01/22/2015 2:03PM

Meadowlands: Mark Weaver seeks Winter Stakes double

Lisa Photo
Donttellruss has won all three of her starts since moving into the Ron Burke barn.

When the Meadowlands hosts a trio of Winter Series finals on Saturday night, owner Mark Weaver will have plenty of rooting action. His Donttellruss is the 6-5 favorite in the $47,600 Worldly Beauty and What I Believe goes for the sweep in the $56,000 Escort.

Donttellruss has done everything right since joining the Ron Burke barn back in December. Purchased for south of $50,000 according to co-owner Weaver, the 4-year-old came into the ownership group of Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Frank Baldachino by way of Hoosier Park and Woodbine Racetrack.

“It was Frank Baldachino’s keen eye for young talent that landed her with us,” said Weaver. “We bought her knowing that she had this (Worldly Beauty) and a couple of other series races at Yonkers (Petticoat) and Pocono (Bobby Weiss).”

The Indiana-bred mare had just two wins in 25 starts prior to her three-race winning run for Burke. She romped in a career best 1:51 2/5 in the opening leg of the Worldly Beauty and came back in round two to best the heavily favored Witch Dali in 1:51 3/5 last week.

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“When the Indiana breds head east after Hoosier closes in November, they always seem to do pretty well,” said Weaver, who admitted Donttellruss has been a pleasant surprise.

Donttellruss will start from post six in race six, four slots inside of rival Witch Dali from post 10. Corey Callahan picks up the drive for Burke with regular driver Yannick Gingras in Paris to drive Maven in the Prix D’Amerique. Tim Tetrick drives Witch Dali.

Burke also has Safe From Terror starting from post two in the race.

One race later in the Escort finale, Burke and Weaver Bruscemi have the 2-1 second choice in What I Believe. A winner of four out of five starts since joining the group in mid December, the 4-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again seems to be at home on the lead. Or is he?

“I don’t think the front is his game, but he’s been holding up so far,” said Weaver.

Despite being the only horse to win the first two legs of the Escort, What I Believe is not the early favorite to take home the top prize on Saturday. Stablemate Major Uptrend, who set a career mark of 1:50 3/5 two weeks ago but broke twice last week, is the 8-5 morning line choice as part of a coupled entry with Brick Bazooka.

“I think Major Uptrend is the horse to beat,” said Weaver. “I would like to see What I Believe get a two-hole behind one of the contenders.”

Ron Pierce drives What I Believe from post four while Callahan picks up the drive behind Major Uptrend from post five. Khan Blue Chip, who dead-heated with What I Believe last week, and Company Man, a first leg winner, round out the top contenders.

The 13-race Meadowlands card also features the $50,000 Super Bowl final. The three-horse entry of Propulsion, Blocking The Way and Opulent Yankee have been installed as the 3-5 morning line chalk. Leg winner JL Cruze and Two Hip Dip also figure to take some tote action.

Post time for the Saturday program, which features multiple guaranteed wagers, is 7:15 p.m.

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