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This Week: The 2019 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2020 schedule will be released in January. Last time: After working to catch cover up the far side, Shake That House ($20.20) vaulted three-wide off the final turn to collar Captain Crunch in the $335,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final for 3-year-old colts and geldings on Wednesday night (Nov. 27) at Dover Downs. Shake That House tracked down Captain Crunch to prevail by a widening neck in 1:50.1. Fotowon photo. The sophomore son of American Ideal landed in sixth early while 3-5 favorite Captain Crunch (Yannick Gingras) worked to clear American Mercury (Tyler Buter) through a :26 first quarter. As Captain Crunch, who won the elimination heat, sped along through a :53.4 half, Tim Tetrick angled Shake That House third-over - but the pair lost their cover upon reaching the backstretch. While the first-over Dancin Lou (Andy McCarthy) sustained gradual headway up the far side, the second-over Semi Tough (David Miller) angled back to the pegs upon straightening, forcing Shake That House to close a three-length gap in the outer tier into a 1:21 third split. Despite the extra work he endured, Shake That House had ample energy to swing three-wide around a stalled Dancin Lou well above the eighth pole and tracked down Captain Crunch to prevail by a widening neck in 1:50.1. U S Captain (Dexter Dunn), who was locked in from mid-division, rallied up the open stretch to take third. Shake That House, who also won the Max Hempt Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in June, eclipsed the $500,000 mark in seasonal earnings with the 10th victory of his career. Chris Oakes trains Shake That House for Crawford Farms Racing, Alan Johnston and the Northfork Racing Stable. 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 final leaders. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,416.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,373; 3. Dexter Dunn - 1,054; 4. David Miller - 960; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 828. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,322; 2. Tony Alagna - 892; 3. Nancy Johansson - 727; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 677; 5. Marcus Melander - 628. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 289.5; 2. Brad Grant - 273; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 242.5; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 27) for the $335,000 final in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. Elimination winner Captain Crunch heads a field of eight in the Hap Hansen, the final stake of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Six Pack went out a winner, capping his career by capturing Saturday's (Nov. 23) $350,000 TVG Open Trot championship by three-quarters of a length with a track-record 1:50 performance over a surface labeled "good" because of rain at The Meadowlands. Six Pack went out a winner, capping his career by capturing Saturday's $350,000 TVG Open Trot championship. Lisa photo. Manchego, the lone mare in the race, finished second and Guardian Angel AS was third. Gimpanzee, the 3-year-old taking on older trotters, finished fourth. Guardian Angel AS took the lead on the first turn while Six Pack, on the inside, and Manchego, on the outside, battled for second through an opening quarter in :26.3. Guardian Angel AS gave up the front to Manchego in a half of :53.4, with Six Pack third and Gimpanzee fourth. The top four remained in that order as Manchego reached three-quarters in 1:22.4, but Six Pack was on the move and came home with a :26.3 final quarter to hit the wire first. The winning time established a track record for 4-year-old stallion trotters. "It was a perfect trip for him," trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt said about Six Pack. "It was a fast first quarter and fast first half, so then I thought I had a good chance to win." Six Pack, by Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., and L Berg Inc. He was bred by Brittany Farms. For the year, Six Pack has won four of 12 races and earned $581,314. Lifetime, the 4-year-old stallion won 19 of 35 races and $1.93 million. He will stand at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. Six Pack was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3, when he became the fastest 3-year-old trotter in history with a 1:49.1 mile. This season, he became the fastest 4-year-old male trotter, with a 1:49.2 score. Always A Prince and driver Yannick Gingras went to the front from post eight and never looked back, rolling to a 1:48.2 win in Saturday's $350,000 TVG Open Pace championship. The margin of victory was 4-3/4 lengths. Bettor's Wish, the lone 3-year-old in the field of older male pacers, finished second and American History was third. Always A Prince, trained by Tyler George, set fractions of :27, :55, and 1:22.1 on his way to the win. It was Gingras' first drive behind Always A Prince, a 4-year-old gelding, who was sent off at odds of 5-1. "He certainly left a good impression," Gingras said. "(I was told) he's really nice to drive, he can race either way, and left it up to me behind the gate. When the gate opened, there wasn't much speed. A couple horses left inside of me, but I was able to get a really good first half, and I think it made the difference. "When I looked at the race, I didn't see a crazy amount of speed. I thought there were more horses that were looking to race from behind, so I thought maybe it could work out that way. But maybe once every 20 times it works out the way I think." For the year, Always A Prince has won four of 18 races and earned $362,835. He has won 23 of 40 lifetime starts and $855,710. Always A Prince, by Always A Virgin out of Glorious Princess, is owned by Carl Atley and Melanie Atley. He was bred by Emerald Highlands Farm. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,396.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,363; 3. Dexter Dunn - 1,049; 4. David Miller - 960; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 828. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,322; 2. Tony Alagna - 887; 3 Nancy Johansson - 717; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 677; 5. Marcus Melander - 628. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 289.5; 2. Brad Grant - 271.7; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 242.5; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2020 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand CIrcuit  

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. 20) for a $35,000 elimination in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 10 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 27. On Saturday night (Nov. 23) 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 $505,050 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $475,100 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $401,850 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $411,000 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: Breeders Crown winner Gimpanzee and Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry added another Grand Circuit title to their respective résumés with victories in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on Thursday (Nov. 14) at Dover Downs. In the $208,300 Matron for sophomore trotting colts and geldings, Gimpanzee ($2.80) and Brian Sears sprinted to the early lead before yielding control to Chin Chin Hall (Dexter Dunn) at the completion of a :27 first quarter. The son of Chapter Seven was relegated to third as Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) brushed aggressively from midfield to clear with a circuit to go, but angled first-over to attack soon after stalking a :54.4 half. On the backstretch, Gimpanzee sustained a strong attack on Don't Let'em, taking charge effortlessly past three-quarters in 1:23 and drawing away at will for a 1:51.1 score. Chin Chin Hall emerged up the open stretch to take second, four lengths back, while Pilot Discretion (Andy McCarthy) rallied off cover for third. Marcus Melander trains 17-time winner Gimpanzee for Courant Inc. and the S R F Stable. The $176,150 Matron for 3-year-old trotting fillies saw Simon Allard send When Dovescry ($7.60) clear of Beautiful Sin (Ã…ke Svanstedt) and Only Take Cash (Tim Tetrick) into the first turn before controlling splits of :27, :56.1 and 1:23.4. With three-sixteenths to go, When Dovescry faced a bid from Evident Beauty (David Miller), who circled stalled cover to challenge on the final turn. The daughter of Muscle Hill successfully held her ground, holding off a late stand-side rally from Only Take Cash by a half-length in 1:52.2. Evident Beauty stayed on between fillies to maintain third. Rene Allard trains 10-time winner When Dovescry for the Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain. After Dancin Lou snapped his four-race win streak in the Breeders Crown, Bettor's Wish ($3.20) got back in the win column with a 1:49.2 score in the $248,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Bettor's Wish worked clear of American Mercury (Tyler Buter) just beyond a :27 first quarter, but faced immediate pressure from Dancin Lou (Andy McCarthy) with a circuit to go and on toward a :53.2 half. With a quarter-mile to go, Bettor's Wish began to scamper away, turning aside Dancin Lou past three-quarters in 1:21.3. The son of Bettor's Delight was kept to task through the final furlong, and he maintained 1-3/4 lengths of clearance over American Mercury. Aflame Hanover (Corey Callahan) angled off the pegs at head-stretch to chase and just missed the runner-up spot. Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor's Wish, an 18-time winner and an earner of more than $1.8 million, with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettors Wish Partners. Bettor's Wish has finished first or second in all 18 of his starts this season. Following a runner-up finish to Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown, Tall Drink Hanover ($13.20) rode the pocket to victory in the $165,900 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies, reeling in her arch-rival in the process. Andy McCarthy put Tall Drink Hanover in play from the outset to seize early control, only to yield to prohibitive favorite Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras) just behind a taxing :26 first quarter. After stalking a :54.2 half, Tall Drink Hanover found herself boxed as Sunny Dee (Brian Sears) offered first-over pressure up the far side. Off the home turn, Tall Drink Hanover angled to the open stretch and eclipsed the dueling leaders, beating Sunny Dee by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2. Treacherous Reign (Dunn) lifted from third-over to narrowly take third over the engulfed Warrawee Ubeaut, who missed the board for the first time this year in her Matron defeat. Tony Alagna trains 15-time winner Tall Drink Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, for Alagna Racing, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,366.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,278; 3. Dexter Dunn - 1,019; 4. David Miller - 940; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 808. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,292; 2. Tony Alagna - 877; 3 Nancy Johansson - 672; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 637; 5. Marcus Melander - 623. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 284.5; 2. Brad Grant - 267.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 238.7; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 27. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $300,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Dover, DE — Ten harness racing horses have been entered to compete in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination race on Wednesday (Nov. 20) at Dover Downs. Eight horses will have their noses on the gate with two horses scoring from the second tier. The top eight horses in the official order of finish will return for the final, worth $335,000, on Wednesday (Nov. 27). Southwind Ozzi and American Mercury supplemented to the race at a cost of $25,000 each. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Below is the complete field. Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Dancin Lou-Andrew McCarthy-Tahnee Camilleri 2-Southwind Ozzi-Brian Sears-Bill MacKenzie 3-Shake That House-Tim Tetrick-Chris Oakes 4-U S Captain-Dexter Dunn-Tony Alagna 5-Captain Crunch-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 6-Love Me Some Lou-Brian Sears-Thomas Cancelliere 7-American Mercury-Tyler Buter-Chris Oakes 8-Pyro-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 9-De Los Cielos Deo-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 10-Semi Tough-David Miller-Ron Burke De Los Cielos Deo and Semi Tough will start from the second tier. by Al Kraszewski, for Dover Downs

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 14) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $248,350, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $208,300, the purse for the 3-year-old filly trot is $176,150 and the 3-year-old filly pacers will race for $165,900. On Saturday night (Nov. 16) Meadowlands Racetrack will host a single elimination in the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be one $20,000 elimination in the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Eliminations were not required in the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: After being disqualified from first in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 25, David McDuffee's Papi Rob Hanover ($2.40) found redemption in the $186,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, held Thursday (Nov. 7) at Dover Downs. Papi Rob Hanover found redemption in the $186,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Fotowon photo. The son of Somebeachsomewhere and Panera Hanover eclipsed the $500,000 mark in career earnings with an effortless 1:50 win, the fifth of his career. "I was just waiting to be the last one to the front," said driver David Miller, who yielded to Cattlewash (Yannick Gingras) and Put To Right (Andy McCarthy) in a :27.1 quarter before brushing to the top with a circuit to go. After clearing the lead just before a :55 half, Papi Rob Hanover found no further challengers, coasting to three-quarters in 1:22.4 before drawing away by 5-1/4 lengths with plenty in reserve. "He's very sharp; he's ending up the year very well," concluded Miller. "He was strong tonight, and just a real nice horse." Cattlewash gave futile chase to protect second, while Father Nuno (Brian Sears) emerged off cover to take third. In the $181,600 Matron for juvenile male trotters, Breeders Crown winner Amigo Volo ($2.20) proved a similarly easy winner, clearing from the outside post six under Dexter Dunn and controlling splits of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.3 before drawing away to a 6-1/2 length victory over Patriarch Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Moveoutofmyway K (Gingras) in 1:52.4, a new world record for a freshman trotting gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Richard 'Nifty' Norman trains the gelded son of Father Patrick and Margarita Momma for the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Tim Tetrick swept the Matrons for 2-year-old fillies, taking the $176,400 pace with Lyons Sentinel ($2.40) and the non-wagering $147,600 trot with Next Level Stuff. In the filly pace, Lyons Sentinel stalked a blistering :26.1 first quarter from third behind Lady Lou (McCarthy) before brushing to the fore with a circuit to go. After out-sprinting Lady Lou through a :54.2 half and keeping a first-over attack from Hen Party (Gingras) at bay through three-quarters in 1:22.3, the Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover filly worked clear to a 1:50.3 victory. Perfect Storm (Sears) rallied into second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Hen Party faded to third. Jim King Jr. trains Lyons Sentinel for Threelyonsracing. Next Level Stuff coasted to a pillar-to-post 1:53.2 win in the filly trot. The daughter of Sebastian K S and Nantab cleared Queen Of The Hill (Gingras) through a :27.2 first quarter and remained unchallenged through middle splits of :56.1 and 1:25.1. Next Level Stuff began to edge clear on the final turn, and she defeated Queen Of The Hill by 2-1/2 lengths. Luv U Bye Click (Steve Smith) finished third, beaten by 25-1/4 lengths. Jim Campbell trains the Runthetable Stables homebred. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,356.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,268; 3. Dexter Dunn - 984; 4. David Miller - 930; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 783. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,292; 2. Tony Alagna - 847; 3 Nancy Johansson - 662; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 637; 5. Marcus Melander - 603. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 274.5; 2. Brad Grant - 267.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 238.7; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. 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  

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 7) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $186,000, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $181,600, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $176,400 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $147,600. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Grand Circuit racing action was back in the spotlight at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Nov. 1), as some of the sport's brightest stars ventured to Hoosier Park for the final night of Grand Circuit racing this season. Don't Let'em rebounded from his Breeders Crown miscue to win the Carl Erskine in track-record fashion at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Linscott Photo. After making a costly break in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot last week, Don't Let'em was out for redemption and rebounded with authority in the $220,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The cold temperatures didn't seem to deter Don't Let'em and Yannick Gingras as they stopped the timer in 1:51.4 to re-establish the track record for 3-year-old colt trotters. The previous mark of 1:52.1 was set by What The Hill in Breeders Crown action in 2017. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Don't Let'em left alertly from post two but Mass Fortune K (Matt Kakaley) was a step quicker through the opening quarter in :27.4. Gingras moved Don't Let'em to the front just before the half in :55.1 and was immediately joined on the outside by Pilot Discretion (Andrew McCarthy). Don't Let'em was able to turn back Pilot Discretion through the three-quarters in 1:23.2 and was on top with a two-length lead turning for home. Using a :28.2 final quarter, Don't Let'em stayed on task and trotted strong to the wire, finishing five lengths in front of late-closing Chin Chin Hall (Peter Wrenn). Pilot Discretion held on for third. "He's going to drive me crazy," trainer Nancy Johansson noted with a smile after the victory. "It's just whatever horse shows up. He obviously has tremendous speed. He has tremendous speed and the talent, he just needs to behave. I never know what horse is going to show up but when he is on his game, he's incredible." With the win, the son of Muscle Hill-Passageway recorded his fourth win from 13 outs this season and sports a 23-8-5-0 lifetime record. Owned by Brittany Farms, Christina Takter, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, Don't Let'em has amassed $569,967 in lifetime purse earnings. Don't Let'em was bred by Brittany Farms. One of the biggest upsets of the night came in the very next race on the program as De Los Cielos Deo (Matt Kakaley) got up in the final strides of the mile to upset the heavily favored Hickfromfrenchlick in the $225,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. De Los Cielos Deo stopped the timer in 1:49.2. With an eight race-win streak on the line, Hickfromfrenchlick (Trace Tetrick) went to the front from post eight to dictate fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. De Los Cielos Deo sat patiently in third for much of the mile but was in perfect striking position turning for home. Kakaley tipped De Los Cielos Deo and he found a :26.3 closing kick to track down Hickfromfrenchlick late in the lane. Dealer's Table and Sam Widger utilized a ground-saving trip to round out the trifecta. De Los Cielos Deo returned $10.40 to his backers at the betting windows. "I was confident coming into tonight," Kakaley said in the winner's circle. "He was good last week in the Breeders Crown. He's been pretty inconsistent but I knew if he showed up tonight he'd be good. I've only driven him a couple times but he's got the speed. The way the trip worked out for him tonight was beautiful." With the win, De Los Cielos Deo recorded his second win from 17 outs this season for trainer Ron Burke. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune has now earned $425,080 in lifetime purse earnings and is owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. De Los Cielos Deo was bred by Louis Willinger and Deo Volente Farms. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,316.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,238; 3. Dexter Dunn - 964; 4. David Miller - 910; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 783. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,272; 2. Tony Alagna - 847; 3. Nancy Johansson - 662; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 637; 5. Marcus Melander - 603. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 274.5; 2. Brad Grant - 267.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 236.2; 4. Fashion Farms - 224.5; 5. Robert Key - 221. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and The Meadowlands. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds, while The Meadowlands will have eliminations for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds - the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. by Paul Ramlow, for the the Grand Circuit

ANDERSON, Ind.--Nov. 1, 2019--Grand Circuit harness racing action was back in the spotlight at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, November 1 as some of the sport's brightest stars ventured to Hoosier Park for the final night of Grand Circuit racing this season. The evening's 12-race card was highlighted by the $120,000 Crossroads of America for three-year-old filly trotters, The $120,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies, The $220,000 Carl Erskine Memorial for three-year-old colt trotters, and The $225,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts. After making a costly break in the $500,000 Breeders Crown three-year-old colt trot last week, Don't Let'em was out for redemption and rebounded with authority in the $220,000 Carl Erskine Trot for three-year-old colts and geldings. The cold temperatures didn't seem to deter Don't Let'em and Yannick Gingras as they stopped the timer in 1:51.4 to re-establish the track record for three-year-old colt trotters. The previous mark of 1:52.1 was set by What The Hill in Breeders Crown action in 2017. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Don't Let 'em left alertly from post two but Mass Fortune K and Matt Kakaley were a step quicker through the opening quarter in :27.4. Gingras moved Don't Let 'Em to the front just before the half in :55.1 and was immediately joined on the outside by Pilot Discretion and Andrew McCarthy. Don't Let 'Em was able to turn back Pilot Discretion through the three-quarters in 1:23.2 and was on top with a two length lead turning for home. Using a :28.2 final quarter, Don't Let 'em stayed on task and trotted strong to the wire finishing five lengths in front of late-closing Chin Chin Hall and Peter Wrenn. Pilot Discretion held on for third. "He's going to drive me crazy," trainer Nancy Johansson noted with a smile after the victory. "It's just whatever horse shows up. He obviously has tremendous speed. He has tremendous speed and the talent, he just needs to behave. I never know what horse is going to show up but when he is on his game, he's incredible" With the win, the son of Muscle Hill-Passageway recorded his fourth win from 13 outs this season and sports a 23-8-5-0 lifetime record. Owned by Brittany Farms, C. Takter, J. Fielding, and H. Liverman, Don't Let'em has amassed $569,967 in lifetime purse earnings. Don't Let'em was bred by Brittany Farms, LLC. One of the biggest upsets of the night came in the very next race on the program as De Los Cielos Deo and Matt Kakaley got up in the final strides of the mile to upset the heavily favored Hickfromfrenchlick in the $225,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. De Los Cielos Deo stopped the timer in 1:49.2. De Los Cielos Deo and Matt Kakaley pull the upset in the $225,000 Monument Circle Pace   (Photo courtesy of Linscott Photography) With an eight race-win streak on the line, Hickfromfrenchlick went to the front from post eight to dictate fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. De Los Cielos Deo sat patiently in third for much of the mile but was in perfect striking position turning for home. Kakaley tipped De Los Cielos Deo and he found a :26.3 closing kick to track down Hickfromfrenchlick late in the lane. Dealer's Table and Sam Widger utilized a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. De Los Cielos Deo returned $10.40 to his backers at the betting windows. "I was confident coming into tonight," Kakaley said in the winner's circle. "He was good last week in the Breeders Crown. He's been pretty inconsistent but I knew if he showed up tonight he'd be good. I've only driven him a couple times but he's got the speed. The way the trip worked out for him tonight was beautiful." With the win, De Los Cielos Deo recorded his second win from 17 outs this season for trainer Ron Burke. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune has now earned $425,080 in lifetime purse earnings and is owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. De Los Cielos Deo was bred by Louis Willinger and Deo Volente Farms. Trainer Nancy Johannsson teamed up with Yannick Gingras for two winner's on the evening's program as the duo first found the winner's circle with The Ice Dutchess in the $120,000 Crossroads of America. After finishing third in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park last week, Gingras guided the post-time favorite to a 1:53 victory over Pure Chance and Trace Tetrick. Utilizing a final quarter of :27:0, The Ice Dutchess was able to overcome a first-over trip and dug in gamely late in the lane to cross the wire four lengths to the good. The Ice Dutchess returned $4.20 to win for her backers at the betting windows. The Ice Dutchess has now won 11 of 27 lifetime starts and boasts a lifetime bankroll of $774,029 for owners Coyote Wynd Farms. The daughter of Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen was bred by Stephen Dey and David Reid. Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly Sunny Dee made her Harrah's Hoosier Park debut a winning one after she went gate to wire in The $100,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial. The Canadian homebred bested her competition in 1:52 with driver Tim Tetrick in the bike for trainer Robert McIntosh. Sunny Dee made her game winning move down the backside and was able to hold off a hard charging JK American Beauty and Brett Miller late in the lane to get the win and deliver as the post-time favorite. Fully A Virgin and Michael Oosting also rallied well late for third. With the win, the daughter of Sunshine Beach-West of LA, now sports a lifetime bankroll of $436,595 having won 13 of 22 starts. The filly is owned by and was bred by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh holdings. Live racing action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, November 2 with a 10-race card with an adjusted post time of 7:10pm. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9.   Emily Ratcliff  Race Marketing Manager and Commentator

This Week: Harness racing Grand Circuit track events are the Carl Erskine Trot, Monument Circle, the USS Indianapolis and the Crossroads of America, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit remains at Hoosier Park this weekend as the track will have four stakes races on the Friday (Nov. 1) card. Leading the way is the $220,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Also on tap will be the $225,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, the $120,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $120,000 USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Nov. 2), Meadowlands Racetrack will card the four Kindergarten Series finals for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. The 2-year-old colt trot carries a purse of $251,460, the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $251,020, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $193,820 and the 2-year-old colt pacers will race for $172,000. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Woodbine Mohawk Park was in the Grand Circuit spotlight last weekend as the Ontario oval hosted 12 Breeders Crown finals. France's Bold Eagle made the trip to Canada for the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot a winning one. USTA/Mark Hall photo. France's Bold Eagle made the trip to Canada for the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot a winning one as driver Brian Sears guided the 8-year-old son of Ready Cash to a command performance victory in 1:52 over an off surface on Saturday night (Oct. 26). Bold Eagle got away fourth as Lindy The Great jetted to the front in the early stages, cutting a :26.2 opening quarter while rivals Atlanta and Guardian Angel As settled in behind. Sears wasted little time in going on the offensive with Bold Eagle and turning into the backstretch sent the $5.3 million winning International star on a mission to gain command, which he did through a :55.2 first half clocking. Six Pack and Ake Svanstedt had left the gate hard from post 10 and waited in the early stages for Bold Eagle to get on the move and then once that happened he was left without cover. Six Pack continued to march forward through three-quarters in 1:24 and turning into the stretch was a serious threat. Also looking for a shot was Atlanta and Yannick Gingras as that pair angled out with a shot to track down Bold Eagle. Sears looked confident and comfortable heading into the stretch but he kept asking Bold Eagle to trot and trot he did right through the wire, coming a final quarter in :28 and scoring in a respectable 1:52 clocking in his first North American appearance. Six Pack was valiant in second with Atlanta up for third. Lindy The Great and Marion Marauder rounded out the top five. Sebastien Guarato trains Bold Eagle who won for the third time this year in just 10 starts. Ecurie P Pilarski owns Bold Eagle who returned $5.70 and was the post time favorite. Jean Etienne Dubois bred Bold Eagle. "He was a little tough scoring down. Everything went pretty smooth after that," Sears said. "He dug in down by the wire." "I thought (Bold Eagle) might stop a little before the wire, but he didn't do that today," said Ake Svanstedt. "He looks good. He was strong. I have nothing to complain about. I'm satisfied with (Six Pack). Bold Eagle was just too good today." "We're very satisfied," said Pierre Pilarski the winning owner. "It was a long trip to come here. I promised John Campbell two years ago and it worked out this year." 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,291.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,188; 3. Dexter Dunn - 954; 4. David Miller - 880; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 768. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,242; 2. Tony Alagna - 812; 3 Ake Svanstedt - 617; 4. Nancy Johansson - 612; 5. Marcus Melander - 603. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 274.5; 2. Brad Grant - 257.9; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 231.2; 4. Fashion Farms - 224.5; 5. Robert Key - 221. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs as the Delaware track will host the Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits on the Thursday (Nov. 7) program. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Breeders Crown finals, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont.; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The 12 Breeders Crown championship harness racing events at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be front and center in the Grand Circuit spotlight this weekend. The four Breeders Crown championship races for 2-year-olds will be contested on Friday (Oct. 25) while the eight events for 3-year-olds and older Standardbreds will be contested on Saturday (Oct. 26). On Friday Hoosier Park will host the Circle City for 3-year-old pacers and trotters and the Madison County for 2-year-old male pacers. A total of nine events will be raced on Friday. The Saturday Hoosier program will feature Madison County races for 2-year-old filly pacers and trotters of both sexes. Also on Friday, The Meadowlands will offer the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be a pair of $10,000 divisions in the filly pace and single $10,000 divisions for the filly trotters, colt trotters and colt pacers. Complete entries for the Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Entries for the Hoosier Park and Meadowlands races are available at this link. Last time: Breeders Crown eliminations were in the spotlight this past weekend at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Yannick Gingras drove Don't Let'em to a 1:51.3 win in the 3-year-old colt trot elimination on Saturday night (Oct. 19). Don't Let'em cruised to a 1:51.3 score in his Breeders Crown elimination on Saturday night (Oct. 19). New Image Media photo. A field of 10 competed with the top eight finishers advancing to this Saturday's $600,000 final. Forbidden Trade and Greenshoe received byes to the final. The Nancy Johansson-trained Don't Let'em fired early for the lead and made the rest of the field chase him through fractions of :28.1, :56.4, and 1:24.2 and matched the track record for sophomore trotters with a 1:51.3 mile. Green Manalishi S (Tim Tetrick) sat in second for three panels and Chin Chin Hall (Peter Wrenn) rolled along in third. Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) came out to lead a second tier that stalled down the stretch. Chin Chin Hall took his best steps late to get second, with Green Manalishi S holding third, those three a few lengths ahead of the rest of the pack. Gimpanzee (David Miller) closed strongly to pick up fourth. "They all left so slow out of the gate," said Yannick Gingras. "I had to take him to the front." Don't Let'em (Muscle Hill-Passageway) was bred by Brittany Farms, which co-owns with Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. His win price was $9.10. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,266.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,118; 3. Dexter Dunn - 894; 4. David Miller - 845; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 678. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,142; 2. Tony Alagna - 725; 3 Ake Svanstedt - 582; 4. Marcus Melander - 558; 5. Nancy Johansson - 545. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 257; 2. Brad Grant - 234.5; 3. Fashion Farms - 224.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 218.6; 5. Robert Key - 201. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park and Meadowlands Racetrack. Hoosier has the Monument Circle, Carl Erskine, Crossroads of America and USS Indianapolis on Nov. 1, while the Meadowlands will race the four Kindergarten Series finals on Nov. 2. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Harness racing Breeders Crown eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont.; The Pegasus, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Friday (Oct. 18) and Saturday (Oct. 19) for Breeders Crown eliminations in nine divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the open pace, open trot and mare pace. The Friday card features a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly pace, two eliminations in the 2-year-old filly trot and single eliminations in the 2-year-old colt pace and 2-year-old colt trot. The Saturday card has a total of eight eliminations, with each carrying a purse of $25,000. The 3-year-old colt pace, 3-year-old filly trot and mare trot will each split two ways, while the 3-year-old colt trot and 3-year-old filly pace have lone eliminations. On Friday night at Hoosier Park, there will be eight divisions of The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The $80,000 colt pace, $76,700 colt trot, $69,000 filly trot and $67,000 filly pace will each have two divisions. The Meadowlands on Friday night will host another leg of The Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the filly trot and single divisions in the colt pace, colt trot and filly pace. Each race has a purse of $10,000. Complete entries for the Breeders Crown races are available at this link. Entries for the Hoosier and Meadowlands races are available at this link. Last time: If the boisterous Italian contingent who found their way to Westchester, N.Y., Saturday afternoon (Oct. 12) could have lifted Zacon Gio onto their shoulders, they would have. The 4-year-old survived nine world-class rivals and an inquiry, winning Yonkers Raceway's $1 million International Trot. Zacon Gio won the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers. Mike Lizzi photo. The 41st International - fifth after a two-decade hiatus - was truly "Viva Italia," as the favored Zacon Gio (Roberto Vecchione, $4.30) won by 3-1/4 emphatic lengths, the mile-and-a-quarter going in 2:24.1. At the outset, after a break by France's mare Bahia Quesnot (Junior Guelpa), it was another 4-year-old, American lass Atlanta (Yannick Gingras), making the lead. Directly outside of her, the third ma'am, Swiss miss Uza Josselyn (Erik Adielsson), also left, poking about a neck in front of Atlanta. If Adielsson had to do it over again, he probably would have kept his charge marching forward. Instead, Uza Josselyn found herself parked through fractions (:28.1, :59) usually reserved for qualifiers. Denmark's Slide So Easy (Ake Svanstedt) left from the pole, protecting the pocket, while Zacon Gio - from post position five - was content to work from second-over. Behind him was the other American entrant, Guardian Angel AS (Tim Tetrick). Meanwhile, Atlanta waltzed through a 1:28 three-quarters, a lap standing between herself, pomp and circumstance. Zacon Gio then went wide around Uza Josselyn and met no resistance from Atlanta, blitzing by after the 1:55.4 milepost and widening from there. Slide So Easy slid out for second, with Canada's Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) a ground-saving third. Guardian Angel AS wound up fourth, while last season's upsetter, Cruzado Dela Noche (Brian Sears), was fifth. Uza Josselyn and Atlanta tired to sixth and seventh, respectively, ahead of misbehavers Lionel (Goran Antonsen), Norton Commander (Conni Lagauer) and Bahia Quesnot. After a lengthy inquiry of what turned out to be the winning move, the result stood. For Zacon Gio, a son of Ruty Grif owned by Franco Giuseppe and trained by Holger Ehlert, the perfect season (nine-for-nine) continues with a 12th consecutive win overall dating to last 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,252.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,053; 3. Dexter Dunn - 835; 4. David Miller - 831; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 664. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,073; 2. Tony Alagna - 690; 3 Ake Svanstedt - 562; 4. Marcus Melander - 534; 5. Nancy Johansson - 488. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 240; 2. Brad Grant - 227.3; 3. Fashion Farms - 214.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 211.3; 5. Robert Key - 191. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park with Breeders Crown finals in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters). Hoosier Park will host Circle City divisions for 3-year-olds and Madison County divisions for 2-year-olds. In addition, The Meadowlands will host another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

This Week: John Simpson Memorial, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit harness racing action begins this week on Wednesday (Oct. 2) at Harrah's Philadelphia with three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 6) Harrah's Philadelphia will offer the $75,000 (est.) John Simpson Memorial races for 2-year-old male pacers and trotters. The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 3) with three divisions in the $276,300 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 4) card features four divisions in the $290,200 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $239,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 5) The Red Mile will host the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $275,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 6), The Red Mile will offer the $500,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $300,000 (est.) Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $450,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, and $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: Manchego not only won the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby over a talented field of older male trotters, but the 4-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill obliterated the Hollywood Dayton Raceway track record and established a new world record for trotting mares on a five-eighths-mile oval with a 1:50.1 score on Friday (Sept. 27). Manchego broke the Hollywood Dayton Raceway track record and established a new world record for trotting mares on a five-eighths-mile oval in the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby. Conrad photo. Driver Dexter Dunn left the gate alertly and Manchego sped to the lead and showed her heels to the field through :26.3, :54 and 1:22.2 intervals. Widening her lead with every stride the $1.8 million winner increased her commanding margin to nine lengths at the culmination of her record setting mile. Sent off as the second choice on the toteboard, Manchego bested Fiftydallarbill (Tim Tetrick) and I Know My Chip (Jeremy Smith) and paid $5.80. Nancy Johansson trains Manchego for owner Black Horse Racing. Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) upset a field that included five millionaires to capture the $151,750 Dayton Pacing Derby. The 10-1 longshot topped McWicked (Brian Sears) and Western Fame (Dan Noble) by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:48.3. Western Fame made the pace through :26.1, :53.3 and 1:20.4 splits before McWicked came calling around the final bend with Jimmy Freight in tow. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) joined the trio of combatants and it looked like anybody's race until Jimmy Freight pulled away in deep stretch. "I was hoping I could follow McWicked in this race and it worked out perfect," said Zeron in the winner's circle. "Scott DiDomenico does a great job with this horse and I'm real happy for owner Adriano Sorella, who was here tonight." Jimmy Freight returned a $23.20 mutuel. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,050.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 898; 3. David Miller - 687; 4. Dexter Dunn - 646; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 539. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 943; 2. Tony Alagna - 588; 3. Marcus Melander - 414; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 412; 5. Nancy Johansson - 351. Owners: 1. Brad Grant - 197.6; 2. Fashion Farms - 194.5; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 184.8; 4. Courant Inc. - 172.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 167.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Harrah's Philadelphia, Northfield Park and The Meadowlands. Yonkers will offer the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino for free-for-all trotters; 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 fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio; and John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: Harness racing Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 26) at Red Mile with three divisions in the $315,500 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 27) card at the Lexington oval will feature four divisions in the $330,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $280,500 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Sept. 28), Red Mile will offer the $350,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 3-year-old filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Sept. 29) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and male pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night will feature a pair of Grand Circuit stakes in the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters and the $151,750 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers. On Sunday (Sept. 29), Harrah's Philadelphia will contest $75,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: After using a sustained first-over drive to win his elimination earlier in the day, Southwind Ozzi and driver Brian Sears came back with nearly a carbon copy effort to capture the $384,000 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Southwind Ozzi won the final by 1-3/4 lengths over Fast N First in 1:50.1. USTA/Mark Hall photo. Southwind Ozzi won the final by 1-3/4 lengths over Fast N First in 1:50.1. American Mercury finished third. The victory gave Sears his second Jug trophy. He won his first with Vegas Vacation in 2013. It was the first Jug victory for trainer Bill MacKenzie and owners Alma Iafelice, who is MacKenzie's grandmother, and Vincent Ali Jr. "He's awesome; he's outstanding," Ali Jr. said about Southwind Ozzi, who won for the ninth time in 11 races this year and upped his season's earnings to $736,935. "Billy did a great job and Brian drives him unbelievable. They get all the credit." Southwind Ozzi won his Jug elimination in 1:50.3, besting Air Force Hanover by 2-3/4 lengths. The colt got away third before methodically wearing down pacesetter Shake That House and cruising to victory. In the final, Southwind Ozzi was fourth in the opening quarter-mile before beginning his first-over march at the three-eighths point. He was a nose from leader Stag Party when they reached three-quarters and pulled away from there to secure the victory in the third jewel of Pacing's Triple Crown. "He's a good horse and he gives me a lot of confidence when I drive him," Sears said. "I know I've got a lot of options during the race. I don't have to be stuck with one plan. He proved it today. He got around the half-mile track great and roughed first over both trips and got it done convincingly." Southwind Ozzi's triumphs this season include the Adios and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Sears said he could not say where the colt ranked among the horses he's driven in his Hall of Fame career. "But I can say, you win the Adios and the Little Brown Jug, those are two of the biggest accomplishments in racing, really sought-after races," Sears said. "He was able to get me those races and he's got a big spot in my heart." Southwind Ozzi was the 2-5 favorite in the Little Brown Jug final. Southwind Ozzi, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Southwind Solara, was purchased as a yearling for $85,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Sale. The Southwind Farms-bred colt was the only horse MacKenzie bought that year for his grandmother and Ali Jr. He began this season with three wins and a second-place finish before being sidelined for nearly two months because of emergency hernia surgery. He returned in July and captured the Adios. His win in the Jug final was his fourth in a row. "He's just been great," MacKenzie said. "He's just a great horse, and that's what they do." 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 elimnations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,010.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 813; 3. David Miller - 642; 4. Dexter Dunn - 516; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 484. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 873; 2. Tony Alagna - 513; 3. Marcus Melander - 394; 4. Jim King Jr. - 346.5; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 337. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 182.6; 3. Courant Inc. - 172.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 170.2; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 157.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile and Harrah's Philadelphia. Featured at Red Mile will be the Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, Also on tap will be the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for the sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. Harrah's Philadelphia will contest John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters and 2-year-old colt pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

After finally getting to spend an entire winter in Florida working with his family's racehorses, Carter Pinske knew it was what he wanted to do full time. So, when the harness racing season was ready to begin, Pinske followed a group of those horses to trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman's stable, where he worked as an assistant for Norman in New Jersey, Canada, and now Kentucky. And on Thursday (Sept. 26), the 24-year-old Pinske will step out for his Grand Circuit training debut in the third division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters with Amigo Volo at Lexington's Red Mile. The gelding, who heads to the race off a second-place finish behind Real Cool Sam in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind Kentucky Sire Stakes champ Ready For Moni. Amigo Volo is owned by Pinske Stables, headed by Pinske's father Karl and grandmother Marlys, and Florida's David J. Miller. With Pinske already in Kentucky with the horse, Norman decided it was time for him to take the reins. "He's been real generous to let me do that," Pinkse said. "I'm very fortunate to have these owners trust me with the horses in Florida and then be completely fine with whatever Nifty decides along with myself. They're great owners and I've been really fortunate all the way around." Prior to this past winter, Pinske helped prepare the family's horses for racing by assisting as much as time permitted around his school schedule. Pinske graduated from college in May 2018 and was happy to get a full winter with the horses in Florida before sending them to Norman as well as trainer Julie Miller, as he had done in previous years. "I went to Florida wanting to train horses, but I didn't know it would blossom like this," Pinske said. "This year, I sent 14 horses to Nifty and I went with them. He's just an awesome guy to learn from. He puts full trust in you and lets you take off. He's a really smart guy with a horse; he's got a really good way with a horse. Just being around him, it just kind of vibrates off him. "I'm extremely appreciative of Nifty. It's a partnership that's not going anywhere." Amigo Volo, by Father Patrick out of Margarita Momma, was purchased for $42,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale. He is a full brother to Reign Of Honor, who won last year's Kindergarten Classic Series championship for Norman's stable. In August, Amigo Volo won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in 1:54.4 at Harrah's Philadelphia, setting the world record for a 2-year-old gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. Real Cool Sam, who is undefeated in eight races this year, lowered the record to 1:53.4 when he won the PASS championship at the same track. "He went a really big mile," Pinske said about Amigo Volo's runner-up effort in the sire stakes final. "He had to do a lot of the grunt work and Real Cool Sam got a great trip. I thought we might have him there, but (Real Cool Sam) is just a game horse, a tough one to beat." For the year, Amigo Volo has won two of six races and earned $115,896. "He's just an awesome horse to be around," Pinske said. "He's a little horse, a little spitfire of a horse. I had to be real patient with him down in Florida. He always showed talent, he just lacked maturity. According to Nifty, that's about how the full brother, Reign Of Honor, was when he trained down. That's why we ended up gelding him. But he always showed talent and now has finally gotten to show it here. He's a really big-gaited horse for the size he is." Expectations, who finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes final, is the 7-5 morning-line favorite in the first Bluegrass division. Capricornus, who finished second in the William Wellwood Memorial, is the 2-1 choice in the second. Both horses are from the stable of trainer Marcus Melander. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Thursday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

LEXINGTON, KY--The annual fortnight of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile begins on Thursday, Sept. 26 with three divisions of the $315,500 Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old harness racing trotting colts. Back Of The Neck fronts a field of seven in the opening Bluegrass division. The Marcus Melander-trained son of Ready Cash exits a third-place finish in the $277,500 William Wellwood Memorial after winning his elimination in 1:55. Mattias Melander will sit behind the winner of three races from six starts--with earnings surpassing $80,000--from post 5 for owners Order By Stable, Judith Taylor and Howard Taylor. Expectations, also trained by Marcus Melander, competes against his stablemate from post 7. The Muscle Hill colt, owned by Vicky Trotting Inc., finished second in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final after winning in two prelims and finishing third two weeks prior in the $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial. Brian Sears will drive the winner of two races in seven starts and $139,399 in earnings. Capricornus fronts the second division of Bluegrass. Another Marcus Melander trainee, the Cantab Hall colt rolled from off cover to finish second in the William Wellwood Memorial after winning his elimination by a neck in a lifetime-best 1:55.1. Jj Racing Stable Inc. owns the winner of three races from seven starts--with $155,458 banked--and will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky from post 2. A winner in an elimination of the Peter Haughton Memorial, Per Engblom trainee Synergy will try to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the William Wellwood Memorial. The Father Patrick colt--owned by Brittany Farms LLC, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and David Anderson--trotted a lifetime-best 1:54.4 when winning his elimination of the Haughton but finished fifth in the final. Yannick Gingras drives the winner of three races in six starts and $102,895. Engblom also conditions third-division frontman Ready For Moni, who enters off 1:54.1 victory in the Kentucky Sires Stakes Final. The son of Ready Cash failed to sweep the series--making a break in the first prelim--but has won in his other four starts, earning $161,500 for John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield. Yannick Gingras will drive from post 6. The nine-race program to kickoff the Grand Circuit meet also features late-closing events for two-year-old pacing and trotting fillies. A $3,000 division of the Billings Amateur Trot starts the card with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

This Week: Harness racing action with the Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; Caesars Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Metro, She's A Great Lady and Milton, Woodbine Mohawk Park Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 18) at Delaware with the $259,600 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $76,125 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $46,800 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers and the $46,000 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 19) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $640,000 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $100,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $95,425 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters, the $48,100 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $47,100 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 20) with the $230,000 Caesars for Open trotters, the $230,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $215,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $176,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $170,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $135,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, and the $125,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 21) with the C$750,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers, the C$540,000 She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers and the C$250,000 Milton 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: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Woodbine Mohawk Park this past Saturday, with four major stakes, led by the Canadian Trotting Classic. Green Manalishi S and driver Tim Tetrick went to the front and never looked back to capture the $453,750 Canadian Trotting Classic. The Marcus Melander trainee held off a late push from Pilot Discretion to win Woodbine Mohawk's marquee event for 3-year-old trotters by a half-length in 1:52.4. Tetrick became the winningest driver in the history of the Canadian Trotting Classic with four titles now to his name. "That's a big honor," Tetrick said. "It just kind of fell into place and worked out really good." Tetrick's previous three victories in the Canadian Trotting Classic came with Crystal Fashion (2018), Bar Hopping (2016) and Market Share (2012). Green Manalishi S won the Canadian Trotting Classic in 1:52.4. New Image Media photo. Green Manalishi S, who went off as the 6-5 favorite, shot to the top from post four and led the field by the opening quarter in :27.2. After an easy :29 second quarter, Tetrick ramped up the tempo with the son of Muscle Hill to trot a :27.3 third quarter. Swandre The Giant raced in the two-hole, but made a break going to three-quarters. Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade moved out from third entering the final turn and was nearly four lengths behind Green Manalishi S turning for home. Pilot Discretion followed the move of Forbidden Trade to sit third at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Green Manalishi S had close to three lengths on his rivals with an eighth of a mile to go. The push to the finish line saw the lead shrink with Pilot Discretion closing in, ultimately coming up a half-length short. "I wanted to get out of there and either sit really close or go ahead and cut it, but I didn't want to have to work too hard to do it," said Tetrick of his strategy. "I wanted him to feel really brave going down the backside and I went a little faster in the third quarter to get a little separation on them and down by the wire it was getting close, but my horse held on good and he never wins by too many." Forbidden Trade finished third, but was placed back to fifth for causing interference in deep stretch to Only For Justice. Smart As Hill was moved up from fourth to third, while Only For Justice entered the superfecta going from fifth to fourth. Owned by Courant Inc., Green Manalishi S is now five for nine this season with $590,788 earned. The Canadian Trotting Classic victory is his 10th career visit to the winner's circle and pushes his career earnings over the $1 million plateau. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 905.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 678; 3. David Miller - 600; 4. Dexter Dunn - 491; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 454. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 748; 2. Tony Alagna - 483; 3. Marcus Melander - 394; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 317; 5. Jim King Jr. - 316.5. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 173.8; 3. Courant Inc. - 172.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.9; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 123.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Hollywood Dayton Raceway will also be hosting a pair of Grand Circuit events, the Dayton Pacing Derby and the Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses and Harrah's Philadelphia will contest John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week In Harness Racing: Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way finals, and Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 13) with four $10,000 races in the Kindergarten Series, one event each for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be held on Saturday (Sept. 14) and will feature the C$605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$376,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$370,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$405,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the Tioga races are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Last time: On closing night of the 2019 Eldorado Scioto Downs meet, Atlanta withstood the late charge of two rivals to hold on for the victory in the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial while in the next race, McWicked came flying down the middle of the stretch for a narrow win in the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. McWicked used a late charge down the middle of the stretch to win the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs. USTA/Mark Hall photo. With Lather Up scratched in the Jim Ewart, 2-1 favorite McWicked (Brian Sears) got away fifth as Filibuster Hanover (Chris Page) led the nine-horse field through a :25.3 first quarter. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) moved past Filibuster Hanover and led through fractions of :52.4 and 1:20 and to the top of the stretch. Fifth while turning for home, Sears guided McWicked to the center of the track passing four rivals to win by a nose in 1:49. Donttellmeagain and Western Fame dead heated for second and Courtly Choice was fourth, a neck back. "He was a little loose on his cover, but you know he just keeps digging to the wire," said Sears following the win. "Casie's (Coleman) done an amazing job bringing him back. I want to thank (owner) Ed James for letting us race him again another year. It's been a lot of fun. This horse, he shows up every week and gives it his all." For McWicked, an 8-year-old son of McArdle, it was his fourth win in 2019, the 38th of his career and increased his lifetime earnings to $4,622,405. He is owned by S S G Stables and trained by Casie Coleman. In the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial, Yannick Gingras and Atlanta held off the late charges of Plunge Blue Chip and Mission Accepted to win in a track record 1:51.4. "I was hoping maybe for a lot of crazy speed early, so I could race off a helmet or chasing down horses any way," said Gingras. "I think that's her best game. But the way it worked out, I was able to make the front end and I knew Timmy (Tetrick on favorite Guardian Angel As) was parked the whole mile, so that was definitely a plus." After being parked third as Mission Accepted led the nine-horse field to the first quarter in :27.1, Gingras moved Atlanta to the lead the first time past the grandstand then led through fractions of :56 and 1:24. With the lead turning for home, Gingras allowed Atlanta to drift out a little off the turn leaving room for Plunge Blue Chip and Mission Accepted to challenge the winner on the inside. Atlanta's winning margin over Plunge Blue Chip was a head and third-place Mission Accepted was a half-length back. Favorite Guardian Angel As finished fourth. Atlanta, a 4-year-old Chapter Seven mare, is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. She has now won seven of 11 starts this year and is 19-for-35 lifetime with $1,799,089 in career earnings. 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 this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 863.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 656; 3. David Miller - 541; 4. Dexter Dunn - 491; 5. Brian Sears - 414. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 748; 2. Tony Alagna - 446; 3. Marcus Melander - 359; 4. Jim King Jr. - 306.5; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 305. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 168.8; 3. Courant Inc. - 152.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.9; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 123.4. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Mohawk will feature the the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady finals for freshman pacers; and Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Ciruit  

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