Day At The Track

Trio of tracks to host Grand Circuit racing

12:47 AM 23 May 2019 NZST
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Six Pack,Harness racing
Six Pack and driver Ake Svanstedt won a division of the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands last Saturday night.
Lisa photo

This Week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at three harness racing locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 24) at The Meadows with the $99,430 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old open trotters.

On Saturday (May 25), Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $109,234 final of the Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies).

Harrah's Philadelphia will host three invitational events on Sunday (May 26), each with a purse of $100,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Commodore Barry for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older filly and mare pacers.

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

Last time: Saturday night (May 18) at the Meadowlands, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won both $50,000 divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on the trot with Six Pack and Muscle M Up.

In the first division, the look of the race changed with the scratch of 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta, but that appeared to suit Six Pack just fine. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was on the move from the start and moved to the lead while parked past the quarter in :27.2, putting 3-5 favorite Fiftydallarbill in the pocket.

A :30.3 sleepwalk of a second quarter followed as the top two betting choices raced 1-2 all the way to the wire. Fiftydallarbill rallied some in deep stretch but was no threat to Six Pack, who held on by a half-length in 1:53.1 in his 2019 debut.

As the 6-5 second choice, Six Pack returned $4.40 to his backers while winning for the 16th time from 24 career starts, good for earnings of $1,383,290. A year ago, his major wins included the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot.

While Six Pack has a monster resume, stablemate Muscle M Up does not, but that did not stop the son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Athena from taking the other Graduate division in a sizzling lifetime best of 1:51.2.

Svanstedt once again asked his horse for early speed and got it, racing on the lead at the quarter in :27.2 before yielding to 3-5 chalk Mission Accepted. Crystal Fashion raced first-over to go after the leader around the far turn with Muscle M Up waiting for some space to race.

He found it by swerving out to the four path for the stretch drive and once there was enough clearance to do so he cruised past the field to record a half-length win over Crystal Fashion. Mission Accepted was third.

The winner returned $17.60 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering and won for the seventh time in 14 lifetime starts. His earnings stand at $87,972.

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 - 188; 2. Jason Bartlett - 124; 3. Jordan Stratton - 107; 4. George Brennan - 100; 5. Daniel Dube - 94.

Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 144; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54.

Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 52.7; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 49.2; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.


Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at The Raceway at Western Fair District, The Meadows, and Woodbine Mohawk Park next weekend. Western Fair will host the Camluck Classic for invitational pacers; The Meadows will feature the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters; and Woodbine Mohawk Park will host the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters.


Paul Ramlow

Internet News Manager

U.S. Trotting Association

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