This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio. Schedule of harness racing events: Grand Circuit action begins on Wednesday (Sept. 19) with the $296,050 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $102,000 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters, and a single division in the $53,150 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters.
The big Thursday (Sept. 20) racing program is headed up by the $487,550 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Thursday's Grand Circuit action also includes the $125,800 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old trotting colts, two divisions in the $63,750 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $59,150 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $53,750 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers.
Last time: Sylvain Filion was the driving star earlier this month when the Grand Circuit concluded its stay at Mohawk Racetrack. Filion made three visits to the winner's circle in the 10 Grand Circuit stakes events.
Filion captured the $257,571 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers behind Panther Hanover and took both divisions of the Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters, scoring with Wheeling N Dealin in a $142,323 division and Toocool Forschool in a $140,304 split.
In the Simcoe, Michael's Power (Scott Zeron), the 6-5 favorite, gunned his way to the front to lead his 11 rivals through panels of :25.4, :53.2 and 1:21.4, before Filion angled Panther Hanover out of the pocket and overtook A Rocknroll Dance (Yannick Gingras) in deep stretch to score the 1:49.1 victory. A Rocknroll Dance stayed for second, over Michael's Power.
Wheeling N Dealin remained undefeated after lowering the stakes record in his Champlain Stakes division. The Dustin Jones-trained Wheeling N Dealin scored in 1:55, which was also one-fifth of a second shy of the track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. The son of-Quick Credit has a perfect five-for-five record in his debut season, which includes a sweep of the Bridger Trotting Series at Mohawk.
Filion returned to victory lane in the second Champlain dash when the Glenn Lalonde-trained Toocool Forschool pulled off a 10-1 upset. The son of-Stonebridge Lane lifted his earnings to $81,892 for owners Roland Rocco and Benoit Gendron.
Grand Circuit Driving Standings: David Miller continues to lead in the Grand Circuit driving standings with 14 winners. Tim Tetrick is in second place with 11 victories. Yannick Gingras and Dave Palone share third place, each with eight winners. Ron Pierce and Jimmy Takter are tied for fifth place, each with seven victories. Matt Kakaley, Jim Morrill, Jr. and Ray Schnittker are tied for seventh place, each with five wins. Tony Hall and Andy Miller round out the top ten, as each have four victories in 2012.
Looking ahead: The Grand Circuit begins its two-week stay at Lexington's Red Mile on Thursday (Sept. 27). The opening week features Bluegrass Stakes events for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.
The remaining 2012 schedule for the Grand Circuit is as follows.
Delaware, Ohio County Fair--September 16-September 20
The Red Mile--September 27-October 7
Breeders Crown at Woodbine--October 19-October 27
Balmoral Park--November 3-November 10
Maywood Park--November 16
by Paul Ramlow, Grand Circuit Publicity Director