11/26/2013 11:02PM

Meadowlands: 3 Brothers Stable looking for good fortune in Governor's Cup, Three Diamonds Finals

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JK Endofanera is named after the owner's late father and in honor of the vet who delivered him.

The 3 Brothers Stable, owners of contenders in both the $534,500 Governor’s Cup and $394,950 Three Diamonds at the New Meadowlands on Saturday, have maintained a presence in this business for the last 30 years. They’re hopeful the near-lifelong commitment will resonate with major results on one of the biggest stages the sport has seen.

Though the pair of two-year-old pacing events are likely to be off the spotlight on Saturday, for Alan Katz, one of the three brothers and sons of the late Jack and Pearl Katz, the appearance of J K Endofanera in the Governor’s Cup represents a way of saluting their own family’s rich history in the sport as well as celebrating the efforts of the late veterinarian Stephen Dey II.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch all the best pacers & trotters in the sport on DRF! Live from the Meadowlands on Saturday!]

“We split our broodmares between Cameo Hills Farm (Steve Jones) in New York and Heritage Hills Farms in New Jersey. Presidential Lady (the dam of J K Endofanera) was in foal and ready to deliver. Dr. Dey delivered the colt and that was the last thing he ever did,” said Katz.

Afterwards the Katz brothers asked the Dey family to help name the newborn son of Art Major and they elected the Endofanera part to share the moniker with the initials of the patriarch Jake Katz.

Presidential Lady had already produced some quality horses for the Katz brothers but the road to the races and to the Governor’s Cup was not an easy one or one that Alan Katz thought was going to happen.

“He really didn’t train down that well. Linda (Toscano) didn’t like him. He bucked his shins and that delayed his start until September. I guess that was a blessing in disguise,” said Katz.

Despite his limited racing experience, J K Endofanera has been a quick learner and enters Saturday’s contest with three wins and three seconds in just six starts.

“My brother Ron wanted to make the first payment for the Governor’s Cup,” said Alan Katz, “I told him if we made the first payment we might as well make the rest.”

That was good fortune, as many of the division’s top two-year-olds have already retired for the season and J K Endofanera, fresh off two solid qualifying miles, seems to have an excellent chance in the eighth race on the Meadowlands card.

J K Endofanera made his first three starts for trainer Linda Toscano, but the 3 Brothers Stable parted ways with Toscano after a 28-year association in Lexington and moved the colt to leading trainer Ron Burke.

“The horse was eligible to the races in Indiana and we wanted to give him to someone who was shipping out there,” said Alan Katz of the move into the Burke stable.

On November 1, J K Endofanera captured the $157,100 Elevation stakes at Hoosier Park in a personal best 1:51 4/5 mile, his best effort of the season.

On November 21 at the Meadowlands he qualified in the identical time, finishing on the wire with his current stablemate Somestarsomewhere, most recently third in the Breeders Crown finale at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

J K Endofanera drew post five and picks up Brian Sears for the drive.

Each year the 3 Brothers Stable purchases a few yearlings and brings the cream of their homebreds along. J K Molly was a $100,000 purchase in 2011 and has gone on to capture half of her 10 starts this season. Also by popular New York stallion Art Major, the filly landed post two in the $394,950 Three Diamonds. Alan Katz is hopeful that she’ll fit in with the top fillies.

“I don’t think the small tracks in New York were good for her. She’s done much better on the big tracks,” said Katz.

Actually, J K Molly showed speed and class early in the season posting a 1:52 2/5 victory on July 19 in a division of the Geers defeating future star Precocious Beauty in the process.

With $128,766 banked this year, J K Molly has already earned out. On Saturday she looks to be in excellent position to garner a decent piece of the big pie.

The 3 Brothers have built a solid broodmare band over the years and Alan gives credit to his mom, Pearl, for their involvement in the standardbred business.

“She really loved the horses. She loved to go to the farm and visit on Saturdays,” Alan Katz said. “When she was sick in 2000 and only had a few months to live she couldn’t go to the track, but she would stay home and watch Lchaim on television on Friday nights. For those two minutes she wouldn’t feel any pain. It was incredible. It didn’t matter when the horse finished, she was happy.”

J K Endofanera is a descendant of Pearls Bunny, one of the first fillies the Katz family raced. The broodmare line has been generous, producing a classy array of pacing performers.

On Saturday one gets the idea there will be a greater presence supporting the J K’s on the racetrack.