Day At The Track

Trio of tracks to host Grand Circuit

02:02 AM 02 May 2019 NZST
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The Grand Circuit, Harness Racing
The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Lady Suffolk and Dexter Cup, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.; Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Pace first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Chip Noble Memorial and Miami Valley Distaff, Miami Valley Raceway, Lebanon, Ohio.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features the $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters and the $75,000 (est.) Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Saturday (May 4).

Meadowlands Racetrack offers the $175,200 Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters and two $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers, also on Saturday.

Miami Valley Raceway will feature the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares on Monday (May 6).

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: Robert Key's Whirl Winds K took advantage of a pocket trip to nip Cavill Hanover by a nose in 1:59.3 in the $39,650 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday (April 27) at Freehold Raceway.

The Dexter Cup is the season's first stakes race on the road to the Hambletonian, which is harness racing's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. A total of nine horses entered the Dexter Cup, and one horse - Osterc - received a bye based on career earnings and advanced directly to the May 4 final at Freehold. Whirl Winds K was among the eight horses that competed Saturday for the remaining seven spots in the Dexter Cup final.

Trained by Rich Gillock and driven by George Brennan, the son of Donato Hanover-Pacific Winds K sat second behind Cavill Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) as that one cut fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30. HL Revadon (Dexter Dunn) came first-over past the half to challenge the leader, before slipping to fourth at the finish line.

Whirl Winds K was 1-1/2 back at the top of the stretch, then got up in the final strides for the nose triumph over favored Cavill Hanover. Skyway Kon Man (Trond Smedshammer) was third.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following this past weekend.

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 158; 2. George Brennan - 100; 3. Jason Bartlett - 87; 4. Daniel Dube - 77; 5. Scott Zeron - 75.

Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 122; 2. Rene Allard - 77; 3. Ron Burke - 53; 4. Richard Banca - 51; 5. Ross Croghan - 43.

Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables - 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products - 37.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing next week will feature W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests at Yonkers Raceway for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.

Paul Ramlow

 

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