This Week: Kindergarten Series finals, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y; Messenger and Lady Maud eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Madison County and Circle City, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.
Schedule of events: Vernon Downs will host the championship finals of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters on Friday (Oct. 25). The colts will race for a purse of $217,500 and the fillies will chase a $206,000 payday.
Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Oct. 26) will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations for the Messenger Stake, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. The companion Lady Maud for 3-year-old pacing fillies will also have a pair of eliminations, with each carrying a purse of $20,000.
Hoosier Park will host six Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Oct. 26), with each carrying an estimated purse of $65,000. The Madison County will be contested for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, while the Circle City will be held for 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts.
Complete entries for the races are available at this link
Last time: The 12 Breeders Crown championship finals were raced this past Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and there were very few surprises; especially when it comes to clearing up the Horse of the Year picture. Bee A Magician, Captaintreacherous and I Luv The Nitelife, the top three horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, were all impressive winners in their respective Crown finals.
"Bee A Magician just coasts away," is how track announcer Jim Beviglia saw the finish of the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday, as Bee A Magician, driven by
Bee A Magician took the lead from Frau Blucher (
Bee A Magician is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman. She has now earned $1,359,184 this year and $2,125,836 lifetime. She has 25 victories in 28 career starts.
Captaintreacherous won for the sixth consecutive time, holding off Sunshine Beach in the stretch to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers by a neck in 1:49.2 over a sloppy track. Lucan Hanover finished third.
Captaintreacherous is a nose from being undefeated this season. His other wins include the $980,000 North America Cup, $635,750 Meadowlands Pace, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial, $360,211 Cane Pace and a $215,500 division of the Tattersalls Pace. Sunshine Beach handed a first-over Captaintreacherous his only loss by a nose in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine in a world-record-equaling 1:47.4 mile. Captaintreacherous has won 12 of 13 races this year, with earnings of $1,874,273.
I Luv The Nitelife made it 12 consecutive wins with a powerful pocket-trip win in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old filly pacers in 1:50. Authorize was second with Aunt Caroline third.
Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will 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). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders following the past weekend:
Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 322.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 302.75; 3. Brittany Farms - 235.1; 4. Frank Bellino - 228.5; and 5. WJ Donovan - 217.75.
Looking ahead: A busy weekend of Grand Circuit action will take place at Vernon Downs, Yonkers Raceway, Hoosier Park and Balmoral Park as the calendar turns to November. Vernon will host the John Simpson Staakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, Yonkers will have the Messenger and Lady Maud finals for 3-year-old pacers; Hoosier Park will contest the Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers, the Carl Erskine (formerly the Oliver Trot) for 3-year-old trotters, the Monument Circle for 3-year-old pacers, the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby (formerly the Indiana Pacing Derby) for free for all pacers, and divisions of the Circle City for 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters. Balmoral Park will race American-National eliminations for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers.