 2-1/4 lengths over Versado in 1:52.4.

Burke sold Something For Doc because he also trains and co-owns the horses that finished second and third in the Levy standings: Annieswesterncard and Foiled Again. Under the conditions of the series, Burke would have been able to enter only two horses in the final.

Annieswesterncard won his Levy division last week by a half-length over Dancin Yankee in 1:51.4 and Foiled Again, the richest pacer in North American harness racing history and a two-time winner of the Levy (2009 and 2010), won his split by one length over Silent Swing in 1:53.2.

“We got top dollar for (Something For Doc),” Burke said. “I think the two I have in there are the two that I have the best shots to win with. They can both win from anywhere; they can race from the back, they can race first up, they can race on the lead. With those two I’m not committed to any kind of trip.”

Foiled Again, a nine-year-old who has won 68 of 174 lifetime starts and earned $4.71 million, enters the Levy final on a three-race win streak after opening the series with second- and third-place finishes. Seven-year-old Annieswesterncard won four times in the Levy prelims and has six victories in 10 races this season, good for $146,250. He has won 28 of 124 career races and banked $1.28 million.

The Burke entry is 9-5 on the morning line.

“They’ve both been good,” Burke said. '“Foiled' seems to be getting better every week and 'Annie' is career sharp. I don’t think he’s ever been as sharp as he is right now.”

After last week’s sale, Ford told Yonkers Raceway’s Frank Drucker, “Hopefully, we’ll draw well,” for the Levy final. It failed to work out that way, though, as Something For Doc drew the outermost post, No. 8. Annieswesterncard got post three and Foiled Again post seven.

“If you want to play the game, you have to pay to be in it and there aren’t many high-end horses for sale,” Ford said. “I just think Something For Doc is young enough (age five) and he’s proven he's very handy. He gets around Yonkers very well, and the money’s tremendous.”

Razzle Dazzle, who had three wins in the series and was fourth in the standings, got post No. 1.

Burke also will send two horses into Saturday’s $285,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final for older female pacers. Camille, who skipped last week’s preliminary round because she was guaranteed a spot in the final, got post three and defending champion Rocklamation drew post seven.

Camille had three wins in four Matchmaker starts and Rocklamation had two victories in five races. The Burke entry is 8-5 on the morning line.

“Camille is perfect,” Burke said. “She was able to get the week off and she loves a week off before a big race. I could have raced her, but I loved the fact that I knew she could not get bumped out of the final.

“Rocklamation likes to race from the back and it looks like there’s a lot of horses in there that like to mix it up so we can possibly race her off the back, which she prefers, if there’s enough speed up front.”

Anndrovette, the two-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer, led the standings in points thanks to three wins and two second-place finishes. She drew post No. 8. Feeling You, who was second in points and also had three victories, got post one.

Following is the Levy field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers:
1. Razzle Dazzle, Brian Sears, Mark Silva
2. Versado, Andy Miller, Nick Surick
3. Annieswesterncard, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke
4. Dancin Yankee, Tim Tetrick, Gary Green
5. Casimir Jitterbug, Doug McNair, Tony O’Sullivan
6. Second Wind N, Eric Goodell, Peter Tritton
7. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Burke
8. Something For Doc, George Brennan, Mark Ford.

Following is the Matchmaker field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers:
1. Feeling You, Tyler Buter, Amber Buter
2. Eighthunrdolarbill, Brian Sears, Andrew Harris
3. Camille, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke
4. Warrawee Koine, Jason Bartlett, Tony O’Sullivan
5. Ramona Disomma, Daniel Dube, Rene Allard
6. Krispy Apple, Matt Kakaley, P.J. Fraley
7. Rocklamation, George Brennan, Burke
8. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Fraley.


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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