Burke Talks Glaucine & More
A recent interview with Ron Burke offers his comments on the positive tests that surfaced concerning horses trained by his stable and others earlier this year in New York state.
Burke discussed the situation with Meadowlands' Sam McKee in an interview prior to the Saturday, April 16 card of harness racing.
"None of us have been charged...there are more than just me," noted Burke. "New York is coming to the conclusion, or at least I hope they are, that this an environmental contamination.
"They're looking at it, I think they're trying to be as fair as they can. Their first job is to protect the public, which I understand. But by the same thing, the trainer responsibility rule...I get it but I can't stand and hold every horse's hand, everyday, and if they're going to have something that's in the environment all around them and it's going to cause a minute reading and I'm going to face a problem for it, I don't know what I'm going to do...I might as well get out of the business."
Burke staunchly defended his stable and vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
"I'll go to my grave saying I don't [use performance-enhancing drugs on my horses], and I believe in what we do and I know that in the long run we will be found not guilty of any of this."
The wide-ranging interview also discussed what Burke looks for in a prospective racehorse purchase.
"First of all, horses that fit certain spots, and also horses that fit us. I've come to be pretty good at knowing what I'm good at and what I'm not good at. And that's what the thing is: you have to know what you're good at and you have to know what you're not good at, and try to stick to what you're good at.
"I'm not the best in the world with a horse that's crazy or hot or nervous. I tend to make them more nervous. Horses that have talent that are a little lazy, usually I can get them to give maximum effort."
In order to get those horses to exert maximum effort, Burke notes that his training regimen consists of hard work.
"We work horses hard, we work them hard for short distances...but we do a lot of work on not a lot of days. We don't maybe do it everyday but when we do work, they're going to work. With me, it's a mental thing too...I want them to be mentally aware that when they step on the track we expect maximum effort. And horses are trained, they want to please you and do things to make you happy and make themselves happy."
McKee recalls when Burke spotted a racehorse in Harrisburg and noted that he'd drop 100 pounds from that particular individual.
"Show me the first fast fat guy and I'll start fattening the horses up. They're meant to be athletes, they should look like athletes."
The interview also discusses the injury to Mission Brief, the upcoming schedule for Southwind Frank, his three-year-old pacing colts including his North America Cup eligibles and more. To watch the full interview, click the play button below.