03/04/2012 3:58PM

Meadowlands: Meanwhile, still safety in numbers for Burke


You have to be in it to win it. New Meadowlands leading trainer Ron Burke knows that phrase all too well. Burke always seems to have something to look forward to and following this weekend's sweep of the first legs of the Overbid and Four Leaf Clover series  it’s easy to see why.

Burke sent out four mares in Friday's $40,000 Overbid and managed a one-two finish. That ordinarily would have meant a short-priced exacta, but the three-mare betting entry, led by race winner Rocklamation, was followed home by uncoupled Tea Party Princess to combine for a healthy $157.40 exacta.

Even more stunning than the price was the fact that the top two mares were both 4-year-olds meeting older competition.

Rocklamation, a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, driven by Yannick Gingras, followed the live flow behind favorite Higher And Higher and scored a measured 1:52 3/5 victory over her stablemate with Anndrovette a solid third in her season's debut.

This event should heat up a bit next week with more expected from Put On A Show, who failed to make a show in her debut.

The Burke-Gingras pairing teamed well again on Saturday night as Risk Management broke the schneid with a virtual wire-to-wire performance in the $22,500 opening leg of the Four Leaf Clover. Gingras effectively secured the top in a 26 4/5-second  first quarter and then when rival Freddy Day Hanover made a miscue on the first turn, the event turned into a one-horse race.

Intrigued Royally, the other half of the Burke-trained tandem, helped put the field to sleep while moving slowly in the outer tier. This allowed the winner extremely soft middle fractions while keeping the closers at bay. Risk Management stormed home in 26 2/5 keeping a neck in front of Fools Gold at the wire. Art Z finished third from a good striking spot while race favorite I Wanna Go Fast held fourth. The winner paid $13.60.

The Four Leaf Clover should have a bit more activity in the second round considering the very lack of it in the opener.

The big race this Saturday will be the $127,950 Rags To Riches final, an elimination-style event that has been pared down to 10 finalists. The series has been competitive  as one would expect when former $10,000 claimers seek unheard of wealth. Trainer Julie Miller could have the favorite for the final in Oscar Oscar after that 6-year-old overpowered his rivals in one of two final elimination legs this past Friday. With Julie’s husband Andy Miller in the bike, Oscar Oscar scored in 1:51 4/5 and heads into the final with an unblemished series record. The favored Colonel Moffitt was a well-beaten second but will reach the final and Tyree, a horse with a true rags-to-riches name, finished third also advancing.

Heavy rains slowed the second division but didn't dampen the spirits of Rockin Glass, who coasted to a 1:54 1/5 victory and a spot in the final. Brian Sears guided the 4-year-old for trainer Nat Varty. Alastair Hanover and Laguna Beach rounded out the top three and will all advance for Saturday's rich final.