Day At The Track

Trio of tracks to host Grand Circuit

02:48 AM 04 Jul 2019 NZST
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The Grand Circuit
The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y.; Graduate Series finals, Meadowlands Pace eliminations, W. N. Reynolds Memorial, and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Lawrence B. Sheppard eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.

Schedule of events: This week's Grand Circuit action opens on Friday (July 5) as Historic Track hosts six Landmark Stakes events. Races will be contested for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, as well as for 2-year-old trotters and 2-year-old filly pacers.

Grand Circuit races will be contested this Friday and Saturday (July 6) at the Meadowlands.

On Friday the Meadowlands will host two $10,000 divisions in the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt pacers and three $10,000 divisions in the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly pacers.

The stakes heavy Saturday card features the $250,000 Graduate Series finals for 4-year-old pacers and trotters; a pair of $50,000 Meadowlands Pace elimination for 3-year-olds; and three divisions in the $96,999 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters.

Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway has carded three $25,000 eliminations in the Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old male pacers.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: This past weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Sun Stakes Saturday (June 29) program at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Marseille won the Beal by a head over Greenshoe. (Curtis Salonick photo).

Ake Svanstedt expected his colt Marseille to follow heavy favorite Greenshoe in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, but his plan never came to fruition. Instead, Marseille led from start to finish in the event for 3-year-old trotters to spring a 55-1 upset.

Marseille won the Beal by a head over Greenshoe, the 1-9 favorite whose furious rally in the final sixteenth of a mile came up a stride short, in a time of 1:52.3 over a track labeled "good" to spark a $116 payout on a $2 win ticket. Green Manalishi S finished third.

Marseille, a son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish, has won two of four races this season and two of eight in his career. He has earned $317,758 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor.

Shake That House and driver Brian Sears found a good spot early and an even better spot at the end of Saturday's $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers.

Benefiting from a pocket trip behind pacesetting Captain Victorious, Shake That House moved off the pylons heading into the stretch and marched to a two length win over Brassy Hanover in 1:49.2. Captain Victorious finished third.

Shake That House, a son of American Ideal-Shake That Junk, has won five of six races this year and eight of 14 in his career. He pushed his lifetime earnings to $410,903 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Alan Johnston, and Northfork Racing Stable. The colt paid $19.40 to win.

The pocket rocket This Is The Plan prevailed on Sun Stakes Saturday night. He ducked inside pacesetting favorite Western Fame, went to the lead, then held off defending Ben Franklin champion McWicked to take this year's $500,000 Franklin final in 1:48.2, with the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding setting a new mark.

Ron Burke conditions the winner of $917,915 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Lawrence Karr.

The Somebeachsomewhere filly Stonebridge Soul sat behind a wicked backstretch duel between pacesetting second choice Treacherous Reign and favored first-over Warrawee Ubeaut, then used the Pocono Pike to earn a three-quarter length victory in 1:49.3 in the $300,000 James Lynch final for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Stonebridge Soul has six wins and six seconds in 16 career starts, with earnings of $347,266. Chris Ryder trains the improving filly for owners Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo.

Complete recaps of all 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 - 364; 2. Yannick Gingras - 229; 3. Jason Bartlett - 181; 4. David Miller - 145; 5. Dexter Dunn - 141.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 286; 2. Jim King Jr. - 189; 3. Tony Alagna - 130; 4. Chris Ryder - 98; 5. Rene Allard - 97.

Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 68.6; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 65.1; 3. Brad Grant - 57.6; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 55.4; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 55.4.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway. The July 12 Meadowlands program will feature the opening leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters, while the massive July 13 Meadowlands card will offer the Meadowlands Pace final, the William Haughton Memorial, the Hambletonian Maturity, the Stanley Dancer Trot, the Del Miller Memorial, the Mistletoe Shalee, the Golden Girls and a leg of the Miss Versatility. Yonkers will host the Lawrence B. Sheppard final for 2-year-old pacing colts, also on July 13.

by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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