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Bob Key has been a longtime participant in the Breeders Crown and an ardent supporter of the harness racing Grand Circuit. He knows what it takes to win at the sport's top level and appreciates the opportunities for success. "This is what you're shooting for," said the 84-year-old Key, who has won twice in the Breeders Crown series and sends three horses to this year's event at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. "The Breeders Crown, look at how great it is to win it. I've been lucky to win (two) of them now. And with all the horses I have, it shows how difficult it is. "You're always looking for that champion. It's one of the great dreams to get one of those good ones." Key won his first Breeders Crown in the inaugural year of the event, 1984, as a member of the ownership group of 2-year-old female pacer Amneris. In 2010, he captured his second Crown with homebred 3-year-old male trotter Break The Bank K. In addition to his two victories, Key has finished second in a Breeders Crown final on seven occasions, including twice with homebred female trotter Win Missy B (in 2011 and 2012). This year, Key sends 2-year-old female trotter Looking For Zelda, 3-year-old female pacer Terrortina, and 4-year-old female trotter Flowers N Songs to the Breeders Crown. All three were bred by Key. Looking For Zelda and Terrortina race in eliminations Friday. All eliminations for female trotters and pacers will be contested that night, with the eliminations for male trotters and pacers to follow on Saturday. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Flowers N Songs will advance directly to the final of the Breeders Crown Mare Trot, the only class in which eliminations were not required. "I'm not going in just to go in it," Key said. "With all these horses, I feel if it goes the right way we do have the possibility of winning. I'm not just going in there hoping I'm getting third or fourth. I'm hoping we can win it. "I'm looking forward to it." Looking For Zelda is a daughter of Key's Breeders Crown-winning Break The Bank K out of the mare My Winning Way K. She has won seven of nine races this year and finished second in the remaining two. She heads to her Breeders Crown elimination off a 1:54 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 6. "I'm really pleased with Looking For Zelda, no question about it," Key said about the filly, who has earned $221,675 this season while competing primarily on the Ohio Sire Stakes circuit. "She's one of the special fillies I've had. I've had some lucky ones and good ones, but right now you can't ask for much more. "There are some very good horses in there. I think we're definitely in it. I think we have a good chance of doing well in it. They're 2-year-olds; you never know what's going to happen. You just hope they're going the right way." Looking For Zelda is 5-1 on the morning line, with Tony Hall driving for trainer Norm Parker. Manchego, undefeated in 10 career races, is the 4-5 favorite. The top five finishers from each of the two eliminations for 2-year-old female trotters advance to the $600,000 final on Oct. 27. Basquiat is the 5-2 favorite in the other elim. The 39-year-old Hall, who has won 5,326 races in his career, will be making his Breeders Crown debut. "I know he wants to drive her; it's something special for him," Key said. "He really likes her and he's done a good job with her this year. We're going to stay with him. "I think he's one of the top drivers. The driver is important. They have to have confidence in a horse. He says (Looking For Zelda) is easy to drive and does what he wants. That's all you can ask." Terrortina, a daughter of Western Terror out of the mare Alladorable, has won three of 24 races this year and earned $121,024. She has hit the board a total of 13 times and picked up checks in several stakes including the Jugette, Courageous Lady and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers got a field of 11. The connections of New York Sire Stakes champion Obvious Blue Chip and Lismore Pace winner Tequila Monday accepted byes to the final and the remaining nine fillies will compete in a single elimination. Terrortina is 20-1 on the morning line, with Hall driving for Parker. Blazin Britches is the 3-1 favorite, ahead of Caviart Ally at 7-2, Agent Q at 4-1 and Idyllic Beach at 5-1. The top eight finishers advance to the $500,000 final. "Norm feels good about her and so does Tony Hall," said Key, whose top career wins also include the 1993 Hambletonian with homebred American Winner. "I thought it was worth going in there." Click here for Friday's complete Hoosier Park card. Click here for Saturday's complete Hoosier Park card. Ken Weingartner  

Harness Racing This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Hoosier Park this Friday (Oct. 20) and Saturday (Oct. 21) for Breeders Crown eliminations in 11 divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the mare trot. The Friday card features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the mare pace, single $25,000 eliminations in the 3-year-old filly pace and 3-year-old filly trot, and two $20,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly pace and 2-year-old filly trot. The Saturday card features a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the 3-year-old colt trot, two $25,000 eliminations in the Open Trot, Open Pace, and 3-year-old colt pace, three $20,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old colt pace, and two $20,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old colt trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Twister Bi assumed control from fellow world champion Resolve, then put on a trotting showcase in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The 5-year-old stallion stopped the clock in a world record 2:22.1 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Oct. 14), 5-1/2 lengths in front of the field. Trainer Jerry Riordan said, "I just wanted everyone to see how good he really is." They most certainly did. Defending champion Resolve (Ãke Svanstedt) assumed the lead as the field of 10 very established rivals left the gate with Italian representatives Oasis Bi (Kim Eriksson) and Twister Bi (Christoffer Eriksson) following his lead. Oasis Bi made a menacing move to take command, but it truly was all Twister Bi. Once the stallion was provided his cue, the other nine horses were only trotting for minor awards. As Twister Bi continued to roll home unopposed in any way, 2016 Triple Crown victor Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) advanced to head off Oasis Bi for second as they crossed the wire. A son of the incomparable Varenne, Twister Bi is owned by Pasquale Ciccarelli and now possesses 21 triumphs in 50 career trips to the post after competing with the best Europe has to offer. He is also the latest millionaire on American soil. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 14. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,334.5; 2. David Miller - 1,139; 3. Tim Tetrick - 938; 4. Scott Zeron - 640; 5. Corey Callahan - 465. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,208.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,092.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 458; 4. Brian Brown - 430; 5. Erv Miller - 364. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 285.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 248.9; 3. Determination - 244; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 230; 5. Ken Jacobs - 182. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Hoosier Park 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). Hoosier will also host four Pegasus divisions for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. In addition, Vernon Downs will host a leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers International Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio. Schedule of events: This week's marquee event on the Grand Circuit is the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino, which will be held on Saturday (Oct. 14) at Yonkers Raceway. A field of 10 top trotters will head to the gate in the Yonkers International. Also on tap this week will be Circle City and Madison County events at Hoosier Park. The Thursday (Oct. 12) card at Hoosier will feature the $73,600 Madison County for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $68,800 Circle City for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $53,800 Madison County for 2-year-old filly pacers and the $50,000 Circle City for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (Oct. 14) Hoosier Park program will feature $65,000 (est.) Circle City races for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters and $65,000 (est.) Madison County events for 2-year-old male pacers and trotters. Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Blowing into contention at odds of 82-1 in the elimination, Snowstorm Hanover replicated his first heat rally and surged past Devious Man to win the $420,000 final of the Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc., and Menhammer Stuteri Ab., in 1:53.2 on Oct. 8 at Red Mile. "I really wonder now if he just doesn't like the hot weather," Ron Burke said of his aptly-named trotter. "We noticed that he washes out sometimes very badly in the parade, and sometimes when he washes out he's really bad. So, maybe today, the weather was a blessing to him; it seemed cooler." Snowstorm Hanover got away fourth in the final, tracking his stablemate What The Hill while Bill's Man put up a quarter in :29. Yes Mickey, circling out of the pocket, took the field to the half in :56.3 while What The Hill marched first-over into second, carrying with him Snowstorm Hanover. Devious Man, positioned fourth-over around the turn, was flying towards the center of the track heading to three-quarters, timed in 1:24.2, and took over the lead midway in the stretch. Snowstorm Hanover, angling three wide, chased after Devious Man coming into the eighth pole, pursuing the leader and eventually drawing alongside before sticking his nose in front in the final yards to win. Lindy The Great finished third and What The Hill was fourth. Returning $13.60 to win, Snowstorm Hanover, by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, won his eighth race from 32 career starts, earning $649,349 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Phil Collura and Weaver Bruscemi. He is trained by Ron Burke and was driven by Matt Kakaley. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 7. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,284.5; 2. David Miller - 1,029; 3. Tim Tetrick - 888; 4. Scott Zeron - 615; 5. Corey Callahan - 463. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,108.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 997.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 426; 4. Brian Brown - 400; 5. Erv Miller - 354. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 257.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 223.8; 3. Determination - 209; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 5. Ken Jacobs - 182. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park with 12 Breeders Crown eliminations (if necessary) set to take place on Friday (Oct. 20) and Saturday (Oct. 21). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. Schedule of events: The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 5) with five divisions in the $283,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 6) card features five divisions in the $289,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Oct. 7) The Red Mile will host the $300,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $300,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers and a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 8), The Red Mile will offer the $500,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $300,000 (est.) Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $450,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $275,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, and $75,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: A large and enthusiastic throng turned out Friday night (Sept. 29) for a pair of Grand Circuit stakes at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Pasithea Face S, one of just two mares in the eight-horse $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby, showed her heels to the field in 1:53, a new track record for trotting mares at the four-year-old five-eighths-mile oval. Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the daughter of Muscle Hill from the gate, leading pocketsitter JL Cruze (David Miller) and parked out Hannelore Hanover (Matt Kakaley) to the quarter in :27. Hannelore Hanover, the lukewarm favorite and the other female in the contest, inched past JL Cruze while still on the rim at the half in :54.4. The tempo slackened in the third panel due to strong headwinds down the backstretch, but Pasithea Face S continued to front the classy trotters in 1:24.2. Tetrick, who explained, "I thought it was her race to win if I could get the lead. I put her in a bad spot two weeks ago in the Maple Leaf Trot, but I knew she'd be good if I got her a clean trip tonight," urged the winner through a :28.3 closing quarter-mile to seal the deal. It was the 12th career win for the lightly raced 5-year-old and pushed her lifetime bounty past $560,000. Trotting guru Jimmy Takter trains the Derby champion for Courant Inc. Rockin Ron became the sport's newest millionaire when he brushed home a 1:50.2 winner in the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. Driver Matt Kakaley was content to sit near the back of the nine-horse pack for the first five-eighths of the mile, before taking up fourth-over position down the backside and angling to the outside coming out of the final turn and exploding in the stretch. Luck Be Withyou (Brett Miller) left alertly from the innermost post position to cut early fractions of :26.3 and :54.4 while Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) enjoyed a pocket ride with longshot Boston Red Rocks (Josh Sutton) racing gamely on the outside. Boston Red Rocks actually nudged ahead by a neck at the 1:21.4 third-quarter clocking, just before the cavalry charge from the rear commenced. When Boston Red Rocks began to tire, second-over Dealt A Winner (Aaron Merriman) took his best shot, which resulted in a second place finish. Third-over Missile J (Tim Tetrick) also finished strongly to garner the show dough after Rockin Ron swept past both of them during the :28.3 closing panel. The 5-year-old son of Real Desire now owns 27 victories and the winner's share of the purse sent his earnings skyrocketing to $1,006,107. Ron Burke trains Rockin Ron for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and RTC Stables. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 30. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,109.5; 2. David Miller - 869; 3. Tim Tetrick - 778; 4. Scott Zeron - 500; 5. Corey Callahan - 398. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 973.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 847.5; 3. Brian Brown - 400; 4. John Butenschoen - 316; 5. Linda Toscano - 308. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 230; 2. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 3. Determination - 204; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 196.2; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 161.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Yonkers Raceway, Hoosier Park and Northfield Park. Yonkers will offer the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino for free-for-all trotters; Hoosier will contest Circle City races for 3-year-olds and Madison County events for 2-year-olds; and Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. Paul Ramlow

DAYTON, OH. - A large and enthusiastic throng turned out Friday night (Sept. 29) for a pair of harness racing Grand Circuit stakes at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Pasithea Face S, one of just two mares in the eight horse affair, showed her heels to the field in 1:53, a new track record for trotting mares at the four-year-old five-eighths mile oval. Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the daughter of Muscle Hill from the gate, leading pocketsitter JL Cruze (David Miller) and parked out Hannelore Hanover (Matt Kakaley) to the quarter in :27. Hannelore Hanover, the lukewarm favorite and the other female in the contest, inched past JL Cruze while still on the rim at the half in :54.4. The tempo slackened in the third panel due to strong headwinds down the backstretch, but Pasithea Face S continued to front the classy trotters in 1:24.2. Tetrick, who explained "I thought it was her race to win if I could get the lead. I put her in a bad spot two weeks ago in the Maple Leaf Trot, but I knew she'd be good if I got her a clean trip tonight," urged the winner through a :28.3 closing quarter mile to seal the deal. Pasithea Face S, as the third choice at the windows, returned $9 to her backers. Combined with eventual runnerup Crazy Wow (Chris Page) the exacta yielded a $138.20 payoff; while the trifecta with show finisher JL Cruze paid $571. It was the twelfth career win for the lilghtly raced 5-year-old and pushed her lifetime bounty past $560,000. Trotting guru Jimmy Takter trains the Derby champion for Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida. Rockin Ron became the sport's newest millionaire when he brushed home a 1:50.2 winner in the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. Driver Matt Kakaley was content to sit near the back of the nine-horse pack for the first five-eighths of the mile, before taking up fourth-over position down the backside and angling to the outside coming out of the final turn and exploding in the stretch. Luck Be Withyou (Brett Miller) left alertly from the innermost post position to cut early fractions of :26.3 and :54.4 while Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) enjoyed a pocket ride with longshot Boston Red Rocks (Josh Sutton) racing gamely on the outside. Boston Red Rocks actually nudged ahead by a neck at the 1:21.4 third quarter clocking, just before the cavalry charge from the rear commenced. When Boston Red Rocks began to tire, second-over Dealt A Winner (Aaron Merriman) took his best shot, which resulted in a second place finish. Third-over Missile J (Tim Tetrick) also finished strongly to garner the show dough after Rockin Ron swept past both of them during the :28.3 closing panel. Punters who picked Rockin Ron got a nice $12.60 kickback, while the exacta returned $55 and a $2 trifecta was worth $332. The 5-year-old son of Real Desire now owns 27 victories and the winner's share of the purse sent his earnings skyrocketing to $1,056,107. Ron Burke trains Rockin Ron for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and the RTC Stable. Gregg Keidel

Harness Racing This Week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio; and John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 28) at Red Mile with five divisions in the $366,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 29) card at the Lexington oval will feature five divisions in the $330,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 30), Red Mile will offer the $400,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 1) 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 $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters and the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on Friday, Harrah's Philadelphia will contest four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday card at Harrah's Philadelphia will see the $74,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $68,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt 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 $590,400 Little Brown Jug leading five days of exciting stakes races. Prior to Thursday's (Sept. 21) Little Brown Jug final, trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras decided that, win or lose, they wanted to send Filibuster Hanover to the front at the start of the race. It was a win. Filibuster Hanover, starting from post No. 2 after his second-place finish to Fear The Dragon in the day's earlier first heat, got the lead and never looked back to win the $401,472 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers by a length over Funknwaffles in 1:50 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Miso Fast, another horse from the Burke Stable, finished third and Fear The Dragon was fourth in the 72nd edition of the event, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association. It was the second Little Brown Jug victory for the tandem of Burke and Gingras, who won in 2014 with Limelight Beach. Filibuster Hanover is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Fashion Ecstasy. He is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. He was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and was purchased for $90,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. For the year, Filibuster Hanover has won three of 14 races and earned $518,859. For his career, he has five victories in 27 starts and $633,258. On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter. The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in a track record of 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven Grand Circuit contests on the card. Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport's newest millionaire. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 23. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,007; 2. David Miller - 764; 3. Tim Tetrick - 633; 4. Scott Zeron - 475; 5. Corey Callahan - 363. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 888.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 720; 3. Brian Brown - 375; 4. John Butenschoen - 296; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 262. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 209; 2. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 3. Determination - 204; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 175.2; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 151.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again 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

Lexington, KY - The eagerly anticipated Red Mile Grand Circuit meet kicks off with a ten race harness racing card on the evening of Thursday, September 28, post time is 7:00 p.m.   Freshman trotting colts will kick off the action when 41 of them spread over five divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes sponsored by Hickory Lane Horse Farms heralding their trotting stallion Uncle Peter, whose first crop offering rewrote the record books at the recently concluded Ohio Select Yearling sale.   Among the Bluegrass entrants are Peter Haughton Memorial winner You Know You Do, PASS champ Fashionwoodchopper, NYSS stalwart Fourth Dimension and NJSS final winner U Need Stones.   The top names in the game, both human and equine, will converge on Lexington to compete for more than $5 million in purses during the two week Grand Circuit meet over the famed red clay.   Racing is live at The Red Mile Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m., switches to a 1:00 p.m. post on Sunday then resumes with matinee racing October 5 through 8.   The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale gets underway on Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. and will continue through Saturday evening with more than 600 royally bred yearlings consigned.   The Red Mile Clubhouse will be open for dining each day during the Grand Circuit meet and you may reserve a table by dialing (859) 255-0752.   A more detailed preview of Thursday's races will be released on Tuesday after the program has been made final.   Nick Salvi          

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 22, 2017 - On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the harness racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter. The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven on the Grand Circuit contests on the card. "I am very excited about the driving him here in the Breeders Crown," said pilot Brett Miller. "I've only driven him three times, but since he's been here it's like he knows where he is and that he is home; he also loves the track. He is such a well-mannered horse and that is what makes him what he is. Nine out of 10 of the great horses you drive are intelligent and if they don't have that they generally never become very good; this horse has that and much more." Another track record holder over this Anderson oval in I Know My Chip (Sam Widger), led the extremely talented field of 10 through the first quarter mile in a swift :26.1 with world champion JL Cruze (David Miller) right behind him as Hannelore Hanover was content to track this duo in third until shortly after the tote board flashed the time of :54.3 for the half-mile. As the final turn to the homestretch loomed, Yannick Gingras pulled the 5-year-old mare and she responded with vigor to take the lead. As Hannelore Hanover made her move, Homicide Hunter and Miller simply employed her cover to enter second place at the top of the lane. The mare dug deep in reply to Homicide Hunter's advance, yet the gelding's strides appeared to lengthen as he drew on even terms then trotted past his rival. Meanwhile Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) was making his own bid for the victory with an extremely strong move on the outside, but it was too little too late. Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport's newest millionaire. The Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes Not to be outdone by her more seasoned and mature elderstatesman, Basquiat (Gingras) demolished the track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies just recently set by Oh So Easy when she tripped the teletimer earlier in the evening in 1:53.4 in the $240,000 race. The time was nearly a full second faster than the previous standard. Trained by Jimmy Takter and competing as a homebred for Order By Stable, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Thatsnotmyname was not hindered by drawing post nine in the field of 10 as she trotted comfortably in third for the first quarter mile, which was timed in :27, before advancing to second behind leader Meadow Brook Grace (Trace Tetrick) just before the :56.2 half-mile. The positions of the top two remained unchanged through three-quarters in 1:25 but when Gingras gave his filly her cue to go after the final turn, Basquiat responded in kind. The filly strode past the pacesetter with ease and defeated a hard-closing Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) by a measured length. Hey Blondie (Andrew McCarthy) was third. Basquiat's record now stands at 7-5-2. The Moni Maker Although she did not establish a new track record like her counterparts, Sunshine Delight (Brett Miller) did equal a facility mark with a 1:53.1 victory by two lengths in the $160,000 event. In a race where the lead was inherited by three of the seven contestants in the race, Sunshine Delight (post five) was placed in sixth position for until after the toteboard recorded a time of :57.1 for the half-mile. That is when Miller urged his filly to advance and by the top of the stretch she had a head advantage over Treviso (Charlie Norris, post two). From there on in, it was all Sunshine Delight and daughter of Credit Winner-On The Bright Side set a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. Trained by Staffan Lind, the filly is owned by James Wilhite Jr. and it is her second win of the year from 11 trips to the post. "She has had some very tough posts, like in the Hambletonian Oaks, but she has always tried her best and raced well," Miller said. "She is a very good filly, but she's had some bad luck. It's great to see her finally win one of these tonight." Sunshine Delight was followed home by Future Secured (Gingras), who is a full-sister to Basquiat, and Treviso. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Story By: Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Lexington, KY - With 2017 The Little Brown Jug now history, the focus of the harness racing Grand Circuit shifts to the Bluegrass for a fortnight of top quality harness racing at The Red Mile and the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   Racing begins on Thursday, September 28 with a 7 p.m. post time which continues through Saturday, September 30. The 1:00 p.m. matinee cards start on Sunday, October 1 and return for the Thursday - Sunday schedule October 5-8.   The first draw is on Monday, September 25 with the box closing at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. The condition sheet is available on the web. Electronic entry is encouraged and the Race Office & Judges contact information is available on the condition sheet.   All information pertinent to bringing your stable to The Red Mile (including stall applications which must be filed) may be accessed from this page.   The Clubhouse dining room will be open on all race dates, make your reservations by calling (859) 255-0752.   The Lexington Yearling sale where champions are sold kicks off on the evening of Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. and continues through Saturday.   The city of Lexington offers much in the way of entertainment available during your stay including fine dining and an active nighttime scene.   Come join the fun!   Nick Salvi

Harness Racing This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; Centaur Trotting Classic, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Metro and She's A Great Lady, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 20) at Delaware with the $279,250 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $80,575 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 21) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $590,400 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $120,500 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $105,125 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters and the $52,200 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters. Standardbred events for 2-year-old pacers and 2-year-old filly trotters were contested earlier in the week. The Harrah's Philadelphia card on Wednesday will feature four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 22) with the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic for Open trotters, the $240,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $200,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $160,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $160,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, and the $125,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 23) with the C$816,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers and the C$500,000 She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. 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 Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four major stakes, led by the $486,260 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. Hannelore Hanover got her Maple Leaf Trot redemption with an impressive 1:51.1 victory. The 5-year-old trotting mare and driver Yannick Gingras seized the lead heading to the half and proceeded to trot away to a 4-1/2 length victory for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. "When she's like this, in North America anyway, I'll take on any trotter," said Gingras following Hannelore Hanover's sensational performance. JL Cruze shot out to grab the early lead and posted a snappy opening quarter of :26.2. Hannelore Hanover settled into third in the early going, while Gingras waited to make his move. Hannelore Hanover came with a second quarter rush and secured the lead in time to post a half of :54.3. Odds On Amethyst came first up in the third quarter and got up to the wheel of the leader, but Gingras got a comfortable third quarter of :28.4 to lead at that station in 1:23.2. In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover waved goodbye to her rivals and trotted home strongly in :27.4 for her biggest victory to date. JL Cruze finished second, while Pasithea Face, the other mare in the field, was third. The superfecta was completed by Warrawee Roo. The victory is extra special for Hannelore Hanover's connections after coming up just short in last year's event. "Last year she raced her heart out and was second to Resolve in a great race," said co-owner Baldachino. "For her to come back a year later and actually win it, it's real sweet and very special." A daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is now six for 10 this season with $531,754 earned. The talented trotting mare surpassed $1.9 million in career earnings with her 32nd career win Saturday. Hannelore Hanover's Maple Leaf Trot victory is the first win in the event for driver Gingras and trainer Burke. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 16. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 885; 2. David Miller - 689; 3. Tim Tetrick - 568; 4. Scott Zeron - 425; 5. Corey Callahan - 301. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 708.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 658; 3. Brian Brown - 315; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 227; 5. John Butenschoen - 224. Owners: 1. Emerald Highlands Farm - 175; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 168.8; 3. Determination - 164; 4. Diamond Creek Racing - 151.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 141.7. 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 and Harrah's Philadelphia will contest John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Canadian Trotting Classic, Maple Leaf Trot, Elegantimage, Milton Stakes, and Metro eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Nadia Lobell, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Standardbred Stakes, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; and Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Hoosier Park on Wednesday (Sept. 13) with the $160,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Meadowlands on Friday (Sept. 15) will host three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters, three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters, 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 (Sept. 16) with the C$684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$593,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters, the C$385,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$256,000 Milton Stakes for older pacing mares and three C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts. Delaware and Harrah's Philadelphia will offer Grand Circuit racing on Sunday (Sept. 17). Delaware will host the $70,000 (est.) Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $45,000 (est.) Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. Harrah's Philadelphia has the $105,000 (est.) Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and the $80,000 (est.) Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: After Rockin Ron (Matt Kakaley) blew by Mel Mara (Dave Palone) like the 2-1 public selection was standing still it appeared the trophy for the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial would clearly belong to his connections. McWicked, however, had other plans as he and Brian Sears unleashed a scintillating rally through the passing lane to score by a neck in 1:49.3 on Saturday (Sept. 9) at Eldorado Scioto Downs. "I won the 3-year-old Breeders Crown championship with this horse," said Sears. "You have to ask him a little more than you used to when he was younger but he still has that speed." As expected speedster Luck Be Withyou (post five, Aaron Merriman) immediately left the gate to take command. After leading the field of 10 swift older pacers through an opening quarter-mile in :26.1, Palone gave Mel Mara his cue and the stallion responded with a first-over move to take the lead through a half-mile in :54.2. The world champion's stint on top would be short lived as Rockin Ron was loaded with pace and overhauled Mel Mara from fourth in a flash shortly before 1:21.3 for the three-quarters was posted on the board. In a moment Rockin Ron (9-2) not only passed Mel Mara but left him completely in his wake by several lengths. As the field strode toward the final turn, it seemed Rockin Ron was going to collect an emphatic victory, as Check Six (Chris Page), Boston Red Rocks (Josh Sutton) and McWicked all had plenty of work to do from sixth, third and fourth, respectively. As Rockin Ron disposed of Check Six and Boston Red Rocks, McWicked was winding up along the inside and gaining on the leader with every inch. As Sears urged him on, the 6-year-old stallion edged past Rockin Ron with a :27.2 final panel to annex the race. Rockin Ron held for second while Boston Red Rocks and Check Six dead-heated for third place. Owned by Ed James and conditioned by Casie Coleman, 2014 Dan Patch Award winner McWicked boosted his career bankroll past the $2 million mark and collected the 22nd win of his 68-race career. The stallion suffered from breathing problems as a 4-year-old which caused him to miss nearly all of the 2015 season and abbreviated his campaign last year. In 2017, McWicked has compiled a record of 21-7-3-2 after those issues were rectified. "Casie has trained him on and off throughout his career and she has really done a great job with him," Sears, who also won the Jug Preview with Downbytheseaside earlier on the card, said. "I'm just very happy I received the opportunity to drive him tonight and that I was able to win with him again." Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 9. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 795; 2. David Miller - 614; 3. Tim Tetrick - 520; 4. Scott Zeron - 417; 5. Corey Callahan - 289. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 663.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 584; 3. Brian Brown - 295; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 223; 5. John Butenschoen - 212. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 157.1; 2. Emerald Highlands Farm - 155; 3. Determination - 154; 4. Diamond Creek Racing - 147.8; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 135. Looking ahead: Another busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Mohawk Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Harrah's Philadelphia. Delaware will be hosting seven 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 finals of the William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way for freshman trotters and the Metro and She's A Great Lady for freshman pacers; Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Centuar for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers; and Harrah's Philadelphia has the Simpson Stakes for sophomore filly trotters and pacers. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Jim Ewart Memorial and Jug Preview, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; Kindergarten Series and Miss Versatility, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Simcoe Stakes and Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, and Milton eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Sept. 8) at Mohawk with a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. The Saturday (Sept. 9) card is highlighted by the C$163,872 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$162,838 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters. Grand Circuit racing at the Meadowlands will also be held on Friday (Sept. 8) with a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares, and a pair of $10,000 divisions each in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters, 2-year-old filly trotters, 2-year-old colt pacers and 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Sept. 9), Scioto Downs will host the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the $125,000 Jug Preview for 3-year-old colt pacers. 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: World champion Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) withstood a late charge from two rivals to win the $500,000 Messenger Stakes final for 3-year-old colt pacers in 1:52.1 on Saturday night (Sept. 2) at Yonkers Raceway by a nose. Sears completed the Messenger/Yonkers Trot double when he steered Top Flight Angel to victory by the very same margin in the aforementioned contest later on a card that also included the Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud Pace. Downbytheseaside and Sears got away from the gate to make the lead just past the :27.1 first quarter, with Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) tucked in behind. Downbytheseaside led the field to the half in :56 and to the three-quarters in 1:24.1. He was still on top at the head of the stretch but a charge was developing from horses on both sides. Art Scene (Jordan Stratton) came charging on the inside late and was second and Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) was third on his outside. Downbytheseaside held them off to win by a nose. Downbytheseaside is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Farm; he's trained by Brian Brown. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover improved his 2017 record to 12-8-1-2, with earnings of $956,216. Top Flight Angel (Sears) was a nose the best in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-olds in 1:56.3. Devious Man and Andy Miller got away with the lead off the gate to hit the quarter-mile mark in :28.4 and held that lead to the :58.4 half, with Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstadt) along the rail in second racing with a new Murphy Blind on the left side and Top Flight Angel in third. Devious Man was still on the lead at the 1:27.3 three-quarters, but there was a gathering storm behind him, with both Yes Mickey (along the inside) and Top Flight Angel (on the outside). In the end it was a win by a nose for Top Flight Angel over Yes Mickey, with Devious Man in third. The win earns Top Flight Angel an automatic invitation for the Yonkers International, to be held Oct. 14, and improved his seasonal slate to 12-3-1-3, with earnings of $331,916. Top Flight Angel is owned by Legendary Standardbred Farm of New York and trained by Julie Miller. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 2. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 760; 2. David Miller - 598; 3. Tim Tetrick - 503; 4. Scott Zeron - 395; 5. Jason Bartlett - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 617; 2. Jimmy Takter - 529; 3. Brian Brown - 275; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 221; 5. Ray Schnittker - 187. Owners: 1. Emerald Highlands Farm - 155; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 143.9; 3. Determination - 137; 4. Diamond Creek Racing - 132.1; 5. Harry Von Knoblauch Stable - 123.5. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Mohawk, Hoosier Park, The Meadowlands, Harrah's Philadelphia and the Delaware County Fair. Mohawk will host finals in the Maple Leaf Trot, the Canadian Trotting Classic, the Elegantimage, and the Milton, as well as eliminations in the Metro Pace, the She's A Great Lady, the Peaceful Way and the William Wellwood Memorial; Hoosier Park will host the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old pacing fillies; The Meadowlands will card another leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters and pacers; Harrah's Philadelphia will race Simpson stakes for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters; and Delaware will have Standardbred stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. Paul Ramlow  

Batavia, NY---Two of the best 3-year-old trotting fillies on the harness racing Grand Circuit will be at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 6) in a division of the $108,200 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). Barn Bella and Celebrity Ruth will go head to head in the second $59,100 division (carded as race four) of the NYSS in what looks to be a heavyweight battle for the ages with possible track record implications. Barn Bella (Conway Hall-Bravissima) comes into the race as the second richest ($329,584) and third fastest (1:51.3) 3-year-old trotting filly in North America. She has scored 10 wins in 12 starts this year, making breaks the only two times she hasn't finished first. Having campaigned exclusively in New York State this year, Barn Bella has won five legs of the NYSS as well as the $228,250 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Vernon Downs in 1:51.3, which was her lifetime best effort. In her last start on August 18, Barn Bella was racing older male trotters in the overnight Open at Tioga Downs and made a break in the first turn while everyone was jockeying for position. This will be her first start back in 18 days and she looks to rebound with a big effort in the short six-horse field. Barn Bella will be a big hometown favorite as all her connections are from only a few miles of Batavia Downs. Co-owner/trainer Steve Pratt, co-owner Wanda Polisseni and driver Jeff Gregory all call Batavia Downs their "home track" and will converge there with high expectations for their star performer. Barn Bella has drawn post six and has been made the 8-5 morning line favorite. Looking to spoil the homecoming is Celebrity Ruth (Archangel-Celebrity Obsession) who comes in fresh off a win in the $119,010 Hudson Trot final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 2). Celebrity Ruth was unraced at two but has made up for time lost this year. She has won three legs of the NYSS as well as the afore mentioned Hudson Trot. She also took a major check finishing second to Barn Bella in the EBC. In all, her five wins and five seconds have put $280,938 in her bank account this year. She has a lifetime mark of 1:53.4 taken at Tioga Downs but has been race timed in 1:52.1 at Vernon. Trond Smedshammer trains Celebrity Ruth and has regular driver Jason Bartlett up once again and the pair will depart from post two, listed at 3-1. In the first $59,100 division (carded as race three) Mamora Bay will start at Batavia Downs only four days after competing in the Hudson Trot as well where she finished third behind Celebrity Ruth. Prior to Saturday, Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Giulie Bi) had been off since August 1 as she was trying to get over the effects of a virus she has been dealing with all year, as reported by her trainer Sam Schillaci in a recent interview. With that said, she did look good qualifying twice at Northfield Park getting ready for that big stake. In the Hudson, Mamora Bay got away sixth and was forced to come third-over in a dull outer flow and had to overcome a strong front-runner, the rain and a breaking horse around the last turn but still closed well to finish third, beaten less than four lengths. With $66,331 on her card so far in 2017, Mamora Bay has only one win in six starts this year and her connections are hoping she gets back to her form of last year now that she is back in action. Sam Schillaci is aboard once again and has been named the early favorite at 9-5 leaving from post three. Looking to challenge for the spoils is Maewegonow (Deweycheatumnhowe-Mauresmo) who is the highest money earner in this leg with $91,220 banked. But she also only has one NYSS win to her credit. Maewegonow has shown versatility racing on the front end as well as from behind and in this short field could be successful with either strategy. She has hit the board in seven out of 11 starts and took a lifetime mark of 1:55.3 in her last outing at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs in an overnight event. Charlie Norris trains and drives Maewegonow who has drawn post two and is tabbed at 5-2. The current track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies is 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 and matched by Bouncing Bax in 2013. There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on Wednesday that are programmed as races six and seven. Post time for the first race Wednesday is 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs presents its biggest harness racing card of the season on Sunday, August 27 with nine stakes Grand Circuit on the day carrying total purses of nearly $750,000.   Highlights include the $170,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot, $150,000 Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot and $158,000 Artiscape Open Mare Pace supported by six divisions of the Reynolds stakes for 2-year-olds rounding out the program.   Ten of the finest trotters in the land are entered for the Crawford Farms (race 8) with the combined earnings of the field in excess of $12 million.   Resolve (PP #7) is the leading career money winner and arguably the best trotter currently racing in North America for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt and owner Hans Enggren. A winner three times in eight seasonal starts, Reslove's most recent effort was a convincing open length win in the $303,000 Cashman Memorial on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.   Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) chased Resolve home on that occasion and has drawn just to the outside of his chief rival on Sunday. He's handling the graduation to the veteran ranks nicely for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling with wins in the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate final versus 4-year-old competition. Facing this deep and talented group in only his second foray open competition is a arduous task for last year's Triple Crown champ.   The Joie De Vie (race 6) features last year's dominant division leader Hannelore Hanover (PP#5 Yannick Gingras) and her newest rival in Swedish import Pasithea Face S (PP#2 Tim Tetrick). In the initial meeting Pasithea Face vanquished her accomplished rival with a grueling first over move to win the Dr John Steele Memorial on Hambo Day. Hannelore has not raced since while Pasithea Face tuned up with an overall track record 1:50.4 at Tioga last week in a leg of the Miss Versatility.   The Artiscape (race 7) pits Lady Liberty winner Pure Country (PP#5 Mark MacDonald) against Golden Girls winner Nike Franco N (PP#2 Tetrick) in another field of six. Those two threw down for the final three eighths of a mile in the Liberty with Nike Franco wrestling the lead away by a neck at the stretch call before Pure Country rallied back to get the win.   The Reynolds stakes cover six races, two each for the trotting and pacing colts and a single division of fillies for each gait.   It's Corntastic weekend at Tioga Downs and post time on Sunday is 1:00 p.m.   Here are the fields for the three featured events:   SIXTH RACE Condition: Joie De Vie Open Mares Gait: Trot Purse: $150,000 Class: JOIEDEVIE Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 JEWELS IN HOCK L Ma Kakaley Ro Burke 1:54.0 1-9-1 8-1       2 2 PASITHEA FACE S   Ti Tetrick Ji Takter 1:50.4 1-1-2 9-5       3 3 CAPRICE HILL   Br Sears To Alagna 1:53.3 4-2-2 5-1       4 4 EMOTICON HANOVER   Da Dube Lu Blais 1:51.0 3-1-1 3-1       5 5 HANNELORE HANOVER L Ya Gingras Ro Burke 1:50.3 4-2-1 2-1       6 6 FAD FINANCE   Da Miller TrSmedshammer 1:52.1 5-1-3 12-1       SEVENTH RACE Condition: Artiscape Open Mares Gait: Pace Purse: $158,000 Class: ARTISCAPE Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 CALL ME QUEEN BE   Sc Zeron Ro Croghan 1:53.0 2-4-5 9-2       2 2 NIKE FRANCO N L Ti Tetrick Ja King Jr 1:48.0 3-2-1 2-1       3 3 FROST DAMAGE BLUES L Co Callahan Th Fanning 1:50.1 1-5-4 5-1       4 4 BEDROOMCONFESSIONS L Ya Gingras To Alagna 1:49.3 1-5-1 7-2       5 5 PURE COUNTRY L Ma MacDonald Ji Takter 1:48.0 1-2-7 5-2       6 6 PENPAL   Da Dube Pa Lachance 1:49.2 7-3-6 8-1       EIGHTH RACE Condition: Crawford Farms Open Horses Gait: Trot Purse: $170,000 Class: CRAWFORD Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 DAYSON L Ti Tetrick Ro Burke 1:52.3 4-3-4 6-1       2 2 FLANAGAN MEMORY L Br Sears Re Dion 1:52.2 1-8-2 7-2       3 3 JL CRUZE   Da Miller Er Ell 1:51.0 5-1-3 5-1       4 4 PRAIRIE FORTUNE L Ja Meittinis Mi Deters 1:53.2 8-4-1 15-1       5 5 GURAL HANOVER L Ma Kakaley Ro Burke 1:51.0 1-1-1 8-1       6 6 CUFFLINK HANOVER   Co Callahan JoButenschoen 1:51.1 4-7-2 12-1       7 7 RESOLVE   Ak Svanstedt Ak Svanstedt 1:54.2 1-4-8 5-2       8 8 MARION MARAUDER   Sc Zeron Pa Wellwood 1:51.2 2-1-1 3-1       9 9 CRAZY WOW L Ya Gingras Ro Burke 1:51.1 10-3-1 4-1       10 [10 WINGS OF ROYALTY   Ma MacDonald Ge Ducharme 1:52.4 1-11-2 15-1   Nick Salvi

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers Trot and Messenger eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Casual Breeze, Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation and Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Artiscape, Crawford Farms Trot, Joie De Vie and W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 26), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Yonkers Trot for sophomore trotters, the second leg of the sport's trotting Triple Crown. The top four horses in each elimination will return for the $500,000 final on Sept. 2. Only nine horses entered the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown, so all nine will contest a single $40,000 elimination to get the eight for the $500,000 final. Also on Saturday, Grand Circuit action at Mohawk Racetrack will feature two divisions in the C$226,050 Nassagaweya for 2-year-old pacing colts; a single C$192,333 division in the Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacing fillies; and a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. On Friday (Aug. 25) Mohawk will host two C$81,412 divisions in the Casual Breeze for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Sunday (Aug. 27), Tioga Downs will card the $160,000 (est.) Artiscape for older pacing mares, the $160,000 (est.) Crawford Farms Trot for older trotters, the $150,000 (est.) Joie De Vie for older trotting mares and W.N. Reynolds Memorial events for freshman pacers and 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: Sitting off a contested front, Yes Mickey snuck up the pylons to edge past 6-5 favorite Ariana G and upset at 34-1 in the $320,000 Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial on Friday (Aug. 18) at Vernon Downs. Long Tom grabbed the front from Yes Mickey before a :26.4 first quarter. Ariana G, sitting third, edged outside and brushed to the lead off a :55.1 half. Devious Man, behind International Moni stalled first over, loomed wide and trotted towards Ariana G's wheel, pressuring the leader through a 1:23.3 third-quarter while Long Tom drifted off the rail, giving room to Yes Mickey. Yes Mickey gradually approached the leader up the inside, getting his nose in front within the final sixteenth and edging away to win by a neck over Ariana G in a lifetime-best effort of 1:51.2. Devious Man finished third and International Moni finished fourth. A 3-year-old gelding by Muscle Hill from the Pine Chip mare My Favorite Chip, Yes Mickey won his second race in ten starts, earning $223,087 for owner Mellby Gard Inc. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, he paid $71.00 to win. Svanstedt completed a sweep of the Zweig finals when Evelyn shook loose off a pocket trip to win the $135,000 Filly final in 1:54.1. Sitting behind a tempo of :27, :57, and 1:25.4 set by Feed Your Head and pressure from Sunshine Delight parked first-over, Evelyn managed to weave through the dueling leaders midway through the stretch to win by a length over Sunshine Delight, with Feed Your Head faltering to third and Glitzey Gal recovering from an early break to take fourth. Racing for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Borje Nasstrom, and Silva Stable 45, Evelyn won her fourth race in 20 starts, pushing her career earnings to $192,166. Driven by Andy Miller, she paid $16.00 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Aug. 19. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 635; 2. David Miller - 489; 3. Tim Tetrick - 423; 4. Scott Zeron - 330; 5. Jason Bartlett - 238. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 572; 2. Jimmy Takter - 432; 3. Brian Brown - 245; 4. Ray Schnittker - 187; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 181. Owners: 1. Emerald Highlands Farm - 155; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 130.2; 3. Harry Von Knoblauch Stable - 123.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 108.6; 5. Melby Gard -90. 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, as well as the Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud. Mohawk will offer the Canadian Pacing Derby, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Zweig Memorial and Zweig Memorial filly trot, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI; Roll With Joe, Tompkins-Geers and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Prix d'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Aug. 18) at Vernon Downs with the $320,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters and the $135,000 Zweig Filly for 3-year-old filly trotters. There will also be a $70,000 consolation in the open division and a $28,220 consolation in the filly division. Saturday's (Aug. 19) Grand Circuit action will be led by Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, which will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers, while Tioga Downs will host Tompkins-Geers races for 2-year-old pacing colts and fillies. On Sunday (Aug. 20), Grand Circuit racing will continue at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.)  Roll With Joe for older pacers, a $40,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares, and the Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old trotting colts and fillies. Also on Sunday, Hippodrome 3R will contest 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: On an absolutely flawless Friday (Aug. 11) evening, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino possessed all the elements for a spectacular 24th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes. The crowd was enthusiastic, the weather was sheer perfection and a quality field of 10, half of which were world champions, was certain to provide the fans with an exhilarating contest. Check Six was ultimately the horse to fulfill that goal with a quarter-length victory over stablemate All Bets Off in 1:48.1 and stake his claim as the divisional leader. Rock N' Roll World closed with alacrity to reach the wire in third. After celebrating his win, Yannick Gingras, who guided the son of Somebeachsomewhere around the seven-eighths-mile Anderson oval, acknowledged he was not exactly overjoyed when the 4-year-old stallion's post position was selected earlier in the week. "I was not thrilled when I saw the draw sheet and we were in post nine," he said. "But you have to go out there, see how things work out on the track and then drive accordingly. He's had some back luck, but he's sharp right now so since the McKee ($224,400 Sam McKee Memorial on Aug. 5) maybe now his luck is changing." Gingras wasted no time putting Check Six into the race as he gunned him to the lead immediately after the wings folded on the gate. He was followed into the first turn by world champion Dr J Hanover (Doug McNair) and Rock N' Roll World (John De Long), then tripped the timer for the first quarter-mile in a speedy :26. Shortly after the time flashed upon the board, Matt Kakaley decided All Bets Off should control the tempo and that duo seized command by the :54.2 half-mile pole. At that juncture Aaron Merriman had his own ideas on how the race should be conducted and moved Dealt A Winner first-over to gain second place, with Gingras content to sit in third until after the 1:21.1 three-quarters. As Dealt A Winner began to tire from his earlier efforts as the field entered the top of the stretch, All Bets Off began to place of bit of separation between himself and his rivals, with Rock N' Roll World and McWicked (David Miller) winding up for their drives to the wire. Just when it appeared All Bets Off was home free and would hold Check Six, Rock N' Roll World and McWicked at bay, Gingras ducked into the passing lane, strode by All Bets Off along the rail and collected the win for conditioner Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, William Switala and James Martin. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Aug. 12. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 620; 2. David Miller - 489; 3. Tim Tetrick - 423; 4. Scott Zeron - 310; 5. Jason Bartlett - 238. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 560; 2. Jimmy Takter - 417; 3. Brian Brown - 245; 4. Ray Schnittker - 187; 5. Rene Allard - 161. Owners: 1. Emerald Highlands Farm - 155; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 127; 3. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 123.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 105.4; 5. J&T Silva Stables - 88. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, and Tioga Downs. Yonkers will contest eliminations for the Messengers Stakes and Yonkers Trot, the second legs of the Pacing and Trotting Triple Crown, along with eliminations in the companion Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot. Mohawk Racetrack will contest the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacers, along with eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. Tioga Downs will offer the Crawford Farm Trot for older trotters, the Joie De Vie for older trotting mares, the Artiscape for older pacing mares and Reynolds Memorial divisions for 2-year-olds. Paul Ramlow

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