08/10/2017 9:15PM

Hoosier: Burke trio invades Indiana for Dan Patch

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Nikki Sherman
Check Six comes into the Dan Patch off a win in the McKee Memorial.

Ron Burke’s stable doesn’t win as many races as they do by thinking about yesterday. The memory of a Hambletonian takedown was not on the trainer’s mind Wednesday as he looked forward to Friday’s Dan Patch at Hoosier Park. With three of his own in the field of 10, Burke was upbeat about his chances while not thrilled with the draw.

“We’ve been bitten by the draw lately but those things tend to balance out over time,” Burke said when assessing that two of his three – Rockin Ron (post 8) and Check Six (post 9) – would have to start outside in the $325,000 contest.

“I can tell you one thing, at least one if not both of them will be leaving the gate,” Burke said.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Real-time insights for Friday's Dan Patch card at Hoosier Park.]

Of the three Burke horses All Bets Off drew the best of the lot, landing post two with regular pilot Matt Kakaley listed to drive. “He just can’t go a mile and an eighth,” Burke said bluntly of the recent performances of this son of Bettor’s Delight. “That extra eighth is the difference. He raced very well in the Gerrity getting locked in and he was very good winning at Northfield, but the added distance is not for him.”

With the Dan Patch at the traditional distance, All Bets Off has garnered at least the morning line oddsmaker’s support as the 7-2 favorite.

While the Hambletonian takedown of What The Hill put a negative spin on Saturday’s action, the resurgence of Check Six in winning the initial Sam McKee Memorial was the positive. Sent off at 38-1, Check Six had no trouble going the added distance to capture the $224,400 event.

“He drew the second tier in the Haughton and got locked in,” Burke said of Check Six. “He wasn’t any good at Pocono but he was solid last week. He came out of the race well; soundness is not an issue.”

The 5-year-old Rockin Ron may be the sleeper among the three but he seems to have something his stablemates lack. “This is his home track,” Burke said, referring to the past accomplishments of the Indiana-bred son of Real Desire.

Rockin Ron, a 25-time career winner, put in an impressive performance last Saturday taking the Yonkers Open in wire-to-wire fashion while pacing a mile in 1:51. It could be an indication that he’s ready for battle against the sport’s finest aged pacers.

The Dan Patch has a solid field and Burke was concerned amount a few. “I think Mcwicked is the horse to beat,” said Burke. The $1.9 million career winner arrives from Mohawk on a three-race losing streak, but that’s to be expected with his off-the-pace style and some wickedly-fast back halves he’s had to negotiate. David Miller will guide Mcwicked for trainer Casie Coleman from post three.

Of course Freaky Feet Pete is a horse that will have the most fan support. “He hasn’t been as good yet this year but he may be turning it around,” said Burke of the 5-year-old son of Rockin Image with a storied past.

The field of 10 also includes supplemental entry Rock N’ Roll World. The impeccably bred son of Rocknroll Hanover and champion Worldly Beauty took his career best 1:48 3/5 clocking earlier this year at Hoosier Park and appears at his best through the long stretch.

Dr J Hanover (post 6) has already posted a 1:46 4/5 mile this year and returns to stakes action for trainer Tony Alagna. The son of Somebeachsomewhere may be the fastest horse out of the gate and that could put him in prime position for the stretch run.

Wakizashi Hanover, the North America Cup winner in 2015, is still on the long comeback trail but his prospects took a positive turn when he landed post 10 in the second tier for the Dan Patch. Tim Tetrick will guide the altered son of Dragon Again for trainer Joann Looney-King. Wakizashi Hanover was a 1:47 3/5 winner at The Meadowlands on July 8 and has won two of his last four races.

Completing the Dan Patch field are Dealt A Winner (post 1) and Manhattan Beach (post 5).

The Dan Patch is race 11 on Hoosier’s 14-race Friday program with a 6:30 p.m. first post.