09/02/2015 11:04AM

Mohawk: Katz brothers hoping for a big effort from JK Endofanera in Pacing Derby


Ever since the beginning, Alan Katz and his brothers have enjoyed watching JK Endofanera.

“He’s been a pleasure from Day One,” said Katz, who owns the 4-year-old male pacer with brothers Ron and Steve under the 3 Brothers Stables moniker. “He hasn’t put in too many bad races. He’s just a good horse. He came back good this year and he’s getting better as the year goes on, which is a good thing.”

JK Endofanera will be looking for his third consecutive win when he faces nine rivals in Saturday’s C$685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack. Last week, he won his CPD elimination by 1-3/4 lengths over favorite Shamballa in 1:50 1/5 over a track labeled “good” because of rain.

Two weeks prior to the elim, the Jimmy Takter-trained JK Endofanera and driver Brett Miller stormed home with a 26 2/5 final quarter-mile to capture the Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park.

“He’s been racing super,” Katz said. “Hopefully all systems are go. Jimmy has done a good job with the horse, a real good job. We’re hopeful he’ll get a good chunk of the purse on Saturday night.”

Saturday’s card at Mohawk also includes the C$685,000 Metro Pace for 2-year-old male pacers and the C$455,000 She’s A Great Lady Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers.

JK Endofanera, a homebred son of Art Major-Presidential Lady, has won 18 of 36 career starts and finished worse than third only six times. His victories include the Governor’s Cup at age 2 and North America Cup, at Mohawk, and American-National Stakes at 3, helping him to earnings of $1.72 million.

He has won three of four career races at Mohawk.

State Treasurer also will be trying to extend a win streak in the Canadian Pacing Derby final. The 6-year-old Ian Moore-trainee has won three consecutive races, including his CPD elimination by a neck over All Bets Off in 1:50 1/5, and seven of 13 overall starts this season.

For his career, State Treasurer has won 28 of 84 races and $1.44 million for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald.

All Bets Off won this year’s Confederation Cup and Prix d’Ete.

The Canadian Pacing Derby field also includes previous champion Foiled Again, who won the event in 2012, as well as Dan Patch Award-winner McWicked, who was voted the sport’s top 3-year-old male pacer in 2014. Limelight Beach won last year’s Little Brown Jug and is less than $40,000 from $1 million in career purses.

“It’s an interesting race,” Katz said. “That’s why they race them, there are no locks. You’ve got to be at the top of your game every week against this caliber. You need some racing luck, a lot can go wrong. They’re not machines. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.”

The Katz brothers also will be hoping for the best for JK Fannie, who is in Saturday’s She’s A Great Lady Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers. JK Fannie, who is winless in six races this year, will start from post nine with Matt Kakaley listed to drive for trainer Nancy Johansson.

JK Fannie, a homebred daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-JK Soundofmusic, lost nearly two months of training because of illness during the winter, so she could improve as the season goes on. She has two second-place finishes and one third-place finish among her most recent four starts.

“She’s a nice filly,” Katz said. “She was really sick in December, but made a miraculous recovery. We’re surprised she came so quickly. We’re really looking forward to her later races (this year). She’s staked to everything. She’s a big, strong filly.

“We hope she does well. She’ll need a good trip just to get a piece of it (Saturday). She’s in tough. If she gets a check we’ll be happy. But it’s exciting to have two horses in the big races. That’s why you’re in the business.”

Following is the field for the Canadian Pacing Derby with listed drivers and trainers:

1. McWicked, Jody Jamieson, Casie Coleman
2. State Treasurer, Randy Waples, Ian Moore
3. JK Endofanera, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter
4. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke
5. Shamballa, Rick Zeron, Rick Zeron
6. Nirvana Seelster, Doug McNair, William Budd
7. Limelight Beach, John Campbell, Ron Burke
8. Captive Audience, TBA, Colin Johnson
9. Foiled Again, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke
10. Piston Broke, Sylvain Filion, Rob Fellows

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com