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Harness Racing This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Armbro Flight and Goodtimes finals, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Woodbine Mohawk Park this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 15) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$454,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$256,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters and the C$247,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: None Bettor A ($6.60), a newcomer from Down Under, continues to take the U.S. by storm and won the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie on Saturday (June 8) in 1:49 at Northfield Park. The clocking tied the all-age track record at the Ohio half-mile oval. The victory marked the sixth straight sub-1:50 victory for the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding. None Bettor A captured the Battle of Lake Erie in 1:49, which equaled the all-age track record. Raymond Lance Photo Joe Bongiorno drove None Bettor A for his sister, Jennifer Bongiorno, who trains the pacer for co-owners Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing. None Bettor A started from post six and fired to the lead from the gate and remained in control the entire mile through fractions of :26.4, :55, 1:22 and 1:49, besting his closest rival, Jimmy Freight, by 1-1/4 lengths. "He (None Bettor A) feels good and does everything on his own," Joe Bongiorno said. "He puts his head down and really has fun out there." None Bettor A increased his career bankroll to $229,245 by taking home the lion's share of the healthy $200,000 purse. Completing the 2019 Battle field were Jimmy Freight, Southwind Amazon, The Wall, Filibuster Hanover, Bully Pulpit, Rodeo Rock and Always A Prince. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 248; 2. Jason Bartlett - 154; 3. Yannick Gingras - 122; 4. Daniel Dube - 111; 5. George Brennan - 110. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 169; 2. Ron Burke - 150; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Tony Alagna - 66; 5. Andrew Harris - 64. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 61.9; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 58.4; 3. J L Benson Stables - 53.2; 4. Richard Poillucci - 48.4; 5. Brad Grant - 47.6. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and The Meadowlands. Pocono will host eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 22). The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters on Friday (June 21). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield, Park, Northfield, Ohio; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Pepsi North America Cup, and Fan Hanover eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Graduate Series third leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week begins on Friday (June 7) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 8) card at Mohawk features a pair of C$50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Eliminations were not required in the Roses Are Red for older pacing mares. Northfield Park will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday as the Ohio oval features the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie for older pacers. Tioga Downs will round out a busy Grand Circuit weekend on Sunday (June 9) with $75,000 (est.) third leg contests in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The road to the Pepsi North America Cup made a final stop on Saturday (June 1) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. A group of 16 sophomore pacers, 13 of them eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup, were split into two $59,200 Somebeachsomewhere divisions. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Century Farroh remained undefeated in 2019 with a 1:52.4 score in the opening Somebeachsomewhere division. The son of Mach Three was sent off as the 1-9 favorite, circled to the top for driver Sylvain Filion from the deuce entering the backstretch and never looked back. Century Farroh posted fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.4 to lead by 1-1/2 lengths entering the homestretch. Caviart Rockland was the only threat for the heavy favorite in the lane, as driver Scott Zeron had the Nancy Johansson trainee in a perfect second-over spot. In the stretch, Century Farroh's lead proved to be too much for his rival, as he paced a final quarter in :27 for the victory. Caviart Rockland ran out of real estate and finished a hard closing second by a neck. Better Up finished third, while Captain Trevor was fourth. Century Farroh is now four-for-four with $83,266 earned this season for owner Ratchford Stable NS. Tyga Hanover pulled off a 19-1 upset in the second division by prevailing in a thrilling stretch battle. Also driven by Filion, Tyga Hanover started strong by cutting out a :27.1 opening quarter. Best In Show circled from second to first and led the field through middle half fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.2. Stag Party came first-up on the far turn and was pressuring Best In Show turning for home. In the stretch, Stag Party took a short lead while Best In Show continued to battle at the rail. Filion slipped Tyga Hanover to the far outside and the Ben Baillargeon trainee powered up in deep stretch to win by a length. Best In Show came back at the rail for second, while Stag Party tired late to finish third. Owned by Tom, Elizabeth and Glen Rankin, Tyga Hanover now has three wins in four starts this season after going winless in six starts as a rookie. The Baillargeon trainee has now earned $51,093 in 10 career starts. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 238; 2. Jason Bartlett - 144; 3. George Brennan - 110; 4. Jordan Stratton - 107; 5. Daniel Dube - 104. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 169; 2. Ron Burke - 105; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Nick Surick - 62; 5. Richard Banca - 61. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 61.9; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 58.4; 3. J L Benson Stables - 52.5; 4. Richard Poillucci - 48.4; 5. Royal Wire Products - 47. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at Mohawk next weekend as the track will host five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 15). Paul Ramlow

This Week: Camluck Classic, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; Currier & Ives Filly Trot, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Graduate Series second leg and Somebeachsomewhere, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action opens on Friday night (May 31) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$157,000 Camluck Classic for older male pacers. Racing will take place on Saturday (June 1) at two venues. The Meadows will host the $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters and Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature two C$80,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts and single C$99,000 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and 4-year-old pacers. Complete entries for the Meadows race can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair and Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: As a yearling, Bettor's Wish sold for all of $20,000. "But he's not a $20,000 horse anymore." So said co-owner and trainer Chris Ryder Saturday night (May 25) after his charge - and driver Dexter Dunn - made short work of Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The 29th Rooney, for 3-year-old colts and geldings, turned into a romp for the odds-on ($3.70) choice. One of two elimination winners, Bettor's Wish drew post position No. 6 in the finale. He found himself three-wide early, outside of Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald) and Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) and inside of Blood Money (Scott Zeron). Blood Money made the lead before a :27 opening quarter-mile, then a :55.4 intermission. Going up the backside the second time, Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) was advancing out of fifth before he broke stride. That allowed Buddy Hill a path out of third, and as he was about to leave the cones, Bettor's Wish extricated himself from the pocket. That one disposed of Blood Money soon after a 1:24.1 three-quarters, preparing to bust the race wide open. Bettor's Wish slapped three lengths on his rivals in and out of the final turn, then ran it up. The final margin was a half-dozen lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Second went to Branquinho (Tyler Buter), while Air Force Hanover (David Miller) was third. Buddy Hill and Blood Money picked off the remainder. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt co-owned by Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, has won all three of his seasonal starts and earned $180,000. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following this past weekend:   Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 193; 2. Jason Bartlett - 144; 3. George Brennan - 110; 4. Jordan Stratton - 107; 5. Daniel Dube - 104. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 149; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 55.2; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 51.7; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.   Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Northfield Park, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Tioga Downs. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for invitational pacers, Mohawk will feature five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, and Tioga Downs will offer the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

This Week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at three harness racing locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 24) at The Meadows with the $99,430 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old open trotters. On Saturday (May 25), Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $109,234 final of the Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies). Harrah's Philadelphia will host three invitational events on Sunday (May 26), each with a purse of $100,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Commodore Barry for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older filly and mare pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Saturday night (May 18) at the Meadowlands, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won both $50,000 divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on the trot with Six Pack and Muscle M Up. In the first division, the look of the race changed with the scratch of 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta, but that appeared to suit Six Pack just fine. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was on the move from the start and moved to the lead while parked past the quarter in :27.2, putting 3-5 favorite Fiftydallarbill in the pocket. A :30.3 sleepwalk of a second quarter followed as the top two betting choices raced 1-2 all the way to the wire. Fiftydallarbill rallied some in deep stretch but was no threat to Six Pack, who held on by a half-length in 1:53.1 in his 2019 debut. As the 6-5 second choice, Six Pack returned $4.40 to his backers while winning for the 16th time from 24 career starts, good for earnings of $1,383,290. A year ago, his major wins included the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot. While Six Pack has a monster resume, stablemate Muscle M Up does not, but that did not stop the son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Athena from taking the other Graduate division in a sizzling lifetime best of 1:51.2. Svanstedt once again asked his horse for early speed and got it, racing on the lead at the quarter in :27.2 before yielding to 3-5 chalk Mission Accepted. Crystal Fashion raced first-over to go after the leader around the far turn with Muscle M Up waiting for some space to race. He found it by swerving out to the four path for the stretch drive and once there was enough clearance to do so he cruised past the field to record a half-length win over Crystal Fashion. Mission Accepted was third. The winner returned $17.60 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering and won for the seventh time in 14 lifetime starts. His earnings stand at $87,972. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 188; 2. Jason Bartlett - 124; 3. Jordan Stratton - 107; 4. George Brennan - 100; 5. Daniel Dube - 94. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 144; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 52.7; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 49.2; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.   Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at The Raceway at Western Fair District, The Meadows, and Woodbine Mohawk Park next weekend. Western Fair will host the Camluck Classic for invitational pacers; The Meadows will feature the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters; and Woodbine Mohawk Park will host the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

This Week: W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (May 11) will host two harness racing divisions in the $48,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and two divisions in the $43,600 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Osterc and driver Yannick Gingras made a three-wide move on the backstretch and overtook leader Cavill Hanover on the final turn on their way to victory in Saturday's (May 4) $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old trotters at Freehold Raceway. Osterc, the 3-5 favorite, won by 1-1/4 lengths over HL Revadon in 1:57. Skyway Kon Man finished third and Cavill Hanover was fourth. The Dexter Cup is the first stakes race on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. Osterc is eligible to the Hambletonian, as are HL Revadon and Cavill Hanover. "He had plenty of go," Gingras said about Osterc, a 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who was making his seasonal debut. "He got a little bit bumpy going around the last turn, but other than that he was perfect. He had a lot of trot and he got the job done. As far as trot-wise, there were no worries anywhere." Osterc, who started from post six in a field reduced to seven horses by the scratch of Big Money Honey, got away in sixth place as HL Revadon went to the early lead. HL Revadon yielded the top spot to Cavill Hanover as the leaders reached the quarter-mile point in :28.2. Cavill Hanover continued to lead through a half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.3. Osterc, who began his move to the front just prior to the midway point and flushed the cover of Dexter Cup elimination winner Whirl Winds K, trotted the final quarter-mile in :29.1 to win for the sixth time in eight career starts. Osterc is trained by Per Engblom, who is in his first year with his own stable after spending the past six years as Jimmy Takter's top assistant. The Dexter Cup was Engblom's first stakes victory. He trains the colt, a son of Cantab Hall out of Oh Oh Hereshecomes who has earned $285,876 lifetime, for breeder-owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk. "That was nice, very nice," Engblom said. "Coming off the last turn Yannick said he hit the wheel and was close to making a break, but he had plenty of trot, so that was a good feeling. I was sure he had enough power, it was just a question of keeping him flat." Osterc paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40. One race prior to the Dexter, Gingras captured the $66,000 Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters with 6-5 favorite Magical Beliefs. The filly, trained by Linda Toscano, won by a half-length over Cardinale in 1:57.4 with Golden Tricks finishing third. Magical Beliefs, a daughter of Cantab Hall out of Frisky Magic who was making her seasonal debut, is owned by Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables, and R-And-I Farms. She has won five of 11 career races and earned $201,989. Magical Beliefs, who is not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks, paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.40. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 158; 2. George Brennan - 100; 3. Jason Bartlett - 87; 4. Scott Zeron - 82; 5. Daniel Dube - 77. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 122; 2. Rene Allard - 77; 3. Ron Burke - 58; 4. Richard Banca - 51; 5. Erv Miller - 50. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables - 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products - 37. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action resumes on May 18 at The Meadowlands Racetrack with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers.   by Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Harness Racing This Week: Lady Suffolk and Dexter Cup, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.; Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Pace first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Chip Noble Memorial and Miami Valley Distaff, Miami Valley Raceway, Lebanon, Ohio. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features the $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters and the $75,000 (est.) Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Saturday (May 4). Meadowlands Racetrack offers the $175,200 Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters and two $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers, also on Saturday. Miami Valley Raceway will feature the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares on Monday (May 6). Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Robert Key's Whirl Winds K took advantage of a pocket trip to nip Cavill Hanover by a nose in 1:59.3 in the $39,650 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday (April 27) at Freehold Raceway. The Dexter Cup is the season's first stakes race on the road to the Hambletonian, which is harness racing's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. A total of nine horses entered the Dexter Cup, and one horse - Osterc - received a bye based on career earnings and advanced directly to the May 4 final at Freehold. Whirl Winds K was among the eight horses that competed Saturday for the remaining seven spots in the Dexter Cup final. Trained by Rich Gillock and driven by George Brennan, the son of Donato Hanover-Pacific Winds K sat second behind Cavill Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) as that one cut fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30. HL Revadon (Dexter Dunn) came first-over past the half to challenge the leader, before slipping to fourth at the finish line. Whirl Winds K was 1-1/2 back at the top of the stretch, then got up in the final strides for the nose triumph over favored Cavill Hanover. Skyway Kon Man (Trond Smedshammer) was third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 158; 2. George Brennan - 100; 3. Jason Bartlett - 87; 4. Daniel Dube - 77; 5. Scott Zeron - 75. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 122; 2. Rene Allard - 77; 3. Ron Burke - 53; 4. Richard Banca - 51; 5. Ross Croghan - 43. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables - 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products - 37. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing next week will feature W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests at Yonkers Raceway for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers. Paul Ramlow  

This Week: Dexter Cup elimination, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features a single $39,650 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old open trotters. A field of eight will go to the gate in race 10 with an approximate post time of 3:30 p.m. (EDT). Complete entries for the race can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Western Fame was the top horse in the five preliminary rounds of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and he proved to be the best again in Saturday's (April 20) $664,000 championship for older male pacers at Yonkers Raceway. The 6-year-old stallion won the final by 4-3/4 lengths over Rodeo Rock in a stakes-record-equaling 1:50.4. More The Better N was third. After an opening quarter-mile skirmish with Anythingforlove A and JJ Flynn, 1-5 favorite Western Fame settled into the lead and never relinquished the top spot from there. The opening quarter was reached in :26.4, the half in :55.3, and three-quarters in 1:22.3. Ideal Jimmy, who started from post eight and was fourth during the early goings, launched a first-over bid at the halfway point, but was rebuffed by Western Fame's :27 third quarter. Ideal Jimmy finished fourth. Dan Dube drove Western Fame, who had four wins and a second in the Levy's five preliminary rounds, for trainer Rene Allard. The duo won the previous two Levy finals with Keystone Velocity and also captured the championship in 2015 with Domethatagain. "Those fractions look kind of fast for him, but he did it nice and easy," Dube said. "Turning for home he gave me another run again. He's so nice to drive. He never gets tired." Western Fame, a son of Western Ideal-Shyaway, has won five of seven races this season and earned $446,300. For his career, he has won 21 of 74 starts and $1.48 million. He is owned by Go Fast Stable, Stephen Klunowski, B & I Stables, and Gilbert Short. His clocking equaled the stakes record set in 1993 by Silver Almahurst. Shartin N became the first repeat champion in the 11-year history of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, capturing Saturday's $402,600 final for pacing mares by 1-1/2 lengths over stablemate Bettor Joy N in 1:52.1. Apple Bottom Jeans finished third. Shartin N became the first repeat champion in the 11-year history of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Mike Lizzi photo. Feelin Red Hot and Apple Bottom Jeans exchanged the lead in a :27.2 opening quarter-mile, after which driver Tim Tetrick put even-money favorite Shartin N in motion from fourth place. Shartin N reached the front by the half, timed in :55.2, and was unthreatened the rest of the way. "When I knew (Apple Bottom Jeans) had to go hard to get the lead and let (Feelin Red Hot) go and retake, I thought I would take my chance and make (Apple Bottom Jeans) push the envelope," Tetrick said. "The fractions were still fair and (Shartin N) still ended up on the lead at the wire." Shartin N was last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer. She has won four of five races this season and earned $264,500. For her career, the New Zealand-bred daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin has won 30 of 42 starts and banked $1.39 million. Jim King Jr. trains Shartin N for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, and Tim Tetrick LLC. "She's got big lungs and she's a tough SOB," Tetrick said. "Week in and week out she shows up. When she puts her head on the gate she wants to race. She's proven that every week." Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 158; 2. George Brennan - 90; 3. Jason Bartlett - 87; 4. Daniel Dube - 77; 5. Scott Zeron - 75. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 122; 2. Rene Allard - 77; 3. Ron Burke - 53; 4. Richard Banca - 51; 5. Ross Croghan - 43. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables - 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products - 37. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Miami Valley Raceway. Freehold has the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters and the Dexter Cup final for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (May 4); Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers on Saturday (May 4); and Miami Valley Raceway features the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and the Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares on Monday (May 6).   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features the $662,800 final and the $100,000 consolation of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers, as well as the $401,600 final and $75,000 consolation in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. All four races will take place on Saturday (April 20). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Ideal Jimmy and Western Fame have raced with distinction throughout the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Saturday night (April 13) was no exception. The tandem each handily won their respective Yonkers Raceway event. All told, four $50,000 Free-For-All forays were carded. Western Fame added another victory to his Levy Series resume. Mike Lizzi photo. Odds-on Western Fame (Dan Dube, $2.30) - from post position four - stole a cheap second subsection (:27, :56.2, 1:24, 1:51) en route to victory. He disposed of a gallant Rodeo Rock (Andy McCarthy) by 1-3/4 lengths. That one tried to leave, was forced to settle third, then fought the good, first-up fight into a :54.3 back half. More The Better N (Scott Zeron), Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) and Endeavor (Jason Bartlett) picked off the small change. Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Idealowned by Go Fast Stable, B & I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, is now 4-for-6 this season (4-for-5 in the Levy). At no point in the eight furlongs did Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $5.60) look anything except the easiest of winners. From post position six, he aired (:27.2, :57.1, 1:25.1, season's-best 1:52) by open lengths, while under severe restraint. Ideal Jimmy took down Ballerat Boomerang (Tim Tetrick) by 3-1/2 lengths. Rockin Ron (Matt Kakaley) was third after missing four weeks, with a pocket-tiring, 7-5 choice Anythingthingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno) and Somebaddude (George Brennan) also earning appearance coin. For second choice Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old son homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenburg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his sixth win in 13 2019 tries (3-for-5 in Levy). Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 126; 2. George Brennan - 90; 3. Jason Bartlett - 77; 4. Scott Zeron - 68; 5. Matt Kakaley - 63. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 82; 2. Rene Allard - 57; 3. Ron Burke - 53; 4t. Tony Alagna - 41; 4t. Richard Banca - 41. Owners: 1. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 2. Brad Grant - 34.3; 3. Robert Cooper Stables - 32.8; 4. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30; 5. J L Benson Stables - 27.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, with $40,000 (est.) Dexter Cup eliminations (if necessary) for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (April 27). Paul Ramlow  

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 5) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 6) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Jordan Stratton’s Saturday night (March 30) at Yonkers Raceway began with a bummer, as former George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series winner Bit Of A Legend N was scratched with what trainer Peter Tritton described as “a serious quarter crack. It’s going to take some time.” Undaunted, Stratton won two of the evening’s five $50,000 third-round events, both with certified Free-For-All bombardiers. A second-over, 67-1 Pacing Major N — from post position No. 3 — held off a third-over, 58-1 The Wall (Joe Bongiorno) by a half-length in 1:52.3. The race unfolded with The Downtown Bus (Scott Zeron), a winner from fourth-over a week ago, leaping over his six inside rivals to make the first lead. He looped 3-5 favorite Endeavor (Tim Tetrick), the latter eventually moving past right at the :27.1 opening quarter-mile. It was a speedy :55.3 intermission before Beckham’s Z Tam (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved from third. Pacing Major N latched on to that tow, getting in range by the 1:24.2 three-quarters as Endeavor was being chased along. Endeavor owned a diminishing length lead on the final turn, but company was coming. After the rank outsiders finished 1-2, Major Crocker A (Dan Dube), Endeavor and a shuffled The Downtown Bus rounded out the payees. For seventh choice Pacing Major N, a 6-year-old son of Art Major owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Tritton, it was his first board finish in six seasonal starts/three Levy tries. What goes around comes around. Last week, JJ Flynn (George Brennan) was 20-1 as went he went up and over an odds-on Western Fame. This time around 10-1 Lyons Steel — from post No. 4 — went up and over 1-4 JJ Flynn (Tetrick this week) after that one’s early intervals of :27 and :55.3. Lyons Steel then threw down a :26.4 third quarter (1:22.4), opening 4-1/2 lengths in and out of the final turn. The final margin, over JJ Flynn, was the same 4-1/2 lengths in 1:50.4, fastest local mile of the season and matching his 2019 and life-best effort. Control Tower (Austin Siegelman), Always At My Place (Brennan) and Bellow’s Binge (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. Third choice Lyons Steel, a 4-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Bryan Dzugan and trained by Dennis Watson, is now 2-for-9 this season (1-for-3 in Levy). “I’ve always thought (Pacing Major N) had the ability, but he tends to crossfire (hit right rear and left front legs) on the last turn,” Stratton said. “He didn’t have any problem tonight and the trip couldn’t have been better. “I didn’t know anything about (Lyons Steel) other than he’s beaten my horses a few times here in some non-winners races. I just asked him down the back and he put them away.” Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 82; 2. George Brennan – 71; 3. Jason Bartlett – 55; 4. Scott Zeron – 52; 5. Matt Kakaley – 39. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. – 57; 2. Ron Burke – 32; 3. Ross Croghan – 30; 4. Tony Alagna – 29; 5. Rene Allard – 27. Owners: 1. Robert Cooper Stables – 26.3; 2. D R Van Witzenburg – 25; 3. Brad Grant – 23.8; 4. Royal Wire Products – 22; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King – 20.9. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy next weekend. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20. Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 harness racing divisions on Friday (March 29) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 30) card at Yonkers will see five $50,000 divisions in the third round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Saturday night's (March 23) second round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series didn't do a whole lot to establish a clear favorite, though some of the contenders did indeed state their cases. Another half-dozen, $50,000 Free-For-All groups were contested, with a pair of repeaters leading the way. Odds-on Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy, $3.50) - from post position five - 'ran down' loose leader Gokudo Hanover (George Brennan), prevailing first-up by a head in 1:52.1. The 13-1 latter had open lengths through intervals of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24. Rock The Nite (Mark MacDonald), More The Better N (Scott Zeron) and Major Crocker A (Dan Dube) picked off the remainder, while an amiss Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) lost tough from a pole-sitting pocket and finished sixth. For Rodeo Rock, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Royal Wire Products and trained by Robert Cleary, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (two-for-two in series). Ideal Jimmy was a 1:53.3 winner in the second leg of the Levy Series.   - photo Mike Lizzi "I was hoping Scotty (Zeron) with More The Better N would pull from third, but he was happy where he was and I just had to go on with it," McCarthy said. "It was a long way (from fifth) in the wind, but he was actually more comfortable tonight than in last week's race." After wiring his opening-leg rivals at 9-1, favored Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $4.10) had more acquaintances at the windows. From post three, it couldn't have been less simple (:28, :57.4, 1:26, 1:53.3), going the distance by 3-1/4 lengths. Polester Lochton Luck A (Matt Kakaley), as the 29-1 outsider, and Bellows Binge (Jason Bartlett) finished the tickets, while Always At My Place (Brennan) and Bettor Memories (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the remainder. For Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenberg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his fifth win in 10 tries in 2019. "I thought he should have been the favorite last week," Holland said. "He's very handy and I'm not surprised he's stepped up in this series." Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. George Brennan - 56; 2. Tim Tetrick - 52; 3. Jason Bartlett - 48; 4. Scott Zeron - 42; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 27. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 37; 2. Richard Banca - 21; 3t. Robert Cleary - 20; 3t. Ross Croghan - 20; 3t. Dylan Davis - 20; 3t. Erv Miller - 20. Owners: 1t. Royal Wire Products - 20; 1t. D R Van Witzenburg - 20; 3t. Tahnee Camilleri - 15; 3t. Robert Cooper Stables - 15; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 14.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next two weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association     

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series second legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 22) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 23) card at Yonkers will see six $50,000 divisions in the second round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series for Free-For-Allers began Saturday night (March 16) with six $50,000 divisions. Dan Dube posted his 9,000th career win with Western Fame. Mike Lizzi photo. Say this much for Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's opener of the Levy. His open-length romp with favored Western Fame ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position four in the first division, Western Fame gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5-3/4 lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett) avoided the happenstance to end up second, with Mach It So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast Stable, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. Beware the Ides of March (Friday the 15th), provided you weren't mesmerized by the start of Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker. Five $40,000 groupings were consecutively contested, featuring the best pacing mares around. Defending series champ Shartin N (Tim Tetrick, $2.20), began her purse season by fooling very few. From post No. 2, she found herself away third before finding the front. From there (:27.4, :56, 1:24.3, 1:52.2), she was a puny pari-mutuel proposition. Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett) made the first lead, yielded and missed, beaten a half-length. Bettorb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) closed for third, with Dudesalady (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Mach It A Par (George (Brennan) settling for the small change. For Shartin N, a 6-year-old Tintin in America Kiwi lass, co-owned by Tetrick, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King, she comes off a 19-for-24, million-dollar season. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following the opening weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1t. Jason Bartlett - 22; 1t. Scott Zeron - 22; 3. George Brennan - 21; 4t. Joe Bongiorno - 20; 4t. Tim Tetrick - 20. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 20; 2. Ross Croghan - 15; 3t. Tony Alagna - 10; 3t. Rene Allard - 10; 3t. Jen Bongiorno - 10; 3t. Tahnee Camilleri - 10; 3t. Robert Cleary - 10; 3t. Dylan Davis - 10; 3t. Erv Miller - 10; 3t. Nifty Norman - 10; 3t. Nick Surick - 10. Owners: 1. Robert Cooper Stables - 12.5; 2t. Tahnee Camilleri - 10; 2t. J L Benson Stables - 10; 2t. Enzed Racing Stable - 10; 2t. Brad Grant - 10; 2t. Royal Wire Products - 10; 2t. D R Van Witzenburg - 10; 2t. Wish Me Luck Stable - 10. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next three weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. This is the opening event of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features five $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 15) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 16) card at Yonkers will see six $50,000 divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Defending Matchmaker series champ Shartin N begins her 6-year-old season from post position two in the final event. Mike Lizzi photo. Defending Matchmaker series champ Shartin N begins her 6-year-old season from post position two in the final event. Tim Tetrick takes his usual seat for co-owners himself, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Keeping it in the family, Jim King Jr. trains the lass, fresh off a 19-for-24, million-dollar season. Double-millionaire 10-year-old Bit Of A Legend N, the 2016 Levy winner, begins this season’s marathon from behind the eight-ball in the third division. Jordan Stratton again does the honors for owner Von Knoblauch Stable and trainer Peter Tritton. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Saturday (April 20). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20. by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: The 2018 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2019 schedule will be released in January. Last time: This Is The Plan, steered by Tim Tetrick, snuck up the inside several hundred yards from the finish line to best Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final on Thursday (Nov. 29) at Dover Downs. This Is The Plan stopped Jimmy Freight by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final. Fotowon photo. This Is The Plan, who dead-heated with The Downtown Bus to capture the $193,750 Matron Stakes final over this very same oval, broke on top from post position three. After establishing a first quarter-mile fraction of :26, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-That's The Plan yielded the lead to Jimmy Freight and settled in the pocket spot while that rival posted splits of :55 and 1:22.3. After Jimmy Freight repelled the first-over bid of Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley), it appeared the Sportswriter-Allamerican Summer colt would cross the wire in front. Tetrick and This Is the Plan, however, had other intentions. Tetrick shifted his charge to the pylons after being shuffled back slightly to third from Dorsoduro Hanover's advance. The colt responded by striding past Jimmy Freight with a last quarter of :27.3 to collect his triumph. Dorsoduro Hanover, after a tough overland journey, was a strong third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva, Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr, This Is The Plan paid $5.40 to his supporters as the public's second selection. This Is The Plan, who was third in the $35,000 elimination for this contest behind Jimmy Freight a week prior, boosted his career bankroll to $642,540 and his lifetime record to 33-7-8-7. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the final leaders. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,529.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 764; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,471.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 306.3; 3. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 284.8; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, The Grand Circuit

Harness racing this week: Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 29) for the $260,000 final in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. Elimination winner Jimmy Freight heads a field of eight in the Hap Hansen, the final stake of the 2018 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Captain Crunch and driver Scott Zeron tipped three wide coming off the final turn and powered through the stretch to win the $469,300 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers by 3-3/4 lengths over Mac's Power in 1:50.3 on a wet Saturday night (Nov. 24) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Blood Money finished third. The Governor's Cup was one of the Fall Final Four events for 2-year-old pacers and trotters at the Big M. Southwind Avenger won the $435,900 Valley Victory for male trotters while Sonnet Grace captured the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid for female trotters and Prescient Beauty claimed the $391,250 Three Diamonds for female pacers. All of the races were contested over a sloppy track as the result of persistent rain. In the Governor's Cup, Captain Crunch was fifth through the first half of the race as Escapetothebeach and Mangogh each took a turn on the lead. Captain Crunch followed the cover of Semi Tough around the final turn before moving to the front in the stretch and cruising to victory. Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, has won six of 10 races this year and earned $616,113 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The colt, who last month won the Breeders Crown, is trained by Nancy Johansson. He was bred by Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs. "We really took our time with him," Johansson said. "He's a big growthy colt and there is a lot of money to be made toward the end of the season. We just figured we would take our time and let him come into his own." Johansson purchased Captain Crunch, then known as Captain Bean, for $85,000 at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale at the urging of her then 12-year-old daughter, Ella. "She said, 'Whatever you do, you have to buy Captain Bean,'" Johansson said, adding with a laugh, "Great. No pressure. "Luckily I have a good group of owners behind me and we were able to put together a group and purchase the colt and it's been a fairy tale story ever since." Captain Crunch, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.80 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,509.5; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 754; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,446.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 300; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 278.5; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2018 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

This Week: Fall Four and TVG finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 21) for a $35,000 elimination in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field of 10 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 29. On Saturday night (Nov. 24) Meadowlands Racetrack will host finals in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters and the TVG series for open pacers and trotters. The Fall Four features the 435,900 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $469,300 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $391,250 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $350,000 Open Pace, the $350,000 Open Trot, $175,000 Mare Pace and the $175,000 Mare Trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: A pair of longshots in This Is The Plan and The Downtown Bus stole the show in the $193,750 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 15) at Dover Downs, tag-teaming in deep stretch to nose out Jimmy Freight in a 1:49.1 dead heat. This Is The Plan and The Downtown Bus emerged in the final stride to simultaneously nose out Jimmy Freight in a dead heat. Fotowon photo. After Ontario standout Jimmy Freight was tasked with the heavy lifting through strenuous fractions and sternly dismissed the challenge of 4-5 local favorite Lather Up, This Is The Plan ($17.00, Tim Tetrick) and The Downtown Bus ($20.60, Corey Callahan) emerged in the final stride to simultaneously nose out Jimmy Freight in a dead heat in the glamour boys' division of the Matron. Jimmy Freight and driver Scott Zeron let This Is The Plan clear before taking charge midway on the first turn and reeling off a :25.3 initial quarter. A determined advance from Lather Up (Montrell Teague) out of fourth with a circuit to go kept the pace hot through a :54.4 half, but Jimmy Freight remained undeterred with three-eighths to go and shrugged off that rival. Meanwhile, This Is The Plan remained close from the pocket and The Downtown Bus followed the three-wide cover of Breeders Crown winner Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) past three-quarters in 1:22.1. Turning for home, Dorsoduro Hanover stalled and Jimmy Freight was driven out to maintain a two length lead, but it began to shrink in the final sixteenth. This Is The Plan lunged up the open stretch and The Downtown Bus surged widest of all, and they both reached the winning post simultaneously in 1:49.1, a nose better than Jimmy Freight. Dorsoduro Hanover found more in the stretch, but missed by a neck to finish fourth. Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a six-time winner by Somebeachsomewhere, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. Trainer Jeff Gillis co-owns 11-time winner The Downtown Bus with Ellen Ott. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,487.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,480; 3. David Miller - 1,209.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 724; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 658.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,399.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,170; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Jim Campbell - 442. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 294.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 293.1; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 271.6; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2018 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 29. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $260,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, DE. and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 15) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $193,750, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $210,150, the purse for the 3-year-old filly pace is $159,350 and the 3-year-old filly trotters will race for $183,900. On Saturday night (Nov. 17) Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be two $20,000 eliminations in the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers. Eliminations were not required in the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters and the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras teamed up for a Grand Circuit double in Thursday evening's (Nov. 8) Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds at Dover Downs, combining with Super Schissel and Blood Money in their respective divisions. Super Schissel made his move from the pocket with five-sixteenths to go en route to an easy 1:56 win in the $158,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, contested as a non-wagering event before the main program. After yielding early control to Lindy's Crazy Hall (David Miller) on approach to the first turn, Yannick Gingras kept Super Schissel close from the pocket through early splits of :28.2 and :58.1. Midway up the backstretch, the son of Uncle Peter and Bavarde angled out and strode to the lead immediately, putting a quarter-length on Lindy's Crazy Hall by three-quarters in 1:27.2 before drawing off handily. Holiday Hangover (Tim Tetrick) rallied belatedly from last to take second, 3-1/2 lengths back, while Union Forces (Scott Zeron) took third over the fading Lindy's Crazy Hall. Super Schissel is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Al Libfeld and Perry Soderberg. Blood Money ($8.00) sustained an uncovered bid out of midfield through the final half-mile of the $213,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding pace and held off a late charge from Sugar Factory to narrowly prevail in 1:51.1. Gingras, wearing the colors of Diamond Creek Racing, floated Blood Money up the pegs to protect a close stalking spot behind dueling leaders Love Me Some Lou (Corey Callahan) and Mangogh (Brett Miller) through a sharp :26.3 quarter, but the pair were relegated to fourth when No Mas Amor (Tim Tetrick) pushed clear with nine-sixteenths to go after losing cover. At the :54.3 half-mile juncture, Gingras angled the Sweet Lou-Blood Diamond colt off the pegs, and he responded immediately to accelerate, press the pace, and take the lead under urging past three-quarters in 1:22.4. No Mas Amor gave way on the far turn, but Sugar Factory (David Miller) loomed off live cover to pose a late threat. Blood Money was driven out off the home turn and all the way to the winning post to keep the lunging Sugar Factory a head at bay. Reigning Deo rallied from last down the grandstand side to take third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,462.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,450; 3. David Miller - 1,182.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 709; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 653.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,344.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,168; 3. Tony Alagna - 721.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Jim Campbell - 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 294.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 283.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 262; 5. Robert Key - 234. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the finals for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid -- along with the TVG finals for older trotters and pacers of both sexes. In addition, Dover Downs will host eliminations for the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

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