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Burke On His PA Championship Arsenal

Published: September 10, 2009 11:09 am ET

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Ron Burke, North America’s leading trainer, will be sending forth five entrants in the quartet of $200,000 Pennsylvania Championship finals for three-year-olds Saturday, September 12 at Pocono Downs.

Burke feels his best shot of winning one of the four finals is with three-year-old Real Artist filly Ginger And Fred, a winner of six of 11 starts this season.

“'Ginger' is the class of the Pennsylvania Championship finals,” Burke said. “She could go 1:50 and I feel none of the others in the race could match that. If that doesn’t happen she could let the others contend. I don’t mind having the seven post in the race.”

Dave Palone, who recently was elected into the sport’s Living Hall of Fame, will be driving Ginger And Fred. Burke also has My Lady Bonnard starting in the three-year-old filly championship race, drawing Post 4.

“Lady Bonnard has lost her sharpness and is coming off her two worst starts of the season. We’ve tried changing a few things but haven’t seen dramatic improvement. I’d be looking for a cheque with her,” added Burke, who has won 552 races in 2009 from 2,285 starts.

In the $200,000 final for trotting colts and geldings, Burke will have Salutation Hanover leaving from Post 7. He felt that his trotter is very consistent on the race track, but needed to draw inside for a chance to win this race.

“The trot race, however, appears to have a pretty evenly-matched field with Caviar Crown, Triumphant Caviar, Citation Lindy and And Heez Perfect,” Burke said.

The $200,000 three-year-old colt and gelding pace will have two coupled Burke entries, No. 1A Dan Carter and No. 1 Astounding Hanover. Dan Carter, with Dave Palone, will have to overcome Post 7, while Astounding Hanover (to be driven by Yannick Gingras) will leave from Post 4.

“Dan Carter is very consistent and is back on his normal schedule,” Burke said. “He’s very good and I’m pretty sure we’ll be on the front-end in this race. My horse loves the racing surface at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Astounding Hanover is a closer. I also feel pretty good about our chances in this race, too.”

Burke won’t be on hand for the Pennsylvania Championship finals. He’ll be in Indiana where he will have horses in nine Indiana Sire Stakes finals.

“My New Jersey crew can handle the horses at Pocono Downs, but it’s too much for my guys out in Indiana,” he concluded.

(With files from Pocono)

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