Day At The Track

$642,000 Little Brown Jug heads huge Grand Circuit

12:17 AM 20 Sep 2018 NZST
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This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; Caesars Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Metro, She's A Great Lady and Milton finals, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit harness racing action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 19) at Delaware with the $230,700 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $82,200 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $40,918 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters and the $39,318 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Thursday (Sept. 20) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $107,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $111,075 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters, the $48,218 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $40,418 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers.

Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 21) with the $200,000 Caesars Classic for Open trotters, the $236,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $207,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $172,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $155,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, and the $120,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers.

Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 22) with the C$890,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers, the C$590,000 She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers and the C$255,000 Milton for older pacing mares.

Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link.

Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Woodbine Mohawk Park this past Saturday, with the finals of four major stakes, led by the $512,050 Canadian Trotting Classic. It was a hoof-to-hoof heavyweight battle from start to finish, with Crystal Fashion coming out on top in the final strides.

Crystal Fashion was a 1:52.1 winner in the Canadian Trotting Classic.

Saddled with the daunting post 10, Crystal Fashion, a bay son of Cantab Hall, needed a little racing luck and plenty of grit to get the job done in Canada's richest trotting event of 2018 and the Jim Campbell trainee had plenty of the latter.

Sent off as the 5-2 second choice to 3-5 Met's Hall, Crystal Fashion, piloted by Tim Tetrick, was full of trot as the gate took off from the field of 11 sophomore stars. After taking his rivals through an opening quarter in :27.3, Crystal Fashion then found himself sitting in the second spot once Met's Hall, with Andy Miller driving, went from second to first.

The see-saw tussle between the leaders continued through a half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:25, with the final round coming as the field straightened for home. Down the stretch, Crystal Fashion, on the outside, and Met's Hall, to his inside, put on a show for the packed house at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

At the wire, Crystal Fashion ($7.90 to win) eked out a hard-fought half-length triumph over his rival, in 1:52.1. Fiftydallarbill was third, while Lawmaker was fourth.

"It worked out good today," said Tetrick who two races earlier teamed with Green Manalishi S to win the William Wellwood Memorial. "We got out of there good and got on the right foot. He crossed over well, in-hand, and the favorite came and we had to let him go, so I got a dream trip."

It was lifetime win No. 13 from 25 starts for the bay gelding, owned by Fashion Farms. In 13 starts this year, Crystal Fashion, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, has nine wins and a trio of seconds.

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 leaders following the past weekend.

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 910.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 862.5; 3. David Miller - 571.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 409; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 712.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 664; 3. Tony Alagna - 464; 4. Jim Campbell - 296; 5. Erv Miller - 267.

Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 209; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 158.2; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 151.9; 4. Brittany Farms - 149.9; 5. Brad Grant - 124.3.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Hollywood Dayton Raceway will also be hosting a pair of Grand Circuit events, the Dayton Pacing Derby and the Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses and Harrah's Philadelphia will contest John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

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