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Adios To Dorsoduro Hanover

Published: July 28, 2018 5:15 pm ET

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There aren't too many races that have eluded trainer Ron Burke over his past decade of harness racing dominance. Even harder to believe that one of those elusive races was the Delvin Miller Adios, contested at his home track -- The Meadows.

Dorsoduro Hanover and driver Matt Kakaley finally delivered that trophy and blanket of orchids after a confident performance in Saturday's main event at the Pittsburgh-area oval.

Sent off as the public's choice in the $400,000 Adios despite not winning his elimination, Dorsoduro Hanover and Kakaley left stoutly from post five with front-end intentions and cleared to the top but note before a brief tussle from elim winner Hitman Hill (Brett Miller). The opening quarter was reached in a swift :26.3 with the other elimination winner American History (Yannick Gingras) settled into fourth.

The outer flow began as the field passed the grandstand for the first time as Done Well (Tim Tetrick) began that journey with hopes of flushing cover. He found it in the form of American History, who was advancing first up through a :55.1 half. Heading to the three-quarter mark, American History had his nose at Dorsoduro Hanover's saddle pad as the third station flashed up in 1:22.3, with Gingras asking American History for more speed around the final turn.

Heading for home, Dorsoduro Hanover had plenty left in the tank and kept all rivals at bay. He hit the wire in 1:50.1, more than a length ahead of a determined American History. Hitman Hill couldn't gain on the pacesetter from the pocket and just missed out on second to complete the triactor.

The win was the first in the Adios for driver Matt Kakaley, who was very confident in his horse especially when the field hit the half-way mark.

"I was just going to play it [by ear] out of there, and it worked out perfect that's for sure," said Kakaley in the jam-packed winner's circle. "They showed respect to the horse, you know...he's been racing great and I got a good breather. As soon as I got the breather the second quarter I was pretty confident. If he got beat off that half, something was wrong."

A win in a major event like the Adios is all the more sweet for Kakaley after an accident earlier this year left his career in question.

"It's huge. A few months ago, I didn't know if I was going to race again. I had a bad accident, and it's good to be back."

"I think you've seen today that Matt's making his way to becoming an elite driver that can drive with anybody, and he's finally getting the chances to drive the better horses of ours," said trainer Ron Burke after the victory. "I think you'll see him win more races like this."

Burke downplayed that the records show this is his first Adios win as the Burke Stable won with May June Character in 2007.

"It's the same to us; we did the first one as a family and we did this one as a family. We're all in this together...we've probably spent ten million dollars chasing this race. It was finally time that we got one by."

That said, Burke reinforced that winning the Adios means more than just purse money to his ownership group.

"I think if you told Mark [Weaver] we could go for free and we'd win, he'd have said 'let's go for free, I don't care'. Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi have supported us all along. This is all of our owners actually, our core group which makes it nice. We did it together and this is why we do it so we're very happy.

"We're a core group that do everything together. We go to the sales and buy them together, we race together, we all live in the same spot. I live very close to Mark's house. It's good to do it as a's not one person, it's a bunch of us."

Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Silva Purnel And Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Wingfield Five LLC, Dorsoduro Hanover has now won half of his 10 seasonal starts with the winner's share of the purse lifting his earnings to $575,603.

"We've been doing this since 1981 when my dad sold his car dealership and said we were going to race horses. I was 12 years old, I thought 'my dad's lost his mind' but since then it's been constant good, and thank God for The Meadows; it's been a great place to grow up and a great place to race. And this is the best race for us to win."

Burke said Dorsoduro Hanover will be pointed to the Carl Milstein at Northfield.

Stay tuned for coverage of the Adios Day undercard

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