Ron Burke
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      Many trainers go through their entire careers without ever harnessing a Dan Patch Award winner, but for the second consecutive year, Ron Burke has been blessed with two: Buck I St Pat and Won The West.
    “The really neat thing about it is I get them both back again [this] year and they have the chance to do it again, which is pretty special,” said the 41-year-old Burke, who led North America with 840 wins and $18 million in purses in 2010. “You don’t get many chances to even try to win [subsequent Dan Patch awards.]”
     With last year’s triumph as the sport’s best older female trotter, the now eight-year-old Buck I St Pat joins Moni Maker (1997-2000), Peace Corps (1990-1992), Scenic Regal (1987-1989) and Fresh Yankee (1969-1972) as mares to collect U.S. division honours for at least three years in a row. The Ohio-bred daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Name It Something, who is owned by the partnership of Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Abraham Basen and Ron Fuller, earned $723,865 from 19 race miles. The world champion mare won on nine occasions with three seconds and four thirds.
     Buck I St Pat lowered her lifetime mark to 1:51 in the $100,000 Perretti Farms Matchmaker on August 7 at the Meadowlands, beat the boys yet again in the $100,000 Maxie Lee at Harrah’s Chester on August 29, and captured her second consecutive Breeders Crown triumph on October 9 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The mare also captured the $124,000 American-National, the $351,000 Armbro Flight Final and the $115,500 Earl Rowe.
     She was also named this year’s Ohio Horse of the Year, an honour that was also bestowed upon her in 2008.
     Throughout the six years of her career, Buck I St Pat has faced the starter on 92 occasions with 49 wins, 13 second-place finishes and 10 thirds. She has earned more than $2.1 million in purse money.
    Burke feels Buck I St Pat only improves with age.
     “In past years it was more of a hold-her-together thing, but this year she got sounder and we never had an issue with her all year,” he said. “As she’s gotten older, she’s gotten stronger and heavier so the weight issue didn’t catch up with her like it normally does at the end of the year.

“She has put on weight on every part of her but I think it’s also the way Timmy [Tetrick] drives her,” Burke continued. “He usually makes her try only in the last quarter and she is usually able to get herself in position. I think her greatest attribute is how much she enjoys her work. I don’t know anyone that does more than her. She used to be a little too anxious and now she’s calmer. She has a wonderful attitude, is great to be around and is probably my favorite of all the horses including Maltese [Artist], [Won The] West and Foiled [Again]. She just has a special personality and is a great mare.”
     Her conditioner was not surprised Buck I St Pat was the only unanimous Dan Patch Award winner.
     “I would have been more shocked if she wasn’t,” Burke said. “Basically there are five big races for aged mares and she won all five of them, so how could you have made a case for anybody else? She earned it.”

   Ron Burke Profile on USTA

  Buck I St Pat will be given off racing for the winter of  2010 - 11. She is continuing  her racing career this year and defending her title (best aged trotting mare 2008, 2009, 2010) before she is bred, and breeds some little Buck I s for the harness racing world to enjoy. D.R.

  BuckI's lifetime record