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Burke Doubles In Indiana Stakes

Published: July 12, 2019 12:57 am ET

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It was a good night of racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for trainer Ron Burke on Thursday as he picked up half of the Indiana Sires Stakes wins for two-year-old pacing colts & geldings.

Four $36,500 divisions for freshmen pacing colts & geldings highlighted the evening’s 14-race card as they opened up their first round of stakes action. With a mix of prices and favourites, the colts & geldings provided an exciting night of racing with wins from Sawyers Desire, High Impression, Clever Character and Nassau Desire.

In the opening division of the stakes action, Burke found the winner’s circle with Sawyers Desire who made his first pari-mutuel start a winning one with Ricky Macomber in the bike. Leaving from post four, Sawyers Desire headed right to the front, but at the first quarter clocking in at 27, General Doug A with Dale Hiteman were determined to get the front. Post time favourite Always And Again with Trace Tetrick protected their rail position just enough to find a spot along the rail in third.

Once the field reached the half in 56:2, Always And Again took the lead but made a rookie mistake and jumped it off approaching the third station. General Doug A inherited the lead but also made a costly break and took himself out of contention just before the three quarter clocking in 1:26:4. Unaffected by the breaking horses, Sawyers Desire stayed on course and found himself on the front. Lickcreek Patrick and Sam Widger staged a big rally late in the lane but Sawyer’s Desire fended them off to stop the clock in 1:53. Lickcreek Patrick was forced to settle for second while Odds On Osiris and Peter Wrenn also rallied well late to get up for third.

Slightly dismissed by the betting public, Sawyers Desire returned $20.20 for the victory.

“Obviously, the trip went a little different than I expected. The rough traffic made it so I didn’t want to be on the front,” driver Ricky Macomber noted in the winner’s circle. “Everything worked out though. He’s very nice and did everything I asked him to.”

With the win, Sawyers Desire’s lifetime earnings were pushed to $18,000. The son of Real Desire-Aint That Funny is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and David Wills.

All eyes were on My House with John De Long in the second division, but High Impression with Sam Widger turned in a strong performance to provide a slight upset. When the gate opened, My House went right to the front from post five while Candys Image Rocks with Michael Oosting opted for a pocket trip. The horses remained in this formation through the first quarter in :27:4 while Power Of Tell with Todd Warren followed in third.

Just before the half in :56:4, Widger gave High Impression the green light and he moved out aggressively to claim the lead and carried it through the third quarter in 1:25:3. When the field turned for home, the stage was set for a stretch battle between High Impression, My House and Candys Image Rocks, but ultimately it was High Impression who dug in gamely to get the win and stop the clock at 1:53.

“He’s obviously a super nice individual with a heart like a lion,” trainer Ernie Gaskin expressed after the win. “He’s not a real big colt but we’ve worked with him all year and he’s coming around very nicely. I don’t give the drivers any directions, other than letting them know how the horse trained. Sam did a great job.”

High Impression paid $11.20 at the betting windows and now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $23,250. The son of Rockin Image-Happy Becky is owned in partnership by Robert Rubin, Warren Emery, Ronald Krodel and Riparian Retreat.

The third division of the stakes action provided yet another price when Clever Character with Dale Hiteman beat even money favourite Highway Star with Trace Tetrick by just under a length. Stellar BB with Ronnie Gillespie took the lead from the start while Clever Character sat in the pocket seat through the first quarter in :27.

Just before the half, Clever Character made his game winning move and took the lead through the second station in :56:4. When the field hit the third quarter in 1:26:3, Highway Star began to challenge from the second spot and The Candyman Can with Sam Widger were also ready to strike from third. The three battled it out in the stretch, only for Clever Character to hold off his rivals and stop the clock at 1:52:4, paying $15.20 to win.

“He’s been handy off the start,” driver Dale Hiteman stated after the victory. “We got a good position. I knew he had plenty of power behind him.”

The 1:52.4 clocking was a new lifetime best for Clever Character and also the fastest division of the night. Clever Character is trained and owned by Timothy Smith. The son of Tellitlikeitis-Ruby Delight now sports a lifetime bankroll of $23,000 for his young career.

Trainer Ron Burke would find the winner’s circle once more as Nassau Desire with Ricky Macomber prevailed as the heavy favourite in the final split of the stakes action in 1:53.2. Mighty Little Joe and Dale Hiteman left alertly to find the front while Nassau Desire sat patiently in second through the first quarter in :27:2.

As the field headed down the backstretch, Nassau Desire made his move to the front, and hit the half in :56:3. He held onto the lead through the third quarter while a challenging Beachmaster Two with LeWayne Miller were applying pressure on the outside. With a final quarter of :26:4, Nassau Desire paced strong to the wire to get the win. Beachmaster Two finished second and Fort Apache Scout with Brandon Bates came charging late for third.

“No one wanted to be on the front, so that’s where I had to go,” driver Ricky Macomber expressed after the win. “He’s still trying to figure out what he’s supposed to do, but he’s really handy and does everything I ask him to do.”

Nassau Desire, a son of Real Desire-Nassau Loop, paid $2.40 for his betting backers. The colt is now 2-for-2 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $23,000 for owners Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva – Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday, July 12 with two $49,500 divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. With an adjusted post time of 4:30 pm, Friday’s 12-race card will also feature a $20,000 Open Pace and a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in race 12.

At the conclusion of live racing, 3 Doors Down will perform as part of the 2019 Summer Concert Series at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9.

(Hoosier Park)

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