03/16/2013 7:42PM

Meadowlands: Escape The News and Quick Deal score stakes wins

Lisa Photo
Escape The News scored in 1:49 3/5 in the Aquarius Final.

Racing at the Meadowlands can seem like Groundhog's Day when you consider the frequency which trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras visit the winner’s circle. On Saturday the dynamic duo swept the featured stakes with Escape The News and Quick Deal.

The $57,000 Aquarius for 4-year-olds led off the stakes action and Escape The News got the first call with Gingras gunning the gelding to the top in the blink of an eye. From that point the pair posted fractions of 27, 55, 1:22 3/5 and waited for the favored Warrawee Needy to make his move out of the pocket.

[DRF HARNESS: Sign Up for the FREE DRF Harness Newsletter Today!]

The moment of truth came at the head of the lane. Mark MacDonald angled Warrawee Needy to the rim but could not make a dent in the lead of the game Escape The News in the 1:49 3/5 mile.

Gingras wasn’t surprised with the way the race played out on the track.

“I thought Mark (MacDonald) would keep him (Warrawee Needy) quiet because he was so wound up last week,” said Gingras. “I got off the gate on the right foot and made it there. I knew he would be tough on the front end”

It was the fifth victory in seven starts this year for Escape The News, who is co-owned and trained by Burke along with Weaver Bruscemi, JJK Stables and Howard Taylor.

Gingras and Burke completed the natural stakes double in the $50,000 Horse & Groom Final.

This time Gingras elected to sit in the pocket behind Modern Family and bide his time. Through fractions of 26 4/5 and 55 1/5, Modern Family was in charge. But when Harbor Point moved uncovered at the five-eighths call, Gingras quickly popped the pocket with Quick Deal and exploded to command past three quarters in 1:24 2/5.

Modern Family packed it in and Quick Deal held Harbor Point at bay to score in 1:52 4/5.

Owned by Our Horse Cents Stable and Rossie Smith, Quick Deal scored for the fourth time this year and increased his 2013 earnings to $60,940.

After back-to-back sub-1:53 miles, Burke thinks that Quick Deal can go with the best in the older trotting class.

“It looks like it,” said Burke about Quick Deal being a top trotter. “They don’t go that much more than this (1:52 4/5); maybe 1:51.”