Day At The Track

Grand Circuit schedule - Mohawk Stakes

03:53 AM 18 Jun 2015 NZST
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Grand Circuit
Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and The Graduate Series third leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 20) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$479,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$350,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters and the C$233,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters.

Friday night (June 19) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers. Two-time Dan Patch Award winner Father Patrick leads a full field of 10 in the trot, while 12 horses will race in the pace, slated for the added distance of 1-1/8 miles.

Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link.

Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $175,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park. Harness racing's longest shining star, Foiled Again, became the first three-time champion of the Battle of Lake Erie when he crossed the wire a winner on Friday (June 12). Approaching the start the 11-year-old was already the richest Standardbred of all-time and became the first horse to earn in excess of $7 million with his triumph.

Foiled Again (Dragon Again-In A Safe Place) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Matt Kakaley to drive.

Foiled Again started from post five and sat fourth through the :26 opening quarter. Kakaley pulled Foiled Again in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :53.4 and 1:21.3. Foiled Again took advantage of his chance when Luck Be Withyou, who had led throughout, went offstride entering the final turn. Foiled Again inherited the lead and fought off his competition in the stretch to win by a neck over stablemate Clear Vision, stopping the timer at 1:50.3. The win pushes Foiled Again's earnings to $7,012,531.

Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Wiggle It Jiggleit, In The Arsenal and Wakizashi Hanover all turned in victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final.

The first Cup elimination saw the undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit, as expected, prevail with yet another dominant performance. Sent postward the overwhelming public choice in the field of eight, the son of Mr Wiggles kept his unblemished record intact, now a perfect 11-for-11, 10 starts of which have come this year already in a very busy campaign.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, with driver Montrell Teague, the son of the horse's owner George Teague Jr., busted out from the start, getting the first quarter in :26.2, then slowing to a crawl while still in front, reaching the half in a pedestrian :56.3. From there, it was all over, as the pacesetter turned back a brief challenge from Arque Hanover, getting to three-quarters in 1:23.3, before coasting home by six lengths in 1:49.2. Arque Hanover hung on for second, with Yankee Bounty third and Hurrikane Ali, who had chased the leader early, dropping to fourth.

Following the impressive first elim win by Wiggle It Jiggleit, it was heavily-favored In The Arsenal's turn to show his firepower. And he did, but just barely.

With Brian Sears at the controls, In The Arsenal tracked from fourth for most of the mile, as Go Daddy Go took the field through a quarter in :26.3, the half in 54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. The son of American Ideal had powered up to challenge the leader off the far turn, struck the front in early stretch, then had enough left to hold off a raft of pursuers, including Penji Hanover, who finished second, a half-length behind, with Good Friday Three third and Revenge Shark fourth, in 1:49.4.

With the win, In The Arsenal remained unbeaten in four starts this year, including the rich Rooney final at Yonkers. He has taken 10 of 15 overall for trainer Kelvin Harrison.

Wakizashi Hanover and driver Tim Tetrick pulled off an upset in the third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination, roaring from well back and rolling to a 1-3/4 length win over the 1-5 choice Artspeak. A winner in three of his four outings this year prior to the elimination, the son of Dragon Again got the job done in a career best 1:49.2.

Trained by Joann Looney King, Wakizashi Hanover was sixth and widest turning for home before turning on the jets and powering past the leaders. While no match for the winner, Artspeak, last year's 2-year-old pacing colt champion in both Canada and the United States, came on for second, as pacesetter Betting Exchange hung on for third. Split The House wound up fourth.

Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past weekend:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 203; 2. Brian Sears - 188; 3. Tim Tetrick - 165; 4. Daniel Dube - 157; 5. David Miller - 135.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 321; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 188; 3. Rene Allard - 135; 4. Jimmy Takter - 130; 5. Nifty Norman - 70.

Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 165.5; 2. Burke Racing - 85.25; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 77.05; 4. Allard Racing - 43.3; 5. Jeff Snyder - 40.

Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 26), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 27).

Paul Ramlow

Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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