Day At The Track

Grand Circuit spotlight on The Red Mile

03:07 AM 02 Oct 2014 NZDT
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This Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.

Schedule of events: The second week of harness racing Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 2) with four divisions in the $323,200 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 3) card features five divisions in the $383,600 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $253,700 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers.

On Saturday (Oct. 4), The Red Mile will offer the $600,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $400,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $350,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. The week concludes on Sunday (Oct. 5) with the $600,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $350,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, a pair of $180,000 (est.) Allerage races for both open pacers and open trotters, and $75,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: Bigtown Hero knocked off several of the sport's top older pacers to win the $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Pace on Saturday night (Sept. 27) at Scioto Downs.

Bigtown Hero (Dave Palone) rallied on the outside in the stretch run to hit the wire in 1:48.2, equaling the Scioto Downs track record. Kanaris (Aaron Merriman) paced a huge mile to finish second at 25-1 odds, with Night Pro gamely holding on for third at 11-1. Both Sweet Lou and Foiled Again faded in the stretch drive, with Sweet Lou finishing fifth, 3-1/2 lengths behind the winner, and Foiled Again fading to eighth and last.

Conditioned by Ron Steck for Allard Racing and Yves Sarrazin, the son of American Idealout of the Artsplace mare Art Account, was sent off in this event at odds of 6-1.

The opening week of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile featured many memorable moments, including a world record performance on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 28). Cee Bee Yes trotted the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly, 1:50.2, in capturing the $86,700 first division of the Bluegrass Stakes for sophomore ladies.

In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the former world champion filly, to christen herself a champion in 1:50.2. Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter ofMuscles Yankee-Enbeecee paid $115.40 to win. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes’ career earnings to $336,532.

On Thursday (Sept. 25) in the $84,250 second Bluegrass division for freshman trotting fillies, a field of seven went postward over the red clay, and as expected, 8-5 favorite Jolene Jolene won, and won in a big way -- equaling Mission Brief's world record for a 2-year-old trotting filly of 1:52.1.

David Miller steered the daughter of Muscle Hill-Celebrity Speedie for owner Bill Donovan and trainer Jonas Czernyson. Jolene Jolene now has four wins in eight starts, with two seconds and a third, and $207,527 in career earnings.

Undefeated Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Billy Flynn captured his $78,400 Bluegrass division for 2-year-old trotting colts on Friday (Sept. 26) handily in 1:55.4, holding off a late charge by the hard-trying Muscle Diamond (John Campbell) to prevail by a half-length under the wire.

Driver Brett Miller steered the son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones through splits of :29.2, :58.1 and 1:28.3 to notch his eighth career victory. The win pushed his lifetime earnings to $312,057 for owner Bender Sweden, Inc.

Artspeak, fresh off his Metro win on Aug. 30 at Mohawk, continued his winning ways by capturing the $83,250 third division of the Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace on Saturday (Sept. 27) handily in 1:51.3. Tony Alagna harnessed and Scott Zeron drove the son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum, who pushed his career earnings to $479,450 with the victory, the seventh of his career in as many starts.

Complete recaps of all the 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 – 1,425; 2. Tim Tetrick – 785; 3. David Miller – 680.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 515.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 426.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,590.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,182; 3. Tony Alagna – 300: 4. Joe Holloway – 294; 5. Erv Miller – 276.5.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 359.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 321.8; 3. Robert Key – 220; 4. 3 Brothers Stable – 207; 5. Brittany Farms – 201.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Harrah’s Philadelphia and Balmoral Park. Harrah’s Philadelphia will offer the Historic Series races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, while Balmoral Park will card eight American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers, 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and older open pacers and trotters.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

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