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LEXINGTON, KY-- Sophomore pacers and trotters compete on the first matinee harness racing program of the Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile on Sunday, October 2, with three divisions of the $188,200 Bluegrass for trotting fillies, two divisions of the $163,500 Bluegrass for trotting colts, two divisions of the $147,000 Bluegrass for pacing fillies, and three divisions of the $173,900 Bluegrass for pacing colts. The opening of the three Bluegrass splits for trotting fillies pins Celebrity Eventsy against Double Exposure. Starting from post one, Celebrity Eventsy, by Manofmanymissions from the American Winner mare Little Ms Queenie, exits a ninth-place effort in the $331,360 Elegantimage, which was the result of a parked first-over trip. Owned by Celebrity Farms and trained by Staffan Lind, the winner of eight out of twenty-one starts lifetime has earned $453,863. Double Exposure enters off a 1:55.2 qualifier at The Red Mile, and adds Lasix for the first time in her career. Her last pari-mutual start was in a $26,950 Elegantimage elimination, where she finished sixth, failing to make the final. She has won six races out of fifteen starts lifetime, earning $297,413 for owners Brittany Farms and Melvin Hartman and trainer Tony Alagna. Freshman-sensation Broadway Donna, by Donato Hanover from the Broadway Hall mare Broadway Schooner, draws into the second division. Winning the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship in 1:53.4 in her most recent start, she earned her 12th win in 17 races, earning $800,894 for owner Fashion Farms LLC. Trained by Jim Campbell, she starts from post one. Trond Smedshammer sends Fad Finance, by Credit Winner from the Sierra Kosmos mare Armbro Vanity, from post five in the second division. Her last race was in the $225,000 New York Sires Stakes Final, where she finished fifth as the 3-5 favorite. Winning nine of 20 starts and earning $275,356, she races for owners Purple Haze Stables LLC, Marc Goldberg, and Rojan Stables. Hambletonian Oaks-elimination winner Side Bet Hanover competes in the final trotting filly split. Since her 38-1 upset in her Hambletonian Oaks elimination, she has finished second in a $74,690 Casual Breeze division and fifth in the Elegantimage Final. A winner of four of 17 starts, the filly by Donato Hanover from the Muscles Yankee mare Sea Level Hanover has earned $143,636 for owner Srf Stable. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, she starts from post two. Wildflower, off a 14-1 upset in the $118,574 Hudson Filly Trot, starts from post six against Side Bet Hanover. After her 1:56.1 performance in the Hudson Filly Trot, she qualified at Pocono Downs, winning by seven lengths in 1:58. Winning four of 16 starts lifetime, she has earned $225,507 for owner-trainer Ake Svanstedt along with partners Douglas Sipple and Mal & Janet Burroughs. The first of two Bluegrass divisions for trotting colts attracts Mavens Way, Sutton, and Lagerfeld. Mavens Way, finishing sixth to Sutton in a 1:51.4 mile against conditioned trotters at the Meadowlands, starts from post one. By Muscle Hill from the Andover Hall mare Doris Deo, he has earned $141,724 over 17 starts for owner-trainer Ake Svanstedt along with partners Mal & Janet Burroughs, T L P Stable, and Esa Hietakanagas. Sutton, who finished third at 48-1 in the $1,000,000 Hambletonian, races from post four. Finishing fourth in the $500,000 Colonial Trot and breaking as the even-money favorite in an $80,095 Simcoe division, he will try for his sixth win in his career. By Donato Hanover, from the Muscles Yankee mare I Wanted Wings, Sutton has compiled $328,806 in earnings over 20 starts for trainer Julie Miller and owners Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Jason & Douglas Allen. Exiting a fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, Lagerfeld, by Yankee Glide from the Yankee Paco mare Southern Senorita, starts from post two. The Jimmy Takter trainee has struggled with gait issues most of the season, breaking in a $153,250 Stanley Dancer Memorial division and in the $40,000 Yonkers Trot elimination. A winner of six in 26 starts, he has earned $602,603 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman. Bar Hopping, who was sent off as the even-money favorite in the Hambletonian, races in the other trotting colt division. Off a 1:53.1 victory in the $522,120 Canadian Trotting Classic, the Jimmy Takter trained son of Muscle Hill, from the Credit Winner mare Cocktail Hour, starts from post three. Winning six of 22 starts, he has earned $808,188 for owners Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld. Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach will battle again when they race in the first Bluegrass division for pacing fillies. Exiting the $143,640 Jugette, Pure Country finished fourth in the final, while Darlinonthebeach scratched after finishing fifth in the first heat. Pure Country, by Somebeachsomewhere from the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, has won 17 of 26 starts and earned $1,578,448 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. She'll race from post two. Darlinonthebeach, by Somebeachsomewhere from the Bettor's Delight mare Darlin's Delight, neighbors Pure Country from post three. A winner of 10 of 26 starts, she has earned $739,823 for owner White Birch Farm. Call Me Queen Be highlights the other pacing filly split. Finishing second as the 1-2 favorite after setting the pace in the Jugette Final, she draws post three. Defeating Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach in both the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and the first heat of the Jugette, they filly by Somebeachsomewhere from the Western Terror mare Preppy Party Girl has nine wins to her credit out of 25 starts, earning $752,384 for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Mr Dana Parham.   American Passport, who emerged into the stakes spotlight after winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes last fall, returns to The Red Mile. Drawing post four, he exits a ninth-place finish in the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy. Winning five of 24 starts, he has earned $283,691 for owners Brittany Farms, Alagna Racing, Riverview Racing, and Jody Siamis.   The second Bluegrass division for pacing colts features Western Fame, who won at 10-1 in a $92,320 Little Brown Jug elimination. Drawing post six, the Western Ideal colt from the Artiscape mare Shyaway has won four of 21 starts, earning $287,006 for owner Brittany Farms and trainer Jimmy Takter.   Another Jug finalist, Big Top Hanover, starts from post two. Going off stride before the start, he finished sixth. A winner of five in 33 starts, the colt by Western Ideal from the Art Major mare Blind Ambition has earned $625,612 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jt 45 and Weaver Bruscemi and trainer Ron Burke.   The final Bluegrass division attracts Dr J Hanover, who enters off a third-place effort in the Little Brown Jug. Starting from post five, Tony Alagna trains the gelding by Somebeachsomwhere, out of the Western Ideal mare So Perfect. He has won eight of 15 starts, amassing $289,149 in earnings for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, John Cancelliere, and Dr J Partners.   Manhattan Beach, who finished fifth in the Little Brown Jug, races from post two. By Somebeachsomewhere from the Badlands Hanover mare Benear, the Ron Burke trainee has won five of 27 starts, which includes an elimination for the Adios Pace. Also finishing second in the $320,000 Cane Pace, he has earned $381,492 for owners Burke Racing Stable & Weaver Bruscemi, Geoffrey Lyons Mound and Wingfield Brothers.   Sunday's 14-race card is set to start at 1:00pm, which will be the post time for the remaining dates in the Grand Circuit meet.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Freehold, NJ --- Long Tom might be short on experience, but trainer Marcus Melander believes the 2-year-old male trotter can stand tall when it comes to harness racing on the Grand Circuit. The colt, who spent time in Sweden after being purchased for $60,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale, competes Thursday (Sept. 29) in the first of six Bluegrass Stakes divisions at Red Mile. “He feels like the right horse, but there are some good horses out there as well, so it’s not so easy,” Melander said about Long Tom, who heads to Lexington with two wins and a second in three career races. “He started out good and we’ll see how he does against the best ones out here. I definitely think he can be on the Grand Circuit. “He feels like a good horse and I think he’ll get better and better with every race he can have. We’ll see after Lexington how we do. But so far he’s been very good.” Long Tom is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Ilia. He is a half-brother to Tight Lines, who last week finished third in the Old Oaken Bucket at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Signed for by Swedish trainer Reijo Liljendahl, the horse is owned by the Finland-based AMG Stable Oy. Following the Harrisburg sale, Long Tom traveled to Sweden, where he was in Liljendahl’s stable. “We talked in February and Reijo told me he had a good horse he wanted to send over,” Melander said. “I liked him already at the sale, so when Reijo told me the name of the horse I was happy. He was a good-looking horse. He came to me at the end of March.” Because of his travels, Long Tom wasn’t ready to see action when qualifiers for 2-year-olds began in mid-June at the Meadowlands. But when Melander brought the colt to qualifiers a month later, he was pleased. On Aug. 9, Long Tom made his racing debut in a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1. Four weeks later, he finished second to New Jersey Viking in the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey-sponsored Harold Dancer Memorial Trot and followed that effort with a 1:56.1 victory in a conditioned race for 2- and 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands. “He’s been racing very well,” Melander said. “In the qualifiers I took it very easy with him and I felt he was a good horse. In his first lifetime start, he won very easy at Pocono even if it was just in (1):59.1. He did it so easy. “After that, he had some problems getting into races when the Meadowlands closed. But he raced very well at Freehold after some time off and when he won at the Meadowlands he raced great again.” Long Tom is a horse that tends to get complacent when he reaches the front, but Melander is impressed with the colt’s desire to win. “He’s not like a monster in training; he’s very lazy,” Melander said. “He’s like an older horse that’s been doing this for a while. He’s never grabby. He’s almost too lazy sometimes. Last week when he won at the Meadowlands he had plenty left. He’s just so lazy you need to get him going to hold his speed otherwise he waits for the other horses. “But you can feel in a horse when they want to be first. He’s nice gaited, but what I like most is his head. He wants to be a racehorse; he wants to win.” At Lexington, Melander is anxious to see if Long Tom has the speed to be a top colt. “That’s the thing, he’s never been coming home faster than :29 (seconds),” Melander said. “But he’s so lazy. When he’s first, he doesn’t go much faster. He knows he’s first and he knows he’s going to win. I think he’s got the speed. I’m not saying he’s going to go :26 quarters down here, but I think he can go faster than :29, that’s for sure.” Long Tom, who has earned $19,250 this season, is 9-2 on the morning line in his six-horse Bluegrass division, where he will start from post one with driver Tim Tetrick. Bill’s Man, from the stable of trainer John Butenschoen, is the 2-1 favorite from post two with driver Corey Callahan. The morning line favorites in the remaining divisions, in race order, are Tony Alagna’s stakes-winner Signal Hill, Frank Antonacci’s International Moni, Julie Miller’s stakes-winner Fly On, Ron Burke’s Peter Haughton Memorial champ What The Hill, and Jimmy Takter’s King On The Hill. For the complete card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Harness Racing This Week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. and Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 29) at Red Mile with six divisions in the $334,500 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 30) card at the Lexington oval will feature five divisions in the $298,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Oct. 1), The Red Mile will offer $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 2) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night will feature a pair of Grand Circuit stakes in the $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers and the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair this past week, with the $577,000 Little Brown Jug leading five days of exciting stakes races. Betting Line won the 71st Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, with a world record performance in the event's second heat Thursday (Sept. 22) at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The Casie Coleman-trained Betting Line, who extended his win streak to 13 races with his Jug victory, stopped the timer in 1:49, equaling the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit, a gelding, established that record last year at Harrington Raceway. Betting Line's effort, though, was the fastest half-mile triumph ever by a colt. Betting Line, the 1-9 favorite in the second heat, took the lead from Western Fame just after the halfway point in the mile race for 3-year-old pacers and cruised to an eight length victory from there. Western Fame was second, followed by Dr J Hanover and Lyons Snyder. It was driver David Miller's fourth career Jug win and the third for Coleman. Betting Line has won 13 of 14 races this year and earned $1.37 million. He is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, some of the sport's top trotters were showcased in the $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday (Sept. 24). Hannelore Hanover, with driver Yannick Gingras, returned to her home state of Indiana to turn in a dominant performance. Just as Bee A Magician did the previous year, Hannelore Hanover easily handled a field of nine male counterparts to add another stakes victory to her resume. With a final time of 1:52.4, the world champion mare made her game winning move down the backside and coasted on to the wire to finish 2-1/4 lengths in front of the competition. Trained by Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Ron Burke, the 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety notched her 15th win from 17 seasonal outings. Hannelore Hanover has now amassed $1,201,685 lifetime for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. Lady Shadow continued her outstanding season with a powerful 1:50 victory in the $236,360 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Yagonnakissmeornot was able to finish second after getting away fourth and staying inside until three-quarters. Waasmula charged home for third, while Bedroomconfessions closed well from the back for fourth. A 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play, Lady Shadow has now won nine of 16 starts and earned $618,481 this season for trainer Ron Adams and owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and BFJ Stable. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,056.5; 2. David Miller - 820; 3. Tim Tetrick - 708.5; 4. Brett Miller - 407.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 336.5. Trainers: 1. Jimmy Takter - 952.5; 2. Ron Burke - 913.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 412; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 306; 5. Linda Toscano - 249. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 211.17; 2. Marvin Katz - 179.6; 3. Tom Hill - 179; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 175.52; 5.Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured will be the Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap will be the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for the sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

LEXINGTON, KY-- The annual Grand Circuit harness racing meeting at The Red Mile commences on Thursday, September 29 with six divisions of the $334,500 Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters.   Race four gathers six trotters for the first division. Long Tom, a Muscle Hill colt from the Windsong's Legacy mare Ilia, starts from post one for owner Amg Stable Oy and trainer Marcus Melander. He enters off a lifetime-best 1:56.1 effort in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands.   Stormy Kromer also enters off a lifetime-best performance, drawing post six after a 1:58.4 win from first over as the favorite in the $37,547 Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County Fair. He's owned by Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Wrenn Racing LLC, and Kales Co. LLC.   Division two features another field of six. Signal Hill, who finished seventh in the $266,000 William Wellwood final after a runner up finish in his elimination, competes against Moonshiner Hanover, who finished second in both the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship at Harrah's Philadelphia and the $32,050 Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fair.   Moonshiner Hanover will start from post two for owner-trainer Christopher Beaver along with partners Synerco Ventures Inc. and Bill Manes. Signal Hill races from post five for owners Brittany Farms, David Mc Duffee, Marvin Katz, and Adriano Sorella.   International Moni headlines the third division, attempting to obtain the first win of his career. He ships in off a third-place finish in the William Wellwood Memorial along with Mountain Of Love, who finished eighth following a break at the start. Winless in six starts, International Moni, by Love You out of Moni Maker, has amassed $43,165 in earnings for owner Moni Maker Stable and trainer Frank Antonacci.   The fourth division collects seven trotters. Julie Miller sends Fly On from, by Muscle Hill from the Credit Winner mare Calchips Finisher, from post four for his tenth start this season. Winning five of his nine starts and finishing third in his other four starts, he has earned $60,622 this season for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc., Arden Homestead Stables and Gaitway Stable.   Opposing Fly On is Lars Perry for trainer Jimmy Takter, entering off a break as the 8-5 favorite in a $32,050 division of the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fair. He'll race from post seven in pursuit of his first win of the season. He races for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Mellby Gard, and Hatfield Stables.   Division five features Peter Haughton champion What The Hill. Sent off the 9-5 favorite in the William Wellwood Memorial, he broke into the last turn, finishing sixth. Winning three of eight starts this season, he has compiled $236,378 in earnings for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Jerry & Theresa Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms.   What The Hill races from post six against New Jersey Viking, an Ake Svanstedt-trainee who has won three of six starts this year including a $55,780 division of the Reynolds at Tioga Downs and the $29,000 Harold Dancer Memorial, as well as Muscles Jared, a George Ducharme-trained son of Muscle Massive who has won four of seven starts this year and exits the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship off a fourth-place finish as the 3-5 favorite. New Jersey Viking and Muscles Jared start from posts four and two respectively.   Capping the card and Bluegrass splits is a field of seven highlighted by the Jimmy Takter-trainee King On The Hill. The colt by Muscle Hill from the Viking Kronos mare Lantern Kronos enters from a fourth-place finish in the William Wellwood Memorial. Earning $86,963 over nine starts this year and two wins, coming in an elimination for the Peter Haughton and a preliminary for the Kindergarten, King On The Hill will start from post one for owners Christina Takter, Goran Falk, Goran Andberg, and Hatfield Stables.   Thursday's program is the first of four Grand Circuit cards this week. Friday's card, September 30, will feature divisions of the Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. The program on Saturday, October 1 will include divisions of the Bluegrass for two-year-old colt and filly pacers, and Sunday's card will feature divisions of the Bluegrass for three-year-old colts and fillies of both gaits.   First race post for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday's cards is 7:00pm. Sunday's card begins the matinee post time of 1:00pm, which will carry through the remainder of the meeting.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Harness Racing This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; Milton Stake final, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Centaur Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action resumes on Tuesday (Sept. 20) at Delaware with two $27,747 divisions of the Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Wednesday (Sept. 21) card at Delaware features the $239,400 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $86,200 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $49,200 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Thursday (Sept. 22) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $577,000 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $122,500 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $120,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, and two $32,050 divisions in the Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park begins on Friday (Sept. 23) with the $200,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 24) Hoosier will host the $250,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $210,000 (est.) Centaur for Open trotters, the $175,000 (est.) Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $150,000 (est.) Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $100,000 (est.) Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 24) with the C$311,000 Milton Stakes final for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk race are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of five major stakes, led by the $480,320 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. Resolve turned in a game effort to come away with a 1:51.4 victory. The 5-year-old stallion went toe-to-toe with the outstanding mare Hannelore Hanover for the final half-mile and ultimately wore down the powerhouse to score a 1-1/2 length victory for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. Resolve, who finished second in last year's Maple Leaf Trot, left from the rail and got away third, while Hannelore Hanover released Musical Rhythm to the lead at the opening quarter-mile in :26.4. Driver Yannick Gingras wasted little time circling Hannelore Hanover back to the front in the second quarter-mile and the trotting mare led the field by the half in :55.3. Svanstedt started up Resolve nearing that juncture and immediately confronted the leader moving into the final turn. Hannelore Hanover and Resolve dueled to three-quarters in 1:23 and continued their battle into the lane. The Svanstedt trainee had no quit and finally edged by the gutsy mare in deep stretch for the win. Owned by Hans Enggren, Resolve now has 14 career victories and more than $1.6 million earned. The son of Muscle Hill scored his fourth victory of the season to bring his seasonal earnings to nearly $700,000. Bar Hopping charged home to win the $522,120 Canadian Trotting Classic by 3-1/2 lengths Saturday night at Mohawk. The Jimmy Takter trained colt was able to convert off a perfect second-over steer from driver Tim Tetrick to win Canada's biggest race for 3-year-old trotters. A trio of longshots fired out for the front, while Marion Marauder, the 3-5 favorite, was unhurried and got away fourth ahead of main rivals Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping. Scott Zeron sent Marion Marauder to the front in the second quarter-mile and took the lead at the half in :55.4. Southwind Frank was pushed first-over, which allowed Tetrick to put Bar Hopping in a perfect second-over position. Marion Marauder led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Marion Marauder created a little separation on his rivals, but that was quickly erased by Bar Hopping. The Takter trainee fired off cover and powered by in the final eighth of the mile for a 1:53.1 victory. Marion Marauder held on for second, while Bee In Charge finished third ahead of Winter Harbor. A son of Muscle Hill owned by Christina Takter, Hatfeld Stables, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Bar Hopping is now a five-time winner from 13 starts this season for $706,950 in earnings. His career totals are now improved to six victories and $808,188 earned. The triumph Saturday gave trainer Jimmy Takter three consecutive victories in the Canadian Trotting Classic and five overall. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 971.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 678.5; 3. David Miller - 670; 4. Brett Miller - 348.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 299.5. Trainers: 1. Jimmy Takter - 850.5; 2. Ron Burke - 848.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 393; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 306; 5. Linda Toscano - 249. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 200.72; 2. Tom Hill - 177; 3. Marvin Katz - 172.85; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 165.07; 5. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Hollywood Dayton Raceway will also be hosting a pair of Grand Circuit events, the Dayton Pacing Derby and the Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses. by Paul Ramlow

This Week: Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way finals and Milton Stake eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at the Meadowlands on Friday (Sept. 16) with three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters and two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 17) the Meadowlands will offer two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt pacers and two 10,000 contests in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday with the C$632,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters, the C$687,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters, the C$436,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$350,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters, the C$363,000 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old filly trotters, and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton Stake for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the Meadowlands races are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: When the horses placed their hooves on the track for the post parade of the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial on Saturday (Sept. 10) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, the throng lining the fence let out a roar for defending Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit. The stands were packed to catch a glimpse of an athlete that has captured the hearts and imaginations of legions of fans during his two-year career. When the horses crossed the finish line, however, all those in attendance had shifted their adulation to honor the effort of his winning rival, Always B Miki, for not only had they been privy to witness greatness, but they were present for a world record equaling performance of 1:47, that will surely become an integral component of the sport's history. That time equaled the all-age mark for a pacer on a five-eighths-mile oval set by Sweet Lou in 2014 and equaled by Always B Miki in both the Ben Franklin elimination and final earlier this year. Those miles all came at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. When the superb field of nine left the gate, Always B Miki, who commenced pacing from post six, was the 4-5 favorite but Wiggle It Jiggleit at 8-5 was also receiving his share of support at the windows. Shortly after the starter allowed the horses to begin the mile, Eric Goodell sent Luck Be Withyou to the lead from post position five. Wiggle It Jiggleit and his regular reinsman Montrell Teague were not content to allow that competitor to cut the mile and made their move to the front from post position eight. Miller and Always B Miki had their own designs on the lead. The crowd was gasping at the sheer speed displayed by the pacers as Luck Be Withyou had laid down a scorching :25.2 first quarter. Wiggle It Jiggleit brushed to the lead in front of the grandstand before Always B Miki procured the lead on the outside by the half-mile marker. The Jimmy Takter trainee appeared to pay the price for that effort when :53 flashed on the timer. As Wiggle It Jiggleit sat second, Always B Miki still maintained a head advantage after three-quarters in a sizzling 1:19. Wiggle It Jiggleit appeared poised to come through on the inside and overhaul Always B Miki down the lane, but the 5-year-old stallion would not be denied. After a nip and tuck battle between these two champions, Always B Miki prevailed. Several hundred feet from the wire, he repelled the bid of Wiggle It Jiggleit and hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front. Luck Be Withyou raced exceptionally well to be third, while Freaky Feet Pete, who had a very tough trip, finished fourth. Conditioned by Jimmy Takter and owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, Always B Miki paid $3.80 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 899.5; 2. David Miller - 663; 3. Tim Tetrick - 638.5; 4. Brett Miller - 333.5; 5. Matt Kakaley - 291. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 831.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 775.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 388; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 276; 5. Linda Toscano - 237. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 196.47; 2. Tom Hill - 177; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 160.82; 4.Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 5. Marvin Katz - 147.05. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Mohawk Racetrack, and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Mohawk will feature the final of the Milton Stake for pacing mares; and Hoosier will host six Grand Circuit races, including the Centuar for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Columbus, OH --- Eldorado Scioto Downs will host the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older trotters on Saturday (Sept. 10) as part of a busy Grand Circuit weekend. It will be the closing night of the 2016 live harness racing meet at Scioto. Four-year-old male pacer Wiggle It Jiggleit, the No. 1 ranked horse in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, heads to the Jim Ewart Memorial off his victory in the Canadian Pacing Derby last Saturday at Mohawk. The Clyde Francis trainee is 12-5-2 in 19 starts this season and boasts $3,481,582 in career earnings for owners George Teague Jr. Inc. and Teague Racing Partnership. He will start from post position eight with Montrell Teague in the bike. Wiggle It Jiggleit will face a field of nine that includes Always B Miki and Dealt A Winner, who were second and third, respectively, in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Below is the field: $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Open pacers Race 9/Post 9:10 p.m. (EDT) PP–Horse–Sire-Driver–Trainer 1. Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Steve Elliott  2. All Bets Off - Bettor's Delight - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke  3. Artistic Major - Art Major - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. - Steve Elliott  4. Dealt A Winner - Cams Card Shark - Andy Miller - Mark Silva  5. Luck Be Withyou - Western Ideal - Eric Goodell - Chris Oakes  6. Always B Miki - Always A Virgin - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter  7. Americanprimetime - American Ideal - Josh Sutton - Rick Dane Jr.  8. Wiggle It Jiggleit - Mr Wiggles - Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis  9. Freaky Feet Pete - Rockin Image - Trace Tetrick - Larry Rheinheimer Seven open trotters will go behind the gate earlier in the evening in the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial. Below is the field: $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial Open trotters Race 5/Post 7:50 p.m. (EDT) PP–Horse–Sire- Driver–Trainer 1. Wings Of Royalty - RC Royalty - Peter Wrenn - George Ducharme  2. Maestro Blue Chip - Credit Winner - Trace Tetrick - Jo Ann Looney-King  3. Bourbon Bay - Sand Vic - Aaron Merriman - Ake Svanstedt  4. Wind Of The North - Cantab Hall - Dave Palone - Daryl Bier  5. Muscle Up The Goal - Muscle Mass - Aaron Merriman - Christopher Beaver  6. Homicide Hunter - Mr Cantab - Eric Goodell - Chris Oakes  7. Crazy Wow - Crazed - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke Post time for the first race is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Fans of the racing action at Eldorado Scioto Downs are reminded that due to this being the final card of the 2016 live season, all wagers which normally have carryover provisions (Pick-3, Pick-4, Pick-5 and Super High Five) will all have mandatory payouts. Also, Dime Superfecta wagering will be offered on all 13 races on Closing Night. The best FFA pacers in North America invade Eldorado Scioto Downs on Saturday for the 2016 Jim Ewart Memorial. Leading the charge is 2015's Horse of the Year, and current number one ranked horse in harness racing, Wiggle It Jiggleit.   the USTA Communications Department   

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 7 - After each winning consecutive harness racing 'Grand Circuit' events, Caprice Hill and Emoticon Hanover will meet up in one of two Elegantimage eliminations Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Elegantimage eliminations for three-year-old trotting fillies are joined by the eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial on Friday evening's 11-race card. Caprice Hill and Emoticon Hanover, both daughters of Kadabra, are each in the midst of fantastic sophomore campaigns. Over the last two weeks, the Ontario Sires Stakes standouts avoided each other in the Casual Breeze and Simcoe Stakes. Caprice Hill delivered powerful victories in both Grand Circuit events. The Tony Alagna trainee won her Casual Breeze division by a little over three lengths in 1:53.3 and followed that up with an emphatic 6½ length 1:53.1 score in last Friday's Simcoe. Emoticon Hanover also added the Casual Breeze and Simcoe Stakes to her list of accomplishments. The Luc Blais trained filly front-stepped her way to back to back 1:54.2 victories. The two fillies will not only meet up in the first $35,000 Elegantimage elimination Friday, but they will also line up side by side. Caprice Hill and driver Randy Waples will start from post six in the field of eight, while Emoticon Hanover and driver Sylvain Filion will start from post seven. After an O'Brien Award winning season at two, Caprice Hill has won six of nine starts this season and recently surpassed $1 million in career earnings. "Horses like her they don't come around too often," said Waples following Caprice Hill's Simcoe victory last Friday. "You got to enjoy it when you get that opportunity and she's about as professional of a racehorse as you're going to get." Emoticon Hanover won four of her first five starts last season, but ended up running into Caprice Hill in the Peaceful Way and OSS Super Final. This season, the Blais trainee has won five of nine starts, including victories in three of her last four outings, for earnings of over $272,000. "She's way stronger and way easier to drive," said Filion about Emoticon Hanover's progression from two to three. "Last year she was a little erratic and you had to be real careful behind the gate, but this year she's pretty good." The OSS stars have squared off twice this season with Emoticon Hanover finishing second to Caprice Hill on both occasions. If all goes well this week for both fillies, 'Emoticon' will likely have a pair of big stage opportunities (Elegantimage Final and OSS Super Final) to turn the tables on her rival in the next month. Another Ontario sired filly that can't be overlooked in the same Elegantimage elimination is Celebrity Eventsy. The Staffan Lind trainee has gone the Grand Circuit route this season with only a single OSS start. Celebrity Eventsy won her elimination of the Hambletonian Oaks, before finishing third in the $500,000 final. She followed up her Hambo experience with a victory in the $147,500 Moni Maker at The Meadows. The daughter of Manofmanymissions has four wins and hasn't missed the board in nine starts this season for earnings of over $253,000. Celebrity Eventsy will look to upstage her Ontario sired sisters from post two with driver John Campbell. The other Elegantimage elimination is headlined by OSS standout Flowers N Songs. The Paul Reid trained filly has eight wins this season, including victories in the $174,329 SBOA Final and $140,000 Zweig Filly Trot. In the midst of her first season on the track, Flowers N Songs has hit the board in 16 of 22 starts for earnings of over $343,000. The daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe will start from post six in a field of eight with Yannick Gingras at the controls. The top five finishers from the Elegantimage eliminations will advance to the $436,000 final on Saturday, September 17. Also on Friday, 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will meet in two $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial eliminations. The first elimination has Champlain Stakes division winners Rubio (PP4, Gingras) and Signal Hill (PP7, Brett Miller) along with Peter Haughton Memorial winner What The Hill (PP5, David Miller) headlining the field of seven. The second split features the local debut of Italian bred trotter Victor Gio IT (PP4, Gingras) and Define The World Series winner Seven And Seven (PP2, Tom Durand). The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial on September 17. The Wellwood eliminations are carded as Races 2 and 3, while the Elegantimage splits are carded as Races 8 and 9 on Friday's 11-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Here are the full fields for Friday's eliminations. Race 8: Elegantimage - Elimination #1 1. Worldclass Hanover - Cantab Hall - Rick Zeron - Rick Zeron 2. Celebrity Eventsy - Manofmanymissions - John Campbell - Staffan Lind 3. Southwind Pearl - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Jonas Czernyson 4. Dewdle All Day - Deweycheatumnhowe - Yannick Gingras - Dustin Jones 5. Jangone - Johnny William - Chris Christoforou - Per Henriksen 6. Caprice Hill - Kadabra - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 7. Emoticon Hanover - Kadabra - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais 8. Wanaka - Manofmanymissions - Trevor Henry - Shannon Henry   Race 9: Elegantimage - Elimination #2 1. Pennies From Above - Cantab Hall - Mike Saftic - Dustin Jones 2. Tymal Tempest - Deweycheatumnhowe - Jonathan Drury - Carmen Auciello 3. Dream Child - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Linda Toscano 4. Royal Charm - Majestic Son - Paul MacDonell - Mark Steacy 5. Side Bet Hanover - Donato Hanover - Corey Callahan - Jonas Czernyson 6. Flowers N Songs - Deweycheatumnhowe - Yannick Gingras - Paul Reid 7. Pink Pistol - Cantab Hall - Chris Christoforou - Randy Van Meer 8. Double Exposure - Donato Hanover - Jody Jamieson - Tony Alagna   Race 2: William Wellwood Memorial - Elimination #1 1. Lucys Man - Muscle Mass - Anthony MacDonald - Tan Micallef 2. Jake - Muscle Hill - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais 3. International Moni - Love You - Scott Zeron - Frank Antonacci 4. Rubio - Cantab Hall - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter 5. What The Hill - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Ron Burke 6. Real Lucky Day - Donato Hanover - Yves Filion - Richard Moreau 7. Signal Hill - Muscle Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna   Race 3: William Wellwood Memorial - Elimination #2 1. King On The Hill - Muscle Hill - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 2. Seven And Seven - Chapter Seven - Tom Durand - Tom Durand 3. Southwind Cobra - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Ron Burke 4. Mountain Of Love - Muscle Hill - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 5. Victor Gio IT - Ready Cash - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter 6. Soho Hanover - Cantab Hall - Doug McNair - Gregg McNair 7. Bills Man - Credit Winner - -Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen   Mark McKelvie

Harness Racing This Week: Jim Ewart Memorial and Chip Noble Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; Miss Versatility and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Champlain Stakes and Simcoe Stakes and Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 8) at Mohawk with a pair of C$30,000 eliminations in the Peaceful Way for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Sept. 9) card features a pair of C$35,000 eliminations in the Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters and two C$30,000 eliminations in the William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. The big Saturday (Sept. 10) card is highlighted by two divisions in the C$210,632 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the C$210,948 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers, and the C$204,040 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers, along with two C$40,000 eliminations in both the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters and the Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters. Grand Circuit racing at the Meadowlands opens Friday (Sept. 9) with a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares, as well three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 10) the Meadowlands will offer two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt pacers and a single 10,000 contest in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, Scioto Downs will host the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older trotters. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Despite a spectacular steer by Dan Daley and Smalltownthrowdown tossing down the gauntlet, Hambletonian victor and 1-5 favorite Marion Marauder withstood the late heroics of that rival to win the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, by a diminishing head in 1:56.1 on Saturday (Sept. 3) at Yonkers Raceway. After a valiant first-over effort, Lagerfeld followed that duo home in third. The Hambletonian winner set rather leisurely fractions of :58.3 and 1:27.4 with a distance of 1-1/2 lengths between himself and Smalltownthrowdown at the top of the lane. While the other five members of the field appeared outdistanced and convinced that Marion Marauder would assert command on his way to the wire, Lagerfeld and Mark MacDonald pulled from third position to come first over. While Lagerfeld was never allowed to clear and the son of Yankee Glide was safely held at bay, he trotted very gamely to apply light pressure through the stretch, as Daley and Smalltownthrowdown stepped towards the inside to launch a furious bid for victory. Those witnessing the contest surely had an anxious moment as Smalldownthrowdown nearly dethroned the champion, but Scott Zeron confidently handled Marion Marauder and the colt collected his eighth win from 10 seasonal starts and his ninth lifetime triumph. He has banked $1,124,905 in 2016 and $1,406,891 lifetime. Owned by Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, Marion Marauder is conditioned by Wellwood's daughter Paula and her husband Mike Keeling. Immediately after Marion Marauder was on his way back to the barn, it was Racing Hill's turn to add a classic victory to his resume. Tom Hill's homebred son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals was the overwhelming 1-9 favorite against six foes after Manny was a late scratch in the $500,000 Messenger Stakes, the second event in the Pacing Triple Crown, but like Marion Marauder, his victory was not as resounding as those witnessing the contest had anticipated. Commencing his journey from post three, Miller employed tactics similar to Zeron's in the previous race on the card, as he moved his horse from third onto the lead near the quarter marker, overhauling his stablemate Dr J Hanover. From there, Miller and the Adios winner paced around the half-mile track in fractions of :56 and 1:25 after a :27.3 opening first fraction, with Racing Hill's lead never extending beyond two lengths. Despite the final surges of 30-1 Stonebridge Beach and Daniel Dube, as well as Zeron behind Dr J Hanover, Racing Hill repelled their advances to stop the clock in 1:53 and post a 1-1/4 length triumph. Conditioned by Tony Alagna, the colt collected his fifth win of the season to establish a stellar seasonal slate of 11-5-5-1, and eclipsed the $1 million mark in money earned in 2016. Wiggle It Jiggleit, driven by Montrell Teague, front-stepped his way to victory in the $474,320 Canadian Pacing Derby on Saturday at Mohawk. The 4-year-old gelding stopped the clock in 1:49 en route to his 35th victory in 46 lifetime starts. As Wiggle It Jiggleit surged to the lead, Always B Miki was hot on his heels. The 7-5 bettor's choice held position into the first turn, posting a flashy :25.3 opening panel, which forced Always B Miki to drop into third behind a second-sitting Nickle Bag. Wiggle It Jiggleit then continued to march past the half in :54.1, which is when Always B Miki and driver David Miller made another bid for the lead. The son of Mr Wiggles began to open up on the field after they paced by the three-quarters in 1:21.4. No one could catch Wiggle It Jiggleit in the stretch, which secured his wire-to-wire victory by 1-3/4 lengths. Always B Miki stayed for second, while Dealt A Winner, at odds of 112-1, rallied for third. The Clyde Francis trainee is now 12-5-2 in 19 starts this season and with the win, Wiggle It Jiggleit boasts $3,481,582 in career earnings for owners George Teague Jr. Inc. and Teague Racing Partnership. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 814.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 618.5; 3. David Miller - 598; 4. Brett Miller - 313.5; 5. Matt Kakaley - 291. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 806.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 688.5; 3.Tony Alagna - 306; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 251; 5. Linda Toscano - 220. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 190.67; 2. Tom Hill - 167; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 157.52; 4.Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 5. Marvin Katz - 129.5. Looking ahead: Another busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Mohawk and the Meadowlands. Mohawk will host finals in the Maple Leaf Trot, the Canadian Trotting Classic, the Elegantimage, the Peaceful Way and the William Wellwood Memorial, plus eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. The Meadowlands will card another leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters and pacers. by Paul Ramlow, Publicity Director, the Grand Circuit      

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro, She's A Great Lady, Simcoe Stakes and Champlain Stakes, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: A busy holiday weekend of Grand Circuit action is led by a pair of Triple Crown events at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 3). The Hilltop oval will host the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters and the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers. These races will be the second legs in the Triple Crown for their respective gaits. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk commences on Thursday (Sept. 1) with two divisions in the C$221,132 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Sept. 2) program is highlighted by two divisions in the C$221,204 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the C$212,451 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. The huge Saturday (Sept. 3) program features the C$616,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers, the C$661,000 Metro for 2-year-old male pacers and the C$427,000 She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. Also on the program will be two divisions in the C$208,040 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and a single C$215,704 division in the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races at Yonkers are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. In the $193,000 Crawford Farms for open trotters, 2015 Crawford winner Obrigado ($14.80) proved successful in defending his crown, dueling with odds-on favorite Resolve (Ãke Svanstedt) for nearly the final three-eighths of the mile en route to a 1:51.2 triumph in rein to Mark MacDonald. The 6-year-old Boy Band gelding approached the first turn from second-over, drafting behind Resolve into a :26 first quarter before capturing the lead for himself in a backed-down :55.1 half-mile. Just as Obrigado cleared, Resolve angled back off the pegs to re-engage, and the two dueled through the far turn. Despite being headed just above head-stretch, Obrigado dug deep to prevail, reclaiming the lead in the final 100 yards to narrowly beat Resolve. Flanagan Memory (Brian Sears) closed from last to take third, making massive gains down the grandstand side. Trainer Paul Kelley shares in ownership of Obrigado with the SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and Stable 45. Following wins in the Hambletonian Maturity, Fresh Yankee, and a Miss Versatility preliminary event, Hannelore Hanover ($2.90) had no trouble maintaining her dominance in the distaff trotting ranks on Friday evening at Vernon Downs, posting a resounding 1:51.3 victory in the $170,000 Muscle Hill. Yannick Gingras had the 4-year-old Swan For All mare involved from the outset, working clear of 2015 Empire Breeders Classic winner Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) just after a :27.1 first quarter-mile. Upon taking charge, Hannelore Hanover faced no threats whatsoever, rating a soft :29.4 second sectional before accelerating clear of the competition off the far turn. She used a :54.3 final half to put 3-3/4 lengths on the first-over Shake It Cerry (David Miller), who rallied to take second from the fully extended Barn Doll. Ron Burke trains Hannelore Hanover for the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Frank Baldachino. Hannelore Hanover captured the Vernon track record for 4-year-old trotting mares with her 1:51.3 score, topping Maven's performance in the 2014  Muscle Hill by two-fifths of a second. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 674.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 528.5; 3. David Miller - 528; 4. Brett Miller - 293.5; 5. Matt Kakaley - 281. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 781.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 563.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 205; 4. Erv Miller - 197; 5. Tony Alagna - 196. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 183.97; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 155.02; 3. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 4. Tom Hill - 127; 5. Bamond Racing - 117. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Mohawk Racetrack, Scioto Downs and The Meadowlands. Mohawk will feature eliminations of the Canadian Trotting Classic, Maple Leaf Trot, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way, as well as Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacers and Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers; Scioto will host the Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers; Meadowlands Racetrack will feature legs of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters and the Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director  

Harness Racing This Week: Crawford Farms Trot and Muscle Hill, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; Yonkers Trot elimination, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Nadia Lobell, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Casual Breeze and Metro and She’s A Great Lady eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Artiscape and W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action begins this Friday (Aug. 26) as Vernon Downs will host a pair of older trotting stakes in the $193,000 Crawford Farms Trot for older males and the $170,000 Muscle Hill for older females. Also on Friday, Mohawk Racetrack will host two C$97,000 divisions in the Casual Breeze for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Aug. 27), Yonkers Raceway will host a single $40,000 elimination in the Yonkers Trot for sophomore trotters, the second leg of the sport's trotting Triple Crown. Only eight horses entered the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown, so all eight will advance to next week's final. Additionally, Yonkers will host the $118,574 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $109,050 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Meadows will host a single Grand Circuit stake on Saturday with the $140,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, Grand Circuit action at Mohawk Racetrack will feature a pair of stakes eliminations. There will be a trio of C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old colt pacers and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. No eliminations were required for the Canadian Pacing Derby, as 10 of the sport's finest older pacers were entered and will go directly to the C$616,000 final on Sept. 3. On Sunday (Aug. 28), Tioga Downs will card the $175,000 (est.) Artiscape for older pacing mares and W.N. Reynolds Memorial events for freshman trotters. Then on Monday (Aug. 29), Reynolds Memorial races for 2-year-old pacers will be on the program. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this past Saturday night as the track hosted a busy card of 3-year-old stakes. Betting Line paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, romping to a four length win over Racing Hill in 1:47.2 in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine. Control The Moment finished third and Boston Red Rocks was fourth. It was Betting Line's ninth consecutive victory. His only loss this year, a second-place finish, came against older horses in his first race of the season. In the Battle of the Brandywine, Racing Hill led to the opening quarter in :26.1, with Control The Moment second and Betting Line third. Driver David Miller fired Betting Line to the front prior to the halfway point, reached in :53.4, and led comfortably to three-quarters in 1:20.1. Betting Line, the 1-2 favorite, was never threatened in the stretch and coasted to the wire. Betting Line has won 15 of 22 career races and earned $1.38 million. The son of Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western is owned by trainer Casie Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. Southwind Frank turned the tables on rival Marion Marauder, winning Saturday's $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old trotters by a half-length in 1:52.4. Bar Hopping finished third and Sutton was fourth. It was a trifecta for the progeny of the stallion Muscle Hill. Marion Marauder got the better of Southwind Frank in the Aug. 6 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, beating him by a nose, but this time the winner's circle trip went to Southwind Frank. In the Colonial, Sutton took the lead as the field left the gate, with Southwind Frank second as they reached the opening quarter in :27.1. Yannick Gingras moved Southwind Frank, the 6-5 favorite, to the front exiting the first turn and led the field to the half in :56.4. By then, the 8-5 Marion Marauder and driver Scott Zeron already were on the move first up, but were unable to get past Southwind Frank. The time to three-quarters was 1:24.3. Southwind Frank has won six of nine races this year and earned $910,023. For his career, the son of Muscle Hil-Flawless Lindy has won 17 of 21 starts and banked $1.69 million. The colt is owned by the Southwind Frank Partners. Darlinonthebeach took the lead after the opening quarter-mile and set all the fractions from there, winning Saturday's $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers by 4-1/4 lengths over Call Me Queen Be in 1:49.3. Blue Moon Stride finished third, followed by Pure Country. Blue Moon Stride went to the front at the start, with Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller settling in third as the field paced around the first turn and reached the quarter in :26.1. Darlinonthebeach, the 6-5 second choice behind Pure Country, was on the move coming off the turn and reached the lead on her way to the half in :54.4. From there, Darlinonthebeach reached three-quarters in 1:21.4 and came home a convincing winner for trainer Nancy Johansson and breeder/owner White Birch Farm. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 604.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 522.5; 3. David Miller - 508; 4. Brett Miller - 293.5; 5. Matt Kakaley - 281. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 731.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 528.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 203; 4. Erv Miller - 197; 5. Clyde Francis - 182.5. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 169.32; 2. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 140.37; 4. Bamond Racing - 117; 5. Tom Hill - 107. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway and Mohawk Racetrack. Yonkers will feature the finals of the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes; Mohawk will offer the Canadian Pacing Derby, finals of the Metro Pace and She's A Great Lady, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and 3-year-old filly pacers and Champlain Stakes races for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Battle of the Brandywine, Colonial and Valley Forge, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI; Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ont.; Prix d'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois Rivieres, Quebec; and Kindergarten Series leg, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Aug. 18) at Vernon Downs with three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Friday (Aug. 19), Vernon will host two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly pacers and a single $10,000 race in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt pacers. Saturday's (Aug. 20) Grand Circuit action will be led by a trio of stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old colt pacers and the Colonial for 3-year-old colt trotters both feature a $500,000 final and $200,000 and $100,000 consolations; the Valley Forge for 3-year-old filly pacers offers a $350,000 final and $150,000 consolation. Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers, while Mohawk Racetrack will contest two divisions in the C$211,000 Nassagaweya for 2-year-old colt pacers and two divisions in the C$211,100 Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action concludes on Sunday (Aug. 21) at Hippodrome 3R with the C$200,000 Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian tracks are available at this link. Last time: There was a throbbing energy throughout the Friday (Aug. 12) evening that not only emanated from those in attendance at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, but from those individuals not present to witness what could very well be the most stellar field ever assembled in the 23-year-old history of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes and certainly no one could possess one ounce of disappointment at the outcome. Not only did Wiggle It Jiggleit appear defeated in mid-stretch, the defending Horse of the Year, known at times for his erratic antics off the track, displayed a new dimension in his racing style as he strode up the rail to hand Always B Miki his second consecutive defeat. The son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover, with Montrell Teague in his customary position in the bike, tripped the timer in 1:49.1. As expected, Wiggle It Jiggleit was placed on the lead leaving the gate from post position one, with Freaky Feet Pete, who began to pace his mile right next to him, right behind him. Wakizashi Hanover followed his colleagues in third, with the public selection Always B Miki in fourth. The gelding clicked off the contest's first fraction in a sensible :27 and tossed down another comfortable :27.4 quarter before David Miller brushed Always B Miki straight to the lead. Wiggle It Jiggle was content to sit in the pocket as Trace Tetrick and Freaky Feet Pete were satisfied with remaining in third. As Always B Miki hit the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, Tetrick decided he could wait no longer to make a move and gave Freaky Feet Pete enough rein to surge alongside Always B Miki. The hometown hero, however, could not sustain his bid and failed to clear the world champion. After Always B Miki repelled Freak Feet Pete's challenge, it appeared the Dan Patch title would be the next revered stake to grace his resume. Wiggle It Jiggleit and Teague, however, were far from finished and coveted that accolade as their own. Teague angled the gelding in towards the rail and Wiggle It Jiggleit gamely responded to spurt through on the inside and pull away from his rival to best him by a length. All Bets Off and Shamballa battled behind the top two, with the former pacing a sizzling :25.2 final panel to hit the wire in tandem for third place, as they could not be separated at the wire. Betting Line ($2.40), driven by David Miller, won the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in 1:51 on Saturday (Aug. 13). He started from post two and sat third through a :25.4 opening quarter. Miller pulled first over in the second turn and pressed the leader, Mr Wiggle Pants, through fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.3. Betting Line bobbled around the final turn, but sprinted away after regaining composure, and bested his competition by four lengths. Saturday's win was Betting Line's eighth consecutive victory. His lone loss this year was a runner-up performance in his 2016 Mowawk Racetrack debut. Betting Line (Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western) increased his career bankroll to $1,133,505 for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. Casie Coleman is the trainer. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 550.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 492.5; 3. David Miller - 441; 4. Matt Kakaley - 281; 5. Brett Miller - 276.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 696.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 491.5; 3. Clyde Francis - 182.5; 4. Linda Toscano - 181; 5. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 175. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 164.77; 2. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 135.82; 4. Bamond Racing - 117; 5. Tom Hill - 97. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs, Yonkers Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Meadows and Tioga Downs. Vernon will host the Crawford Farm Trot and Muscle Hill Trot for 3-year-olds. Yonkers will contest the Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot, plus eliminations for the Messenger Stakes and Yonkers Trot, the second legs of the Pacing and Trotting Triple Crown. Mohawk Racetrack will contest eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers, the Metro for 2-year-old colt pacers and the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Meadows has the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. Tioga Downs will offer the Artiscape for older pacing mares and Reynolds Memorial divisions for 2-year-olds. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Dan Patch Invitational, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Carl Milstein Memorial, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Moni Maker, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Fox Stake, the Ralph Wilfong, the Horseman Stakes and the Hoosier Stakes, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Ind.; Tompkins-Geers and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Gold Cup and Saucer trials, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off this Thursday (Aug. 11) as the Indiana State Fair will host one day of Grand Circuit racing with the feature being the $51,995 Fox Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers. The co-featured event is the $28,901 Ralph Wilfong for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Hoosier Stakes for 2-year-olds will see two divisions each in the $21,966 2-year-old filly trot, the $21,252 2-year-old filly pace, the $20,740 2-year-old colt pace and the $20,080 2-year-old colt trot. The Horseman Stakes for 3-year-olds features two divisions in the $35,524 3-year-old filly trot and single divisions in the $35,862 3-year-old colt trot, the $25,302 3-year-old filly pace and the $24,395 3-year-old colt pace. Also on Thursday, Tioga Downs will host two divisions in the $56,820 Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $56,670 Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old colt trotters. Tioga comes right back on Friday (Aug. 12) with three divisions in the $80,068 Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old filly pacers and three divisions in the $73,920 Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old colt pacers. Tioga will round out their weekend of Grand Circuit action on Sunday (Aug. 14) with a $40,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. On Friday night (Aug. 12) Hoosier Park will offer the $325,000 Dan Patch Invitational for older pacing horses featuring Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete and Wiggle It Jiggleit, along with Shamballa, who defeated that trio in last week's U.S. Pacing Championship. On Saturday (Aug. 13) Northfield Park will host the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers with North America Cup champion Betting Line taking on a talented field that includes the filly Pure County. Also on Saturday The Meadows will feature 3-year-old filly trotters in the $147,500 Moni Maker. Then over the weekend, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host two days of trials for the Gold Cup and Saucer for older pacers. Fourteen horses have being nominated, thus setting the stage for trials on Saturday (Aug. 13) and Monday (Aug. 15). The top finishers in the trials will advance to the final on Saturday (Aug. 20). Harness racing's richest horse, Foiled Again, has been entered to compete in the legendary race. He has drawn the rail for the first trial. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Entries for the Red Shores Racetrack & Casino races are available at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack closed out their Championship Meet this past Saturday with several lucrative Grand Circuit races led by the $1.14 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Marion Marauder won Saturday's Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, by a nose over Southwind Frank in 1:51.4. Sutton was third as the top three horses stretched across the finish line separated by only a neck in the 91st edition of the sport's top race for 3-year-old trotters. It was Marion Marauder's second win of the day. Earlier in the afternoon, he won his Hambletonian elimination by a half-length over Southwind Frank in a career-best 1:51.3. Last year, Marion Marauder was winless in races against Southwind Frank, finishing second on four occasions. In the Hambletonian final, Marion Marauder was fifth as Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping traded the lead in the first half of the race. At that point Scott Zeron, driving Marion Marauder for the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, put his horse in gear and launched a first-over attack. Marion Marauder was second behind Bar Hopping at three-quarters, but reached the front at the top of the stretch. As Bar Hopping dropped back, eventually finishing fifth, Marion Marauder held off hard-charging challenges from Southwind Frank to his inside and Sutton on the outside. Waitlifter K was fourth, beaten a length. Marion Marauder, a son of 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill out of the Nova Award-winning mare Spellbound Hanover, has won six of seven races this year and seven of 20 career starts. He pushed his lifetime earnings to $1.01 million with his Hambletonian triumph for owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Control The Moment won the first jewel in Pacing's Triple Crown, capturing Saturday's $320,000 Cane Pace for 3-year-old pacers by one length over Manhattan Beach at the Meadowlands. JK Will Power was third, nosing out filly Pure Country for the show spot. The race featured a field of 11 horses and was contested at 1-1/8 miles. The time was 2:02.4. Control The Moment was sixth in the early part of the race, which saw Big Top Hanover lead to the first quarter in :25.4 before JK Will Power took the front and guided the field to the half in :54.2. From there, JK Will Power and Manny engaged in a battle for the top spot, hitting three-quarters in 1:21.4. But Control The Moment made a big move on the final turn and took control for the victory. The time to the mile was 1:49. Pure Country, who was trying to join Countess Adios as the only filly to win the Cane Pace, started the race from the trailing position and was eighth through the first half of the race. Control The Moment, racing for the first time since winning the Meadowlands Pace on July 16, was driven by Brian Sears for trainer Brad Maxwell. The colt has won four of eight races this season and 12 of 17 in his career. A son of Well Said-Life'sliltreasure, he is owned by the Control The Moment Stable. He has earned $1.02 million in his career. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 550.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 407.5; 3. David Miller - 406; 4. Matt Kakaley - 271; 5t. Jordan Stratton - 236.5; 5t. Brett Miller - 236.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 654; 2. Jimmy Takter - 441.5; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 175; 4. Clyde Francis - 162.5; 5. Peter Tritton - 149.5. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 152.45; 2. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 123.5; 4. Bamond Racing - 117; 5. Tom Hill - 97. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs, Mohawk Racetrack, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Yonkers Raceway and Hippodrome 3R. Vernon will kick off the week by hosting of the second leg of the Kindergarten for freshman pacers and trotters; Mohawk Racetrack will feature the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation; The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will offer the Battle of the Brandywine, the Colonial and the Valley Forge; Red Shores Racetrack & Casino has the Gold Cup and Saucer final; Yonkers Raceway will contest the Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot eliminations; and Hippodrome 3R will host the Prix d'Ete. Paul Ramlow

Columbus, OH --- The post positions have been drawn and the harness racing fields are set for the first weekend of the 2016 Grand Circuit Challenge with three races this Saturday (Aug. 6) on Hambletonian day, presented by Mullinax Ford, at the Meadowlands. The 2016 Grand Circuit Challenge offers a $100,000 grand prize to any contestant who can successfully pick the winner in each of the contest's 18 races. If no one correctly picks every winner, the contestant with the most wins will earn $5,000, the runner-up wins a VIP experience and the third-place finisher gets a special harness racing gift pack. There will also be weekly prizes awarded throughout the contest including autographed drivers' colors from Brian Sears and Billy Haughton and VIP experiences such as winner's circle presentations, starting gate car rides and backstretch tours. Other prizes include Hambletonian and track logo merchandise, dinner in the clubhouse, gift baskets and gift certificates as well as free track programs. To help you make your selections, some of harness racing's top handicappers will provide their expert opinions on all of the races. Each week, the Daily Racing Form's Derick Giwner will share his opinions on the DRF website at www.drf.com/events/harness-grand-circuit-challenge. Click on the link to see who he likes in this weekend's three contest races. There will also be selections from other top harness handicappers from the Horseplayers Association of North America on www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com. Also, for each of the 18 races, contestants will be provided with past performances courtesy of TrackMaster at no charge. Get the free past performances by clicking here. Following is the schedule for the $100,000 Grand Circuit Challenge: Aug. 6 - Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Aug. 6 - Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands Aug. 6 - U.S. Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands Aug. 12 - Dan Patch at Hoosier Park Aug. 20 - Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Aug. 26 - Muscle Hill at Vernon Downs Sept. 3 - Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway Sept. 3 - Messenger at Yonkers Raceway Sept. 10 - Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs Sept. 17 - Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack Sept. 21 - Jugette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds Sept. 22 - Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fairgrounds Sept. 30 - Dayton Pacing Derby at Dayton Raceway Oct. 9 - Tattersalls at Red Mile Oct. 9 - Kentucky Futurity at Red Mile Oct. 15 - International Trot at Yonkers Raceway Oct. 28 - Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands Oct. 29 - Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands Ken Weingartner

Harness Racing This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, Fresh Yankee, Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, Peter Haughton Memorial, and Jim Doherty Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (Aug. 6) at Meadowlands Racetrack with one of the biggest Grand Circuit cards of the season. The afternoon program is led by the $1.14 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $273,600 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters, the $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championship for older pacers, the $235,950 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the 188,350 Fresh Yankee for older trotting mares, the $320,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the $94,675 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $294,450 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $306,500 Jim Dohery Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Looped from the gate and forced into brutal fractions of :25.2 and :52.1 -- in the slop, no less -- Racing Hill showed his talent and heart when he drew away from the field late and captured Saturday's (July 30) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows in a career-best 1:48.4. The pocket-sitting Check Six could not improve his position in the lane and finished second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Fernando Hanover was a ground-saving third. Racing Hill entered the 50th edition of the Adios with the flashiest credentials, including his victory in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final and second-place finishes in the finals of the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace. But if his rivals didn't appear up to the task of beating Racing Hill, it seemed that weather and the trip might do him in. Rain punctuated by storms -- the skies cleared shortly before the Adios went off -- created a surface that proved tiring to some early leaders throughout the card. And Racing Hill, the 2-5 favorite, couldn't take the lead from Check Six until just before the three-eighths. "The race was not going the way I wanted it to go," said winning driver Brett Miller. "I was expecting a few more people to leave and kind of shooting for the three-hole. When that didn't happen, I said to myself, we're in trouble." Once he thwarted the first-over challenge of longshot Another Daily Copy, the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals opened up and had only the timer to beat. The win pushed his career bankroll to $970,028. Tony Alagna, who trains Racing Hill for owner/breeder Tom Hill, said he expected a swift opening half-mile if only because his colt was facing five foes from the powerful Ron Burke stable. "I didn't think they would let us get to the half in :55," Alagna said. "I knew they would make us earn it. I'm a big believer in watching drivers' body language. I was watching Brett in the bike, and he was telling me that he felt he had something left." Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 448.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 387.5; 3. David Miller - 341; 4. Matt Kakaley - 259; 5. Jordan Stratton - 236.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 584; 2. Jimmy Takter - 354.5; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 175; 4. Clyde Francis - 152.5; 5. Peter Tritton - 149.5. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 138.25; 3. Bamond Racing - 117; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.3; 5. Tom Hill - 87. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Northfield Park led by the Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for free for all pacers; at The Meadows with the Moni Maker for sophomore filly trotters; at the Indiana State Fair with the Fox Stakes highlighting 10 stakes; and at Tioga Downs with Tompkins-Geers events for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

WASHINGTON, PA, July 30, 2016 -- Saturday's harness racing card at The Meadows, highlighted by the $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids and the $110,950 Adioo Volo, featured four other Arden Downs stakes. Here's a recap of those Grand Circuit events. $56,418 Ned McCarr -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Glidinthruparadise lost her duel for the early lead and had to slink back to third, a disappointment that would frustrate many young trotters. But the daughter of Yankee Glide-Chowda wasn't discouraged at all, moving first over to put away the leader, Hot Curry, and score for Brian Zendt in a career-best 1:55, matching the stake record of Upfrontluckycarol. "She's a little headstrong leaving the gate, and she was going forward no matter what," Zendt reported. "I didn't want to sit third, but they were going enough that she had more trot than any of them late." Ameliosi finished second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Moots completed the ticket. Lisa Dunn trains Glidinthruparadise, who was won six of her eleven starts this year, and owns with Leslie Dunn Zendt. Keystone Taylor took the other Ned McCarr split for Dave Palone, trainer Jenny Melander and owner Steve Organ. $76.764 Gov. David L. Lawrence -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers The fastest two-year-old of 2016, Fear The Dragon, again put in a huge mile, overcoming both the sloppy surface and a determined late bid by Don'ttellmeagain to win in 1:52.4. The son of Dragon Again, trained by Brian Brown for the Emerald Highlands Farm, went a mile that might have been as impressive as the 1:50.3 mile he went here on July 20 to make him the fastest freshman so far, regardless of track size. Hall of Famer David Miller whooshed the precocious baby to the lead from fourth coming on the first turn, with Don'ttellmeagain, undefeated in three previous starts, relinquishing the lead going into turn two. From there it was basically a two-horse contest, and Don'ttellmeagain did himself great credit by cutting into the leader's margin steadily. In the end, Fear The Dragon held his tough rival off by a neck with a 27.4 kicker. Cinnabar Dragon finished third. The very next race on the card was another division of the Lawrence, and fans could be forgiven at headstretch if they thought they were watching a replay: the first race went in splits of 27.4, 56.1, and 1:25.1 with the pocket horse second choice moving out to challenge the favorite, while the second division featuring fractions of 27.3, 56.1, and 1:25.1, with the second choice two-holer moving to challenge. The difference was that Every Way Out, the pocket horse, proved the better late over front-stepping Normandy Beach, gaining into a 27.2 last quarter to win by a length in 1:52.3 to tie his mark. Southwind Yukon completed the ticket. The son of If I Can Dream is a New Jersey Sire Stakes champion and undefeated in four starts for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Dylan Davis and owners Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Ed Gold and Thomas Lazzaro. Tetrick indicated he had little to lose by vacating the pocket early. "I wanted to give my horse a chance," he said. "From the middle of the turn on, he's supposed to be able to pace with that horse (Every Way Out). I thought I would win or be second either way. For a 2-year-old, he's pretty seasoned -- and he'll get better, too." When 1-5 favorite Downbytheseaside broke his overcheck going to the gate and caused a recall, it may have been an omen that it wouldn't be his day. Indeed, after being sixth by 8-1/2 lengths just before the last half of 55.1, he could only rally for third, as second-choice Filibuster Hanover came out of the pocket in the 27 last quarter to catch front-stepping Bettor's Western by a head. The time of 1:52, the fastest divisional clocking and only two ticks off the stakes record, was also a personal best for the Somebeachsomewhere colt. Yannick Gingras drove for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, JT45, Joseph DiScala, Jr. and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The first three divisions produced a favorite and two second choices as winners, but in the last division, the longest shot on the board, 39-1 Bellows Binge, followed Eddard Hanover around the final turn, then caught that rival in the last couple steps. He posted a nose victory in 1:53, lowering his mark five seconds for trainer Dirk Simpson and owners Desyllas Racing LLC, William Beck and Carol Rieken. Driver Dan Rawlings guided the son of Bettor's Delight -- Jerry Connors $58,466 James Manderino -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Truemass Volo shot the Lightning Lane and triumphed in 1:56.2 for Matt Kakaley, trainer Doug Hamilton and owners Jon Erdner and Martin Garey. Meadowbranch Memo rallied for place, 3/4 lengths back, with Mac Deeno third. Truemass Volo was parked the first quarter, but when Kakaley released Mac Deeno to the lead, Truemass Volo gained valuable cover. Hamilton said that after facing tough competition in the Beal and the Stanley Dancer, the Muscle Massive-Tresbien Volo gelding was able to show he belongs with his division's elite. "I don't think he can beat them on a consistent basis, but he's one of the top ones," Hamilton said. "He just hasn't showed it yet. He's had a lot of bad luck, and we've been going through an educational process with him." Truemass Volo extended his career bankroll to $187,255. Rocco's Tacos overcame post 8 to capture the other Manderino split in 1:56.4 for Zendt, Melander and owners John DeVito and Rocco Manniello. $62,965 Mary Lib Miller -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Pittstop Danika, benefiting from a first-quarter break by favored Watch What You Say, made every pole a winning one in posting a 3-1/4-length victory over Dangerous Woman in the first division The daughter of Yankee Cruiser took a maiden mark of 1:55 in the off going, with Matt Kakaley handling the lines for trainer Ron Burke (who got checks with each of his three entrants in the division) and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and M1 Stable. Watch What You Say, who went into the infield to get squared away, made a fine recovery and survived an inquiry to be third. "This was a little bit easier spot for her," Kakaley said. "Outside posts against sires stake horses are real tough. She's been racing good. She has a good attitude, and she has a good future." Burke came right back in the second division with Make Mine Mocha, a Bettor's Delight filly who visited Victory Lane for the first time after drawing off to a 2-1/4-length victory in 1:54, with the track upgraded to good for the last two Miller cuts. Mike Wilder quarter-moved with Make Mine Mocha, and the pair was not in doubt thereafter while winning for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Michelle Yanek and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The final division produced an impressive winner in another daughter of Yankee Cruiser, Keystone Rampage, who moved to the lead in front of the stands, then scooted home in 28 to trip the timer in 1:53, two ticks off the stakes record. Dave Palone was in the sulky behind the victorious filly, who took a new mark for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick. -- Jerry Connors The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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