By Bill Finley
The Three Brothers Stable has moved millionaire JK Endofanera to the Jimmy Takter barn, and the North America Cup winner will make his first start for his new connections tomorrow night in an Open at Pocono Downs.
The decision was made because JK Endofanera was the odd horse out in the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands because previous trainer Ron Burke had three horses ready to go for the final. At the Meadowlands, no trainer can start more than two horses in a stakes race.
Burke will start two horses in tonight’s $250,000 Graduate final in All Bets Off and Limelight Beach. Though JK Endofanera may be better than those two, they are both co-owned by Burke, who told JK Endofanera’s owners that he felt he had to start his own horses.
Alan Katz of the Three Brothers Stable said he was told that even with the trainer change the horse could not compete in the Graduate.
“We had to do this because of Jeff Gural,” Katz said. “Ronnie Burke wanted to put him in the final but you’re only allowed two in. It’s not right and there’s nothing we can do about it. Ronnie Burke is furious. Furious is an understatement. I’m not happy about it, either. They only have nine horses in the box and I asked Gural if he could make it ten. It’s not like he was taking a spot away from another trainer. But Jeff said no and said if he did that he was worried he might get sued by someone. He left us no alternative.”
Katz said the horse will definitely stay with Takter and not return to the Burke barn. He said he and his partners chose Takter because he did not have a bevy of top older male pacers in his barn. With that being the case JK Endofanera should have no problem getting into future Meadowlands races.
JK Endofanera is 15 for 30 lifetime and has made $1,514,947. Though his barn is loaded, losing a horse of JK Endofanera’s talent is a big blow for Burke.
“To be in this business like we have been for 35, 40 years and not to have a horse who is eligible for a big race not be allowed to compete because of Jeff Gural’s rules? To me that’s totally absurd,” Katz said.
Katz is also the co-owner of 2014 Horse of the Year JK She’salady, who has struggled this year and lost her last three. He said trainer Nancy Johansson will race the filly on Lasix next time out, hoping that helps wake her up.
“For some reason, she hasn’t raced like she did last year,” Katz said. “There’s nothing Nancy can come up with. She said the filly is sound and looks like a million dollars.”