MANALAPAN - The 91st Hambletonian harness race is set to kick off this weekend at the Meadowlands with one trainer confident that his favorite will gallop to victory.
Ron Burke, who has been around a track since he was 12, is getting the horses ready to compete at his stables in Manalapan. Burke says he is feeling good about the odds that his favorite horse, 'Southwind Frank,' will win.
"I expect to win," says Burke. "I'm being honest - we're not going there to be second. We're going to win."
Burke has more wins and prize money than any other train in the country, but he has yet to win the Hambletonian. He came close last year when his horse, 'Mission Brief,' came in second.
Burke says Southwind Frank is the best male trotter he's ever had. That means a lot since he trains 240 horses in four states. He also has another horse named 'Hit or Miss' competing in the race.
The 46-year-old says even if his horse doesn't win, he's not giving up on his career. Burke says he plans to train horses for at least another decade.