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Columbus, OH - The 2020 annual meeting of the harness racing Grand Circuit officers and stewards took place via a video conference on Wednesday (Dec. 2). Most of the Grand Circuit tracks were represented at this video conference. John Campbell, president of the Grand Circuit, conducted the meeting and went through the events for the 2020 racing season, the financials and asking for approval of the finance report submitted by Paul Ramlow, the Grand Circuit's treasurer. Campbell asked for a discussion and a vote on his thoughts to have an Executive Committee formed, made up of the Grand Circuit officers and any other Grand Circuit steward that would want to be a part of this new committee. This committee would be able to make decisions regarding any situation that could come up for the Grand Circuit and would be able to be handled more efficiently. The Executive Committee idea was approved and the members of the new committee are as follows: John Campbell, Carol Cramer, Scott McKelvie, Paul Ramlow and Nick Salvi. Discussion ensued regarding the cancellation of the 2021 USHWA Dan Patch Awards Dinner and our Grand Circuit presentations of awards to the year-end champion driver, trainer and owner. Campbell suggested those awards could be presented to the 2020 winners during a Grand Circuit night at The Meadowlands next season. A motion was presented and passed. The 2020 Grand Circuit champions were Yannick Gingras (driver), Nancy Takter (trainer) and Burke Racing Stable (owner). The 2021 Grand Circuit schedule of racing dates will be released in January. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: The 2020 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2021 schedule will be released in January. Last time: Nancy Takter trainee Fortify ($22.40) took the second-over route to a 10-1 upset over stablemate No Lou Zing in the 2020 season's final Grand Circuit stop for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, the $325,000 Progress Pace, on Wednesday night (Nov. 25) at Dover Downs. Favorite No Lou Zing and driver Dexter Dunn were embroiled in a :25.2 first-quarter battle with Tattoo Artist (Yannick Gingras) and Captain Kirk (Andy McCarthy), prompting Tim Tetrick to ease Fortify into midfield to stalk comfortably. No Lou Zing worked hard to clear for control with a circuit to go, and Tetrick angled Fortify into second-over cover behind the advancing Cattlewash (David Miller) nearing a :53 half. Fortify rode that live outer flow into striking range up the far side, watching Cattlewash push No Lou Zing to three-quarters in 1:20.2 before swinging three-wide on the final turn. While No Lou Zing was able to shrug off the challenge of Cattlewash and open up a three-length lead in upper stretch, the punishing pace ultimately took its toll. Fortify charged down the center of the track to collar his stablemate by a half-length in 1:48.2, equaling Wiggle It Jiggleit's stakes record set in 2015. Catch The Fire (Mike Wilder) split rivals in deep stretch to finish third, another 2-3/4 lengths behind. "I think he has proven that he belongs," said trainer Nancy Takter. "He raced really well in the Kentucky Sire Stakes. He got a little bit sick during the Grand Circuit; he wasn't 100 percent perfect at The Red Mile, but still performed OK. He's definitely a nice colt and he does belong, and I think he'll show that next year, too. "Both colts raced really well. No Lou Zing obviously got stung from the seven-hole, but he raced super well. Fortify had to go three-wide but still finished really well - it's not easy to do on that track. I couldn't be happier with both horses tonight." "It worked out just like I thought it would," said winning driver Tim Tetrick. "The blueprint worked out perfectly for me; everything went to plan. "The horse was sharp and they had the speed up front for me to follow. I don't think I could have gotten a better trip. When I came off David's back - he didn't get me as close as I thought - (Fortify) was going forward. I knew it was going to be close, but once I got to (No Lou Zing), I felt like I had him." Fortify charged down the center of the track to collar his stablemate by a half-length in 1:48.2 Tetrick, who wore the colors of Fortify's owner, Diamond Creek Racing, has now won the last three renewals of the Progress after capturing the 2018 edition with This Is The Plan and the 2019 edition with Shake That House. It was Takter's first victory in Dover Downs' signature event. Fortify, a son of Sweet Lou-Can't Stop Me Now, has now won five of his 23 career races and has amassed $372,447 in purses. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) were once again 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the final standings: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,271; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,172; 3. David Miller - 815; 4. Tim Tetrick - 765.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 606. Trainers: 1. Nancy Takter - 1,325.5; 2. Ron Burke - 1,303; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 734; 4. Tony Alagna - 682; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 273.9; 2. Caviart Farms - 243.8; 3. Determination - 230; 4. Brad Grant - 217.3; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 209.8. Looking ahead: The 2021 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 25) for the $325,000 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old open pacers. This will be the final stake for the 2020 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's (Nov. 21) $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship, defeating Backstreet Shadow by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:48.1 at The Meadowlands. This Is The Plan finished third. Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship. Lisa photo. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Bettor's Wish paid $3.00 to win. "I barely asked him tonight, to be honest," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "It was all him. It's been him his whole career. He's a true racehorse. "It was a special feeling crossing the line with him tonight. He's been an amazing horse to me." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, won 24 of 44 career starts and $2.60 million. He failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. He received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Other victories this year for Bettor's Wish included the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. Bettor's Wish is owned by trainer Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. He was bred by Brittany Farms. Manchego made her final career start a winning one, capturing Saturday's $320,000 TVG Open Trot championship by 1-1/4 lengths over Atlanta in 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great finished third. Manchego, a 5-year-old mare, was retired in a ceremony in the winner's circle following the race. She ended her career with 33 wins in 56 career starts and $2.72 million in purses. Her victories included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. Manchego is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph last month, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego, by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. She is owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing and was bred by Brittany Farms. "She's just a super mare," Nancy Takter said. "She's been great since the first moment that she ever set foot on the track. "When you get the call that you get to train a horse like Manchego, those calls probably aren't going to come very many times in my life, so I appreciate every moment that I had with her. She's just an unbelievable mare. She makes my job easy, she makes all of us look good around her, because she's just such a professional." Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,271; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 815; 4. Tim Tetrick - 745.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 606. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,303; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,295.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 734; 4. Tony Alagna - 682; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 273.9; 2. Caviart Farms - 240.5; 3. Determination - 230; 4. Brad Grant - 217.3; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 209.8. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2021 Grand Circuit schedule will be released early next year. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Fall Four and TVG finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 18) for a $35,000 elimination in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 11 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 25. On Saturday night (Nov. 21) Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters and the TVG series finals for open pacers and trotters. The Fall Four features the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $340,000 Open Pace, the $320,000 Open Trot, $150,000 Mare Pace and the $140,000 Mare Trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Dexter Dunn rewrote a sizeable chunk of the Dover Downs record book on Thursday night (Nov. 12), piloting both Amigo Volo ($3.20) and Party Girl Hill ($2.60) to track record performances in their respective Matron Stakes splits in the First State. Amigo Volo's 1:50.2 effort in the $162,350 Matron for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings earned him a place in the track and world record books. Fotowon photo. Amigo Volo's 1:50.2 effort in the $162,350 Matron for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings earned him a place in the track and world record books, knocking over a second off Pinkman's world record for sophomore trotting geldings taken in 2015 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains Amigo Volo, who now has earned just over $1.5 million lifetime, for Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. The two-time Breeders Crown winner completed a sweep of the Matron Stakes as well, having won as a 2-year-old in 2019 by the same 6-1/2-length margin. Party Girl Hill may have missed Kiss Me Onthebeach's divisional world record by two-fifths of a second, but her 1:49 performance in the $154,450 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies landed her in the Dover record books. Party Girl Hill, whose only defeat in 16 career starts to date came in the Breeders Crown, has amassed $880,345 in earnings - all this season. Chris Ryder trains the Tom Hill homebred. An early break by Hambletonian winner and even money favorite Ramona Hill prevented her from finding redemption in the $163,050 Matron for sophomore trotting fillies, and it also paved the way for Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella ($5.40) to score the 10th victory of her career. Nancy Takter trains Sorella, who has now earned $848,362 in her career. Breeder Elmer Fannin shares ownership of the Muscle Hill filly with Crawford Farms Racing and Brent Fannin. The retirement of Tall Dark Stranger made the $179,600 Matron for sophomore male pacers far more wide open than most previous events within the division, and the late-blooming Cattlewash ($2.80) had to work for every penny of the winner's share of the purse. While Cattlewash shrugged off Captain Barbossa's challenge on the final turn, another pair of challengers were waiting in the wings to take their shots in the final furlong: Tattoo Artist launched for the open stretch, and No Lou Zing vaulted off cover. Cattlewash was driven out to narrowly prevail in 1:48.3. No Lou Zing lunged late for second over Tattoo Artist, who was fully extended to stay on. Ron Burke trains 10-time winner Cattlewash, who has now earned $799,777 for owner-breeder Bill Donovan. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,251; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,072; 3. David Miller - 785; 4. Tim Tetrick - 720.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 586. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,248; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,215.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 699; 4. Tony Alagna - 662; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 268.8; 2. Caviart Farms - 230.5; 3. Determination - 220; 4. Brad Grant - 214; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 204.7. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 25. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $325,000 Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 12) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $179,600, the 3-year-old filly trotters will race for $163,050, the purse for the 3-year-old colt trot is $162,350 and the 3-year-old filly pacers will race for $154,450. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: On Saturday (Nov. 7), a week after Summa Cum Laude and Perfect Sting recorded the first dead-heat Breeders Crown win, Yannick Gingras steered Sunma Cum Laude to a 1:50.2 win in the $204,050 Kindergarten Classic final for freshman pacing colts and geldings at The Meadowlands. Summa Cum Laude soared home with Yannick Gingras at the reins to win the pacing Kindergarten Classic for colts and geldings at The Meadowlands. Lisa photo. Soaring to first off the gate was Shakespeare, followed by Captain Sleaze, with the Ron Burke-trained Summa Cum Laude in fourth behind Ilderton AM after leaving from the 10 hole. Shakespeare cut the first quarter in :26.4. Summa Cum Laude took to the outside and smoothly passed Shakespeare. With the lead, he was entirely in charge pacing to a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Simon Says Hanover came first over to make his bid but Shakespeare was still strong and still after the leader, while Always B Sweet came into the stretch picture. Without urging, Gingras drove Summa Cum Laude across the wire to a lifetime-best-equaling score by 1-1/4 lengths. Shakespeare held on for second, Captain Sleaze got third and Always B Sweet closed late to get fourth. "I just tried to get him in play," Gingras said after the race. "I wasn't going to take back to last, so I was able to get away fourth and from there I saw what the pace was going to be, though it didn't matter, because he can race any which what way. I had a ton of pace still when finishing." Summa Cum Laude is by Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate. Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi own the colt who took his fifth win in 14 starts and has accrued $440,325 in earnings. As the favorite, Summa Cum Laude paid $4 to win. Fresh from her Breeders Crown victory at Harrah's Hoosier Park, Fire Start Hanover and driver Dexter Dunn swarmed over her competition to win the $151,030 Kindergarten Classic final for freshman pacing fillies. Fire Start Hanover, the 1-5 favorite, was in no rush leaving the gate, and settled into fourth as High Minded and Lindy At The Beach rushed from the outside and Three Way Split held onto her rail position. As the first quarter was clocked in :26.3, High Minded gave up the lead to Classicist, who could not keep the top before the :55.2 half when Dunn guided Fire Start Hanover to the outside. With Off The Record at her back, Fire Start Hanover became the leader and never looked back. The Nifty Norman-trained filly glided into the stretch in total command, with Off The Record in futile pursuit, crossing the wire 1-1/4 lengths in front in a 1:51.1 mile. Off The Record was second and Classicist shifted into third over High Minded. Dunn said, "She bounced back okay. It's only a week since she raced in the Breeders Crown and though that was a tough mile she did it pretty easily." In the Kindergarten, he said, "The way she was traveling to three-quarters I was not worried because she was full of pace. She finished the mile with the ear plugs still in. She's strong." Fire Start Hanover is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, out of Fit To Frame. Pinske Stables, David Hoese and Lawrence Means own the filly who collected her eighth win in a dozen starts and has earned $589,326. She paid $2.40 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,216; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,012; 3. David Miller - 765; 4. Tim Tetrick - 715.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 581. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,228; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,175.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 684; 4. Tony Alagna - 662; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 268.8; 2. Caviart Farms - 227.2; 3. Determination - 220; 4. Brad Grant - 214; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 204.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands and Dover Downs. The Meadowlands will feature the four TVG finals for older pacers and trotters and the Fall Four stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. Dover will host the Progress Pace eliminations for 3-year-old open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Harness racing this Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del.; Carl Erskine, Monument Circle, Crossroads of America and USS Indianapolis, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series finals, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 5) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $193,000, the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $189,800, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $170,700 and the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $167,200. On Friday night (Nov. 6), Harrah's Hoosier Park will host the $140,000 Carl Erskine for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $160,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $100,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $100,000 USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Meadowlands on Saturday (Nov. 7) will offer four Kindergarten Series finals for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old filly trot carries a purse of $252,340, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $207,570, the purse for the 2-year-old colt pace is $204,050 and the 2-year-old filly pacers will race for $151,030. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Gimpanzee made it three Breeders Crown titles in a row by winning Saturday's (Oct. 31) $500,000 Open Trot by a length over Crystal Fashion in 1:51.3 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Atlanta finished third. Gimpanzee captured the Breeders Crown Open Trot and became only the fifth trotter to win three Crowns. Dean Gillette Photography. Gimpanzee, a 4-year-old stallion, became the fifth trotter in history to win at least three Breeders Crown trophies, joining Peace Corps, Grades Singing, Mack Lobell, and Manchego - who accomplished the feat earlier in the night. Peace Corps, who leads the group with a record four Crowns, and Mack Lobell are the only others to win titles at ages 2, 3, and 4. In addition, Gimpanzee became the first trotter to win a Breeders Crown at age 3 and return to capture the Open Trot at 4 since his sire, Chapter Seven, did so in 2011 and 2012. "He's just an amazing horse and means a lot to me," trainer Marcus Melander said. "He's been with us from the start since we bought him at the Harrisburg sale, and it's just amazing what a journey it's been for us. "This is our third win together, and it's very tough to win these Breeders Crown races. I'm very happy. Doing it with this horse - taking his third straight Breeders Crown - just shows how good of a horse he is." Gimpanzee, out of the mare Steamy Windows, has won eight of 11 races this season and 25 of 34 in his career, with earnings of $2.70 million. He is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. He was bred by Order By Stable. Sent off as the even money favorite, Gimpanzee and driver Brian Sears paid $4.00 to win. Manchego sustained an uncovered attack and surged clear in mid-stretch to capture her third Breeders Crown title.  Earlier in the evening, Manchego captured the $300,000 Mare Trot in 1:52. Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite, Manchego (Dexter Dunn) won by 3-1/4 lengths over Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt). When Dovescry overcame a break at the start to rally for third. "It actually worked out good because I got on (Ake's) helmet for a while; he sort of beat me into the stretch there," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "Once I moved her off Ake's helmet, she really exploded. "She's an amazing horse. She really did it easy. It was a good performance tonight. It's a pleasure to sit behind her." Manchego's previous Breeders Crown triumphs came at age 2 at Hoosier Park in 2017 and at age 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park last year. "It sure never gets old," said owner Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing. "She's an awesome mare. It's been a great ride." Manchego, a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, is trained by Nancy Takter. Manchego has won five of 12 races this year and 32 of 55 in her career, with earnings of $2.56 million. She was bred by Brittany Farms. Manchego paid $3.80 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,131; 2. Dexter Dunn - 932; 3. Tim Tetrick - 705.5; 4. David Miller - 705; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 566. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,103; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,090.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 662; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 654; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 242.5; 2. Determination - 220; 3. Caviart Farms - 217.2; 4. Brad Grant - 204; 5. S R F Stable - 202.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs. The Delaware track will feature the Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Breeders Crown finals, Madison County and Pegasus, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and Kindergarten Series fourth leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week commences on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 28) at Harrah's Philadelphia with three divisions in the $99,201 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $99,201 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Hoosier Park on Thursday (Oct. 29) will host the $70,000 Madison County for 2-year-old filly trotters. Breeders Crown finals at Hoosier begin on Friday (Oct. 30) with $600,000 races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Also on Friday, Hoosier will contest the $60,000 Pegasus for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $50,000 Pegasus for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (Oct. 31) card at Hoosier features four $500,000 Breeders Crown finals for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace and Open Trot; and the $300,000 Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace and Open Mare Trot. In addition, Hoosier will offer the $60,000 Pegasus for 3-year-old colt pacers and the $55,000 Pegasus for 3-year-old colt trotters. The Meadowlands on Friday (Oct. 30) will host the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be a pair of $20,000 divisions for the colt and filly trotters and a single $20,000 division for the colt and filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Charging to his 11th win of the season, Tall Dark Stranger and regular driver Yannick Gingras fought off a late charge by Warrawee Vital to win the second Breeders Crown elimination for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:48.4 on Saturday (Oct. 24) at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Tall Dark Stranger dug in late to repel a late challenge from Warrawee Vital in the second Breeders Crown elimination for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Dean Gillette Photography. Warrawee Vital tried to get a hold of the pace right off of the gate, leaving quickly and taking the lead over Captain Barbossa, with Tall Dark Stranger dropping in third into a fiery :25.4 first panel. Gingras shifted to the overland route to take over the lead, guiding the other six colts to three-quarters in 1:23. From the back, Captain Kirk failed to sustain an outer-tier advance while Elver Hanover stayed in fourth. Meanwhile, the original trio in front wrestled for the finish line. Warrawee Vital came out gallantly down the center of the track for a charge at Tall Dark Stranger, making Gingras urge the leader to shake off the challenger - as he has done through the season when faced with a possible duel to the wire. Tall Dark Stranger responded again with a :25.4 closing quarter, winning by a neck in 1:48.4. Captain Barbossa held on for third, while Elver Hanover and Sandbetweenmytoes followed to make the final. "I just trust (Tall Dark Stranger) and let him fight off horses in the stretch," Gingras said. "Last week in Lexington, I knew he was in the best shape he's ever been." Nancy Takter trains the James Avritt-bred son of Bettor's Delight and Precocious Beauty. Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor own Tall Dark Stranger. Cattlewash equaled the all-age track record for pacers at Harrah's Hoosier Park with a 1:47.2 victory in the first Breeders Crown elimination for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. Dean Gillette Photography. Leaving fast and finishing faster, Cattlewash won the first 3-year-old colt pacing Breeders Crown elimination. The mile, clocked in 1:47.2, equaled the all-age track record and set a sophomore colt pacing mark. Driver David Miller left alertly from the rail with Cattlewash and rebuffed an early outside challenge from No Lou Zing, who settled in second through a :26 first quarter. Longshot The Greek Freak followed in third and favorite Capt Midnight sat in fourth. Miller sat comfortably with Cattlewash as he cut a :54.1 half. Heading into three-quarters, Capt Midnight took to the outside and started a strenuous chase for the leader, but one that saw him fade as Cattlewash excelled to three-quarters in 1:20.3. Allywag Hanover took his shot off the sizzling third panel and swung wide into the stretch, but he could not rally off weakening cover. Meanwhile, Cattlewash remained strong to the line, holding off No Lou Zing by 1-1/2 lengths. The Greek Freak, who drafted behind the leading pair, finished third, followed by Save Me A Dance and Manticore. "He's real sharp right now," David Miller said, adding that he had no strategy when leaving from post one. "If a lot of horses left, I would've raced him differently, but no one did. It's an awfully long stretch, but he (was going easily)." Cattlewash, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Road Bet, is trained by Ron Burke for owner and breeder William Donovan. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,026; 2. Dexter Dunn - 812; 3. Tim Tetrick - 620.5; 4. David Miller - 575; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 556. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 966; 2. Nancy Takter - 955.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 642; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 587; 5. Marcus Melander - 450. Owners: 1. Caviart Farms - 211.4; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 209.1; 3. Determination - 200; 4. Brad Grant - 196.5; 5. S R F Stable - 182.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs, Harrah's Hoosier Park, and The Meadowlands. Dover Downs will feature the Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Harrah's Hoosier Park will host the Carl Erskine, Monument Circle, Crossroads of America and USS Indianapolis for 3-year-olds. The Meadowlands will feature the finals of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations and Circle City, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and Kindergarten Series third leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week commences on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 21) at Harrah's Philadelphia with three divisions in the $96,801 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $86,600 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 23) card features two divisions in the $111,600 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $110,000 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers. Hoosier Park on Thursday (Oct. 22) will host the Circle City for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the $65,000 3-year-old colt pace; a single $52,000 division in the 3-year-old colt trot; two divisions in the $50,200 3-year-old filly trot; and two divisions in the $50,000 3-year-old filly pace. Breeders Crown eliminations at Hoosier will take place on Friday (Oct. 23) and Saturday (Oct. 24). Friday will feature six sets of eliminations with a pair of $25,000 races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and a pair of $25,000 races for 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters. Saturday features a single $25,000 elimination in the Mare Pace, plus two $25,000 eliminations in both the 3-year-old colt pace and 3-year-old colt trot. The Meadowlands on Friday (Oct. 23) will host the third leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be a pair of $20,000 divisions in each of the four classes. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Drama Act overcame post eight to prevail against Grand Circuit stock in Saturday's (Oct. 17) $120,000 Courageous Lady at MGM Northfield Park. Drama Act and driver Matt Kakaley won the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park. JJ Zamaiko photo. Driven by Matt Kakaley, Drama Act sat sixth through the :27.2 opening quarter. She found herself second-over through fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.3. Kakaley moved her three-wide in the final turn and she bested Perfect Storm (David Miller) by a head in 1:51.1. Pettycoat Business (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was third. "I moved her three-wide and she got the job done," said Kakaley. "She is a really nice filly." Harness racing's all-time leading trainer Ron Burke conditions Drama Act for owners The OK Corral. Drama Act (Well Said-Lounge Act) now has eight wins in 15 lifetime starts. Saturday's victory increased her career bankroll to $225,482. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 920; 2. Dexter Dunn - 698; 3. Tim Tetrick - 536.5; 4. Andrew McCarthy - 494; 5. David Miller - 493. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 853; 2. Nancy Takter - 831.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 622; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 539; 5. Marcus Melander - 383. Owners: 1. Caviart Farms - 200.5; 2. Determination - 200; 3. Brad Grant - 192.3; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 178.7; 5. Courant Inc. - 154.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Harrah's Hoosier Park, Harrah's Philadelphia, and The Meadowlands. Harrah's Hoosier Park will feature 12 Breeders Crown finals, plus The Madison County for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Harrah's Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and trotters and The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week commences on Friday afternoon (Oct. 16) at Harrah's Philadelphia with two divisions in the $112,400 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and three divisions in the $93,602 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Meadowlands on Friday will host the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old trotters. There will be one $61,500 division for 2-year-old colt trotters and one $55,600 division in the 2-year-old filly trot. On Saturday (Oct. 17), Northfield Park will feature the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Driver Dexter Dunn secured a pocket seat for Amigo Volo and with several horses making breaks over the "good" surface, had open road to pop and power to a 1:51 victory in the $444,000 128th Kentucky Futurity on Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile. Amigo Volo posted a 1:51 victory in the $444,000 128th Kentucky Futurity. USTA/Mark Hall photo. Ready For Moni, the 3-1 second choice, lagged from his second-tier starting spot while Amigo Volo pushed for position to the inside. Beads, launching from post 10, swept to the lead before a :27 opening quarter while Amigo Volo settled into second with EL Ideal third and 4-5 favorite Back Of The Neck fourth. Back Of The Neck made his move after the leader passing a :54.2 half and drew closer to the pacesetter into the final turn. Moving towards three-quarters in 1:22.3, Back Of The Neck broke stride, giving Amigo Volo room to tip out of the pocket straightening for the finish. Beads began to gallop while EL Ideal chased Amigo Volo through the stretch, settling for second. Third Shift ripped from the backfield to take third while Chestnut Hill weaved through traffic for fourth. "He was really good here last week -- he was probably just a little bit short," Dunn said after the race of the Father Patrick-Margarita Momma gelding's second-place finish in the Bluegrass. "Nifty knew he was going to be better today and he was. Last year he used to shake his head bad and it cost him a couple of times. He didn't have as good of form when he came back as a 3-year-old -- he was a bit average. We were probably looking after him a little too much -- he just likes to race. You get off the gate hard, that's when he gets excited and puts in good performances. "I did attempt to go (for the lead) -- I came out for a little bit when we hit the back straight, but Beads was a little aggressive and took off so I ducked back into the two-hole there. Back Of The Neck came up outside of us around the last turn, and I was sort of 50-50 (on) whether I'd come out or stay in. And he ran, so that was probably a lucky trip in the last turn to get out, but the horse did a great job." Surpassing $1 million in earnings with the victory, Amigo Volo has won six races from 12 starts this season and 12 from 24 overall, banking $1,206,369 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains the gelding bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. He paid $10.00 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 915; 2. Dexter Dunn - 648; 3. Tim Tetrick - 526.5; 4. Andrew McCarthy - 484; 5. David Miller - 478. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 833; 2. Nancy Takter - 811.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 622; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 514; 5. Marcus Melander - 383. Owners: 1. Determination - 200; 2. Caviart Farms - 193.8; 3. Brad Grant - 192.3; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 178.7; 5. Courant Inc. - 154.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Harrah's Philadelphia, Harrah's Hoosier Park and The Meadowlands. Harrah's Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters; Harrah's Hoosier Park will have The Circle City for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; and The Meadowlands will feature the third leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Lexington, KY - A live stream of the the Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile will be available via the track's YouTube page on Saturday and Sunday.      

LEXINGTON, KY—The Always B Miki-Shebestingin colt Perfect Sting strides the Saturday (Oct. 10) Grand Circuit competition at The Red Mile with a perfect record to keep intact. Unbeaten in seven starts, the Joe Holloway prodigy fought gamely to win in Bluegrass action last week, holding off Summa Cum Laude by a half length in a 1:50 mile. The pair meets again in the second of three divisions for the $299,100 Betting Line International Stallion Stake Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace—sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm. David Miller will drive Perfect Sting from post 7 while Summa Cum Laude starts from post 5. Also joining the match up are Abuckabett Hanover, looking to rebound after finishing sixth as the 1-5 favorite in the $540,000 Metro Pace, and Bayfield Beach, who finished second in the Metro Pace. Metro Pace elimination winner Highlandbeachsbest competes in the opening division of the Betting Line following a second-place finish in the Bluegrass. The Nancy Takter-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt starts from post 3 with Tim Tetrick in the bike against Almanac, who scored a victory in the $50,000 Kentucky Commonwealth Final three weeks ago. Todd McCarthy drives that Brian Brown-trained A Rocknroll Dance colt from post 5. A pair of Bluegrass victors converge in the final Betting Line split. Southwind Gendry—an Always B Miki gelding—starts from post 6 as the 9-5 morning-line choice off a five-race win streak including a 1:50.2 victory over the Lexington oval last week. His stablemate, the Sweet Lou colt Lou’s Pearlman, draws post 8 following a 1:49.1 swoop with Matt Kakaley in the bike. Between the two starts the Somebeachsomewhere colt Exploit, the 35-1 winner in the Metro Pace, for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Andrew McCarthy. Freshmen trotting fillies share the spotlight with four divisions of the $304,000 International Moni International Stallion Stake—sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate & Hanover Shoe Farm. Insta Glam exits the Mohawk Million with a fourth-place finish and now starts from post 6 in the opening division of the International Moni. The Nancy Tatker-trained Father Patrick filly caught many eyes earlier in the year leading into the Jim Doherty Memorial, but a break as the 2-5 favorite in the elimination struck her out of the final. Yannick Gingras has the reins of the filly regaining her stride against Hello I Love You, the Tony Alagna-trained Trixton filly who won in Bluegrass action last week. Beautiful Game finished second to Hello I Love You as the 6-5 favorite and will try to hit the finish first in the second split of the International Moni. The Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee has held the honor of bridesmaid in six of her last nine starts with her lone homerun coming in a prelim of the Kentucky Sires Stakes in August. David Miller drives the Muscle Hill filly from post 3 as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, with Lucas Wallin trainee May Karp earning morning-line favoritism with an 8-5 listing from post 4. Anoka Hanover will aim to parlay her Bluegrass victory into the third division of the International Moni. The Noel Daley-trained Donato Hanover filly rolled off cover in the stretch to land on the line first in a 1:54 mile and now starts as the 7-5 morning-line choice. Todd McCarthy has the reins from post 3, directly outside of Julie Miller trainee Gotta Believe—a three-time starter with Andy Miller in the bike as she leaps into the Grand Circuit off a 1:53.1 win last week. Presto pounced on You Ato Dream to win the Bluegrass last week, but the Jeff Gregory-trained Donato Hanover filly will get a shot at redemption in the final division of the International Moni. Gregory rolled You Ato Dream to the lead last week but grew leg weary off quick fractions, giving way by a head in the stretch as Presto capitalized off a pocket trip. Presto will start inside of You Ato Dream from post 2 with trainer Ake Svanstedt in control of the Trixton filly. Bluegrass winner and Bar Hopping filly Pub Crawl also competes in the final division, drawing post 6 for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller. The Saturday card features a total 11 races, seven of which being Grand Circuit contests. Racing gets underway with first-race post slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Harness Racing This Week: The 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 Friday (Oct. 9) with three divisions in the $258,800 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $218,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 10), The Red Mile will host the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 11), The Red Mile will offer the $500,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, the companion $275,000 (est.) Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $400,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $275,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters and two $85,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Every superlative has been uttered about Atlanta over her illustrious career, and she lived up to all of them on Saturday (Oct. 3), winning the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Atlanta set a new track record of 1:51 in the Dayton Trotting Derby. Conrad photo. Dispatched at even money, the 5-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven established a new Dayton Raceway track record of 1:51 by coming from behind for driver Yannick Gingras to wear down Manchego (Dexter Dunn) and then hold off runner-up Lindy The Great (Andy Miller) and show finisher Crystal Fashion (Jordan Stratton). Lindy The Great left with alacrity to hit the first quarter beam in :27.3 before yielding to Manchego who coasted through middle fractions of :56 and 1:23.3 on the lead. Atlanta got away fifth, moved up on the outside at the half, was fourth in the outer flow at the three-quarters, then on even terms with Manchego around the final turn. At the top of the lane, Manchego broke stride, leaving little doubt about the outcome. Ron Burke trains Atlanta for Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. She has won half of her lifetime starts (24 out of 48) and banked $2,450,203. On a night when eight track records were either beaten or tied at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) edged an outstanding field of North America's top older pacers in winning the $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby in 1:49. Dancin Lou (Brian Sears) was lapped on the winner at the wire and Century Farroh (David Miller) was just beaten by a single length. Trainer Nancy Takter thought long and hard about giving Kissin In The Sand a week off after a convincing 1:49 win in the Milton Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park. But a change in plans, possibly caused by a realization that Hatfield Stables of Ohio co-owns the magnificent mare with Marvin Katz of Ontario, resulted in an epic battle with Shartin N and another 1:49 score in the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby. Caviart Ally finished third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 705; 2. Dexter Dunn - 473; 3. Andrew McCarthy - 429; 4. Tim Tetrick - 376.5; 5. David Miller - 358. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 688; 2. Nancy Takter - 596.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 517; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 374; 5. Marcus Melander - 333. Owners: 1. Determination - 200; 2. Brad Grant - 168.1; 3. Caviart Farms - 165.4; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 154.7; 5. S R F Stable - 131.6. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Harrah's Philadelphia, Northfield Park and The Meadowlands. Harrah's Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and trotters; Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers; and The Meadowlands will feature the Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Harness racing this week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky., and Dayton Pacing Derby, Dayton Trotting Derby, and Dayton Distaff Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Oct. 2) at the Red Mile and the Lexington oval will feature three divisions in the $316,300 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $268,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 3), Red Mile will offer the $350,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 4) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night (Oct. 3) will feature a trio of Grand Circuit stakes in the $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby for open pacers, the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for open trotters and the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby for female pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Venerate and driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1 million Mohawk Million on Saturday night (Sept. 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A full field of ten rookie trotters, including three fillies, met in the inaugural Mohawk Million, a "buy-in" race with nine slots available for the purchase of $110,000 each and a final slot awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. Venerate and driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1 million Mohawk Million. New Image Media photo. Racing in the slot of Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners, Venerate overcame a second-tier start with a perfect steer from McCarthy to win in 1:53.2. The Julie Miller trainee got away eighth and was able to follow the favorite Donna Soprano, eventually muscling by the previously undefeated filly to win by three-quarters of a length. "I was hoping I'd get out of there a little closer, but after scoring him down I knew I couldn't make him accelerate too fast, so I just wanted to get out of there upright," said McCarthy. "He's a very strong horse, I've seen that, I didn't really care how far back I got, just figured I'd have to get through that first turn and then worry about where I'm going from there. "The speed was pretty tough early, so it worked out where I could end up getting a pretty good trip, but when I looked up at the eighth-pole I was a long away back." The opening stages of the race saw several horses leaving hard, causing a four-wide push into the first turn. Altar cut a :27 opening quarter before handing the lead over to Wellwood winner On A Streak, who was four-wide entering the turn. Race-favorite Donna Soprano got away sixth, while Venerate was eighth. On A Streak led to the half in :56.1 just as Insta Glam came with a powerful rush to claim the top spot going into the final turn. Donna Soprano got her cue to go just before the half, as did Venerate and McCarthy seeing an opportunity to follow the favorite. Insta Glam trotted a strong third quarter to get the field to that station in 1:24 with a few lengths of separation. In the stretch, Donna Soprano and Venerate trotted by Insta Glam to set up a battle of their own. The filly Donna Soprano tried to hold on, but the colt Venerate was too much to handle, powering by to victory. On A Streak finished third, while Insta Glam was fourth. "I'm so thankful for Andy and Julie and Pinske Stable," said McCarthy. "And to Brad (Grant) for deciding to use me on this horse, I'm so thankful." A son of French stallion Love You, Venerate is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable. The connections negotiated a private deal with slot owner Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners to take a shot at the Mohawk Million. "It makes me look pretty smart I guess," laughed Grant. "We really believed in this race when we bought our slot. What Woodbine has done is something new and I think it's great, it had a buzz to it all year long." Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 645; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 414; 3. Dexter Dunn - 393; 4. Tim Tetrick - 336.5; 5. Bob McClure - 322. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 583; 2. Nancy Takter - 551.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 492; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 309; 5. Marcus Melander - 303. Owners: 1. Determination - 200; 2. Brad Grant - 160.1; 3. Caviart Farms - 152; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.8; 5. S R F Stable - 125.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured at Red Mile will be the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for 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. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

ANDERSON, IN --September 23, 2020---- Some of the brightest stars in all of Harness Racing will descend upon Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 25 as Grand Circuit racing action returns to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the third time this season. With over $1.2 million in purses to be distributed on the evening, Hoosier Park will offer arguably one of the best cards of the 2020 live racing season on Friday with a 15-race card that includes that includes the $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic, the $221,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $140,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, the $120,000 Elevation Pace and the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Pace. First post is 6:30 p.m. A talented field of ten will be sent postward in this year's edition of the $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic. Maple Leaf Trot winner Atlanta has been enlisted as the 8-5 slight morning line choice from post position eight with David Miller in the bike. Trained by Ron Burke, the five-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip has won three of seven outings while bankrolling $414,564 in purse earnings this season. Lindy The Great captured last year's edition of the Caesars Trotting Classic and will start from post ten with regular pilot Andy Miller in the bike. Trained by Julie Miller, Lindy The Great will look to become the first Caesars Trotting Classic back-to-back winner in the history of the race. The field for Friday's main event also includes seven millionaires and three Indiana-sired trotters. The Hoosier state will be well represented as Bridge To Jesse's, Fiftydallarbill, and Custom Cantab will look to capture Indiana's richest trotting event. Not to be outdone by their trotting counterparts, an accomplished field of ten will line up behind the gate for the $140,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. After winning in the 2020 Dan Patch Stakes, Century Farroh will return to Harrah's Hoosier Park and will play the role of morning line favorite from post eight. Trained by Ian Moore, Century Farroh most recently finished third in the Canadian Pacing Derby behind Dorsoduro Hanover and Dancin Lou who have drawn post 10 and post 6, respectively in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in three special wagers offered on the evening's 14-race card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta will be available in the $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic, slated as the thirteenth race on the program, and a $20,000 Guaranteed Superfecta in the $176,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, the twelfth race on the program. A $15,000 Hoosier High-5 will also be offered on the last race of the program. Each wager is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Along with the action on the track, Harrah's Hoosier Park will offer a variety of promotions and a fall festival for racing fans. The first 250 racing fans will receive a free Harrah's Hoosier Park 2020 racing t-shirt. The evening's festivities will also include free handicapping contests, family-friendly activities, free pumpkins while supplies last, live entertainment, food trucks and giveaways. Friday's stakes filled card is part of Harrah's Hoosier Park's 2020 Championship Meet, which features a $4 million stakes schedule. The twelve-week championship stretch, which kicked off on Friday, August 9 with the $200,000 Dan Patch Stakes, will be highlighted by the return of the Breeders Crown October 30 & 31. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 21. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Harness racing this week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; Caesars Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker, The Elevation and The Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Mohawk Million, Metro, She's A Great Lady and Milton, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 23) at Delaware with the $237,725 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $82,200 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $39,406 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers and the $43,506 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 24) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $559,000 Little Brown Jug for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $87,500 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $83,800 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old open trotters, the $54,206 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $47,006 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 25) with the $221,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $220,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $150,000 Caesars for Open trotters, the $140,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $105,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $120,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $40,000 Madison County for 2-year-old colt trotters. Also on Friday, The Meadowlands hosts the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be two $20,000 divisions for all four classes - colt and filly trotters and colt and filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 26) with the US$1 million Mohawk Million for 2-year-old colt trotters, the C$720,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers, the C$455,000 She's A Great Lady final for 2-year-old filly pacers and the C$215,000 Milton final for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Last time: A scramble finish with multiple breakers saw Chestnut Hill at 60-1 shoot up the rail to a stunning victory in the C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on Saturday night (Sept. 19) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Chestnut Hill at 60-1 shot up the rail to a stunning victory in the C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Woodbine Mohawk Park. New Image Media photo. All eyes were on heavy-favorite Ready For Moni (Yannick Gingras) in the rich event for 3-year-old trotters. The Nancy Takter trainee made the front in the second quarter and appeared poised to close out the victory coming down the lane, but a rare miscue in the final eighth opened the door for several closing rivals. Chestnut Hill (Andrew McCarthy) had been following along sixth and had dived down to the rail for his late bid. The Nifty Norman trainee was full of trot late and somehow was able to avoid losing all momentum when squeezing by the breaking Ready For Moni, reaching up by a half-length in 1:53.2. "Pretty close," laughed McCarthy when asked about how close he was to danger when avoiding the breaking horse. "I kind of yelled out to let Yannick (Gingras) know there was someone on the inside of him. "It worked out that he heard me and didn't want to crash into me, so he did a good job getting that horse out of the way safely and it worked out good for me and I got to sneak up there." Play Trix On Me (Jody Jamieson) made the first-up bid on the far turn and nearly came through for the victory, finishing second in the middle of several rivals. HP Royal Theo (Louis Philippe-Roy) was charging on the outside in the lane when he also made a break, finishing third placed sixth for a lapped on break. Jula Trix Treasure (Chris Christoforou) was moved up to third, while Threefiftytwo (Bob McClure) jumped up to fourth. A son of champions Muscle Hill and Poof She's Gone, Chestnut Hill was coming into Saturday off a win in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes consolation and now has three wins in 11 starts this season and five wins overall. He is owned by Mel Hartman, David McDuffee and Little E LLC. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 615; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 389; 3. Tim Tetrick - 306.5; 4. Bob McClure - 297; 5. Dexter Dunn - 266. Trainers: 1. Nancy Takter - 459.5; 2. Tony Alagna - 416; 3. Ron Burke - 403; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 289; 5. Marcus Melander - 263. Owners: 1. Determination - 185; 2. Brad Grant - 152.6; 3. S R F Stable - 115.3; 4. Caviart Farms - 98.6; 5. Crawford Farms Racing - 97.3. 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 trio of Grand Circuit events for older Standardbreds - the Dayton Pacing Derby, the Dayton Distaff Derby and the Dayton Trotting Derby. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Harness racing this Week: Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Metro Pace eliminations, She's A Great Lady eliminations and Milton Stakes eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont. and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Another busy night of Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park takes place this Saturday (Sept. 19) and is led by the C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters and the C$350,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters. Rounding out the action is a pair of C$40,000 Metro Stakes eliminations for 2-year-old colt pacers, two C$35,000 She's A Great Lady eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers and a pair of C$35,000 Milton Stakes eliminations for older pacing mares. On Friday (Sept. 18) The Meadowlands hosts the opening leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be three $20,000 divisions for both the colt and filly trotters and two $20,000 divisions for both the colt and filly pacers. Complete entries for the Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Entries for The Meadowlands races are available at this link. Last time: On A Streak punched his ticket to the Mohawk Million with an upset in last Saturday's C$535,000 William Wellwood Memorial for driver Scott Young, trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination. The Wellwood Memorial was hyped as the showdown between undefeated freshman trotting colts Macho Martini and Southwind Tyrion, but both saw their perfect records broken when Macho Martini's Blais stablemate On A Streak gamely dug in to hold off Southwind Tyrion in a thrilling stretch drive. "This is incredible, even a guy like me doesn't have a whole lot of words," said Young after the biggest win of his career. "I took a look over and saw (Southwind Tyrion) first up and (Macho Martini) following him obviously and I thought I could try and get a little distance in the last turn and my colt dug all the way down the lane and I still thought (Southwind Tyrion) was going to get me halfway down the lane, but he kept digging and we got it." On A Streak upset the two heavy favorites to win the Wellwood at Mohawk Park. New Image Media photo. On A Streak and Young got away third in a :27.2 opening quarter set by Logan Park. Southwind Tyrion and Yannick Gingras got away fourth, while Macho Martini and driver Bob McClure were kept wide by their rival going into the turn. On A Streak got his cue to go in the second quarter and made the front before hitting the half in :57.2. The second quarter also saw Macho Martini ready to go on, but he was waiting on Southwind Tyrion to move. That move to the outside by Southwind Tyrion ultimately forced Macho Martini three-wide going into the final turn before finding room to slide in a lane onto his rival's back. On A Streak and Young ramped up the tempo on the far turn to race by three-quarters in 1:25.4 with Southwind Tyrion approaching first-up. In the stretch, Southwind Tyrion confronted On A Streak and the rookies went to war. Macho Martini dipped to the inside and stayed with the top pair, finishing third by just over a length. The final strides saw On A Streak prevail by a head for a timely maiden-breaking score. On A Streak paid $32 to win. Donna Soprano made a three-wide move up the backstretch moving to the lead and never looked back for a dominating 1:53.3 victory in the C$335,000 Peaceful Way 2-year-old filly trot for the team of McClure, Blais and Determination. "I've talked many times about her temperament and she's a little flighty, but I've also said she's getting better every week and she was perfect tonight," said McClure. "I moved her three-wide, she landed on the front and she came right back to me and just coasted home. She's a very special filly and I'm just very lucky to drive her." The early stages of the Peaceful Way saw many starters leaving for position with Dream Chapter stretching out Dicentra through a :27.1 opening quarter. Donna Soprano had yet to see the rail in mid-pack when McClure opted to circle three wide around Amazone Duharas. The heavy favorite cleared stablemate Dicentra just after a :56.4 half. Donna Soprano trotted by three-quarters in 1:25.2 with slight pressure from Amazone Duharas before leaving her rivals far behind with a wrapped up :28.1 final quarter to win by 4-1/4 lengths. Lady Chaos rallied for second, while You Will Be Queen and Imextraspecial completed the superfecta. Donna Soprano paid $2.70 to win. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 583; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 337; 3. Tim Tetrick - 284; 4. Bob McClure - 275; 5t. Dexter Dunn - 239; 5t. Brian Sears - 239. Trainers: 1. Nancy Takter - 410; 2. Ron Burke - 376; 3. Tony Alagna - 362; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 264; 5. Marcus Melander - 233. Owners: 1. Determination - 185; 2. Brad Grant - 142.9; 3. S R F Stable - 95; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 90.6; 5. Burke Racing Stable - 86.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County (Ohio) Fair, Hoosier Park, Woodbine Mohawk Park and The Meadowlands. Delaware will host nine Grand Circuit races, led by the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacers. Hoosier Park features eight Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters. Mohawk Park's week will include the Mohawk Million for 2-year-old trotters and the Metro Pace and She's A Great Lady finals for freshman pacers. The Meadowlands will host the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

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