Busy Grand Circuit week continues at Pocono

02:02 AM 21 May 2014 NZST
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Perfect Alliance, harness racing
Perfect Alliance remains unbeaten at 10 for 10
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This Week: Historic Series, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; TVG FFA Pace, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Betsy Ross and Maxie Lee Memorial, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Tuesday (May 20) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with two $34,712 divisions in the Historic-Ladyship for 3-year-old pacing fillies. The Wednesday (May 21) Pocono card features a pair of divisions in the $73,774 Historic-Dickerson Cup for 3-year-old male trotters. Pocono will also host Grand Circuit events on the weekend, with the $46,000 (est.) Historic-Pocono Cup for 3-year-old male pacers set for Saturday (May 24) and the $55,000 (est.) Historic-Coaching Club Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters on the Sunday (May 25) program.

Meadowlands Racetrack will host some of the top free for all pacers in the sport on Saturday (May 24) in a $50,000 leg of the TVG FFA Pace, while on that same night Yonkers Raceway will hold $40,000 eliminations in the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old males and $20,000 eliminations in the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers.

On Sunday afternoon (May 25), Harrah's Philadelphia will host the $250,000 (est.) Betsy Ross for older female pacers and the $250,000 (est.) Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters.

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

Last time: Swedish champion Sebastian K added to his lore with another convincing win, this one the $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial final at The Meadowlands on May 17 in 1:50.2.

Sebastian K was a 1:50.2 winner in the Cutler Memorial final.

The Cutler was the first major test of the season for the Free For All trotters, promising a battle royal between last week's elimination winners Sebastian K and Market Share and record speed possibilities. However, that went awry when Market Share made an uncharacteristic break in the first turn.

As the race began Modern Family was put into play early by David Miller, using his keen gate speed to clear to the front before the turn with Sebastian K protecting the rail for Ake Svanstedt and securing the pocket through the :27.1 opener. With Market Share out of contention, there was little movement as the field passed the half in :55.2.

Approaching the final bend Sebastian K was flushed out, trotting alongside Modern Family and they raced as a team past the 1:22.4 three-quarters. By mid-stretch Sebastian K was edging by that rival on his way to a 1-1/2 length win in a stakes record 1:50.2. Modern Family held well to be second while Sevruga followed up close throughout and was third.

The winner is raced by Swedish interests, trained by his driver Ake Svanstedt and owned by Knutsson Trotting.

The Woodbine winter/spring meet came to an end on Monday evening (May 19), but not before the Toronto oval hosted the Miss Versatility Series for the continent's top older trotting mares.

Perfect Alliance established a new world record for a 4-year-old mare as she got under the wire first in 1:51.2.

Perfect Alliance, driven by Yannick Gingras, established a new world record for a 4-year-old mare as the trotting miss got under the wire first in 1:51.2. In doing so, the daughter of Credit Winner also set a new Canadian and track record in the process.

Sent off as the 6-5 second choice, Gingras and Perfect Alliance led from start to finish through panels of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:23.4 en route to victory. Bee A Magician (Brian Sears), Horse of the Year in Canada and the U.S. last season, finished second as the 2-5 favorite. After going undefeated in 17 starts last season, the daughter of Kadabra tasted defeat for the first time since Oct. 12, 2012. D'Orsay (Sylvain Filion) finished third.

Owned by Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger, Perfect Alliance increased her career earnings to $178,801. She remains a perfect 10-for-10 this season.

Fresh off her world record performance at Pocono, 3-5 favorite Classic Martine and Tim Tetrick found the wire first in 1:52.2 in the other division.

Tetrick guided the daughter of Classic Photo to command well before the opening station in :27.1. Heading towards the half, second-choice Charmed Life (Jody Jamieson) brushed to the front to lead past the midway point in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.

Turning for home, Charmed Life began to tire as Classic Martine angled to the outside and exploded to the lead en route to a comfortable score. Rockin With Dewey came on for second, over Upfrontluckycarol.

Chris Oakes trains the 4-year-old old lass for his wife, Susan, along with co-owners Edwin Gold, Hauser Bros Racing Entertainment LLC and Conrad Zurich. Classic Martine remains a perfect three-for-three this season and has banked $580,024 in career earnings.

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

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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past weekend.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 246; 2. Tim Tetrick - 155; 3. George Brennan - 129.5; 4. Brian Sears - 87; 5. Jason Bartlett - 79.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 340.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 135; 3. Joe Holloway - 92; 4. Rene Allard - 70; 5. Jimmy Takter - 40.

Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 118.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 86.4; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 86.4; 4. Ted Gewertz - 34.75; 5. Brad Grant - 34.5.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Raceway at Western Fair District will host the Molson Pace on Friday (May 30); Yonkers Raceway offers the Art Rooney and Lismore finals on Saturday (May 31); Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old male pacers on Saturday (May 31); and Tioga Downs will offer the Roll With Joe for open pacers on Sunday (June 1).

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

 

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