2014 Grand Circuit season opens at Yonkers

02:12 AM 20 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Anndrovette, harness racing
Anndrovette, three-time Pacing Mare of the Year
Mike Lizzi photo

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. This is the opening event of the 2014 Grand Circuit season.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 21) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 22) card at Yonkers will see five $50,000 divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers.

Defending champion Feeling You competes in the third division of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and 2012 champ Rocklamation races in the first. Anndrovette, the three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer, is in the second division.

Former Dan Patch Award winners Economy Terror, who was named best 2-year-old filly pacer in 2011, and Somwherovrarainbow, who earned the same honor in 2012, also are racing in the first round. Million-dollar-earners Camille, Handsoffmycookie, Krispy Apple, and Royal Cee Cee N add depth in the field of 29 Matchmaker hopefuls entered Friday.

A total of 36 (of the 47) series eligibles are in to go in the opening round of the George Morton Levy. Ten of the entrants carry the hope and dreams of trainer Ron Burke, including the season-debuting Foiled Again.

Foiled Again, the richest pacer in history, leads a field of 36 into the opening round of the Levy.

Twice a Levy champion and twice (including last season) a bridesmaid, the sport's $6,030,968 ageless wonder makes his 199th career start. The 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, landed post position six in the final event, with Yannick Gingras doing the honors.

He draws in with the red-hot Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson, post three), the scourge of Ontario who has won nine consecutive races (five-for-five this season). Ben Wallace trains the 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for owner Brad Grant.

Burke and P J Fraley (six entered in the opening round) each have coupled entries in the second division, where double-millionaire Sweet Lou (Gingras, post five) makes his 5-year-old debut for Burke.

Doctor Butch, last season's Art Rooney Pace champ at Yonkers, commences his 4-year-old season in the fourth division. Tim Tetrick drives for owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano.

Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

 

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