03/16/2012 3:54PM

Meadowlands: Fred And Ginger steps 2nd fastest qualifying mile in history


Fred And Ginger paced the second fastest qualifying time in harness racing history Friday, winning in 1:48 4/5 at Meadowlands Racetrack. Foiled Again, his stablemate from the barn of trainer Ron Burke, was second in 1:49 2/5 as he prepped for next weekend’s start of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway.

Shark Gesture set the record for the fastest qualifier with a 1:48.2 win in June 2010 at the Meadowlands.

Fred And Ginger, who was pulled up in his last start March 3 at the Meadowlands and found to be suffering from an electrolyte imbalance, won by three lengths over Foiled Again and 27-1/4 lengths over third-place Equinox Seelster on a 45-degree morning. Brian Sears drove Fred And Ginger while Yannick Gingras was behind Foiled Again.

“As ridiculous as it sounds, it was (1):48 4/5 wrapped up,” Burke said. “I asked Yannick if they could’ve gone more and he said they could’ve gone a lot more. The track was two seconds fast today. The horses were well within themselves. I asked Brian if he had pace left and he said ‘plenty.’ It was just a real fast track.

“They’ve done a real good job with that track. This year when the top horses are racing you might see some miles like you’ve never even seen.”

Burke was happy with Fred And Ginger’s performance after the health scare. The 5-year-old horse has won 11 of 44 career races and $659,584, with his top triumph coming in the 2010 Max Hempt Memorial Stakes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He is owned by Howard Taylor, Robert Feldman, Edwin Gold and Jerry Silva.

“(Brian) didn’t even push him,” Burke said. “We started treating him with a lot of fluids and electrolytes. Today was to determine whether he was going to go on. If he has another incident I think that will be it for him. But hopefully he can come back and be the horse it looked like he was going to be at 3.”

Meanwhile, 8-year-old Foiled Again is ready to begin defense of his Dan Patch awards as best older male pacer and Pacer of the Year. Last season, he won 14 of 28 starts and $1.40 million for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables. He became, at age 7, the oldest pacer to earn at least $1 million in a season.

“Yannick had him in a tight hold from the five-eighths pole on, just making sure he didn’t go too much with him,” Burke said. “Foiled has got a lot of racing to do real quick here. He’ll go and do his usual march. I’m excited to get going and get racing.”

Also winning at this morning’s qualifiers was pacing mare Krispy Apple, who posted a 1:52 3/5 triumph over See You At Peelers. Krispy Apple, who won by 2-1/4 lengths, and See You At Peelers each paced her final quarter-mile in :26 seconds.