LEBANON, OH – It was another Burke Brigade Day at Miami Valley on Friday (April 16) as stable mates Free Thinker and Drama Act were victorious in the two feature races on the card.
Free Thinker (Chris Page) was a relatively easy winner in the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired pacing fillies, establishing a new personal best with a 1:53.3 triumph over Rockin N Kissin (Tyler Smith) and Pal O Mine Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) With a fourth place finish, Pinknperfect (Dan Noble) also received an automatic invitation to next Friday’s $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational.
Page allowed Rockin N Kissin to lead through the :28.2 initial quarter mile, but assumed command with the favorite another eighth of a mile later. From there it was clear sailing for the daughter of Western Vintage, who tacked on subsequent clockings of :56.4 and 1:25.2 before cruising home in :28.1 about four lengths to the good.
It was just the third win in nine career starts, but raised her bankroll to $84,025 for owners Burke Racing, Jason Melillo, J&T silva-Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi.
A little over an hour later, Drama Act (Page) beat Big Bad Jane (Noble) and American Cheer (Kauffman) in the $25,000 Mares Open Pace. It was the third straight seasonal score for the four-year-old daughter of Well Said, but her first in Open company. Drama Act, who raced in the $500,000 Breeders Crown at three, now sports 11 career victories and her earnings grew to $263,082 for owners The OK Corral of Illinois.
Trainers Ron Burke and Tyler George each harnessed two winners on Friday, thus they remain in a tie for the Miami Valley trainer’s title with 41 triumphs each.
Racing resumes Saturday (April 17) when the final $40,000 Hackett Memorial championship of the season, for the three-year-old pacing colts, will be decided. Post time is 4:05 p.m.

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