Day At The Track

Grand Circuit concludes 2018 season

02:00 AM 05 Dec 2018 NZDT
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The Grand Circuit, Harness Racing
The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: The 2018 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2019 schedule will be released in January.

Last time: This Is The Plan, steered by Tim Tetrick, snuck up the inside several hundred yards from the finish line to best Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final on Thursday (Nov. 29) at Dover Downs.

This Is The Plan stopped Jimmy Freight by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final. Fotowon photo.

This Is The Plan, who dead-heated with The Downtown Bus to capture the $193,750 Matron Stakes final over this very same oval, broke on top from post position three. After establishing a first quarter-mile fraction of :26, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-That's The Plan yielded the lead to Jimmy Freight and settled in the pocket spot while that rival posted splits of :55 and 1:22.3.

After Jimmy Freight repelled the first-over bid of Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley), it appeared the Sportswriter-Allamerican Summer colt would cross the wire in front. Tetrick and This Is the Plan, however, had other intentions.

Tetrick shifted his charge to the pylons after being shuffled back slightly to third from Dorsoduro Hanover's advance. The colt responded by striding past Jimmy Freight with a last quarter of :27.3 to collect his triumph. Dorsoduro Hanover, after a tough overland journey, was a strong third.

Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva, Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr, This Is The Plan paid $5.40 to his supporters as the public's second selection.

This Is The Plan, who was third in the $35,000 elimination for this contest behind Jimmy Freight a week prior, boosted his career bankroll to $642,540 and his lifetime record to 33-7-8-7.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the final leaders.

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,529.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 764; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,471.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449.

Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 306.3; 3. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 284.8; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2.

Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January.

by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, The Grand Circuit

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