Day At The Track

Grand Circuit to Meadows and Meadowlands

01:30 AM 26 Jul 2018 NZST
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This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Hambletonian Oaks and Jim Doherty Memorial eliminations and Reynolds Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (July 27) at The Meadows as the track will feature three divisions in the $60,800 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $40,400 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters.

The Saturday (July 28) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final for 3-year-old colt pacers, three divisions in the $121,000 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $56,440 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters, two divisions in the $51,914 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters, two divisions in the $47,634 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $47,634 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers.

Meadowlands Racetrack will offer two sets of elimination races this week, with both finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 4). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters as well as two $46,600 W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions for 3-year-old male trotters.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: Heading into Saturday night (July 21), in two of the previous five installments of the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. A standard was not established in this edition, but Evenin Of Pleasure did pace the third fastest time (1:49.2) in track history.

The winner of the 2017 Gerrity, Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton), was back to defend his crown and was a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend N sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras), who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of :26.2 and :53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three-quarters.

Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of 5-1/2 lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up while Rockin Ron earned the show spot.

With the win, the 8-year-old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal.

Complete recaps of all the weekend 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 leaders following the past weekend.

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 507; 2. Yannick Gingras - 468.5; 3. Jordan Stratton - 268; 4. David Miller - 237.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 195.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 438.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 319; 3. Tony Alagna - 196; 4. Jim King Jr. - 171; 5. Peter Tritton - 132.

Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 102.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 102.8; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 85; 5. Marvin Katz - 77.2.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The track will host ten Grand Circuit events, led by the $1 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, and the $300,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

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