This Is The Plan Eyes Redemption in Sunday’s Potomac Pace
Fort Washington, MD – Multi-millionaire This Is The Plan will return to Rosecroft Raceway Sunday on a quest to redeem himself in the $100,000 Potomac Pace.
The son of Somebeachsomewhere, who has earned more than $2.5 million during his career, will seek to improve on a disappointing fifth-place finish in last year’s Potomac Pace, in which he chased an extremely fast early pace into the stretch before weakening. Trainer Ron Burke expects to see a different result in this year’s race.
“He’s a very classy animal. You’ve got to pick your spots when you can race him down the road. I don’t think he wants to do it all the time,” said Burke, who has ranked first in North American in races-won and purses-earned for 13 years in a row. “I think that’s where he is right now. I think he’s in a spot where he can leave and cut the mile. When he’s good, that’s his best game still.”
Yannick Gingras, who has driven the winners of more than 7900 races and $200 million in purses, will also return to Rosecroft to drive This Is The Plan.
The Burke trainee will bring a World Record to Rosecroft, after turning in the fastest mile by a pacer on a half-mile track in history while winning the $200,000 Battle of Fort Erie at Northfield Park June 5. Driven by Gingras, This Is The Plan registered a thoroughly dominating 5 ¼-length victory in 1:47.3 after setting fractions of :26.2, :53.3 and 1:20.3. The clocking eclipsed the 2013 former world record of 1:48.1 set by Pet Rock at the Delaware County Fair.
“The more turns the better for him. It was incredible and I knew it was coming,” said Burke, whose horses have won over 12,150 races and more than $270 million in purses. “You could see it on the backside the way he was accelerating. When he hit 1:20.3, I knew it was going to be special. I think that record will hold up for a while.
This Is The Plan, who lowered the Cleveland area raceway’s track record by more than a second, enters the Potomac Pace off a ninth-place finish in the $600,000 Breeders’ Crown pace for 3-year-old and up at Meadowlands, where he won a Breeders’ Crown elimination race a week prior.
“He got caught in a bad spot. The race didn’t set up the way we thought it would set up. He got left out on the outside,” Burke said. “We’ve tried to freshen him up. Small tracks are historically better for him. He’s not a true miler. He’s more of a five-eighths, half-mile track horse. We’ll look to be more aggressive down there.”
This Is The Plan drew the far-outside No. 8 post position
This Is The Plan has compiled a 20-25-12 record from 92 starts. In 2021, he has earned $802,769 while winning six times in 23 races, including a victory in the $514,000 Borgata Pacing Series Final at Yonkers in April.
Both Burke and Gingras were elected to Harness Racing’s Hall of Fame this year and will be inducted next year in Goshen, N.Y.
Burke, a Pennsylvania native who currently has 300 horses in his care, has shown no signs of slowing down.
“The Meadows is still my home. I have five bases based across the country, but the Meadows will always be home for me,” said Burke, whose stable is based at farms in New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.