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This Week: Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio and Hap Hansen Progress Pace, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Northfield Park and Dover Downs for the final two Grand Circuit races of the 2015 season. On Friday (Nov. 27), Northfield will host the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. This year's Jugette winner, Sassa Hanover, will start from post three and has been named the 2-1 early favorite. Then on Monday (Nov. 30), Dover will feature the $300,000 (est.) final of the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. Wiggle It Jiggleit downed eight rivals for his 21st victory of the season in the $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination this past Monday. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: This past Saturday (Nov. 21), Resolve won the $400,000 TVG Free For All Trotting Championship at Meadowlands Racetrack in 1:51.4 for driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt. Resolve won the $400,000 TVG Free For All Trotting Championship in 1:51.4 for driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt. In similar fashion to his win in the final preliminary leg the week before, Resolve moved to the lead shortly after the opening quarter, which was reached in :27 by longshot DW's NY Yank. Once on the lead, Resolve was allowed to relax. The same could not be said for E L Titan who got caught in some traffic down the backstretch and ended up three wide, trotting toward the half-mile. Tim Tetrick guided E L Titan to the first over position after racing three wide, crossing in front of Obrigado with The Bank in the outer flow. But Resolve was able to back the field down with a :29.3 second quarter, reaching the half-mile in :56.3. E L Titan, in the final start of his career, was applying pressure, but Svanstedt had plenty of horse in front of him and Resolve began to edge away, trotting past three-quarters in 1:25. The stretch drive was a mere formality as Resolve began to pour it on, winning by three lengths in the end, trotting a final quarter of :26.4 to complete the mile in 1:51.4. Obrigado held the runner-up position while Flanagan Memory rallied from last to be third. The win was the fourth of the season for Resolve. He finishes his 4-year-old campaign with earnings of $700,938. Resolve is owned by Hans Enggren. A field of six contested the $400,000 TVG Pacing Championship. Off the wings of the gate, five of the six free for all pacers tried to leave for position. The only horse content to watch the action early was Bettor's Edge. That strategy by Matt Kakaley turned out to be the winning one as Bettor's Edge stormed down the center of the track, from dead last, to score a 19-1 upset in 1:50. e field turned for home, the free for all pacers spread across the track and all took their shots. Mach It So found room at the pylons, Foiled Again tried to kick off cover, JK Endofanera reached for the wire and Bettor's Edge was rallying down the center of the track. In the end, Bettor's Edge out-sprinted the talented field to win going away in 1:50. Mach It So rallied up the pylons for the runner-up spot while Foiled Again finished third. Trainer Ron Burke confirmed that both Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again will head to North Carolina for the winter and will return for the 2016 racing season. The win was the 26th in the career of Bettor's Edge, sending his lifetime earnings to nearly $1.8 million. The victory in the TVG Pacing Championship was the third stakes win on the night for trainer Burke, who also captured the $144,000 Continentalvictory with Mission Brief and whose Make Or Miss finished in a dead heat for win in the $489,400 Valley Victory. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,579; 2. David Miller - 1,299.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,205; 4. Brett Miller - 670; 5. Scott Zeron - 586.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,907; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,605; 3. Tony Alagna - 612.5; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 386; 5. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 385. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 441.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 369.35; 3. Bamond Racing - 320; 4. Christina Takter - 252.1; 5. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 220. Looking ahead: The 2015 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this weekend; the 2016 Grand Circuit schedule will be released early next year. by Paul Ramlow,forThe Grand Circuit

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will host a bevy of Grand Circuit stakes this coming weekend with total purses in excess of $3.3 million combined for the Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21 cards.   Friday is ladies night with the finest in female Standardbred talent on display.   The inaugural $200,000 TVG Mare Open finals take place with seven well-matched pacing mares vying for the title. Breeders Crown winner Color's A Virgin, trained by Brian Brown and driven by David Miller, takes on series point leader Venus Delight and last week's TVG Open winner Sandbetweenurtoes in the seventh race.   A half dozen very accomplished trotting mares seek the winner's share in race twelve. In the absence of division leader D'One, Bee A Magician, Classic Martine and Shake It Cerry become the logical choices. Shake It Cerry comes in off a convincing win over the exact same field of mares in the TVG Open of Friday past, the first time she was paired with driver David Miller for trainer Jimmy Takter   Ten freshman filly trotters are led by Breeders Crown winner All The Time in the $409,950 Goldsmith Maid (race 2). The homebred pride of Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld isn't facing anyone she hasn't handled before and starts from the rail for the potent trainer/driver duo of Takter and Yannick Gingras.   The $385,250 Three Diamonds (race 8) will showcase eight two-year-old filly pacers with three of those coming from the Ross Croghan barn. Shezarealdeal and Call Me Queen Bee were both acquired for Croghan by Eric Cherry's Let It Ride Stable and Dana Parham during the racing season and have paid handsome dividends ranking first and second in earnings among the participants.   Saturday brings the $400,000 TVG Open finals. The trotters come up in race seven and among the eight declared is three-year-old The Bank who accepted an invitation as Breeders Crown champ to join his elders. Trainer Takter has him in top form for David Miller, he'll need his best to battle a solid group of veterans here.   There are no surprises among the six pacers in the twelfth race $400,000 TVG final as the usual cast of characters will assemble, series point leader JK Endofanera (Takter/ Brett Miller) the likely punter's choice here.   Freshman colts are featured in the $489,400 Valley Victory (race 5) trot. trainer Chuck Sylvester is holding a good hand with both of last week's elimination winners, Waitlifter K (Tim Tetrick) and Dog Gone Lucky (Corey Callahan), racing out of his stable.   The pacing colts will battle over the $413,000 prize pool in the Governor's Cup (race eight). The field of ten is extremely well matched and contains Breeders Crown champ Boston Red Rocks. Peter Blood and Rick Berks' colt has really come to hand for trainer Steve Elliott since Tetrick has taken the reins. Elim winners Katie's Rocker and Big Top Hanover will make him earn it.   There was stark contrast at the entry box for two new stakes for three-year-old fillies with a dozen declared for the $173,500 Tarport Hap (race 11) while a mere quartet entered the $144,000 Continentalvictory (race 2).   The Tarport Hap stretches out to a mile and an eighth with two trailers and is a deep and competitive group. A case could be made for literally any of these accomplished young ladies. Divine Caroline has assumed control lately, scoring a Red Mile sweep followed by the Breeders Crown for trainer Joe Holloway and David Miller (who may well be in line for another huge night). Sassa Hanover is the Jugette winner, Bettor N Better qualified well last week and Bedroomconfessions seeks a defining win from the rail.   The presence of Mission Brief and Wild Honey likely had a lot to do with the scant response to the inaugural Continentalvictory, particularly in light of Mission Brief's scintillating 1:50.2f World Record in the Matron last week. Trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras felt that the mercurial filly was as good as she's ever been in that one and it has taken that type of effort to best Wild Honey (Takter/ John Campbell) who boasts wins in all of the majors this season.   Post time is 7:00 p.m. each night. There will be a WHHC event on Saturday.   Information on promotions and dining possibilities are available with a visit to The Meadowlands website.   From the Meadowlands Media Department

DOVER, Del. ---- It's the biggest Thursday card of the season. Grand Circuit Week comes to a close with lucrative Matron Stakes three-year-old division on Nov. 12 at Dover Downs. There are four lucrative sophomore divisions, highlight of Dover Downs' "Novemberfest of Stakes." Hambletonian Society-Breeders Crown top-rated Wiggle It Jiggleit and another top 10 performer, Wakizashi Hanover, two Harrington, Del.-area trained speedsters meet in the $200,100 Male pace. In addition on the banner 15-race program are three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old Male Paces. The piece d 'resistance of the powerful Matron championship card is the $201,900 colt and gelding pace. George Teague Inc.'s Wiggle Jiggleit, with regular driver Montrell Teague, drew the rail. The world champion gelding has 19 wins in 23 starts, with three close-up seconds, earning $1913,545. One of those setbacks came in the $1-million North American Pace when Tim Tetrick and Wakizashi Hanover won a head-to-head duel to the wire. JoAnn King trains the $1.1-million winner for Tri County Stable. Two other horses with local connections in the final are M&L Of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson's Dude's The Man with Corey Callahan and Frank Chick and Yankee Bounty Parnership's Yankee Bounty, piloted by Yannick Gingras, starting from outside post 8. The rest of the fast field contains Jeff Snyder's Dealt A Winner (David Miller), Van Dusen, Cimaglio, Patel and trainer Steve Elliott's Artistic Major (Scott Zeron), Jeff Snyder and Three Decades Racing's Rock N'Roll World (Daniel Dube) and Joe P Racing's Badiou Hanover (Andy Miller). Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), winner of the 2014 Matron Two-Year-Old Filly pace at Dover Downs seeks to reach six figures in the $201,450 three-year-old final. The $935,561 career winner is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Panhellenic Stable. Divine Caroline (David Miller) is on a stakes-winning tear. The Breeders Crown champ, trained by former University of Delaware grad Joe Holloway for owners Rojan Stables,Ted Gewertz, Val D'or Farms and M.A. Duriel. The same ownership, minus Duriel, start the fast Bettor Be Steppin (Corey Callahan) from post 8. Last week's American National winner, Devil Child, with driver, also is streaking with three-in-a-row for Susan Oakes and Crawford Farms. Bedroomconfessions (Tim Tetrick) was third in the Breeders Crown for Riverview and Alagna racings. Completing the field are Mosquito Blue Chip (Daniel Dube) leaving from the rail for Falcicchio, Jessop and Our Three Sons Stable. Alongside, Brett Miller steers Courant AB's Wicked Little Minx; and Dana Parham and Let It Ride Stable's Single Me (Andy Miller). Our Hrs Cents, Deo Volente Farms and J&T Silva Stable's $1-million winner Crazy Wow, reined by Tim Tetrick, is the one to beat in the $243,550 Matron soph trot. The fast French Laundry (Brett Miller) owned by ChristinaTakter, John and Jim Fielding and Ontario-breeders Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, must overcome starting from post 8 while Joe Smith's Fashion Creditor (David Miller) drew the rail. Seven-time winner Bluebird Reverend ( ) is a Delaware-owned contestant. Trainer Bobby Reeser, Case, Johannsen and Indianan Dennis, own the Indian bred. Rubber Duck (Tetrick) has been an Ontario standout racing for Blair and Ema Corbell. Sweden's Ake Swanstedt trains and drives Wolfgang A Stable's Southwind Mozart. Whom Shall I Fear's horse of the same name (David Miller) shared by Howard Taylor, Laura Noren and Order By Stable's Crescent Fashion (Scott Zeron) complete the starting lineup. The $187,400 Matron Three-Year-Old Filly Trot shapes up as the pinnacle event for seasonal top divisional honors. Wild Honey, who set a world record at two at Dover Downs, has won her last three including the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Fill Futurity, will be driven by Hall of Famer John Campbell. The $1-million winner leaves from the rail for Christina Takter, Herb Liverman, John and Jim Fielding. Early season sensation Mission Brief and Yannick Gingras, who has been the favorite in all of her 17 race career, made a break in her Breeders Crown start. The $1.4-million winning speedster has post 5 for Burke, Our Hrs Cnts and J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The opposition includes Story Inc.'s Lady Winona (Andy Miller), Brittany Farms' Speak To Me (Brett Miller), Howard and Judy Taylor, Dandy Farms and Burke Racing Stable's Speak To Me (Kakaley), Glengate Farms' Juanitas Fury (Tetrick), nine-time winner Bob Key's homebred Soaring Flight ( ) and from the outside Joyce McClelland's She Wore Red ( ). There is also a $25,000 Matron Filly consolation. Led by Lindy Racing's Luck Be A Lindy, handled by Tim Tetrick. The Massachusetts' Stakes champion is winner of four consecutive starts. David Van Dusen and Mike Cimaglio own Stacia Hanover with Scott Zeron. Black Horse Racing's Storm Point, piloted by John Campbell has the rail. Delaware-sired Totally Rusty and Andrew McCarthy, Blueberry Bill Augustine's Frost Damage Blues (D.Miller), Lindy Farms Lindys Old Lady with Yannick Gingras will be joined by Tom Fanning and Fly By Night Stable's Special Package (B.Miller) and The Wiz Kids Stable's Girlofyourdreams, who get in for two scratched horses, Ideal Nugget and Heavenly Bride. Al Moor of Smyrna, Del.- owned Royal Status and John Campbell, Caulfield, with driver Aaron Merriman) and Courant AB and Knutsson Trotting Inc.'s Colbert, a winner of his last three of four starts will be driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt, head the $25,000 Matron consolation trot and Alagna Racing. There is no live racing on Friday. Saturday and Sunday. Racing resumes Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. and Fall Final Four eliminations and TVG Series legs, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 12) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt trot carries a purse of $243,550, the 3-year-old colt pacers will race for $201,900, the purse for the 3-year-old filly pace is $201,450 and the 3-year-old filly trotters will race for $187,400. Meadowlands Racetrack reopens this weekend with Grand Circuit action on Friday (Nov. 13) and Saturday (Nov. 14). On Friday, there will be $25,000 legs in the TVG Series for open mares on both the trot and the pace, plus a $20,000 Goldsmith Maid elimination for 2-year-old filly trotters. Saturday features $50,000 TVG Series races for both open pacers and open trotters, along with a pair of $20,000 eliminations in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Eight American-National stakes were in the spotlight this past Saturday night (Nov. 7) at Balmoral Park. Three recent Breeders Crown champions were among the starters on the night, and each of them added an American-National title to their resumes. Freaky Feet Pete was a 1:48.4 winner in his American-National contest. Freaky Feet Pete left no doubt he's one of the best 3-year-old pacing colts in North America as he paced to a stakes-tying 1:48.4 triumph in the $150,000 American-National for sophomore pacing colts and geldings, Given a perfect steer by Trace Tetrick, the Indiana homebred son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori took the lead away from the hard-trying Lost For Words (David Miller) just past the :26.3 quarter and never looked back, snapping off fractions of :53.4 and 1:21 before sprinting home all alone. Lost For Words held on for second, while Mohawk Warrior (Tim Tetrick) got up for show honors. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer for Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete added the winner's share of the purse to his lifetime bankroll, which now stands at $1,115,724. The Bank didn't disappoint his backers as he captured the $204,000 American-National for sophomore trotting colts and geldings in 1:53.1. Habitat (Yannick Gingras) took the field through fractions of :28.3, :56.4 and 1:25.1. David Miller pulled The Bank to the outside and wore down the leader with every stride before getting a neck in front a few feet from the wire and going on to win by 1-1/4 lengths. Homicide Hunter (John DeLong) was third. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite and piloted by Miller for trainer Jimmy Takter, the homebred son of Donato Havover-Lantern Kronos notched career victory seven and upped his career earnings to $1,106,300 for owners Christina Takter, Goran Falk and Goran Anderberg. Always B Miki used a bold power move just past the :26.4 opening panel and never looked back, drawing off to win the $136,500 American-National Open Pace in 1:49.1. Also driven by Miller for trainer Takter, the son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper paced confidently to post his fourth victory this season in as many tries. The triumph gave Miller and Takter their third American-National wins of the night. Always B Miki now has $1,228,076 in his career coffers for co-owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. Always B Miki bested rivals Luck Be Withyou (Tim Tetrick) and Bettor's Edge (Joe Bongiorno). Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,462; 2. David Miller - 1,185.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,056; 4. Brett Miller - 638; 5. Scott Zeron - 564.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,747; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,519; 3. Tony Alagna - 572.5; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 346; 5. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 340. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 401.65; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 337.2; 3. Bamond Racing - 275; 4. Christina Takter - 245.35; 5. Marvin Katz - 203.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Meadowlands Racetrack with four TVG Series finals for older trotters and pacers, the Fall Final Four finals (the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid) and the Continentalvictory and Tarport Hap for sophomore fillies. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Vernon, NY - The Kindergarten Trotting Classic series, a Grand Circuit event for freshman fillies and colts, comes to a conclusion with the rich finals on Halloween night (Saturday, October 31) at Vernon Downs. The harness racing card will also include the annual "Turn Back The Clock" pace and trot where the horses race one circuit of the track clock-wise and the "Four One One" race for greys.   There is a special 6:00pm post time on Saturday.   The Kindergarten colts come up first in race eight with a with a very competitive field of nine going for a purse of $191,500. Trainer Staffan Lind holds a strong hand sending the uncoupled entry of series point leader Hollywood Highway and the emerging talent Celebrity Express into the fray.   With the top point earners assured a draw between posts 1 & 6 by series conditions, Hollywood Highway drew four. He clearly found The Red Mile to his liking, arriving in Kentucky a lightly raced maiden and leaving a Grand Circuit stakes winner with a 1:54.2 mark. He also won a pair of Kindergarten legs there for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld who also bred the son of Muscle Massive. Tim Tetrick drove to Hollywood Highway to his record mile and chose to stick with him for the final.   Celebrity Express (post 7) also came of age in Lexington when paired with driver John Campbell, scoring a late-closer win followed by a solid third in a division of the International Stallion Stake (INSS). The Andover Hall brother to Donato Hanover could make a significant dent in his $200,000 yearling purchase price with a good result here for owner Celebrity Farms.   Jimmy Takter who shattered records with his fantastic Breeders Crown tour de force last week has the power in the $174,500 Kindergarten filly final, race nine on the program.   The Takter coupled entry is led by series point leader Haughty who starts from the rail. The Donato Hanover lass is a three-time Kindergarten leg winner who finished second in last week's Breeders Crown, the only blemish on her freshman slate. Haughty won a Kindergarten split in 1:54.1 in Kentucky then captured an INSS division in advance of her Crown showing. Dave Palone has been the filly's regular pilot and is in to drive for owners Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband.   Hollywood Hill (post 2) is the Takter entry-mate here. She has been a model of consistency while winning three of ten seasonal outings for owner/breeder Goran Falk and his partner Christina Takter. John Campbell has the drive on Saturday.   Further information on Saturday's races are available by visiting the Vernon Downs website.   Nick Salvi

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 28, 2015 - The best in the sport of Harness Racing will be showcased at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 30 as Grand Circuit racing action returns to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the fourth and final time this season. With over $1.1 million in purses to be distributed on the evening, Hoosier Park will offer arguably one of the best cards of the 2015 live racing season with a 14-race card that includes the $285,500 Monument Circle Pace, the $265,000 Carl Erskine Trot, and the $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. The first race of the evening will line-up behind the starting gate at 5:45 p.m. The $285,500 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will feature perhaps the most anticipated matchup in all of harness racing as the Hoosier state's sophomore superstars Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete face-off in the rubber match of their rivalry. These two have met twice before on the track at Hoosier Park and each have a win to their credit. Wiggle It Jiggleit bested Freaky Feet Pete earlier in the season in Indiana Sires Stakes action but Freaky Feet Pete avenged that loss with a victory in their most recent match-up in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final at Hoosier Park on October 10. Wiggle It Jiggleit will line-up behind the gate for the Monument Circle after a sharp 1:49.4 score in his $45,300 division of the Circle City Stakes on October 23 at Hoosier Park. Driven by regular pilot Montrell Teague, Wiggle It Jiggleit went gate to wire to finish four and a half lengths in front of his nearest rival. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing, has drawn the rail and has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle Pace, slated as the 13th race on the program. Freaky Feet Pete returns to Hoosier Park fresh off a stretch rallying victory as the post time favorite to capture the $531,250 Breeders Crown three-year-old male pacing event at Woodbine on October 24. As a $62,500 supplemental entry, Freaky Feet Pete looked to be far out of contention in the final turn but sprinted home to stop the timer in 1:50 and record his first victory outside the state of Indiana. For the Monument Circle, Freaky Feet Pete drew post three with Trace Tetrick in the sulky and is slated at 7-5 on the morning line for trainer Larry Rheinheimer. Also among the stellar cast of entrants at Hoosier Park on Friday will be the 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman who will look to add to his bankroll when he visits Indiana for the first time against nine other competitors in the $265,000 Carl Erskine Trot. Pinkman, harness racing's top-earning horse this season, drew post four with Yannick Gingras in the sulky for trainer Jimmy Takter. Pinkman has bankrolled $1.86 million this year and won 11 of 16 seasonal outings. Most recently, Pinkman finished second the Breeders Crown final for three-year-old trotting colts at Woodbine Racetrack behind stablemate The Bank. The Carl Erskine Trot also includes the undefeated Indiana Sires Stakes Champion Homicide Hunter who was made eligible to the race by a supplemental nomination. The Curt Grummel trainee has won 16 of 16 starts this year and will start from the rail with regular driver John DeLong in the bike as he embarks on his most ambitious outing to date after dominating state breds. The 2015 Dan Patch Stakes winner JK Endofanera will return to Hoosier Park for the second time since his Dan Patch victory and looks to keep his three-race win streak at Hoosier Park in tact in the $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby from post five with Brett Miller in the sulky. JK Endofanera will ship to Indiana after a second place finish in his last start behind Always B Miki in the Breeders Crown final for open pacers. Not only will the best horses in the country go to post at Hoosier Park on Friday's 14-race card but the best drivers in the country will also be in the spotlight in the second annual East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge. This unique challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a five-race challenge with the victorious team going home with a winner take all $10,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up "Team Midwest" with the top five drivers from the East making up "Team East". The East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge will be featured in races 4-8 on the evening. For more information on the upcoming live racing and entertainment at Hoosier Park, please visit The live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

Harness racing this week: Monument Circle, Carl Erskine Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, the Crossroads of America, and the USS Indianapolis, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten finals, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday (Oct. 30) at Hoosier Park with five stakes races on the card. Leading the way is the $285,500 Monument Circle for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on tap will be the $265,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters, the $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, the $140,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $100,000 USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (Oct. 31) card at Vernon Downs features the $191,500 Kindergarten Series final for 2-year-old trotting colts and the $174,500 Kindergarten Series final for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: This past Saturday night (Oct. 24) at Woodbine saw 12 Breeders Crown races contested and trainer Jimmy Takter and driver David Miller dominated the proceedings. The finale of the night was the $400,000 Open Pace, in which Always B Miki posted a sensational 1:49.3 mile over a rain-soaked surface at Woodbine. The victory, a year removed from when the son of Always A Virgin had to be scratched from the Crown 3-year-old pacing colt final at The Meadowlands, came at the expense of stablemate JK Endofanera and Mach It So. Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, the victory was the sixth of the 12 Breeders Crown races for trainer Jimmy Takter and the fifth by winning driver David Miller. Freaky Feet Pete, a $62,500 supplemental entry, rallied from well back as the favorite to capture the $531,250 Breeders Crown 3-year-old male pacing event at Woodbine. The son of Rockin Image looked to be far out of contention on the final turn, but driver Trace Tetrick gave him his marching orders in the stretch and the colt sprinted to a 1:50 victory at the expense of Artspeak and Lost For Words. In the stretch, Lost For Words opened up a few lengths, but Freaky Feet Pete had already been sent wide and he was closing with wild abandon. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer for owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete kicked home the winner, with Artspeak coming solidly late for second and Lost For Words finishing third. The four Breeders Crown races for 2-year-olds followed form for the most part, with Southwind Frank wrapping up his divisional title in the freshman colt trot race. The son of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy has been a dominant force in the division all season long and the Crown performance with Yannick Gingras in the bike was no exception as he cruised over the rain-soaked Woodbine oval in a 1:54.2 clocking under wraps. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables and J&T Silva Stables, the victory was win number 11 in a dozen starts for the impressive colt trained by leading conditioner Ron Burke, who celebrated his ninth Breeders Crown victory. Pure Country maintained her undefeated streak in the $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace, winning in 1:51.4 as the 1-9 favorite. With Brett Miller in the sulky, Pure Country defeated Shezarealdeal and Mayhem Seelster in 1:51.4 for her tenth straight victory. A homebred filly from Diamond Creek Farm by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, Pure Country collected her 10th win of the season and pushed her seasonal earnings to nearly $700,000 for trainer Jimmy Takter. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,345; 2. David Miller - 1,050.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 901; 4. Brett Miller - 616; 5. Scott Zeron - 549.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,632; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,412; 3. Tony Alagna - 572.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 340; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 321. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 376.55; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 322.1; 3. Bamond Racing - 275; 4. Christina Takter - 219.45; 5. Marvin Katz - 193.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and Balmoral Park. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters on Thursday (Nov. 5), while Balmoral will feature eight American-National stakes on Saturday (Nov. 7). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

The 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit harness racing season is officially underway. And it’s started with a bang. The Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship staged at Albion Park in Brisbane was taken out by New Zealand bred gelding Our Hi Jinx ($9.50) who defeated Caesars Folly ($51.10) and Avonnova ($13.90) in the sunshine state’s biggest event. Prepared locally by Ian Gurney, Our Hi Jinx was handled by Victorian reinsman Greg Sugars who replaced the suspended Adam Sanderson and drove a brilliant tactical race to claim the 2680 feature in track record time of 1;55.0 – eclipsing the previous mark of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood from 2010. Race favourite Philadelphia Man ($1.40) finished 9th after being forced to work hard from his wide draw. Driven aggressively off the gate from the start, Sugars controlled the early going with Our Hi Jinx with Caesars Folly in the trail while Alleluia and Monifieth jostled early for handy positions. As the field worked past the mile marker, Our Hi Jinx took cover behind his stablemate Avonnova while Bling It On and Shannonsablast also made forward moves. The lead time was posted in 77.5 seconds. With Avonnova leading the way, Philadelphia Man made his move but was forced to cover plenty of extra ground in very quick sectionals. The first half of the final mile was covered in 28.9 and 28 seconds. Heading down the back straight on the final occasion, Avonnova maintained a solid tempo with Philadelphia Man working on his outside while Our Hi Jinx sat directly behind them. The third quarter was posted in 28.6 seconds. In the straight, Avonnova kicked clear from Philadelphia Man while Our Hi Jinx and Caesars Folly darted back to the sprintlane. Our Hi Jinx lasted by a half neck margin from Caesars Folly with a further 5 metres back to Avonnova in third. The final quarter was timed in 28.6 seconds. “We couldn’t have wished for a better trip and he travelled comfortably throughout, the solid speed suited him and he zipped quickly once we got the run via the inside. Ian (Gurney) was really happy with him going into the event and that gave me good confidence, he’s a neat little horse with really good speed.” Winning driver Greg Sugars said. The 2015 Queensland spring carnival has proven to be quite the windfall for Our Hi Jinx with victories in the Be Good Johnny Sprint and now the QPC. The Christian Cullen – Treasured Possession gelding was also placed in the Gold Coast Cup last week. Our Hi Jinx is raced by Gurney, Paul Montgomery and the Fleur De Lil Trust. The next leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit is the $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 10. by Chris Barsby

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 23, 2015  - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 23 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the third time this season. The 13-race harness racing card was highlighted by divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and it was Harness Racing's top ranked horse, Wiggle It Jiggleit who stole the show. After suffering a loss in his last Hoosier Park start, Wiggle It Jiggleit not only made amends but made a statement in his $45,300 split of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings as he coasted to the wire in 1:49.4. Driven by regular pilot Montrell Teague, Wiggle It Jiggle used a gate to wire victory to finish four and a half lengths in front Mohawk Warrior and John DeLong. Teague sent the overwhelming favorite away from the gate firing and he grabbed the first call through an opening panel in :26.4 while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Wiggle It Jiggleit remained uncontested through splits of :55.3 and 1:22.4 before he began to put his talent on display. As the field turned for home, it was all over but the shouting as Wiggle It Jiggleit's lead was ever-increasing. Using a :27 final quarter, the World Champion son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover coasted to the wire under a hand-drive to notch his 19th seasonal victory. "Looking at the program it looked it like I had the best horse so I knew I wanted to be on the front," Teague noted after the win. "They didn't press me too hard and I just let him do it all on his own to the wire. Horses like him don't come around very often; I'm having the time of my life with him. This has all been so rewarding for me." Trained by Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $1,842,170 with the victory. Wiggle It Jiggleit's next engagement will be the $275,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings slated for Friday, October 30 at Hoosier Park. On the trotting side of the stakes action, Homicide Hunter put together his own impressive performance as he took home top honors in the second division of the $43,000 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings to remain undefeated in 16 starts this season. Staging a big rally late in the long Hoosier Park lane, Homicide Hunter and John DeLong used a :27.3 final quarter to surge past Muscle Up The Goal and Aaron Merriman and stop the timer in 1:54.1. DeLong rated Homicide Hunter off the early pace while Classic Venture and Trace Tetrick dictated early fractions of :27 and :57. Homicide Hunter moved to the outer flow down the backside but would have his work cut out for home turning for home. DeLong tipped his mount to outside of tiring cover and Homicide Hunter found another gear late in the lane to get the victory and kept his winning streak in-tact. "He's an amazing animal," trainer Curt Grummel noted in the winner's circle. "I thought they would probably get him tonight after we were so far back at the half but he really impressed me tonight. He's just an amazing horse." Homicide Hunter sent his seasonal earnings to $385,737 with the victory. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won 19 of 26 lifetime starts. The connections of Homicide Hunter said he will most likely be supplemented to the $250,000 Carl Erskine Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Hoosier Park on October 30. Other stakes winners on the evening included Roland N Rock scoring in 1:51.4 in the first division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings for driver Aaron Merriman and trainer Rob Harmon. Chips Starr and Hugh Beatty pulled a $52.60 upset in their division of three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and stopped the timer 1:55.2. Bright Baby Blues delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the first division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:54.4 to give Aaron Merriman his second win of the night. Muscle Baby Doll and John DeLong took the second division for three-year-old trotting fillies using a near gate to wire victory to score in 1:53.1. Rockin Good and Triple V Hanover took home top honors in their respective divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Rockin Good and trainer, driver Jared Finn wired the field in 1:51.2 to score their sixth win of the season. Trace Tetrick used the same front-running tactics to get Triple V Hanover home a winner in the final division scoring in 1:52 for trainer Brian Brown. The stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 24 as the 14-race card will feature the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The first race will line-up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. Photos: 1) Wiggle It Jiggleit was a decisive winner in his split of the Circle City Stakes at Hoosier Park. 2) Homicide Hunter remains undefeated in 16 starts this season with Circle City Stakes victory. Photos courtesy of Linscott Photography. Emily Gaskin

Harness racing this Week: Breeders Crown finals, Woodbine Racetrack, Rexdale, Ont.; Kindergarten Series, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; and Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind. Schedule of events: The 12 Breeders Crown championship events on Saturday night (Oct. 24) at Woodbine will be front and center in the Grand Circuit spotlight this week. Breeders Crown championship races will be held for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older Standardbreds of both sexes and gaits. For Breeders Crown entries, click on this link. Vernon Downs will host the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters on Friday (Oct. 23). There will be two $10,000 divisions for the colts and two $10,000 divisions for the fillies. Hoosier has Grand Circuit action on both Friday and Saturday. Friday features eight Circle City races for 3-year-olds with two divisions each in the $93,500 filly trot, the $90,300 colt pace, the $86,000 colt trot and the $65,600 filly pace. Saturday will feature Madison County events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the $78,500 filly trot and $75,200 colt trot and single divisions in the $77,300 filly pace and $76,700 colt pace. Complete entries for the Vernon and Hoosier Park races are available at this link. Last time: Breeders Crown eliminations were in the spotlight this past weekend at Woodbine as 13 contests were raced at the Toronto area oval. Freaky Feet Pete proved he didn't need to take his racetrack with him to prove his talent. Racing for the first time outside of Hoosier Park, the Indiana-bred won convincingly in 1:49.4 Saturday night (Oct. 17) by 1-1/4 lengths in the first Breeders Crown elimination for 3-year-old colt pacers. Fresh off his impressive victory against the mighty Wiggle It Jiggleit in a $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final exactly a week before at Hoosier, Freaky Feet Pete had proven himself at home. Breeder/trainer Larry Rheinheimer, whose wife, Mary Jo and son, Marty, own the colt by Rockin Image, supplemented the superstar for $62,500, feeling his horse deserved the chance to compete in the Crown. His victory in the $20,000 elimination stamps him as a serious contender going into the final. Driver Trace Tetrick settled the colt into third, behind pacesetter Reverend Hanover, who set fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:23. It was after the half-mile point that Tetrick began a first-over move and claimed control at the top of the stretch. He paced the mile into a steady wind with breathtaking ease. Artistic Major rallied late to overtake Reverend Hanover for second. Tony Alagna-trainee Artspeak racked his 14th win of his 26-race career by surging off cover and nailing 3-5 favorite Wakizashi Hanover on the wire by a neck in 1:51.3 in the latter elimination. Competing for the interests of Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners, Artspeak pushed his lifetime earnings to $1.5 million. He was driven by Scott Zeron. After staying put in the first-over position around the far turn, Always B Miki began to slide toward control and quickly roared by pacesetter State Treasurer en route to a three length victory in 1:49.4 in the second $35,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace elimination on Oct. 17. Making his second start of the season for the interests of Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter, Always B Miki pushed his career earnings to $954,366. The 4-year-old horse by Always A Virgin, out of the Artsplace mare Artstopper, is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven by David Miller. Foiled Again, mired in one of his worst seasons when it comes to victories, turned the tables in capturing the first $35,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown Open pacing division as an 8-1 outsider. The richest Standardbred of all time, Foiled Again entered the contest with nearly $7.2 million banked throughout his storied career, but this year had just one victory in 17 starts prior to Saturday night. Driver Yannick Gingras waited until the :54.2 half had been clocked before setting Foiled Again to the outside. The gelding knew exactly what to do as he grinded his way up to the leader through a 1:22.1 three-quarter clocking and then shifted into high gear in the homestretch, scoring quite safely in 1:50. The victory was number 85 in the career of Foiled Again, trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,285; 2. David Miller - 938.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 846; 4. Brett Miller - 581; 5. Brian Sears - 531. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,537; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,245; 3. Tony Alagna - 542.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 330; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 311. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 347.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 300.85; 3. Bamond Racing - 265; 4. Christina Takter - 197.55; 5. Marvin Katz - 177.6. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs. Hoosier will host five Grand Circuit events, led by the Monument Circle for 3-year-old pacing males. Vernon will host the Kindergaten finals and consolations for the 2-year-old trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness racing this Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Woodbine Racetrack, Rexdale, Ontario and John Simpson Stakes, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Woodbine Racetrack this Friday (Oct. 16) and Saturday (Oct. 17) for Breeders Crown eliminations in seven divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the 3-year-old colt trot, the 3-year-old filly trot, the Mare Pace, the Mare Trot and the Open Trot. The Friday card features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly trot, the 2-year-old filly pace and the 2-year-old colt pace, plus a single $25,000 elimination in the 2-year-old colt trot. The Saturday card features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the Open Pace, the 3-year-old colt pace and the 3-year-old filly pace. Also on Friday, Vernon Downs will host the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. On tap will be the $25,680 2-year-old colt trot, the $25,080 2-year-old colt pace, and $23,492 divisions of the 2-year-old filly pace and filly trot. Complete entries for the Woodbine races are available at this link. Entries for the Vernon races are available at this link. Last time: Papagayo E and Ulf Ohlsson snuck up the rail to overtake Creatine in the final strides of the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 10) in a time of 2:26 for the 1-1/4 mile race. The margin of victory was a half-length. The Norwegian flags were flying and a robust contingent of Norwegian fans cheered the victory by trainer Jan Waaler and owners Tom Andersen and Claes Sjolin. "This was great," Andersen said. "Just know that I feel we have the best horse in the world." Timoko, representing France and driven by Bjorn Goop, was second and Creatine of the United States (with Johnny Takter up) was third. Oasis Bi of Sweden and driver Orjan Kihlstrom was fourth and the final check went to BBS Sugarlight, also of Norway, and his driver Johan Untersteiner. Pinkman won Saturday's $527,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile, biding his time through the early portions of the race before taking the lead in the stretch and posting a 1-1/4 length victory over longshot Crescent Fashion in 1:51.2. French Laundry finished third. The triumph gave trainer Jimmy Takter a sweep of the Kentucky Futurity and the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Wild Honey, with John Campbell in the sulky, upset 1-9 favorite Mission Brief in the Kentucky Filly Futurity by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.4. Pinkman's win in the Kentucky Futurity gave the gelding two jewels of the Trotting Triple Crown. In August, Pinkman captured the first jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, at the Meadowlands. Habitat, who won the second jewel, the Yonkers Trot, was not entered in the Futurity. Pinkman is the 20th horse to win two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, a feat most recently accomplished just last year by Takter's Nuncio. Pinkman, who started from post nine, raced in third place for nearly three-quarters of a mile before challenging leader Crazy Wow on the final turn. He pulled away from the field in the stretch before holding off Crescent Fashion to win the 123rd edition of the Kentucky Futurity. Muscle Diamond followed French Laundry, with Crazy Wow finishing fifth. A gelding by Explosive Matter out of the mare Margie Seelster, Pinkman has won 11 of 15 races this year and earned $1.75 million. His other victories include the $532,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, $1 million Hambletonian, $500,000 Beal Memorial, and $370,000 Zweig Memorial. Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. For his career, Pinkman has won 17 of 23 starts and $2.31 million. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,236; 2. David Miller - 911.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 819; 4. Brett Miller - 556; 5. Brian Sears - 517. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,491; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,198; 3. Tony Alagna - 512.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 330; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 311. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 337.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 290.35; 3. Bamond Racing - 265; 4. Christina Takter - 193.75; 5. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 170. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Racetrack with Breeders Crown finals in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters). Vernon Downs (Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old trotters) and Hoosier Park (Circle City for 2-year-olds and Madison County for 3-year-olds) will also be hosting Grand Circuit racing. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Brett Miller won eight stakes races at the Grand Circuit meet in Lexington, as well as one late closer. He took splits of the Bluegrass and ISS with top filly Pure Country and came from off to win the Allerage Open with JK Endofanera, all for Jimmy Takter. JK End won a split of the Tattersalls Pace last year. And David Miller, who finished with a rush on Saturday, with wins in the Allerage Mare Pace with Color’s A Virgin, Allerage Mare Trot with D’One, and both splits of the Tattersalls Filly Pace, with the Rock N Roll Heaven fillies Rock Me Gently and Divine Caroline, was second in stakes wins with seven. He also won four late closers.   Tim Tetrick, who won eleven late closers, had six stakes wins, including Bluegrass splits with Split The House, Crazy Wow and Bedroomconfessions. Tim won eleven late closers two years ago, in addition to nine stakes. Last year Yannick Gingras won an incredible sixteen stakes races and four late closers at The Red Mile. This year that dropped off to five stakes wins and a single late closer. On the other hand, Yannick did take the most lucrative race at the meet, the $527,000 KY Futurity with the Explosive Matter gelding, Pinkman. He also steered the Muscle Hill colt Southwind Frank to a 1:52.2 world record performance in a split of the ISS. Scott Zeron also had five stakes wins, including the Tattersalls Pace with Artspeak and the Allerage Open with Il Sogno Dream on closing day. Scott won five late closers. John Campbell drove the diminutive Cantab Hall miss, Wild Honey, to a win over 1/9 trotting queen Mission Brief in the Filly Futurity. He also had three other stakes wins. Upstart Muscle Hill has been looking down his nose at Cantab lately, including at the Lexington Selected Sale, but the latter took his measure in the Futurity. In 2011 Campbell won 13 late closers but no stakes. The following year it was only two late closers, but four Bluegrass splits and one ISS. He also got bilked out of an ISS win with Odds On Equuleus. This year JC took four stakes and three late closers. Ake Svanstedt and Andy Miller each drove three winners. The late blooming Andover Hall colt Dupree beat Takter’s highly regarded Muscle Hill colt, Bar Hopping, in both the Bluegrass and ISS for Ake. Andy doubled with the Yankee Glide freshman Milligan’s School. Ake also took a pair of late closers, and Andy one. Jimmy Takter led all trainers with seven stakes wins. This is down from 13 last year. He has back to back wins in the KY Futurity and three in a row in the Filly Futurity, with To Dream On, Shake It Cerry and Wild Honey. Pure Country and Wild Honey were both double winners. Tony Alagna was next with six winners. He took the Tattersalls Pace with Artspeak, who was his only stakes winner in 2014. The American Ideal colt, American Passport, and the Roll With Joe colt Racing Hill were both double winners in Lexington. Steffan Lind, who saw his sophomore trotter Billy Flynn go cold in his second year on the track, won four stakes. The Manofmanymissions freshman Celebrity Eventsy won twice for him, helping raise his sire’s profile in the process. Ron Burke, who won nine stakes in 2014, only captured four this time around. Burke had eight second place finishes in Red Mile stakes, one of which he also won. Mission Brief disappointed, while Crazy Wow was beaten up by Takter and The Bank in the early part of the Futurity. Horses bred in Pennsylvania won three-quarters of the trotting stakes at The Red Mile. There were three New Jersey wins for Muscle Hill—less than one would expect—who is now in Pennsylvania. And MOMM, who is now in Ohio, had two wins from Ontario sired Celebrity Eventsy. There was only one win for a New York bred trotter, that being Crazy Wow, who took a Bluegrass split. Cantab Hall topped the Pennsylvania list with five wins, followed by Yankee Glide with four and Donato with three. The Empire State fared much better in the pacing stakes, with eleven wins to six for PA. New Jersey had five, four of them by the late Rocknroll Hanover. And one of Western Ideal’s three winners was bred in the Garden State. Indiana had one—Allerage Mare Pace winner, Color’s A Virgin. SBSW, like his trotting counterpart Muscle Hill, only had three wins. None of the major stakes on the last day of the meet went to sons or daughters of either of these high dollar stallions. American Ideal had four wins, as did Rocknroll Heaven. Racing Hill put the spotlight on his successful first year sire, Roll With Joe, with wins in the Bluegrass and ISS. The weather was awful the first week of the meet, and didn’t really reach its peak until the final day. The $150,000 guarantee on Thursday’s Super High Five sparked interest, but too many fields were short, and the pari-mutuel prices reflected that. Participation from Ontario and Indiana, which were in the middle of carding their sire stakes programs, was very weak. The Keystone Classic in Pennsylvania hurt the Red Mile meet, and was hurt by it; that series and the Liberty Bell featured too many five and six horse fields. Ohio added very little. Will the Grand Circuit gradually fade away as casino enhanced restricted racing offers bigger prizes for much less effort? Perhaps. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century.  He writes a weekly blog for  Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Lexington, KY - Having been in existence since 1875, The Red Mile is the second oldest harness racing track in the United States. However, it will move into uncharted territory on Thursday afternoon's Grand Circuit program. A carryover in the 20-Cent Super Hi-Five of $50,398 will be the largest carryover in the 140-year history of the track. Track officials, in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program, have placed an 'Instant Guarantee' of $150,000 on Thursday afternoon's Super Hi-Five. The Super Hi-Five is a daily wager featured in the final race of each program, where fans must select the top five finishers in order. The wager features a 20-cent minimum. Wednesday afternoon's Super Hi-Five was made up of a 13-1 winner, followed in by a 9-1, 48-1, 6-1, and 4-1. Despite over $58,000 being wagered into the pool, there were no winning tickets, leaving the $50,398 carryover into Thursday afternoon's finale. The 10th and final race on Thursday afternoon is scheduled to go to post at 4:35 p.m. (EST). It will feature 12 two-year old trotters going to the gate in what appears to be a wide open crapshoot. The Perfect Lindy (Dave Miller) has been installed as the 7-2 lukewarm morning line favorite. Thursday afternoon's program will also feature a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on races 7 - 10, and will be highlighted with five divisions of the $264,000 International Stallion Stake for freshman colt trotters. Live racing continues through Saturday, October 10th, with a first post of 1 p.m. The closing day card will feature over $1.8 million in purses, highlighted by the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity, third leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. Gabe Prewitt, The Red Mile

Harness racing this Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. and International Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Wednesday (Oct. 7) with four divisions in the $268,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Oct. 8) card features five divisions in the $264,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Friday (Oct. 9) The Red Mile will host four divisions in the $272,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers and three splits in the $224,100 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 10), The Red Mile will offer the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $262,500 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $450,000 Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $232,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $148,000 Allerage for open pacers, the $134,000 Allerage for open trotters, the $79,000 Allerage for older pacing mares and the $66,000 Allerage for older trotting mares. Yonkers Raceway on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 10) will feature the $1 million International Trot for older trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Despite howling winds, at times reaching 30 miles per hour, as well as intermittent rain showers all day and night, the two Grand Circuit races at Hollywood Dayton Raceway this past Friday night (Oct. 2) produced track records on both the trot and pace. Native Ohioan and Hall of Fame driver David Miller was behind both winners. Il Sogno Dream, sent off at 14-1 odds, upset Shake It Cerry in the $135,750 Dayton Trotting Derby. Il Sogno Dream upset favored Shake It Cerry (Yannick Gingras) in the $135,750 Dayton Trotting Derby, establishing a track record for 4-year-olds of 1:53.2. In a post-race interview, Miller revealed that trainer Chris Beaver (also from Ohio) had told him the horse was in top form and "don't be afraid to race him aggressively." Miller obliged with a first-over journey that resulted in racing over a half-mile side-by-side with odds-on favorite Shake It Cerry before pulling away in the final strides. Southwind Pepino (Hugh Beatty) garnered the show dough. Il Sogno Dream's owners Bill and Dan Manes and Leonard and Randy Christopher benefited from Beaver and Miller's confidence as they were rewarded with their horse's 12th career win and one of his largest paydays. Miller used a much different strategy in the $138,500 Dayton Pacing Derby, sending favored State Treasurer directly to the front and never looking back in an all-age track record 1:48.4 performance. Shamballa (Rick Zeron) raced gamely to finish second, with Let's Drink On It (Travis Seekman) next across the line. The winning 6-year-old son of Real Desire now has nine seasonal wins, including the Graduate Series final and the U.S. Pacing Championship in addition to the Dayton Derby. Sally and Paul MacDonald own the sport's current top-rated older pacer and entrust his training to Dr. Ian Moore. The opening week of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile featured many memorable moments. On a blustery, frigid Saturday (Oct. 3) evening, Mission Brief was simply dazzling in her $72,000 division of the Bluegrass Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Sent off the deserving 1-9 favorite in the first race on the card, the superstar easily dispatched of her rivals by 4-3/4 lengths with regular pilot Yannick Gingras barely moving a muscle in the bike. As is her custom, Mission Brief led her colleagues through a half-mile in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:26.3. As she hit the top of the stretch, she began to place distance between herself and the other fillies. From there the outcome was never in doubt and the filly would be feted for her triumph in the winner's circle. She paid $2.10 for the win and completed her mile in 1:54.4. Classical Annie trotted her heart out to come home second and Speak To Me came from far back to finish third. The daughter of Muscle Hill and Southwind Serena is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The second place finisher and elimination winner in the Hambletonian saw her seasonal record climb to 10-8-2-0, with earnings of $764,992. Hambletonian Oaks winner Wild Honey did not trot as swiftly as Mission Brief but she collected the purse money for her $72,000 Bluegrass division with the same sort of ease. Sent off the 1-5 choice in the evening's second race, the daughter of Cantab Hall and U Wanna Lindy began her journey from post position seven with the sport's all-time winningest driver John Campbell at the lines. With Campbell not even asking for her best, the filly continued to roll down the homestretch and stopped the clock in 1:55.4 without any extensive exertion. Lilu Hanover at 71-1 closed from far back to get up for second and Lady Winona at 18-1 trotted very well to nab the show spot. Wild Honey is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding, and is trained by Christina's husband Jimmy. Her seasonal record now improves to 12-5-5-0 with $685,432 in the bank and a lifetime mark of 1:52.2 set when she took the Hambletonian Oaks. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,131; 2. David Miller - 766.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 749; 4. Brian Sears - 517; 5. Brett Miller - 441. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,391; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,033; 3. Tony Alagna - 432.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 330; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 251. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 306.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 271.15; 3. Bamond Racing - 265; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 170; 5. Christina Takter - 166.25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Woodbine Racetrack and Vernon Downs. Woodbine will host Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old, 3-year-old and older horses of both sexes and gaits. Vernon will offer the Simpson Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Paul Ramlow

LEXINGTON, KY-- Night two of the Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile was highlighted by four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old colt trotters, which were contested on Thursday, Oct. 1.   Milligan's School sat a pocket trip after failing to clear the lead into the first turn, and slid up a seam in the stretch to draw off to a 2-length win in 1:56.3 in the opening Bluegrass round. Holding the top spot through fractions of :29.3, :58.3, and 1:28 was Dominion Beach. Into the far turn, Waitlifter K supplied a challenge from first over, while Metatron had an opportunity to fan off the cones and prepare for a wide stretch drive. While in control, Dominion Beach drifted slightly off the pylons, which prompted Milligan's School to trot by to his inside. Metatron was the fiercest closer down the center of the track, but could not out-sprint Milligan's School and Andy Miller at the finish. Waitlifter K held on for third, while Make Or Miss got fourth.   Sent off the 6-5 favorite, Milligan's School, a $4.40 winner, is owned by Stroy Inc. and trained by Julie Miller. The earner of $128,494 in 10 starts this season was bred by Richard and Joyce McClelland.   "That's still pretty fresh on my mind, what happened the other night [his break on Sept. 11 at The Meadows]," Julie Miller said. "When we were sitting in the two hole here I said 'Come on, let's make sure we take advantage of this big opportunity.' It was a misfortune [the break], but we bounced back tonight. That's all you can do."   "I've been really pleased with this horse," Miller also said. "From the word go, he's just done everything I've asked. Andy [Miller] gets along with him great, and I expect a lot of good things from him."   The second split was claimed by Taco Tuesday, who benefitted from a patient drive and battled home to finish narrowly in front of Hollywood Highway in a 1:58.2 mile. Runner-up Hollywood Highway set the tempo for most the mile, putting up fractions of :30.2, :59.4, and a third-quarter in 1:29.1 thanks to the pressure of first-over Desert Runner. Taco Tuesday tracked Desert Runner two-wide into the far turn, tipping wide into the stretch. Desert Runner held the lead shortly during the stretch, while Hollywood Highway continued to battle for control, and Taco Tuesday edged into a length of the battle. Into the final sixteenth, he got a neck in front of Hollywood Highway to pull off a 12-1 upset. Finishing third was Desert Runner, and fourth was Honor Above All via disqualification of Coughlin for a lapped-on break.   Sired by Cantab Hall, out of the Yankee Glide mare Be My Baby, the James Wilhite-bred colt is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, R. Rudolph, and F. Baldassare, trained by Frank Antonacci, and driven by Andy Miller. Taco Tuesday, in his maiden-breaking score, pushes his seasonal earnings to $39,565 in six starts.   "If you watch how we are with our two-year-olds, we don't race them very early," Frank Antonacci said. "This guy I had staked to the Peter Haughton, so I really thought a lot of him all winter. Then you fall into some bad grooves and make some baby mistakes, and it doesn't take long to be in October and have $7,000 on your card."   "He just got into a couple of bad spots where he got too aggressive," Antonacci said in response to the colt's history of breaking. "When you're trying to race horses and get them back mentally, it's a little challenging sometimes. But it was nice to have Andy [Miller] qualify him last week [at Lexington]. Obviously it paid off tonight."   The pocket trip resulted in victory again in the third division, with Lagerfeld stalking tempo-setter Southwind Flash before pouncing out of the pocket in progress to a 1 1/4 length victory in 1:57.4. Southwind Flash passed the quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:00.4 before being challenged by Mavens Way, who broke into the first turn due to interference by Sutton, also off stride. Mavens Way broke before three-quarters, leaving a gap for Lagerfeld to edge out of the pocket. Timed in 1:29.4, Lagerfeld began his bid in the final quarter of a mile. By the final eighth, his nose emerged in front of Southwind Flash and the margin gradually grew as the 6-5 favorite hit the line in front. Claiming the third and fourth spots were Brownie Hanover and Kanthaka.   Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of Yankee Glide, out of Yankee Paco mare Southern Senorita, paid $4.60 to win. He's owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Lagerfeld has now earned $279,709 in eight starts this season, with this win being his third.   "He got the perfect trip," Jimmy Takter said. "He got a little lucky with a couple of horses breaking in the first turn, but it's a tricky track tonight and last night was the same. It's maybe slightly better today, but it's very sticky at the rail and a lot of horses have a problem to find some legs there."   "It's normally like that when it's a very windy day with two-year-olds," Takter also said in regards to the benefit of coming off the pace. "It's always tough to cut the mile, and on the backside there's a very tough wind. We got a perfect trip, but I don't want to take anything away from this horse. He almost made $300,000 and he's a great potential colt."   In a wire-to-wire performance, 7-2 third choice Dupree was a winner in 1:57.3 over 1-2 favorite Bar Hopping, who began to challenge for the lead heading into the far turn. Dupree set fractions of :29.3 and :59.4 before being confronted by Bar Hopping first over. The two were stride for stride through a 1:30 third quarter before Dupree edged away from Bar Hopping after he drifted off the turn. Bar Hopping could not recuperate the lost ground off that turn and solely chased Dupree to the line while holding off third-place finisher Cloud Nine Hanover and fourth-place finisher Celebrity Pilatus.   Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Courant A B, the Andover Hall colt out of the Muscles Yankee mare Hustle N Muscle paid $9.40 to win. This was his second win out of seven starts this season, with the victory pushing his seasonal earnings to $114,031. He is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt.   "He's a real nice horse," assistant trainer Bernie Noren said. "We've always had high thoughts for him and today he showed up as the horse we thought he was gonna' be. I think he likes the big track, but he raced really good last time [in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final]. He was sick before that, but he's come back and we gave him two races, and now he's getting back to himself again."   Grand Circuit action resumes tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 2, with three divisions of the $243,000 Bluegrass 2-year-old filly pace and the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace. Post time is 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

LEXINGTON, KY-- The opening night of the Grand Circuit harness racing meeting at The Red Mile began with two divisions of the $259,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday night, Sept. 30.   Broadway Donna escaped defeat in a stretch-drive duel against Ultimate Shopper, winning the opening division by a nose in 1:59. The 1-9 favorite controlled the pace for a majority of the mile, circling early pacesetter I'm Outstanding, who established the first quarter in :30.4, before the half to obtain the lead. Drawing away off a half of :59.4 and three-quarters in 1:29.2, Broadway Donna led by about 5 lengths at the top of the stretch. Ultimate Shopper, sitting third for the entire mile, edged first over into the stretch and gave pursuit to Broadway Donna, coming up to her wheel by the eighth pole. However, Broadway Donna faced the challenge and claimed victory. Finishing third and fourth were Twice Is Right and Southwind Pearl.   A $2.10 winner, Broadway Donna, sired by Donato Hanover out of the mare Broadway Schooner by Broadway Hall, is owned and bred by Fashion Farms, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by David Miller. Broadway Donna remains undefeated in nine starts this season, piling $531,286 in career earnings.   "She's been terrific all year," Dave Miller said. "Tonight might have not been a good night for her, and maybe the front [was] not a good place to be, but she held tough."   "The rail [was] pretty deep," Miller also said. "I tried to stay off the rail, but it was getting to her late."   The other split went to Celebrity Eventsy, who battled for the lead with All The Time throughout the mile, progressing to a 1:56.1 victory. The second choice at 6-5, driver Brett Miller sent Celebrity Eventsy to the lead and through a :28.3 first quarter. All The Time, the 4-5 favorite, tipped off the pylons and brushed to the top after a :58 half. Controlling the pace at three-quarters in 1:27.2, Celebrity Eventsy popped out of the pocket into the stretch and drifted in her bid after the favorite. She eventually edged past All The Time in the sixteenth pole, winning by a neck. Dancing In Thehall finished third, and Miss Tezsla was fourth.   Celebrity Eventsy, from the first crop of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie by American Winner, was bred by Kentuckiana Farms, and races for the interest of Celebrity Farms. She is conditioned by Staffan Lind and was driven by Brett Miller. She has now won three races this season, and has earnings of $167,212.   "[If] you go by the times of the rest of the races, this was a very good mile," Brett Miller said. "She raced very well in her last start in the Peaceful Way. I actually turned the guy [Could It Be Magic] loose at the half, and I'm not so sure if it didn't cost me the race. She's a very nice filly."   Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 1, with four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. Post time for the 10-race card is 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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