by Ellen Harvey
East Rutherford, NJ — “Parting,” Shakespeare said, “is such sweet sorrow.”
And so it was a sweet and sorrowful winner’s circle, filled with tears and hugs for the connections of Sweet Lou, as he won the final race of his career, the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers on Saturday night (Nov. 29) at the Meadowlands, in 1:48 by 3-3/4 lengths.
|Sweet Lou was all alone at the wire in the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers.|
The race unfolded with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) going to the lead first at the :26.2 quarter-mile mark, with Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce tucked in third. No sooner had the field straightened down the backstretch than Pierce had Sweet Lou on the move, rushing up to take the lead by the three-eighths and holding it to the :54 half with Bettor’s Edge tucked in behind.
Sweet Lou led the field to the 1:21.3 three-quarters and on to the long homestretch. Only 10-year-old Foiled Again parted ways with the pack to muster a challenge for Sweet Lou, but at the wire, it was Sweet Lou first and alone for the last time. Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) was second and Clear Vision (Tim Tetrick) third.
The stallion with the distinctive white blaze was soon mobbed by a crowd that included his owners, Phil Collura, Larry Karr, Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing. Ron Burke trains the 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, who is set to stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm in 2015.
“I don’t know if Ronnie’s (Burke) listening,” said driver Ron Pierce, “but if he is, he was better tonight than he’s been all year. Maybe they’d consider racing him next year. I was looking for Foiled Again, he’s always a tough horse.
“He’s such a pleasure to race; such a classy animal. These kinds of horses don’t come along all the time. I’m going to really miss him next year.”
“It was a very hard decision,” said co-owner Larry Karr on retiring Sweet Lou. “At the Burke operation we like to race, but this was the best opportunity for him to be a stallion.”
The win was the 11th in 19 season’s starts for Sweet Lou and took his 2014 earnings to $1,361,433. He has banked $3,478,894 lifetime on the strength of 33 victories in 74 starts.