Ron Burke is the head trainer for the powerful Burke Stable, started by his father, Mickey, in western Pennsylvania. Now a multi-state operation, the 2011 Trainer of the Year has been the leader in both wins and earnings in North America for the past four seasons, totaling more than 3,000 victories and $67 million in purses. Ron handles the yeoman’s task of orchestrating racing schedules across the country, while also overseeing the Burke Stable at the Meadowlands. His brother, Mickey Jr., manages the Midwest string based in Ohio, while his sister, Michelle Hill, is the farm manager for their home base at The Meadows in Pennsylvania. The Burkes also introduced a Florida string under the care of Jamie Rucker.
After finishing second three times, Burke won his first Big M training title in 2012 with 64 wins and $1,454,506 in earnings. He won the finals of the Complex and Exit 16W series with Itrustyou, and the Spring Survivor for pacers with Breakin The Law.
In 2012, the Burke-trained free for all star Foiled Again became the richest pacer in history by reaching $4.4 million with an upset in the Canadian Pacing Derby. The 2011 Pacer of the Year posted his second straight million dollar season at age eight.
Burke also won his second Jugette, finishing one-two with Darena Hanover and Bettor B Lucky. He has campaigned Sweet Lou, a winner of more than $1.5 million, who became the fastest two-year-old of all-time at 1:49 in 2011, as well as millionaire pacing mares Rocklamation and Ginger And Fred.
The Burke Stable broke into the Top 10 in the Meadowlands trainer standings for the first time in 2005 and has been a major force in the rankings ever since. Their top performers include Buck I St Pat, who won her third consecutive Dan Patch Award as the sport’s top trotting mare in 2010, and Won The West, who claimed back-to-back divisional honors among older male pacers in 2009 and 2010. The fastest Breeders Crown performer in history at 1:47, retired in 2012 at the age of eight as the richest son of Western Hanover with earnings of $3,939,836.
Burke set a record for wins with 842 in 2010 and earnings in 2011 with $18,540,628.
Other top horses for Burke in recent years include Hugadragon, Westwardho Hanover, Blueridge Western, Maltese Artist, Fred And Ginger, May June Character and 2007 Jugette winner Western Graduate.
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