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This Week: Dan Patch Invitational, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Carl Milstein Memorial, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Fox Stake, the Ralph Wilfong, the Horseman Stakes and the Hoosier Stakes, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Ind.; Crawford Farm Trot, Joie De Vie and Tompkins-Geers Stakes, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Gold Cup and Saucer trials, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off this Wednesday (Aug. 7) as The Indiana State Fair will host one day of Grand Circuit racing with the feature being the $55,150 Fox Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers. The co-featured event is the $33,383 Ralph Wilfong for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Hoosier Stakes for 2-year-olds will see two divisions each in the $24,646 2-year-old filly trot and the $24,150 2-year-old filly pace. Single divisions will be contested in the $21,742 2-year-old colt trot and the $20,862 2-year-old colt pace. The Horseman Stakes for 3-year-olds features single divisions in the $36,345 3-year-old colt trot, the $32,550 3-year-old colt pace, the $29,343 3-year-old filly trot, and the $29,068 3-year-old filly pace. Friday night (Aug. 9) at Hoosier Park will feature the $330,000 Dan Patch Invitational for older pacing horses. Also on Friday, Tioga Downs will host four sets of Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be two divisions each in the $83,100 2-year-old filly trot and the $58,700 2-year-old colt pace, with single divisions in the $64,900 2-year-old filly pace and the $54,000 2-year-old colt trot. On Saturday (Aug. 10), Northfield Park will host the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers. Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host one of two trials for the Gold Cup and Saucer for older pacers. The second trial will be held on Monday (Aug. 12). The week's action will continue on Sunday (Aug. 11) at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.) Crawford Farms Trot for older open trotters and the $175,000 (est.) Joie De Vie for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Entries for the Red Shores Racetrack & Casino races are available at this link. Last time: Hambletonian Day was to be a day to unfurl Swedish flags at The Meadowlands. Why not? Rising star Marcus Melander started the day with a powerhouse four-horse contingent locked and loaded, taking dead aim at the 3-year-old trotting classic. Forbidden Trade rendered a 15-1 upset in the 94th Hambletonian. USTA/Mark Hall photo. But when the dust settled, it was our friendly neighbors to the north celebrating, as Forbidden Trade pulled a 15-1 upset. Canada's champion 2-year-old showed the heart of a warrior to hold off 3-10 favorite Greenshoe by neck in a dramatic fight to the finish in the $1 million final on Saturday (Aug. 3). And it was the first Hambletonian victory for the Canadian trio of owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable, trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure. Coming in, McClure said "the sky was the limit" for his colt. Forbidden Trade backed up that confidence with the race of his life. Forbidden Trade, third in his Hambletonian elimination, was always in contention throughout the mile. McClure and his colt tracked Green Manalishi S, an elimination winner and a member of the Melander brigade, into the stretch. Forbidden Trade took charge, but danger was looming with Greenshoe uncorking a menacing rally. For an instant, it appeared Greenshoe would blow on by. McClure admitted he was headed, but Forbidden Trade was not done. After all, this was the day of the Maple Leaf. "It was two incredible colts fighting it out," McClure said. "I don't think there was a loser in that, but we're really happy to get out on top." It's also been a remarkable comeback for McClure, 28, who suffered a broken pelvis in a qualifier accident in April. He was back in action by May 23, using a hyperbaric chamber to hasten the recovery. "I was really lucky to have a good physical trainer," McClure said. "I probably rushed it back a little faster than I should have. I'm sure most drivers in this business have done this a time or two." Melander didn't get the victory, but his trio of qualifiers for the final raced well. Gimpanzee rallied from far back to get third and Green Manalishi S held on for the fifth and final purse check. Greenshoe never looked comfortable behind the starting gate for the final as driver Brian Sears held him together to prevent a break. That put him further back than expected, a loss of ground that proved costly. The time was 1:51 on a warm sunny afternoon as the threatened showers never materialized to spoil the day. Forbidden Trade paid $33.80 to win. It was the 12th win in 19 career starts for the son of Kadabra-Pure Ivory. He was a $110,000 purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg. 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 - 701; 2. Yannick Gingras - 526; 3. David Miller - 379; 4. Dexter Dunn - 339; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 309. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 613; 2. Tony Alagna - 282; 3. Jim King Jr. - 274; 4. Marcus Melander - 249; 5. Jim Campbell - 206. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 182; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 114.6; 3. Courant Inc. - 107.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.6; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino and Hippodrome 3R. Vernon will host the Zweig Memorial races for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Tioga Downs will feature the Roll With Joefor open pacers, Artiscape for older pacing mares, and a leg of the Miss Versatilty for trotting mares. Red Shores Racetrack & Casino has the Gold Cup and Saucer final; and Hippodrome 3R will contest the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Indianapolis, IN - There will be no shortage of Hoosier Horsepower at the 2019 Indiana State Fair when it opens on Friday, August 2 in Indianapolis. For the second year, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) and the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development Program (ISBDP) will be a big part of the summer spectacular with live races and a live exhibit. The historic, and newly renovated, Indiana State Fair Speed Barns will be on display as the IHRC hosts tours throughout the 17 day fair. Indiana-sired (retired) harness racehorses will be on hand for fairgoers to meet and learn about not only life on the racetrack but also after the track. Educational posters adorn the barn to introduce harness racing to attendees, as well as educate how horse racing is good for Indiana. The kids (and kids at heart) are invited to be in the driver's seat, with an almost life-size photo booth featuring two-time Breeders Crown Champion and 2017 Horse of the Year, Hannelore Hanover, as the star attraction. New for this year, fairgoers will be able to watch some of the 2019 Indiana Sired Fair Circuit races, as well as promotional videos produced by the IHRC and Emmis Communications inside the barn. Indiana horseman Nat Hill donated his Charles S. Caffrey High Wheeled "Spider" Sulky, manufactured between 1858 and 1890 by the Charles S. Caffrey Company in Camden, New Jersey. The antique sulky features a wooden frame, large wooden wheels and greased axles, and was used until 1900 on the racetrack. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and invite fairgoers to attend races in Indiana not only at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Anderson for harness racing, but also Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville for Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing. "We had such positive feedback from fairgoers last year when we opened up the Speed Barns for the first time in many years, so we're excited to offer this exhibit again," says Megan Arszman, Communications Coordinator for the IHRC. "For some, it was their first time ever seeing a horse in person, let alone being able to pet one or see them racing on the track. We shared many special moments with our fellow Hoosiers last year." During the Indiana State Fair, racing will return to the dirt one-mile track one last time before renovation begins. The Indiana Sired Fair Circuit crowns its 2019 State Fair Champions on Tuesday, August 6. The top eight horses will compete in the championship races starting at 6 pm, while the consolation races will be run earlier in the day, with first post at 11 am. The Grand Circuit is set to kick off its Indiana tour on Wednesday, August 7, featuring the Fox Stake and Ralph Wilfong Memorial, among other races for two and three year old trotters and pacers. The IHRC will host Pick-A-Winner contests throughout the two race days at the Indiana State Fair Hoosier Lottery Grandstand, thanks to generous donations from the Indiana Standardbred Association and Harrah's Hoosier Park. Local radio station 1070 The Fan will broadcast live with former Indianapolis Colts player "Big Joe" Staysniak during the races on August 6 as part of their partnership with the ESPN radio station. "The support from Emmis Communications, Big Joe and 1070 The Fan has been great," comments Joyse Banister, Standardbred Breed Development Coordinator for the IHRC. "We've brought harness racing to so many people who didn't know we raced at their local county fairs in the past two years." The Indiana-Sired Fair Circuit is a series of hosted races at Indiana's county and State Fairs that showcases Indiana sired and bred Standardbred horses. In order to be eligible to compete in these races, horses must be foaled in Indiana and sired by a stallion that stands in the state of Indiana. Races are held for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters, for horses that are nominated by their owners each year they race. For more information on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit or the Indiana State Fair, reach out to the IHRC at 317-233-3119 or by emailing Standardbred@hrc.in.gov. by Megan Arszman, for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission

This Week: Dan Patch Invitational, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Carl Milstein Memorial, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Fox Stake, the Ralph Wilfong, the Horseman Stakes and the Hoosier Stakes, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Ind.; Crawford Farm Trot, Joie De Vie and Tompkins-Geers Stakes, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Gold Cup and Saucer trials, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off this Wednesday (Aug. 8) as the Indiana State Fair will host one day of Grand Circuit racing with the feature being the $44,868 Fox Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers. The co-featured event is the $28,032 Ralph Wilfong for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Hoosier Stakes for 2-year-olds will see two divisions each in the $23,492 2-year-old filly pace, the $22,908 2-year-old colt pace, the $21,698 2-year-old colt trot and the $21,126 2-year-old filly trot. The Horseman Stakes for 3-year-olds features two divisions in the $31,704 3-year-old filly pace and single divisions in the $37,333 3-year-old colt trot, the $35,574 3-year-old filly trot, and the $28,120 3-year-old colt pace. Friday night (Aug. 10) at Hoosier Park will feature the $325,000 Dan Patch for older pacing horses. Also on Friday, Tioga Downs will host four sets of Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be two divisions each in the $59,500 2-year-old filly pace, $58,000 2-year-old filly trot, $57,800 2-year-old colt trot and $50,400 2-year-old colt pace. On Saturday (Aug. 11), Northfield Park will host the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers. Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host one of two trials for the Gold Cup and Saucer for older pacers. The second trial will be held on Monday (Aug. 13). The week's action will continue on Sunday (Aug. 12) at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.) Crawford Farm Trot for older open trotters and the $175,000 (est.) Joie De Vie for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Entries for the Red Shores Racetrack & Casino races are available at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack closed out their Championship Meet this past Saturday with several lucrative Grand Circuit races led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Rick Zeron, an admitted crier, had reason to well up Saturday after the 93rd Hambletonian. Not only had the veteran horseman won the trotting classic in his first try, but his son Scott was in the sulky to make it a family affair, and the high point of a 43-year-old career. Atlanta won the Hambletonian final in a time of 1:50.4 for driver Scott Zeron. And he got the job done with a filly, the very determined Atlanta. "This is a dream come true," said Rick Zeron. "That's my specialty, trotters. I live and breathe to train a trotter, especially a filly. It's more satisfying for me to train a filly to get where I am today, to win what I did today, than with a colt. It's a bigger challenge." Atlanta won the $1 million Hambletonian final on Saturday, becoming the 14th filly to capture the famed trotting race for 3-year-olds. It was an emotional victory for the father-son team from Oakville, Ontario. The filly won the Hambletonian the hard way, setting the pace and holding on gamely in the lane. Scott Zeron employed those tactics earlier in the day in the first of two eliminations, and got Atlanta beat after setting a wicked pace. Remarkably, Atlanta regrouped quickly after the punishing mile. "I spoke to my assistant trainer Ernie Henry who has looked after her since she was 18 months old," said Rick Zeron. "He said it took her about seven to 10 minutes longer than usual to get her wind back. After that, she was absolutely perfect. He said we were good to go." That was an understatement. In the final, Atlanta was again on the lead. This time, Zeron did a better job of rationing her speed. Atlanta responded by kicking away from challenger Tactical Landing at the top of the stretch to open a three length advantage. She trotted strongly to the wire, winning by one length over 29-1 shot Met's Hall. "I've said it to a few people close to me," said Scott Zeron. "She's the best horse I ever drove. Everything is so fluid and effortless. The mile (in the elimination) just got away from me. I was mad at myself. That's not how I wanted to head into the final. If she was a champion, she would bounce back and she did." The time was 1:50.4 for the mile. It was the second Hambletonian victory for Scott Zeron. He was at the lines when Marion Marauder won in 2016. The win in the final was worth $500,000 for the ownership team of Rick Zeron, Crawford Farms, Holland Racing, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 648.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 624; 3. David Miller - 294.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 270; 5. Jordan Stratton - 268. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 625.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 444; 3. Tony Alagna - 246; 4. Jim Campbell - 196; 5. Jim King Jr. - 191. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 136.1; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 131.1; 3. Fashion Farms - 129; 4. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 5. Bill Donovan - 93.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino and Hippodrome 3R. Vernon will kick off the week as host of the Zweig Memorial races for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Tioga Downs will feature the Roll With Joe for open pacers, Artiscape for older pacing mares, and a leg of the Miss Versatilty for trotting mares. Red Shores Racetrack & Casino has the Gold Cup and Saucer final and Hippodrome 3R will contest the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

The $15,000 Fox Valley Memory stake for ICF fillies and mares makes a belated return on the last night of the year at Balmoral Park Wednesday with seven pacers looking to pad their bankrolls before they turn one year older the next day. All seven raced on the weekend either 3 or 4 nights ago. Wednesday’s early fifth race favoritism is divided between State Street Liz (programmed 5-2, Bobby Smolin, Just By Design (3-1, Dave Magee) and Ryleigh’s Lilly (4-1, Casey Leonard), all December winners in top-level conditioned paces on the big track in Crete, Illinois.   Grandma Ann Super night champ Party Hangover (Todd Warren) is at 5-1. Both Fox Valley Amanda (John De Long) and Feel Like Dancing (Kyle Wilfong) open at 6-1, with Kimberly R (Mike Oosting) the only double digit odds (12-1) mare in the program. The last time these same Illinois bred mares met was in the $13.250 splits of the Sue Fee stake back on November 22. Ryleigh’s Lilly posted an almost two length victory in 1:53 over State Street Liz in one division while Dallas Jones, who came up sick last Saturday and was scratched, took the other division on a rain-soaked track. A winner in the “Winner’s Over” two weeks ago, Ryleigh’s Filly was a disappointing seventh in last week’s event with Casey. “She’s wasn’t herself last week,” said Leonard. “The mare prefers a hard, fast track and we haven’t had that kind of racing surface at Balmoral for a while. She does fit against Wednesday’s field if she comes up with one of her better efforts.” Starting from the two post against mares like State Street Liz, Just By Design and Party Hangover who all do their best racing up-close, could put Casey in a tough spot of either being first-over with Ryleigh’s Lilly or staying inside and maybe risk getting shuffled to the back of the pack. “We’ve just have to see how the race unfolds,” said Casey. Ryleigh’s Lilly is seeking her eighth win of 2014 in her final start of the year for trainer Bill Crone and owner John Bernard of Orland Park, Illinois. Both Chris Choros’ State Street Liz (pp 7) and Ken Rucker’s Party Hangover (pp 4) have chalked up nine season wins. The soon to be four-year-old Fox Valley Amanda (pp 5) boasts the highest season bankroll among the eight ICF fillies with $116,196 in earnings for the Joel Smith Stable with a big hunk of that amount ($44,500) coming from her victory in the $89,000 Maywood Filly Pace in mid-June. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

The $15,000 Fox Valley Memory stake for ICF fillies and mares, originally slated for last night, has been rescheduled by the Balmoral Park Race Office. The new date is Wednesday, December 31. The Fox Valley Memory got pushed back when the June 21 Sue Fee stake was washed out by a strong storm and was moved to last night's November 22.  It turned out to be a good spot for the stake because 15 horses were entered and it was split into a pair of $13,250 divisions. The December 31 date for the rescheduled Fox Valley Memory does make a lot of sense. That late date will keep the older Illinois bred mares whose owners want a shot at a nice $15,000 pot racing for the next month instead of turning them out for the winter. So, I don’t see any problem with the Fox Valley Memory filling at the end of the year.. The Race Office also wrote back the $10,000 Cole Muffler for this upcoming Friday after only a pair of 3-year-old ICF colts entered last week. The stake has a $100 starting fee but with a five-horse field would see the fifth place finisher get a $500 check so maybe there will be few more additional entries for it, enabling the Race Office to put it on the Friday Maywood card. Fee Splits Decided: In the first division of the Sue Fee for ICF fillies and mares, driver Tim Curtin gave the 9-2 longshot Dallas Jones ($11.20) a second over trip and the 4-year-old mare came thundering down the lane to capture the first $13,250 division in 1:54.1 on a rain-soaked sloppy track. Curtin ducked the Joel Smith trainee into sixth in the early going that saw Just By Design take the eight-horse field to a 27.2 first quarter. Auniqueaquisition took over command near the half mile pole, reached in 56 flat, with the first-over Molly Go Lightly providing live cover for Dallas Jones who ended up two-plus lengths ahead of runner-up Just By Design. The win was sixth of the season for Dallas Jones and her owners Paula Smith of Valparaiso, Indiana and Illinoisans James Runyan (Lake Villa) and Frank Pike of Burbank. Patiently handled by Mike Oosting, the 8-5 co-favorite Ryleigh’s Lilly ($5.20) exploded in the lane and went on to an easy victory on the second Sue Fee split. Party Hangover sprinted out in a hurry and had the lead in the first turn and hit the first quarter pole in 27.4. Driver Todd Warren then put on the breaks and Casey Leonard took Financial Effort from the back of the pack and up to challenge the leader at the 56.2 half-mile marker. Oosting tipped Ryleigh’s Filly three deep in the last turn and the 4-year-old mare exploded at the three-quarter mile pole (1:24) leaving no doubt about the outcome of the race for trainer Bill Crone and his owner John Bernard of Orland Park, Illinois. State Street Liz was second best at the end of the 1:53 mile, beaten almost two lengths. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Indianapolis, IN --- Harfo Hanover brushed to the lead at the three-quarter pole and was never caught on his way to a 1:54.3 score in the $55,462 Fox Stake for harness racing 2-year-old open pacers on Wednesday (Aug. 13) at the Indiana State Fair. The Always A Virgin-Harlow Hall colt is owned by Randy Bendis, William Varney and Reed Broadway. Jeff Cullipher is the trainer and Tyler Smith was in the sulky. Harfo Hanover sat third for the opening half-mile of the race while Allstar Energy was in front at the :30.2 opening quarter and This Baby Rocks took over the lead at the :59.3 half-mile marker. But Smith pulled Harfo Hanover out to take over the lead by the 1:27.1 three-quarter pole and he paced a final panel in :27.2 in drawing off to a 3-1/4 length margin over This Baby Rocks. Cantescapemydesire rallied to be third. The win was the third in seven season's starts for Harfo Hanover, who has now banked $93,981 in his freshman campaign. Also on the all-stakes card was the $36,080 Ralph Wilfong Memorial Trot for freshman open trotters. In that event, William De Long and William Patrick De Long's Stickem Buck came first over at the three-quarter pole, grabbed the lead by the head of the stretch and went on to a 1:59.1 victory for driver Ed Hensley and trainer Roger Welch. The Big Stick Lindy-Aunt Lane gelding won for the third time in five lifetime starts, improving his 2014 bankroll to $70,540. Mance Hanover was second, 3-1/2 lengths behind the winner, while Cool Judgement finished third. Also on the card were eight divisions of the Hoosier Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and four divisions of the Horseman Stake for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Complete charts for all these races can be found at this link. USTA Communications Department Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom

Fridaynightflight rallied from off the pace to win the $53,372 Fox Stake for 2-year-old open pacersin 1:52.4 on Thursday (August 18) at Indiana Downs. Peter Wrenn was in the sulky for trainer Roger Welch as the Panspacificflight-Ramblin Rosie gelding posted his second win in just five harness racing starts, improving his earnings to $54,282.

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