Day At The Track

Eliminations lead Grand Circuit schedule

01:38 AM 15 Oct 2015 NZDT
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The Grand Circuit
The Grand Circuit

Harness racing this Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Woodbine Racetrack, Rexdale, Ontario and John Simpson Stakes, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Woodbine Racetrack this Friday (Oct. 16) and Saturday (Oct. 17) for Breeders Crown eliminations in seven divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the 3-year-old colt trot, the 3-year-old filly trot, the Mare Pace, the Mare Trot and the Open Trot.

The Friday card features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly trot, the 2-year-old filly pace and the 2-year-old colt pace, plus a single $25,000 elimination in the 2-year-old colt trot. The Saturday card features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the Open Pace, the 3-year-old colt pace and the 3-year-old filly pace.

Also on Friday, Vernon Downs will host the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. On tap will be the $25,680 2-year-old colt trot, the $25,080 2-year-old colt pace, and $23,492 divisions of the 2-year-old filly pace and filly trot.

Complete entries for the Woodbine races are available at this link. Entries for the Vernon races are available at this link.

Last time: Papagayo E and Ulf Ohlsson snuck up the rail to overtake Creatine in the final strides of the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 10) in a time of 2:26 for the 1-1/4 mile race. The margin of victory was a half-length.

The Norwegian flags were flying and a robust contingent of Norwegian fans cheered the victory by trainer Jan Waaler and owners Tom Andersen and Claes Sjolin.

"This was great," Andersen said. "Just know that I feel we have the best horse in the world."

Timoko, representing France and driven by Bjorn Goop, was second and Creatine of the United States (with Johnny Takter up) was third. Oasis Bi of Sweden and driver Orjan Kihlstrom was fourth and the final check went to BBS Sugarlight, also of Norway, and his driver Johan Untersteiner.

Pinkman won Saturday's $527,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile, biding his time through the early portions of the race before taking the lead in the stretch and posting a 1-1/4 length victory over longshot Crescent Fashion in 1:51.2. French Laundry finished third.

The triumph gave trainer Jimmy Takter a sweep of the Kentucky Futurity and the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Wild Honey, with John Campbell in the sulky, upset 1-9 favorite Mission Brief in the Kentucky Filly Futurity by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.4.

Pinkman's win in the Kentucky Futurity gave the gelding two jewels of the Trotting Triple Crown. In August, Pinkman captured the first jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, at the Meadowlands. Habitat, who won the second jewel, the Yonkers Trot, was not entered in the Futurity. Pinkman is the 20th horse to win two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, a feat most recently accomplished just last year by Takter's Nuncio.

Pinkman, who started from post nine, raced in third place for nearly three-quarters of a mile before challenging leader Crazy Wow on the final turn. He pulled away from the field in the stretch before holding off Crescent Fashion to win the 123rd edition of the Kentucky Futurity. Muscle Diamond followed French Laundry, with Crazy Wow finishing fifth.

A gelding by Explosive Matter out of the mare Margie Seelster, Pinkman has won 11 of 15 races this year and earned $1.75 million. His other victories include the $532,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, $1 million Hambletonian, $500,000 Beal Memorial, and $370,000 Zweig Memorial.

Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. For his career, Pinkman has won 17 of 23 starts and $2.31 million.

Complete recaps of all the 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 - 1,236; 2. David Miller - 911.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 819; 4. Brett Miller - 556; 5. Brian Sears - 517.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,491; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,198; 3. Tony Alagna - 512.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 330; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 311.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 337.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 290.35; 3. Bamond Racing - 265; 4. Christina Takter - 193.75; 5. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 170.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Racetrack 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). Vernon Downs (Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old trotters) and Hoosier Park (Circle City for 2-year-olds and Madison County for 3-year-olds) will also be hosting Grand Circuit racing.

Paul Ramlow

Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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