Day At The Track

Hambletonian day in Grand Circuit spotlight

05:19 AM 06 Aug 2015 NZST
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Grand Circuit
Grand Circuit this weekend

Harness Racing This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, Fresh Yankee, Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, Peter Haughton Memorial, and Jim Doherty Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack with one of the biggest cards of the season. The afternoon program is led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds.

Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $301,500 John Cashman Memorial for older male trotters, the $215,400 U.S. Pacing Championship for older male pacers, the $251,250 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the 181,450 Fresh Yankee for older trotting mares, the $319,400 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the $109,500 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $389,450 Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters.

Tioga Downs on Sunday will feature $65,000 (est.) Tompkins-Geers divisions for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: He was forced into a first-over challenge and skipped shadows for much of the mile, but when all was said and done, Dude's The Man captured this past Saturday's (Aug. 1) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows in 1:48.4, fourth-fastest in the 49-year history of the event.

Yankee Bounty rallied for second, two lengths back, while Lost For Words, who threatened briefly in the lane, was third.

Winning trainer Jessica Okusko won the Adios orchids in her first try while winning driver Corey Callahan, who had 13 previous Adios starts including eliminations, took his first Adios title. M And L of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson own Dude's The Man, a son of American Ideal-Art's Risk who finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Meadowlands Pace final but has been hampered at times by lack of early speed.

Although Dude's The Man was first up from fourth, he had little trouble clearing My Hero Ron, winner of an Adios elimination on July 25. Another potential problem for Dude's The Man vanished in the lane when Lost For Words, right on the winner's bumper, didn't finish strongly.

Dude's The Man will start in this Saturday's Cane Pace at Meadowlands Racetrack.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 2015 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past week's action:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 492; 2. Tim Tetrick - 390; 3. David Miller - 290; 4. Brian Sears - 282; 5. John Campbell - 238.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 630; 2. Jimmy Takter - 378; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 248; 4. Ray Schnittker - 187; 5. Rene Allard - 163.

Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 195.5; 2. Burke Racing - 145.8; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 127.60; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 100; 5. Ray Schnittker - 74.9.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Northfield Park with the Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for older pacers; at Charlottetown Driving Park with the Gold Cup and Saucer eliminations for older pacers; and at Tioga Downs with Tompkins-Geers events for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly trotters.

Paul Ramlow

Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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