On Saturday night, Oil Magnet will look to continue his winning ways in the $86,700 Winter Survivor Series final at Meadowlands Racetrack. The entry of Oil Magnet and stablemate Killer Quakes is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Another Burke entry, Boiler Bob The QB, is 7-2.
Last week, Oil Magnet and driver Yannick Gingras won their second-round Survivor Series division by 1-3/4 lengths over Stormin Rustler in a lifetime-best 1:51.2. In the opening round on Feb. 7, Oil Magnet won by 1-3/4 lengths over Rocknroll Jewel in 1:51.4.
Oil Magnet never raced at the mile-oval Meadowlands, or on any track larger than five-eighths of a mile, prior to February. For his career, Oil Magnet has won 22 of 151 races and earned $285,260. Two-thirds of his lifetime races have been at Yonkers.
|Yannick Gingras and Oil Magnet will look to win Saturday's Winter Survivor Series final at Meadowlands Racetrack.|
Burke, Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi acquired Oil Magnet in early December. Prior to joining Burke’s stable, Oil Magnet had won three of six starts at The Meadows, where Burke is based.
“He looked like a good Meadows horse, but the guy who had him before us said that he really needed to be on a farm,” Burke said. “I have a farm, so he asked if I would try (Oil Magnet) and be interested in buying him. Right from the get-go I thought he was a nice horse.”
Oil Magnet, who had been competitive in the $50,000-claiming ranks prior to a suspensory injury, was racing at the $10,000- to $20,000-levels at The Meadows. Burke believed Oil Magnet would be a good prospect for the Winter Survivor Series, which is for horses that started for a claiming price of $15,000 or less at least once in their four starts prior to Jan. 19.
“He’s the type of horse that usually does well in these types of series; an older horse that was racing up (in class) and had an injury and is just now getting good again,” Burke said. “He’s starting to round into form. We’ve trained him a little harder and I think now he’s tight.”
In addition, Burke had success with Oil Magnet’s half-brother Crazy For Ever, winning three of five starts with the horse in 2009. Still racing at age 12, Crazy For Ever has earned $572,781 in his career.
“That was part of the reason I was interested,” Burke said. “It seems like a family that carries its speed into the later years. We like to work with families we’ve had some success with, so we were willing to go there again.”
Following the Survivor series, Burke is considering sending Oil Magnet (Western Hanover-Luv’s For Ever) to Yonkers. Oil Magnet has eight wins at the Hilltop and has earned a check in 83 of 103 starts there.
“He’s a good half-mile (racetrack) horse,” Burke said. “If you can get around Yonkers, it’s a good place. Horses that like that track are good at it; the ones that don’t like it aren’t.”
Saturday night’s card at the Meadowlands also features the $60,200 Exit 16W series final for 4-year-old male pacers and the $47,800 Charles Singer Memorial final for 4-year-old trotters. The Winter Survivor Series final is race No. 11 on the 13-race program, which begins at 7:15 p.m.
Boiler Bob The QB was victorious in his two rounds of the Survivor Series, topping Four Starz Q by a head in 1:51.2 on Feb. 7 and beating Dreamzzzz R For U by one length in 1:51.3 last week. Killer Quakes also was a second-round Survivor winner, topping Veal Marsala by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.4.
Gingras drove all three of Burke’s horses in the earlier rounds of the series, but was drawn to Oil Magnet for the final. Corey Callahan will drive Killer Quakes and David Miller will drive Boiler Bob The QB.
“I think Oil Magnet has the best chance, and I let Yannick pick which one he wants to drive, so that should tell you what he thinks,” Burke said. “I was hoping (Oil Magnet) was what he would say.”