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Southwind Frank leads four Burke winners at Gaitway
Monday, June 22, 2015 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Manalapan, NJ --- Training down, 2-year-old male trotter Southwind Frank didn’t act like much of a race horse. But ever since getting a taste of more speed, he’s come around.

Southwind Frank won his qualifier in 1:55.3 on Monday at Gaitway Farms.

Southwind Frank was one of four Ron Burke-trained 2-year-olds to win qualifiers Monday (June 22) at Gaitway Farms. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, he won in 1:55.3 over a track labeled “good” to lead all trotters. Last week, Southwind Frank finished second by a nose in 2:00.1.

“He was very good and he was very good in his first qualifier,” Burke said. “He’s funny. He was a horrible colt all the way until 2:30, but he’s just gotten better and better. The faster you go, the better he gets. He couldn’t trot in three minutes to save his life. He was horrible gaited and didn’t have a great attitude. But every time we trained him he got a little better and then at like 2:30 it clicked.

“He’s been a completely different horse since then. Either we were doing a very bad job at first or we’re doing a great job now. Horses learn at their own rates. You can push them all you want; some of them are going to do it quick, some you’re going to have to wait on.”

Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, which was to the colt’s benefit.

“He was a $100,000 baby so we didn’t just cut him loose,” Burke said. “I thought I had to give him a chance and I kept making stakes payments, and worried I was throwing just good money after bad, but for once it worked out.”

Burke-trained male trotter Southwind Flash (Muscle Hill-Friendly Amigo) followed his stablemate onto the track and won his qualifier in 1:58.4. Burke also won with 2-year-old male pacers Lyons Snyder (Well Said-Armbro Cachet) in 1:55.1 and Viceroy Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Vasmajorty Hanover) in 1:56. Both were winners a week ago, Lyons Snyder by 9-1/2 lengths in 1:56.2.

“He’s a real horse too I think,” Burke said. “He’s just got to mind his manners. Today was good. He let somebody go, he came back; he had multiple moves. He did everything you’re looking for in a horse.”

Female pacer Skinny Dipper (Somebeachsomewhere-Xhilaration) posted the day’s fastest mile for the 2-year-olds, winning the morning’s first qualifier in 1:54.2 with a :56.1 final half-mile. It was her first time qualifying.

“I didn’t want that kind of mile, but they went those fractions up front and she seems like she did it real easy, and that’s the main thing,” trainer Ross Croghan said. “All winter she had a beautiful, big, loping gait. She looked like a 4-year-old training down, and sometimes that’s what you want to see.

“She’ll qualify one more time, a little slower I hope.”

Call Me Queen Be and Tim Tetrick were 1:56.3 winners.

Tony Alagna captured two qualifiers, the first with female pacer Call Me Queen Be (Somebeachsomewhere-Preppy Party Girl) in 1:56.3 and the second with male pacer Craftship (Art Major-Capri Hanover) in 1:56.4.

“(Call Me Queen Be) is a really nice filly,” Alagna said. “She’s been nice all along. She acts like a really nice filly and I’m real happy with her today.

“I’m really happy with the group I’ve got overall. We’re having a good day. And we qualified some nice colts (at the Meadowlands) on Saturday and last week here.”

Alagna also was happy with Dr J Hanover, a colt named in honor of Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, the farm manager at Hanover Shoe Farms. Dr J Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) was purchased under the name Stepenwolf Hanover for $300,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. His mother was a stakes winner and his family includes stakes-winners Perfectionist, Lifetime Member and Copywriter as well as millionaire Image Of Dawn.

Dr J Hanover, making his debut, finished fourth in his qualifier, which was won by Troyce Thomas’ Whata Twist (Quik Pulse Mindale-Passage) in 1:56.2.

 
USTA.Ken Weingartner photos
Troyce Thomas’ Whata Twist scored in 1:56.2.

“I was very happy with his first go,” Alagna said. “They paced the back half in :55 seconds and he closed into it and was right there at the wire.

“He’s got a lot of pressure on him with his namesake,” he added with a laugh. “She texted me first thing this morning wishing good luck.”

No other trainer sent out more than one winner among the 2-year-olds.

Other female pacers posting victories were Gerard Malanga’s Sail To The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Sail Away) in 1:55 and Tom Fanning’s Burden Of Proof (Western Terror-Dragonfest) in 1:57.2. Other male pacers winning were Aaron Lambert’s Biggie (Somebeachsomewhere-Wenditions) in 1:55.2.

Notching triumphs among the female trotters were Chris Ryder’s Muffin Hanover (Andover Hall-Mayday Hanover) in 2:01.3 and Jimmy Takter’s Keep It Classy (Yankee Glide-Classical Girl) in 2:02.1.

For complete charts of all of Monday’s qualifiers at Gaitway, click here.


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