Day At The Track

International Trot leads Grand Circuit action

02:10 AM 12 Oct 2017 NZDT
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The Grand Circuit, Harness Racing
The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers International Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio.

Schedule of events: This week's marquee event on the Grand Circuit is the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino, which will be held on Saturday (Oct. 14) at Yonkers Raceway. A field of 10 top trotters will head to the gate in the Yonkers International.

Also on tap this week will be Circle City and Madison County events at Hoosier Park. The Thursday (Oct. 12) card at Hoosier will feature the $73,600 Madison County for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $68,800 Circle City for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $53,800 Madison County for 2-year-old filly pacers and the $50,000 Circle City for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (Oct. 14) Hoosier Park program will feature $65,000 (est.) Circle City races for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters and $65,000 (est.) Madison County events for 2-year-old male pacers and trotters.

Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: Blowing into contention at odds of 82-1 in the elimination, Snowstorm Hanover replicated his first heat rally and surged past Devious Man to win the $420,000 final of the Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc., and Menhammer Stuteri Ab., in 1:53.2 on Oct. 8 at Red Mile.

"I really wonder now if he just doesn't like the hot weather," Ron Burke said of his aptly-named trotter. "We noticed that he washes out sometimes very badly in the parade, and sometimes when he washes out he's really bad. So, maybe today, the weather was a blessing to him; it seemed cooler."

Snowstorm Hanover got away fourth in the final, tracking his stablemate What The Hill while Bill's Man put up a quarter in :29. Yes Mickey, circling out of the pocket, took the field to the half in :56.3 while What The Hill marched first-over into second, carrying with him Snowstorm Hanover.

Devious Man, positioned fourth-over around the turn, was flying towards the center of the track heading to three-quarters, timed in 1:24.2, and took over the lead midway in the stretch.

Snowstorm Hanover, angling three wide, chased after Devious Man coming into the eighth pole, pursuing the leader and eventually drawing alongside before sticking his nose in front in the final yards to win. Lindy The Great finished third and What The Hill was fourth.

Returning $13.60 to win, Snowstorm Hanover, by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, won his eighth race from 32 career starts, earning $649,349 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Phil Collura and Weaver Bruscemi. He is trained by Ron Burke and was driven by Matt Kakaley.

Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 7.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,284.5; 2. David Miller - 1,029; 3. Tim Tetrick - 888; 4. Scott Zeron - 615; 5. Corey Callahan - 463.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,108.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 997.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 426; 4. Brian Brown - 400; 5. Erv Miller - 354.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 257.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 223.8; 3. Determination - 209; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 5. Ken Jacobs - 182.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park with 12 Breeders Crown eliminations (if necessary) set to take place on Friday (Oct. 20) and Saturday (Oct. 21).

Paul Ramlow

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