Day At The Track

Battle of Lake Erie heads Grand Circuit weekend

03:02 AM 06 Jun 2019 NZST
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Century Farroh, harness racing
Century Farroh remained undefeated in 2019 with a 1:52.4 score in the opening Somebeachsomewhere division.
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Harness Racing This Week: Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield, Park, Northfield, Ohio; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Pepsi North America Cup, and Fan Hanover eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Graduate Series third leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week begins on Friday (June 7) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 8) card at Mohawk features a pair of C$50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Eliminations were not required in the Roses Are Red for older pacing mares.

Northfield Park will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday as the Ohio oval features the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie for older pacers.

Tioga Downs will round out a busy Grand Circuit weekend on Sunday (June 9) with $75,000 (est.) third leg contests in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters.

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

Last time: The road to the Pepsi North America Cup made a final stop on Saturday (June 1) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. A group of 16 sophomore pacers, 13 of them eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup, were split into two $59,200 Somebeachsomewhere divisions.

Dr. Ian Moore trainee Century Farroh remained undefeated in 2019 with a 1:52.4 score in the opening Somebeachsomewhere division. The son of Mach Three was sent off as the 1-9 favorite, circled to the top for driver Sylvain Filion from the deuce entering the backstretch and never looked back.

Century Farroh posted fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.4 to lead by 1-1/2 lengths entering the homestretch. Caviart Rockland was the only threat for the heavy favorite in the lane, as driver Scott Zeron had the Nancy Johansson trainee in a perfect second-over spot.

In the stretch, Century Farroh's lead proved to be too much for his rival, as he paced a final quarter in :27 for the victory. Caviart Rockland ran out of real estate and finished a hard closing second by a neck. Better Up finished third, while Captain Trevor was fourth.

Century Farroh is now four-for-four with $83,266 earned this season for owner Ratchford Stable NS.

Tyga Hanover pulled off a 19-1 upset in the second division by prevailing in a thrilling stretch battle. Also driven by Filion, Tyga Hanover started strong by cutting out a :27.1 opening quarter. Best In Show circled from second to first and led the field through middle half fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.2. Stag Party came first-up on the far turn and was pressuring Best In Show turning for home.

In the stretch, Stag Party took a short lead while Best In Show continued to battle at the rail. Filion slipped Tyga Hanover to the far outside and the Ben Baillargeon trainee powered up in deep stretch to win by a length. Best In Show came back at the rail for second, while Stag Party tired late to finish third.

Owned by Tom, Elizabeth and Glen Rankin, Tyga Hanover now has three wins in four starts this season after going winless in six starts as a rookie. The Baillargeon trainee has now earned $51,093 in 10 career starts.

Complete recaps of the weekend 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 - 238; 2. Jason Bartlett - 144; 3. George Brennan - 110; 4. Jordan Stratton - 107; 5. Daniel Dube - 104.

Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 169; 2. Ron Burke - 105; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Nick Surick - 62; 5. Richard Banca - 61.

Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 61.9; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 58.4; 3. J L Benson Stables - 52.5; 4. Richard Poillucci - 48.4; 5. Royal Wire Products - 47.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at Mohawk next weekend as the track will host five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 15).

Paul Ramlow

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