Day At The Track

BC elims lead busy Grand Circuit weekend

01:40 AM 17 Oct 2019 NZDT
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This Week: Harness racing Breeders Crown eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont.; The Pegasus, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Friday (Oct. 18) and Saturday (Oct. 19) for Breeders Crown eliminations in nine divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the open pace, open trot and mare pace.

The Friday card features a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly pace, two eliminations in the 2-year-old filly trot and single eliminations in the 2-year-old colt pace and 2-year-old colt trot.

The Saturday card has a total of eight eliminations, with each carrying a purse of $25,000. The 3-year-old colt pace, 3-year-old filly trot and mare trot will each split two ways, while the 3-year-old colt trot and 3-year-old filly pace have lone eliminations.

On Friday night at Hoosier Park, there will be eight divisions of The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The $80,000 colt pace, $76,700 colt trot, $69,000 filly trot and $67,000 filly pace will each have two divisions.

The Meadowlands on Friday night will host another leg of The Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the filly trot and single divisions in the colt pace, colt trot and filly pace. Each race has a purse of $10,000.

Complete entries for the Breeders Crown races are available at this link. Entries for the Hoosier and Meadowlands races are available at this link.

Last time: If the boisterous Italian contingent who found their way to Westchester, N.Y., Saturday afternoon (Oct. 12) could have lifted Zacon Gio onto their shoulders, they would have. The 4-year-old survived nine world-class rivals and an inquiry, winning Yonkers Raceway's $1 million International Trot.

Zacon Gio won the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers. Mike Lizzi photo.

The 41st International - fifth after a two-decade hiatus - was truly "Viva Italia," as the favored Zacon Gio (Roberto Vecchione, $4.30) won by 3-1/4 emphatic lengths, the mile-and-a-quarter going in 2:24.1.

At the outset, after a break by France's mare Bahia Quesnot (Junior Guelpa), it was another 4-year-old, American lass Atlanta (Yannick Gingras), making the lead. Directly outside of her, the third ma'am, Swiss miss Uza Josselyn (Erik Adielsson), also left, poking about a neck in front of Atlanta.

If Adielsson had to do it over again, he probably would have kept his charge marching forward. Instead, Uza Josselyn found herself parked through fractions (:28.1, :59) usually reserved for qualifiers.

Denmark's Slide So Easy (Ake Svanstedt) left from the pole, protecting the pocket, while Zacon Gio - from post position five - was content to work from second-over. Behind him was the other American entrant, Guardian Angel AS (Tim Tetrick).

Meanwhile, Atlanta waltzed through a 1:28 three-quarters, a lap standing between herself, pomp and circumstance. Zacon Gio then went wide around Uza Josselyn and met no resistance from Atlanta, blitzing by after the 1:55.4 milepost and widening from there. Slide So Easy slid out for second, with Canada's Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) a ground-saving third. Guardian Angel AS wound up fourth, while last season's upsetter, Cruzado Dela Noche (Brian Sears), was fifth. Uza Josselyn and Atlanta tired to sixth and seventh, respectively, ahead of misbehavers Lionel (Goran Antonsen), Norton Commander (Conni Lagauer) and Bahia Quesnot.

After a lengthy inquiry of what turned out to be the winning move, the result stood.

For Zacon Gio, a son of Ruty Grif owned by Franco Giuseppe and trained by Holger Ehlert, the perfect season (nine-for-nine) continues with a 12th consecutive win overall dating to last season.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following this past weekend:

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,252.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,053; 3. Dexter Dunn - 835; 4. David Miller - 831; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 664.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,073; 2. Tony Alagna - 690; 3 Ake Svanstedt - 562; 4. Marcus Melander - 534; 5. Nancy Johansson - 488.

Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 240; 2. Brad Grant - 227.3; 3. Fashion Farms - 214.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 211.3; 5. Robert Key - 191.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park with Breeders Crown finals in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters). Hoosier Park will host Circle City divisions for 3-year-olds and Madison County divisions for 2-year-olds. In addition, The Meadowlands will host another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit



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