Day At The Track

Windsong Leo seeks 4th straight at the Meadows

01:10 AM 13 Jul 2018 NZST
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Windsong Leo, harness racing
Windsong Leo in prior win
Lisa Photo

WASHINGTON, PA, July 12, 2018 -- Windsong Leo, who already has won at 10 pari-mutuel tracks in his distinguished career, will try to add another -- and extend his current victory streak to four -- when he makes his debut at The Meadows in Saturday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace.

He'll go from post 4 in race 8 with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. piloting. Saturday's card also features a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $10,000 for the Pick 5 (races 9-13), $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) -- as well as a $1,781.30 jackpot in the Super High 5 (race 13). First post is 1:05 PM.

A 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding, Windsong Leo has won at tracks of all sizes throughout the continent -- Charlottetown, Flamboro Downs, Freehold, Georgian Downs, Grand River, London, the Meadowlands, Mohawk, Woodbine, Yonkers. His current owners -- Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura -- purchased him privately last year after watching him on tape as he looped the field for an improbable victory. Recalls trainer Ron Burke:

"I thought, 'that's not possible. You can't win from there. I must be watching the wrong replay.' Then I thought, 'we have to have that horse.'

All the wins in Windsong Leo's current streak have come on the front end at Yonkers, but Burke indicates he's much more versatile than that.

"When we first got him," Burke says, "I didn't think he'd like to race up front, but that's changed. He will race on the lead or near it. When you move him to a bigger track, he actually seems to like it and races even better. That's what makes him dangerous."

Burke indicates he shifted Windsong Leo from Yonkers, at least for now, to invigorate his group of fast-class horses here.

"Truthfully, except for Stride Of Pride, that group hasn't been up to our expectations," he says, "and I really don't like losing that (Preferred Handicap) race every week at The Meadows."

On Saturday, Windsong Leo will face Phoenix Warrior N, an opponent of similar versatility and success who's won two straight.

"Phoenix Warrior N is so dangerous because he can race either way, too. That will make it an interesting race," Burke says. If Windsong Leo finishes first or second, he'll soar over $300,000 in career earnings.

The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will offer an appealing variety of fan-centric events to complement Saturday's program. The "Rockin' On The Rail' series of live Saturday concerts continues with a performance by Darling Nikki Featuring Jason Walker. The music begins on the apron at the conclusion of the races.

The MSOA will provide paddock tours, starting gate rides and a drawing for Pittsburgh Pirates tickets. To participate or for more information, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook.

by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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