Day At The Track

Little Brown Jug highlights busy Grand Circuit week

01:12 AM 17 Sep 2014 NZST
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McWicked, harness racing He's Watching, harness racing
McWicked and driver David Miller
Scott Cantor Photo
He's Watching and driver Tim Tetrick
Fred J. Brown photo

This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; American-National, Balmoral Park, Crete. Ill; Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Milton Stake final, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Centaur Trot, Kentuckiana Stallion Management and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Prix D'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Wednesday (Sept. 17) at Delaware with the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $89,475 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $64,646 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 18) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day are the $121,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $59,445 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters, the $58,045 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $51,000 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers.

Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Wednesday with the $73,000 American-National for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $57,200 American-National for 2-year-old filly trotters.

The Thursday card at The Red Mile will feature four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters.

Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 20) with the C$286,000 Milton Stake final for older pacing mares.

Hoosier Park on Saturday will host the $250,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $225,000 (est.) Centaur for Open trotters, the $200,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly trotters and the $150,000 (est.) Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers.

Rounding out the busy week of Grand Circuit racing, on Sunday (Sept. 21) Hippodrome 3R will offer the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete for 4-year-old pacers, plus a C$50,000 Prix D'Ete consolation.

Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian races are available at this link.

Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four stakes, led by the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic for sophomore male trotters. Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular 1-3/4 length victory in a time of 1:52.4.

Father Patrick captured the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic in a time of 1:52.4.

Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for 3-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1.

The two favorites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off-stride at the start to eliminate himself.

It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third.

The winner is owned by the Father Patrick Stable.

On Monday (Sept. 15), the venerable 10-year-old pacing superstar Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) prevailed in the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in 1:50.2.

Foiled Again held off Clear Vision to win the Quillen Memorial in 1:50.2.

Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, Foiled Again assumed command from his rail post position just past the quarter-mile in :26.3. He led the rich field of eight, whose combined lifetime bankroll is near $15 million, to the half-mile in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1.

Stablemate Clear Vision, who won the 2013 Quillen, received his marching orders from driver Brett Miller at the half-mile and battled first over but could not get closer than a half-length from Foiled Again at the wire. Bettor's Edge finished third.

Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history, boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $6.6 million. It was his sixth consecutive year in Harrington's marquee event. Clear Vision was making his fourth consecutive start. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke.

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 - 1,025; 2. Tim Tetrick - 583; 3. David Miller - 506.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 443.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 321.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,335.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 815; 3. Tony Alagna - 245: 4. Erv Miller - 244; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 222.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 291.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 263.75; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 187; 4. Robert Key - 185; 5. Bamond Racing - 167.5.

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, as well as eliminations in the Allerage for open pacers and trotters. Scioto Downs will also be hosting a Grand Circuit event, the $200,000 (est.) Jim Ewart Memorial for open pacers.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

 

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