09/19/2012 11:26PM

Delaware Co. Fair: Burke and Gingras on opposite sides in Little Brown Jug

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Derick Giwner
The Delaware County Fair winner's circle awaits a Little Brown Jug champion.

Trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras are a team. Both are having stellar years while working in tandem. Gingras gets first call on Burke’s horses and only picks off for top stakes drives.

On Wednesday the duo partnered to win the Jugette with Darena Hanover at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. But on Thursday they will be rivals, if only for a bit under two minutes when the Burke trained Sweet Lou takes on the Gingras driven A Rocknroll Dance in race 14, the second of two first heat eliminations for the Little Brown Jug.

Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance were both highly thought of as 2-year-olds but have taken different paths as the season has progressed.

Sweet Lou has drawn the rail and despite signs of early season greatness, he has yet to realize the potential most fans were expecting.

“I don’t know why he can’t win the big races; maybe we overrated him, but I don’t think so,” said Burke.

“I know in my heart that this horse is a good horse.”

A Rocknroll Dance has been a model of consistency this year and keeps bringing his “A” game each week. He seeks his 13th consecutive sub-1:50 final clocking on Thursday.

“I’m very confident; I think I have the best horse,” said Gingras.

While Gingras has taken it a bit easier on A Rocknroll Dance in elimination races, Thursday’s multi-heat Jug is likely to provide new tactics.

“I don’t want to go three heats,” said Gingras.” It’s an elimination but it is not an elimination. It is definitely different between how I’ve been driving him in the elimination versus the final, but tomorrow it is win at all costs first time out.

“I’d love to get away third and let them battle. Not even battle; like :26 and :55 and I’ll take it from there. That would be the ideal scenario. But we have post seven. American Jewel was looking for the ideal scenario too and she got parked the mile (in the Jugette). You can’t be leaving the gate hoping for a hole. You have to gun for the top and check out your options.”

One option that remains unavailable is for Gingras and Burke to share a Little Brown Jug winner’s circle photo.

“I hate to have to race against him tomorrow, but you have to move on,” said Burke after his Jugette win.

Regardless of the outcome in the Jug, sandwiched between the first and second heats of the historic race, Gingras and Burke will hook up with Unefoisdansmavie and perhaps share a few moments smiling for the camera.

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