Day At The Track

Zweig Memorials head Grand Circuit week

12:26 AM 20 Aug 2020 NZST
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Harness Racing This Week: Zweig Memorials, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; North America Cup and Fan Hanover eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont., and Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (Aug. 21) as Vernon Downs will host the $330,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters and the $160,140 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters.

On Saturday (Aug. 22), Woodbine Mohawk Park will host a pair of C$50,000 eliminations in the North America Cup for 3-year-old open pacers and a pair of C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers.

Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers.

Complete entries for the Vernon races are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian races are available at this link.

Last time: Last year's Indiana Sire Stakes champion, Odds On Osiris, left the Hoosier State for the first time to compete, and made it count by winning the $250,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at MGM Northfield Park on Saturday night (Aug. 15).

Odds On Osiris won the $250,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at MGM Northfield Park. JJ Zamaiko photo.

Odds On Osiris left from post two to take the initial lead before relinquishing the top to Ocean Rock (Dan Noble).

"My plan was to try and hold position around the one (Catch The Fire), but he didn't get out that strong," explained driver Peter Wrenn. "Then I had the lead and controlled the decision from there."

Odds On Osiris was content receiving the garden trip through fractions of :26, :55 and 1:22.1. Wrenn pulled Odds On Osiris in the final turn and he battled Ocean Rock to the wire, eventually besting him by a quarter-length in 1:50.1. The clocking represents a new lifetime mark for Odds On Osiris.

Odds On Osiris (Rockin Image-Antigua Hanover) is owned by Odds On Racing. Saturday's victory was the ninth career score for Odds On Osiris. The win brings the Melanie Wrenn trainee's lifetime earnings to $500,395.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following this past weekend:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 327; 2. Tim Tetrick - 244; 3. Andrew McCarthy - 237; 4. Dexter Dunn - 229; 5. Brian Sears - 219.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 316; 2. Nancy Takter - 250; 3. Marcus Melander - 203; 4. Tony Alagna - 192; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 164.

Owners: 1. S R F Stable - 82.5; 2. Brad Grant - 82.4; 3, Courant Inc. - 67; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 66.3; 5. Crawford Farms Racing - 59.7.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the North America Cup final for 3-year-old open pacers, the Fan Hanover final for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Roses Are Red for open pacing mares and the Armbro Flight for older trotting mares leading a busy week of stakes action. Mohawk will host a total of 10 stakes over three days.

bu Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

 

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