BURKE AND GINGRAS SWEEP WEEKEND BIG M FEATURES
— By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — March 27, 2021 — The potent pair of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras were up to their usual tricks this weekend at The Meadowlands, as after teaming up to take the Friday night feature with April Ava they came right back to take Saturday’s marquee event with Dojea Gizmo.
Since debuting for the Burke barn on Nov. 13 of last year, the 4-year-old gelded son of Tellitlikeitis-Postmark has been perfect in six starts, visiting the winner’s circle at Hoosier Park, Yonkers and Harrah’s Philadelphia before his authoritative win at The Big M in a $22,500 high-end conditioned pace.
“He is a really nice horse,” said Gingras. “He could not have qualified any better [last week]. I was confident coming into tonight.”
Dojea Gizmo, who last raced on Dec. 20, was away quickly from post nine in the nine-horse field but was pushed wide into the first turn and had no spot to fall into as J M Mandamin sprinted to the lead at the quarter in :26.2.
So the eventual winner had to go on with it.
“It’s not the way I wanted to race him in his first start of the year,” said Gingras, who used a burst of speed to make the top while parked at the half in :54.4. “I wanted to get a spot mid-pack, but I didn’t want to be first-up, so I moved to the front.”
Shortly after clearing the top, Dojea Gizmo was challenged by the first-over 8-5 favorite U S Captain, who won an easier assignment one week ago at The Big M in 1:50.2.
Around the far turn, ‘Gizmo’ gave the chalk the cold shoulder and opened a 2¼-length edge as they straightened up before reporting home a safe neck winner in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. J M Mandamin, displaying speed at both ends of the mile, rallied well along the pylons to get second, with Yacht Seelster, who won this race a week ago, finishing third.
“At the wire he was a little tired,” said Gingras. “But I knew he was a winner.”
Dojea Gizmo paid $7.00 to win as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering. He now has 11 victories from 30 starts, good for earnings of $161,273 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura.
BEFORE THE BETTING CARD: In a pair of non-betting events before the start of the 13-race program, the John Balzer trained and driven Sound Idea took the $30,000 New Jersey Breeders Maturity for 4-year-old mares in a walkover (a one-horse race) in 2:05.4 while Rockin Jukebox, a Megan Foster trainee who was driven by Russell Foster, was 2¼-lengths better than his lone foe Bourbons Courage in 1:55.4 in the $30,000 NJBM for 4-year-old horses and geldings.
A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy, Gingras and Tim Tetrick led the driver colony with three winners apiece while the red-hot Stacy Chiodo trained a pair to victory lane. … All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,928,308. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.
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