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Harness Racing This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial eliminations, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Schedule of events: The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will host four sets of stakes eliminations on Saturday (June 24). There will be three $35,000 eliminations in the Ben Franklin for older pacers; a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters and the Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers; and three $20,000 eliminations in the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $730,000 Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers at Mohawk Racetrack. Fear The Dragon, driven by David Miller, defeated the bettor's choice Huntsville by three-quarters of a length to capture the prestigious race in 1:48.4 on Saturday (June 17). Trained by Delaware, Ohio's Brian Brown, Fear The Dragon gave his conditioner his first Cup victory and his driver back-to-back Cup wins. Miller, who now has two trophies, won last year's edition with Betting Line. Stablemate Downbytheseaside, who is also trained by Brown, finished third. Sports Column and driver Chris Christoforou was quickest off the gate from post five and grabbed the front on the rail. Classic Pro and driver Trevor Henry was close on his heels from post six, making a rush for the lead from the outside. Classic Pro was able to take command at the quarter pole posting a flashy :25.2 opening panel. The speed revved up in the backstretch. Filibuster Hanover and driver Louis Philippe Roy came first-over from third to clear to the front but a stalking Downbytheseaside, driven by Brian Sears, caught second-over cover and was quick to steal the lead at the midway point. Downbytheseaside posted a scorching :52.1 half, the fastest half-mile in Mohawk history. The 4-5 favorite, Huntsville, driven by Tim Tetrick, was on the move first-up from fifth before the half. Fear The Dragon followed behind the advancing favorite. Downbytheseaside remained in command past the three-quarters in 1:19.3 and into the lane. All three Cup elimination winners -- Downbytheseaside on the rail, Huntsville in the middle and Fear The Dragon on the outside -- battled into the stretch. It then became a two-horse duel between Huntsville and Fear Of The Dragon, but it was the Brian Brown trainee who crossed the wire first, taking a new lifetime mark in the process. Huntsville was second and Downbytheseaside was third. "My horse was having a hard time keeping up," said Miller of the quick fractions. "He was gapping and I was chasing him and he didn't really get into contention until right at the head of the stretch and then he dug, he fought, Huntsville he kept fighting and it was a battle right to the wire." Fear The Dragon remains unbeaten as a 3-year-old with six victories from six outings. He notched his 11th lifetime victory in 17 starts. The son of Dragon Again and Armbro Cinnamon increased his career earnings to $684,094 for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on June 17. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 253; 2. David Miller - 169; 3. Jason Bartlett - 150; 4. Matt Kakaley - 138; 5. Jordan Stratton - 136. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 270; 2. Peter Tritton - 132; 3. Rene Allard - 119; 4. Richard Banca - 86; 5. Brian Brown - 75. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 103.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 61; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 52.2; 4. J&T Silva Stables - 48.9; 5. Determination - 42. Looking ahead: Next weekend Pocono will have the finals for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) as part of a busy weekend of Grand Circuit racing. Paul Ramlow  

Harness Racing This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Armbro Flight and Goodtimes finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 17) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$440,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$365,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$253,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters and the C$251,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: On an absolutely picturesque evening at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Crazy Wow and Chris Page assumed command upon their departure from the gate and did not experience a truly tense moment en route to a powerful 1:52 track record score in the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial in front of a standing-room only crowd on Saturday (June 10). Defending older trotting champion Obrigado (Mark MacDonald) was second, with Canadian invader Musical Rhythm (Peter Wrenn) third. Commencing his journey from post position eight did not seem to hamper Crazy Wow's need to display his speed. Conditioned by Ron Burke and owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms, the 5-year-old stallion, fresh off his first victory in nearly a year in the $150,000 Maxie Lee Invitational on May 28 at Harrah's Philadelphia, laid down a very swift first split of :26.2 with Obrigado in hot pursuit in the field of nine with the scratch of Homicide Hunter. In essence it was reduced to eight competitors after 2015 Dan Patch Award winner and world champion JL Cruze broke strode going into the first turn. As Crazy Wow and Page went past the half-mile marker in :55.1, Obrigado was hemmed in and slightly shuffled back to third as Hemi Seelster (Brett Holland) moved aggressively, intent on not allowing his top two rivals to stray too far. After Crazy Wow passed the three-quarter marker in 1:23.1, the rest of the field began their bids to overtake him in their quest for the wire. Both Centurion ATM (Aaron Merriman) and Musical Rhythm made their moves from sixth and fifth, respectively, as Hemi Seelster tired from his earlier efforts to drop back to fourth entering the top of the stretch. This transition of positions provided Obrigado, who was making his 2017 debut, with a desperately needed seam and he and MacDonald pulled to the outside in an attempt to chase down Crazy Wow. Their efforts, however, were in vain, as Crazy Wow appeared to lengthen his stride with each hoof he placed upon the Columbus oval and he maintained a comfortable 1-3/4 length advantage right to the wire. Musical Rhythm spurted up the rail after Obrigado vacated that area to finish third. Collecting his second consecutive triumph and propelling his 2017 record to 5-2-3-0, with his career resume now at 47-17-10-3, Crazy Wow has now earned more than $1.7 million. Sent off the as the second selection at 3-1, the stallion paid a generous $8.20 for his victory. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on June 10. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 211; 2. Jason Bartlett - 148; 3. Jordan Stratton - 136; 4. David Miller - 129; 5. Matt Kakaley - 128. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 238; 2. Peter Tritton - 132; 3. Rene Allard - 99; 4. Richard Banca - 86; 5. Noel Daley - 67. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 103.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 53; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 44.2; 4. J&T Silva Stables - 43.2; 5. Determination - 37. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 24). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Pepsi North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Graduate Series third leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week begins on Friday (June 9) at Mohawk Racetrack with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 10) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts, three C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday as the central Ohio oval features the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Tioga Downs will round out a busy Grand Circuit weekend on Sunday (June 11) with $75,000 (est.) third leg contests in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: All Bets Off won Saturday's (June 3) $200,000 Battle of Lake at Northfield Park, making him only the second horse to win both the Carl Milstein Memorial and the Battle of Lake Erie, which are two of the track's prestigious Grand Circuit events. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, is the only other horse to accomplish the same feat. All Bets Off (Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and The Panhellenic Stable. He is trained by Ron Burke. Matt Kakaley had the winning drive. As the gate pulled away from the stellar Battle field, Luck Be Withyou and Aaron Merriman rushed to the front, setting wicked fast fractions of :26, :52.4 and 1:20.3. All Bets Off started from post four and made a three-wide bid late in the third panel to make the front and best Luck Be Withyou and Rockin Ron by 2-1/4 lengths, stopping the clock at 1:49.2. The time represents a new track record for pacers that are 5-year-olds and up. The former 1:50.4 mark was set in 2002 by Western Millennium and Walter Case Jr. Saturday's win marks the 25th score for All Bets Off in 86 career races and increases his bankroll to $2,372,503. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on June 3. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 179; 2. Jason Bartlett - 148; 3. Jordan Stratton - 136; 4. Matt Kakaley - 121; 5. David Miller - 94. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 203; 2. Peter Tritton - 132; 3. Richard Banca - 86; 4. Rene Allard - 84; 5. Noel Daley - 67. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 103.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 49.2; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 40.4; 4. J&T Silva Stables - 34.4; 5. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at Mohawk next weekend as the track will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 17). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

All Bets Off won Saturday's $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park, making him only the second horse to win both a Carl Milstein Memorial and a Battle of Lake Erie, two of the track's prestigious harness racing Grand Circuit events. Wiggle It Jiggleit accomplished the same feat. All Bets Off (Bettor's Delight - Armbro Penelope - Dexter Nukes) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and Panhellenic Stable. He is trained by Ron Burke. Matt Kakaley had the winning drive. As the gate pulled away from the stellar Battle field, Luck Be Withyou and Aaron Merriman rushed to the front, setting wicked-fast fractions of :26, :52.4 and 1:20.3. "I figured the race would rock and roll early. I thought I should get away mid-pack and cross my fingers," said Kakaley. "The trip worked out perfectly for us." All Bets Off started from post four and made a three-wide bid late in the third panel to make the front and best his competition by 2¼-lengths, stopping the clock at 1:49.2. The time represents a new track record for five and up pacing horses. The former 1:50.4 mark was set in 2002 by Western Millennium and Walter Case, Jr. "All Bets Off is a special horse to me and has really helped further my career to a place I'm not sure it would be without him," offered Kakaley. "This win feels good." Saturday's win marks the 25th score for All Bets Off in 86 career races and increases his bankroll to $2,372,503. All Bets Off Ayers Ratliff  

Harness Racing This Week: Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Graduate Series second leg and Somebeacsomewhere, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will take place on Saturday (June 3) at three venues. Northfield Park will host the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers; the Meadows will feature three divisions in the $118,424 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old male trotters; and Mohawk Racetrack will feature two C$70,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts, a pair of C$67,230 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and a single C$100,845 race in the second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters. Complete entries for the Northfield Park and Meadows races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: He came. He saw. He slapped silly. Stung early and strong late, world champion Downbytheseaside (David Miller, $2.10) was superb Saturday night (May 27), winning Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. The 27th Rooney featured five colts and three geldings at the start, but only one at the finish. It was 53-1 Summer Side (Tim Tetrick) making the first lead, looping both the eventual winner and second choice Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley). With Downbytheseaside three-wide from post position three, Miso Fast leapfrogged by Summer Side, stringing the 1-20 proposition out past a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and well into the second turn. That turned out to be Donwbytheseaside's only issue as he found a :55 intermission and pokey :29.1 third quarter in 1:24.1. Eight-holer Stealth Bomber (Brett Miller), who had left and wedged in sixth, tried it first-up but was never close to coming close. Downbytheseaside opened four lengths entering the lane, winning by a wrapped-up 3-1/4 lengths in 1:52. Summer Side, winner of last season's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, was a solid second, with 2016's New York Sire Stakes freshman champion Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) third. The latter raced well, forced wide early after Stealth Bomber stopped. Fourth and fifth went to Henry The Dragon (Montrell Teague) and pole-sitting, 49-1 Mac's Jackpot (Jason Bartlett), respectively. Miso Fast faded to sixth, ahead of 90-1 Rollin About (Brent Holland) and the rough trip of Stealth Bomber. For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts. For his career he is 11-for-16, with three seconds, two thirds and has earned $766,016. Complete recaps of all the weekend races, including the Molson Pace at The Raceway at Western Fair District and a trio of $150,000 invitational events at Harrah's Philadelphia, are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on May 27. Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2. Yannick Gingras - 129; 3. Jordan Stratton - 116; 4. Matt Kakaley - 101; 5. Tim Tetrick - 73. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 141; 2. Peter Tritton - 112; 3. Richard Banca - 86; 4. Rene Allard - 79; 5. Noel Daley - 47. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 93.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 38.3; 3t. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 32; 5. Carolyn Atherton - 30. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Scioto Downs, Mohawk, and Tioga Downs. Scioto will host the Charlie Hill for open trotters; Mohawk will feature five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers; and Tioga Downs will offer the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; Currier & Ives Filly, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 26) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Molson Pace for free for all pacers. Also on Friday, The Meadows will card three $24,000 divisions in the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $140,760 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 27). Elimination winner Downbytheseaside leads the field of eight in the Art Rooney Pace. Harrah's Philadelphia will host three Invitational events on Sunday (May 28), each with a purse of $150,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older filly and mare pacers. Complete entries for the Meadows, Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: World champion Downbytheseaside (David Miller, $3.10) was as odds-on as advertised Saturday night (May 20), winning Yonkers Raceway's lone $40,000 elimination for the 27th Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. Starting from the second tier in the nine-to-get-to-eight foray, Downbytheseaside found himself three-wide at the half in a race that had much more movement than expected. Last season's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace winner, Summer Side (Ray Schnittker), made the first lead, stuffing Stealth Bomber (Brett Miller) in behind before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. However, Stealth Bomber wanted to no part of the pocket. That one made the lead, with last season's New York Sire Stakes champion Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) and Downbytheseaside in hot pursuit. Downbytheseaside fronted the fray right at the :55.4 intermission, than continued toward a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Stealth Bomber then moved again, vacating a three-hole in front of Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley). Downbytheseaside opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.2. Miso Fast snapped Stealth Bomber for second, with Summer Side and Mac's Jackpot (Jason Bartlett) rounding out the payees. Funknwaffles tired to sixth, with Henry The Dragon (Montrell Teague) and rank outsider Rollin About (Brent Holland) also earning invites to Saturday night's (May 27) $300,000 final. Heaven's Gait (Jordan Stratton) made a filthy break passing the three-quarters, winding up last and not making the finale. For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his second win in as many season starts. He is 10-for-15 in his career. Hannelore Hanover returned to Mohawk Racetrack for the first time this season Monday (May 22) and turned in a dominating 1:52.4 victory in the first leg of the Miss Versatility. A field of eight older trotting mares clashed in the $38,836 Grand Circuit event. Hannelore Hanover was sent off as the 1-5 favorite and made a winning performance look like a walk in the park. Driver Yannick Gingras let the big mare stride out early, but yielded for a four-hole spot and allowed Emoticon Hanover and Side Bet Hanover to play musical chairs with the lead. As Emoticon Hanover reclaimed the lead for the second time at the half in :56.3, Hannelore Hanover was sent first-up by Gingras and the heavy favorite claimed the top spot swinging into the turn. The superstar trotting mare proceeded to post a 1:24.3 third quarter followed by a :28.1 kicker to secure a 5-1/4 length victory. Emoticon Hanover held her position to finish second, while Barn Girl won a show photo over Oho Diamond. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover came into her second start of the season Monday off a second place finish at Miami Valley on May 7. A 5-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. Last season, Hannelore Hanover won 17 of 20 starts and earned $1.1 million. Her victory Monday gives her 27 career wins and an additional $19,418 to her bankroll of more than $1.4 million. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on May 20. Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2. Yannick Gingras - 119; 3. Matt Kakaley - 101; 4. Jordan Stratton - 96; 5. Tim Tetrick - 63. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 111; 2. Peter Tritton - 92; 3. Richard Banca - 86; 4. Rene Allard - 79; 5. Scott DiDomenico - 39. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 73.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3t. Carolyn Atherton - 30; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 30; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 27. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Northfield Park, The Meadows and Mohawk next weekend. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers; the Meadows will contest the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotting colts; and Mohawk will feature 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

East Rutherford, NJ - The first leg of the Graduate series for four-year-old trotters, a Grand Circuit stake, highlights an intriguing twelve race harness racing extravaganza on Saturday at The Meadowlands.   A full field of ten talented trotters are set to contest the $75,000 first of three preliminary legs. Leg two is scheduled for June 3 at Mohawk and leg three at Tioga Downs on June 11 leading to the $250,000e final on July 8, also at The Meadowlands.   Dayson has drawn the rail and the favorites role in Saturday's race, his third seasonal start following a pair of fourth place finishes in overnight preps. The winner of two thirds of his career starts and over $665,000 took his 1:51.2 career mark in the Townsend Ackerman stake over the Meadowlands mile last summer. He will race with Lasix for the first time on Saturday. Ron Burke trains Dayson for his own interest as Burke Racing along with partners Our Horse Cents, J&T Silva and Rossie Smith. Yannick Gingras will drive.   The competition is led by double Dan Patch award winner Broadway Donna (Dave Miller) representing the fairer sex, last year's PASS champ Cufflink Hanover (Andy Miller) and Yonkers invader Taco Tuesday (Jason Bartlett). It should be an interesting race.   The supporting card is strong with full and competitive fields the order of the day.   Saturday is Preakness Day so the action will be hot and heavy all day long with the gates opening at 9:30 a.m.   Nick Salvi  

Harness Racing This Week: Graduate Series Trot first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (May 20) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a single $75,000 division in the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open trotters. Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway will host a single $40,000 elimination in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and two $20,000 eliminations in the Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on May 8. Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2. Yannick Gingras - 114; 3t. Jordan Stratton - 96; 3t. Matt Kakaley - 96; 5. Tim Tetrick - 63. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 96; 2. Peter Tritton - 92; 3. Richard Banca - 86; 4. Rene Allard - 79; 5. Scott DiDomenico - 39. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 73.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3. Carolyn Atherton - 30; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 25.7; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 25.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Mohawk Racetrack (first leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares); The Meadows (Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters); The Raceway at Western Fair District (Molson Pace for open pacers); Yonkers Raceway (Art Rooney and Lismore finals for 3-year-old pacers); and Harrah's Philadelphia (Maxie Lee Memorial for open trotters, Ben Stafford Jr. for open pacers, and Betsy Ross for pacing mares). Paul Ramlow

The Red Mile is proud to announce Mark McKelvie as the new track announcer for the Grand Circuit harness racing meet. McKelvie will be taking over the position previously performed by our beloved friend and Hall of Famer Sam McKee. Though replacing Sam McKee is an impossible task, we are excited to add Mark McKelvie to the Red Mile team.  Mark McKelvie has grown up in the harness racing industry. His father, Scott, is the director of racing for Mohawk and Woodbine, and his mother, Lori, is a field representative for Standardbred Canada. McKelvie graduated from Humber College in Toronto with a degree in Journalism. With a desire to enter sports broadcasting, McKelvie took on the role of Communications Coordinator at Woodbine Entertainment Group, a position he still has today. He later began calling qualifiers as part of his position until he entered the regular rotation of announcers on the WEG circuit.  Over the past 15 years, McKelvie has only missed one Red Mile Grand Circuit meet. The fall days in Lexington garner special memories and feelings for the 24 year old from Milton, Ontario. “There is no better place to be than the Red Mile Grand Circuit on a sunny fall day in Lexington. I’ve always looked forward to coming to the Grand Circuit meet over the years. I know how much the sport looks forward to it, and now I’m honored to be a part of the magic,” said McKelvie.  A huge fan of Sam McKee, Mckelvie hopes to carry on the excellence that Sam brought to the position. “Obviously, I have huge shoes to fill. I’m not going to try to be Sam McKee because I don’t think anyone can be or match him. I’m hoping to incorporate the little things Sam always did to make his calls excellent. He made every name sound very important and knew how to make the most out of the big moments. I’m hoping to come in with enthusiasm and keep the legacy of the position going strong,” noted McKelvie.  “The Red Mile is ever cognizant of the future and believes the addition of Mark McKelvie is a great step in that direction. He will be working with Gabe Prewitt, who will continue to do color commentary and post race interviews. Mark and Gabe are an integral part of the Red Mile’s effort to look forward and offer opportunities to young people in this industry. We are always looking ahead and willing to give younger people an opportunity in this industry. While we will sorely miss the sound of Sam McKee calling the races, Mark is an excellent addition for our future,” said George Segal, speaking for the Red Mile ownership group.  Mark McKelvie’s first race call at the Red Mile will occur on September 28th at 7 PM, the opening night of what we look forward to be the greatest 8 days of racing in North America.     Jay Hochstetler The Red Mile

Harness Racing This Week: The Grand Circuit is dark this week. Action resumes on Saturday (May 20) at The Meadowlands with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers. Last time: Showing no rust after a six-month layoff, Hans Enggren's Resolve went parked for the final half-mile on the way to a determined win in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for trotters at the Meadowlands Saturday night (May 6). "He raced well," understated trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "He was a little bit lazy but he was strong." Indeed. Resolve ($3.60 to win as the 4-5 favorite), who won four of 13 a year ago while earning $1.2 million, was unhurried in the early going and got underway at the five-eighths after sitting fifth. The 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill went on a steady grind and got up to leader Crazy Wow's wheel nearing the head of the stretch. From there, Svanstedt's star pupil continued to gain steadily, forging to the front inside the sixteenth pole before going on to a 1-1/4 length win in 2:06.3 for the mile and an eighth distance. Crazy Wow held second with J L Cruze third. In the winner's circle, Svanstedt accepted an invitation for Resolve to participate in the May 28 Elitlopp at Solvalla, Sweden, a race in which he finished second a year ago. Lord Cromwell and driver John Campbell moved to the lead on the backstretch and were never threatened from there, cruising to a 5-1/4 length win in Saturday's $143,737 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old male trotters in a stakes- and track-record 1:55 at Freehold Raceway. Gustavo Fring finished second and Southwind Cobra was third. Southwind Cobra, who started from post five, took the early lead from Sir John F and reached the opening quarter-mile in :28.1. Lord Cromwell, the 4-5 favorite, was on the move after Southwind Cobra hit the half in :57.3 and was in front by the time he reached three-quarters in 1:26.4. "I knew they were going to trot out of there and he's actually better from behind," Campbell said. "Once I spoke to him at the five-eighths, he was gone. He actually finished well within himself. I was very happy with the trip. He was very handy. I think he's got a pretty good future." Lord Cromwell, bred and owned by Carolyn Atherton, is not eligible to the Hambletonian. The horse was limited to four starts last year because of sickness and complications from being gelded. The previous stakes record of 1:55.3 was set by Anders Bluestone in the 2009 Dexter Cup. Anders Bluestone shared the track record for a 3-year-old male trotter with Keystone Activator. Lord Cromwell, by Chapter Seven out of the mare Oh Oh Its Magic, is 2-for-2 this year and won two of his four races last season. He has earned $97,588 in his career. Defending Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winning Older Mare Pacer Lady Shadow began her 2017 campaign in the same fashion that she ended her 2016 season. The 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play scored a wire-to-wire victory in the $100,000 Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:50.3, equaling the track record for older pacing mares on Monday afternoon (May 8). Leaving from post four as the 3-5 favorite, Lady Shadow and driver Yannick Gingras took the lead before the quarter in :27, while longshot Divas Image (36-1) settled in behind her in second. The field moved in straight alignment past the half-mile in :54.3. Sandbetweenurtoes launched a first-over challenge as they moved to the three-quarters in 1:22.1, with Blue Moon Stride advancing second-over and Divas Image continuing to track the leader from the pocket turning for home. As she did 12 times in 2016, Lady Shadow proved too much for her challengers, pacing home in :28.2 for the 1-1/4 length win in 1:50.3. Divas Image finished second from the pocket and Blue Moon Stride closed off cover to be third. Trained by Ron Adams for owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and BFJ Stable, Lady Shadow returned $3.40 to win and pushed her lifetime earnings to $1.6 million. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on May 6. Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2t. Jordan Stratton - 96; 2t. Matt Kakaley - 96; 4. Yannick Gingras - 84; 5. Tim Tetrick - 63. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 92; 2t. Richard Banca - 86; 2t. Ron Burke - 86; 4. Rene Allard - 59; 5. Scott DiDomenico - 39. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 73.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3. Carolyn Atherton - 30; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 23.2; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 23.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action resumes on May 20 at The Meadowlands with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers. Paul Ramlow

East Rutherford, NJ - At long last, Grand Circuit harness racing returns to The Meadowlands on Saturday night. A dozen of the finest Free For All trotters on the continent are set to contest the $200,000 Arthur Cutler Memorial (TVG Series event) at a mile and one eighth.   Two $50,000 divisions of the Graduate Pace for four-year-olds play a supporting role.   The Cutler marks the first seasonal start for Resolve who took last year's edition on his way to a million dollar season for owner Hans Enggren and trainer driver Ake Svanstedt. Reslove also counted the $1 million International Trot and $480,000 Maple Leaf among his successes along with a second place finish in last year's Elitlopp.   It will be no easy task for Resolve to defend his title against the talented group who have cumulatively won over $9 million. World record holder JL Cruze (Corey Callahan) and the iron tough Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras) stand chief among the competition in the bulky field.   The Cutler has been carded as race seven, the first leg of the $50,000 guaranteed pool Late Pick 4. You may download the past performance for that wager from The Meadowlands website.   A potential perk to the Cutler winner is an invitation to compete in the 2017 Elitlopp set for Sunday, May 29. The use of trotting hopples and Lasix is prohibited in that event.   Elitlopp officials have again arranged for a direct flight to Solvalla for those horses travelling across the Atlantic to compete in the that historic event. Horsemen are encouraged to contact The Meadowlands at (201) 842-5130 if they have interest in taking a horse to race in Sweden. There are a number of stakes offered on the Elitlopp undercard.   The $1 million Graduate Series opens with the first of three legs leading into the $250,000e final on July 8. Thirteen declarations were split into a pair of divisions which are scheduled as races four and six on Saturday.   The first division features Western Fame, Roll Away Joe and Sintra all of whom significant impact in various state-bred races last season.   Western Fame was second in the PASS final which parlayed into Grand Circuit success. He won his division of the first heat and was second in the Little Brown Jug final then copped a Bluegrass division in Lexington. Western Fame was a game winner over a pair of Graduate contenders in his first seasonal start last week here for driver Mark Mac Donald, trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Brittany Farms.   Roll Away Joe was the NYSS champ last season and won at The Meadowlands last week when paired with Yannick Gingras for the first time. Ron Burke trains for Howard Taylor, Steve Demeter and Tom Lazzaro.   Sintra spent most of last season chasing division leader Betting Line while banking over $200,000 for owners Brad Gray, Michale Guerriero and trainer Dave Menary as Menary Racing. He comes in off an impressive winning effort at Mohawk in his seasonal bow and gets Brett Miller to drive.   The second Graduate division may be a bit deeper in talent with all seven horses having earned six figures at three, led by million dollar winner Check Six (Gingras) who missed by just a nose to Western Fame in his seasonal debut last week for the Burke Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Switala & Martin.   There are a few interesting angle to consider, not the least of which is driver Tim Tetrick's decision to get off Boston Red Rocks, a horse he's driven to a million dollars in earnings for Missile J who had remarkable success facing older in the Levy series at Yonkers earlier this season.   Also, Brett Miller picks up the drive on Lyons Snyder which seems a natural pairing as they both enjoy going fast.   Saturday is of Kentucky Derby day and The Meadowlands is as good a place as there is to watch and wager on the big race in the metropolitan area. We start early with gates opening at 9:30 a.m. and go all day into the night with the live card starting at 7:15 p.m. Nick Salvi

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley tops its Spring Festival of Racing with the inaugural Scarlet & Gray Champions Day on Monday (May 8), including Grand Circuit harness racing stakes action on May 7th and May 8th.   The first ever Scarlet & Gray Champions Day features a collection of four $50,000 invitational races showcasing the best of Ohio harness racing in each 3-year-old category: trotting colts, pacing colts, trotting fillies and pacing fillies.   Entrants are comprised of recent Ohio Sires Stakes and James K. Hackett Memorial winners and other top finishers. Automatic berths were offered to winners and place finishers in all fourteen first leg Ohio Sires Stakes races at Miami Valley earlier this week.   The Scarlet & Gray filly trot, scheduled as Monday's third race, includes Rose Run Sydney, Chim Swift and Gabbysloosechange, all winners in last week's Sires Stakes action. Other hopefuls are Sawmill Road, Amuse's, Ms Bank Robber, Let's Get Started, Away My Baby and Purple Sona. The field combined to win 31 races and earn $712,136 as two-year-olds.   Filly pacers go postward in the fifth race, headed by O.S.S. winners Bourbon And Barley, Rose Run Skylar, Official Kisser and Pistol Packin Mama. They will be joined by Hackett champion Rosemary Rose as well as Bye Bye Felicia, Berazzled, Woo's Prfincess and Cam's Little Bit.   The $50,000 division for trotting colts (eighth race) features first leg winners Lord Of The Reigns, Fraser Ridge and Full Surge. Also seeking Scarlet & Gray gold will be place and show finishers Goldfinger, Dekeyser, Jailhouse Sam, Winning Memories, Star Buster and Stormy Kromer.   Pacing colts will round out the Scarlet & Gray menu in the eleventh race, with O.S.S. winners Lightning Onmyfeet, Drunk On Your Love and Heracer all in the lineup. They'll be joined in the field by Sunny's Bro, White Jet, McThriller, McLucky, Gotta Go B B and Barley Up.   A collection of North America's best older mares will compete at Miami Valley in the $86,400 Miami Valley Distaff Trot on Sunday, May 7th and the $100,000 Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial Pace on Monday, May 8th. A total of four veteran horses with over $1 million in earnings have entered in the two Grand Circuit races, including several who earned Dan Patch awards as the best horse in the country in their division during 2016.   Potential Horse of the Year candidate Hannelore Hanover, who won 17 of 20 races and earned $1,119,111 in 2016, has been installed the 6-5 favorite in the Miami Valley Distaff, carded as the ninth race on Sunday. The 2016 Breeders Crown champion is conditioned by America's leading trainer Ron Burke and will be driven by Yannick Gingras.   Others in the talented field include Miami Valley track record holder Kestrel (Josh Sutton, 5-2), Churita (Trace Tetrick, 7-2), Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman, 9-2), Charmed Life (Chris Page, 6-1), Flowers N Songs (Jim Pantaleano, 10-1) and South Side Hanover (TBA, 12-1).   As a group, these mares have visited 133 winner's circles throughout North America--including most of the biggest stakes events--and have banked a collective $4,539,504.   Lady Shadow, also a 2016 Breeders Crown winner, gets the slight morning line nod in the $100,000 Noble Memorial. The $1,587,542 earner will open at 5-2 on the tote board for trainer Ronald Adams and driver Yannick Gingras. Pure Country (Brett Miller, 3-1), another multiple winner of major stakes with $1,772,398 in career bankroll, is second choice due to an outside post position draw. Others seeking Grand Circuit glory will be Sandbetweenurtoes (Doug McNair, 7-2), Darlinonthebeach (David Miller, 9-2), Blue Moon Stride (Andrew McCarthy, 6-1), Medusa (Tony Hall, 8-1), Enhance Your Mind (Victor Kirby, 10-1), Divas Image (Joe Bongiorno, 12-1) and No Clouds Bluechip (Tim Tetrick, 15-1).   The field of the finest mares in North America has won a whopping 155 races and over $7 million in purses.   Watch, wager and win on the best in harness racing at Miami Valley Gaming and Racing.   Post times for the two-day Scarlet & Gray/Grand Circuit extravaganza are 2:05 p.m. on both Sunday, May 7th and Monday, May 8th.   Gregg Keidel        

Harness Racing This Week: Dexter Cup and Lady Suffolk, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.; Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Pace first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Miami Valley Distaff and Chip Noble Memorial, Miami Valley Raceway, Lebanon, Ohio. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features the $143,737 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters and two $36,850 divisions in the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Saturday (May 6). Meadowlands Racetrack offers the $200,000 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 $86,400 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares on Sunday (May 7) and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares on Monday (May 8). Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: A pair of $24,000 Dexter Cup eliminations were contested on Saturday (April 29) afternoon at Freehold Raceway and two sons of Chapter Seven, Another Chapter and Lord Cromwell, served notice they are prepared for their sophomore seasons as each triumphed in his respective contest. Another Chapter, who is out of Southwind Catlin, making him a half-sibling to the $1.2 million man Spider Blue Chip, left from the rail in the first elimination with Scott Zeron at the controls. The colt was content to sit in the pocket spot, while Sir John F (Yannick Gingras) cut the mile. As the field of eight trotted into the stretch, Southwind Cruze (Andy Miller) briefly snatched the second spot, but Zeron and Another Chapter went past that rival to score in 1:57. Southwind Cruze was second while Sir John F held for third. Conditioned by Mark Silva, Another Chapter paid $15.00 for his maiden-breaking victory. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable, the colt now sports a lifetime resume of 11-1-1-5 with $59,975 in the bank. In the second elimination, John Campbell steered Lord Cromwell to the winner's circle for his third career win and first of the season for trainer Ed Hart and owner/breeder Carolyn Atherton. The son of the aforementioned stallion and Oh Oh Its Magic left from post position four and was never threatened as he trotted from gate-to-wire on the lead while stopping the clock in 1:56.2. Gustavo Fring (Eric Carlson) and Arch Credit (Trond Smedshammer) followed him home. Lord Cromwell's lifetime record now stands at 5-3-0-0 and he has earned $25,720. The gelding provided a $16.60 payout to his backers. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2. Jordan Stratton - 96; 3. Matt Kakaley - 91; 4. Tim Tetrick - 61; 5. Daniel Dube - 59. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 92; 2. Richard Banca - 86; 3. Rene Allard - 59; 4. Scott DiDomenico - 37; 5. Ron Burke - 36. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 73.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3. Bamond Racing - 22.5; 4t. Carmen Iannacone - 21.7; 4t. D'Elegance Stable IX - 21.7; 4t. T L P Stable - 21.7. Looking ahead: There will be no Grand Circuit racing next week. Action resumes on May 20 at The Meadowlands with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Dexter Cup eliminations, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features two $24,000 Dexter Cup eliminations for 3-year-old open trotters. Seventeen horses entered the race, with Southwind Cobra getting a bye into the final. The remaining 16 will compete in a pair of eight-horse eliminations on Saturday (April 29). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Keystone Velocity charged through the stretch to overtake pacesetting McWicked and then held off Somewhere In L A by a head to win Saturday's (April 22) $529,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship for older male pacers in 1:51.2 over a track labeled "good" at Yonkers Raceway. Even-money favorite Missile J finished third and Bit Of A Legend N, the defending champion, was fourth. McWicked led the field around the first turn, but Keystone Velocity moved to the front prior to the opening quarter-mile, which was reached in :26.1. McWicked regained the top spot prior to the halfway point, in :54.4, and set the pace from there until the top of the stretch when Keystone Velocity moved to the passing lane and kicked home to victory. "We had to be up close," winning driver Daniel Dube said. "It worked out real good. He was really good today. I was hoping (McWicked) could bring me to the top of the stretch because on the last turn I had a lot of horse. He was real strong; he's a nice little horse." Dube drove Keystone Velocity for trainer Rene Allard, who owns the horse with Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., and VIP Internet Stable. The 9-year-old stallion has won three of seven races this year and earned $323,000 in purses. For his career, Keystone Velocity has won 22 of 95 starts and banked $863,971. Sent off at odds of 11-1, he paid $24.80 to win. Earlier on the card, Mackenzie A won the $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship for pacing mares by 2-1/4 lengths over Medusa in 1:53.1. Divas Image was third and favorite Mach It A Par finished fourth. Jordan Stratton drove Mackenzie A for owners Harry von Knoblauch Stable and Ellen Kinser. The 5-year-old mare is a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Kept For Pleasure. Mackenzie A has won two of eight races this year and earned $205,800. Going off at odds of 5-1, she paid $12.80 to win. "The trip just worked out perfect," Stratton said. "Mach It A Par got used hard. She's a tough mare, but she's usually a little better from behind. But she had to make the move and it worked out for us. It was the plan to race (Mackenzie A) from behind, but I didn't know it would work out like that. It worked out for the best I guess." Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2. Jordan Stratton - 96; 3. Matt Kakaley - 91; 4. Tim Tetrick - 61; 5. Daniel Dube - 59. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 92; 2. Richard Banca - 86; 3. Rene Allard - 59; 4. Scott DiDomenico - 37; 5. Ron Burke - 36. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 73.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3. Bamond Racing - 22.5; 4t. Carmen Iannacone - 21.7; 4t. D'Elegance Stable IX - 21.7; 4t. T L P Stable - 21.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Miami Valley Raceway. Freehold has the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters and the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (May 6); Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers on Saturday (May 6); and Miami Valley Raceway features the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares on Sunday (May 7) and older pacing mares on Monday (May 8). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features the $529,000 final and the $100,000 consolation of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers, as well as the $310,600 final and $75,000 consolation in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. All four races will take place on Saturday (April 22). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The time to impress the judges concluded Saturday night (April 15), with preliminary-round competition ending for Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Round Five saw three $50,000 divisions go at it. Favored Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett, $4.10) became the sport's newest millionaire, easily winning the third event in front-end fashion. From post position five, he never had any angst, especially after a cheap half with the splits of :28, :56.4, 1:24.3, and 1:51.3. The final margin was 1-3/4 lengths over a second-up Clear Vision (Brett Miller), with Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron) lasting for an uncovered third. All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and tiring-pocket Wakizashi Hanover (Tim Tetrick) settled for the remainder. For Somewhere In L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables, it was his sixth win in 13 seasonal starts and he is two-for-five in this series. Defending series champ Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4.40) threw down the gauntlet for the finale, going down the road from the pole with fractions of :27.1, :56.1, 1:25, and 1:51.3 as the people's choice in the night's second event. After stuffing Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) in behind, he whipped that rival by three-quarters of a length, note the :26.3 kicker in the final panel, while Blood Brother (Bartlett) was a first-up third. Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) and Missile J (Tetrick) earned the minors. For Bit Of A Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts and he is two-for-five in the series. Saturday night's first Levy grouping had a first-over favorite in McWicked (Kakaley, $4.30), from post position two, edge past pace-setting Caviart Luca (George Brennan) after that one's intervals of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:24.4. McWicked vacated the three-hole, engaged Caviart Luca in and out of the final turn and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.4 and again, note the :26.3 last quarter. First leader Mach It So (Tetrick) held for third, with Santa Fe Beachboy (Barlett) and Provocativeprincen (Stratton) getting the smaller change. McWicked, a 6-year-old son of McArdle trained by Steve Elliott for owner S S G Stables, is now three-for-seven this season and is one-for-five in this series. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 128; 2. Matt Kakaley - 81; 3. Jordan Stratton - 71; 4. Tim Tetrick - 49; 5. Daniel Dube - 39. Trainers: 1. Richard Banca - 76; 2. Peter Tritton - 67; 3. Rene Allard - 39; 4. Ron Burke - 34; 5. Scott DiDomenico - 32. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 58.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3. S S G Stables - 20; 4t. Carmen Iannacone - 19.2; 4t. D'Elegance Stable IX - 19.2; 4t. T L P Stable - 19.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, with $48,000 (est.) Dexter Cup eliminations (if necessary) for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (April 29). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features two $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 14) in the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 15) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fifth and final round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: With points leader Missile J getting a week off, the Saturday (April 8) marquee was available for rental during round four of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Three $50,000 divisions -- down from four the first three weeks -- went at it. Stablemates Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett, $6.10) and Somewhere In L A (Bartlett again, $7.80) won the second and third events in 1:52.1 and a season's-best 1:51.3, respectively. Blood Brother, from post position two after a pair of no-shot seven-holes the previous two tries, picked up pace-setting polester McArdle's Lightning (Matt Kakaley) after that one laid down the law with fractions of :27.4, :56.3, and 1:24.1. It was 8-5 favorite Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) trying it first-up from fourth, pressing the leader to the lane. Blood Brother ducked inside and prevailed by a half-length over McArdle's Lightning, with Keystone Velocity hanging in for third. Te Kawau N (Tim Tetrick) and Provocativeprincen (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees. For second choice Blood Brother, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and P T Stable, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts and he is one-for-four in this series. Somewhere In L A, from post three, did it first-up. He engaged pole-siting Mach It So (Tetrick) as that one led through intervals of :27, 56.1, and 1:23.3. Somewhere In L A won the stretch battle, picking off Mach It So by a head. Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) tracked the winner and wound up third, with Soto (Dube) -- a fourth pocket trip in as many series starts -- and 7-5 choice Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton) settling for the minors. For second choice Somewhere In L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Banca for co-owners D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables, it was his fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts and his first in the series. Saturday night's first Levy grouping had a first-over Clear Vision (Brett Miller, $8.90), from post two, gut out a nose win over McWicked (Kakaley). The latter rolled through subsections of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24, leading every step but the last one. Third went to a pocketed Guantanamo Bay (Stratton), with slight 2-1 choice Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) and Caviart Luca (George Brennan) grabbing the smaller envelopes. For third choice Clear Vision, an 11-year-old Western Hanover gelding co-owned by Robert Santagata and Jennifer Lappe and trained by John Kokinos, it was his second win in nine 2017 starts and his first win from his second attempt in this series. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 96; 2. Matt Kakaley - 71; 3. Jordan Stratton - 61; 4. Tim Tetrick - 42; 5. Daniel Dube - 39. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 57; 2. Richard Banca - 54; 3. Rene Allard - 39; 4. Scott DiDomenico -32; 5. Tony Alagna - 27. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 48.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 22; 3. Rene Allard - 15.5; 4t. Brian Carsey - 15; 4t. Legacy Racing of DE - 15; 4t. John McGill - 15. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the finals and consolations of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy on April 22. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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