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
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
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
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