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Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features two $35,000 divisions on Friday (April 9) in the fifth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (April 12) card at Yonkers will see three $40,000 divisions in the fifth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: This Is The Plan, Western Joe, and Leonidas A scored victories in the trio of $40,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series on Monday night (April 5) at Yonkers Raceway. This Is The Plan broke through for the first time in style, taking the opening split in 1:51.1. Chris Brokate photo. After finishing second in all three of his appearances in the series coming into this leg, This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) broke through for the first time in style, taking the opening split in 1:51.1. Gingras fired This Is The Plan to the top from post four and he would put up fractions of :27.2, :56.1, and 1:23.3 before he closed in :27.3 to win by three lengths over pocket-sitter Raukapuka Ruler N (Jordan Stratton). Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno) held third over Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn). Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. This Is The Plan is now a 15-time winner in his career and he pushed his earnings to $1,806,700. Blue Ivy didn't get all of the respect on the toteboard, but the 5-year-old mare had her say in a powerhouse performance, capturing the first of two $35,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker divisions on Friday (April 2) at Yonkers Raceway. Sent off as the surprising 7-5 second choice, Tyler Buter put Blue Ivy into the three-hole entering the first turn as 3-5 favorite Keep Rockin A made the lead easily for Tim Tetrick and marched to the quarter in :27.4. With just five in the field, Tetrick was able to back down the pace with the Jim King Jr.-trained import. The slow half didn't shake Buter in the least as he waited until midway down the backstretch to energize Blue Ivy. It didn't take more than 50 yards for Blue Ivy to engulf and dispose of Keep Rockin A, as that mare slowed markedly into the final turn. After three-quarters in 1:25, Blue Ivy kicked home in :28 and scored by open lengths in a 1:53 mile. Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) was able to come up the pylons late to secure the place spot, with Caviart Cherie (Matt Kakaley) third in the mile. It was Blue Ivy's second win in the series, to go along with two second-place finishes, for trainer Todd Buter. Owned by Renee Bercury, Blue Ivy, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, paid $4.80 for the victory. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 4-5-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 50; 2t. Andrew McCarthy - 47; 2t. George Brennan - 47; 4. Austin Siegelman - 44; 5. Tyler Buter - 34. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 92; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 30; 2t. Mike Deters - 30; 2t. Todd Buter - 30; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 30. Owners: 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 30; 1t. Renee Bercury - 30; 3. Eric Prevost - 28; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 26.8; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 26.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue at Yonkers with the finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Columbus, OH — In a little under one month, Scioto Downs will open its doors and wagering opportunities for the 2021 season. Starting on Tuesday (May 4), the season is expanded to 98 live racing dates this year with a 6:15 p.m. post time for each Tuesday-Saturday race card. The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, the first Grand Circuit event of the meet, kicks off opening week. The $125,000 open event is for 4 and up trotters and received 18 nominations. The Next Generation, first held in 2020 for 2-year-old pacers, has been expanded this year to include 2-year-old trotters. Requiring a $10,000 nomination by March 15, with the nominator not needing to declare a specific horse until the box closes for the July 2-3 events, all four events have filled, each with a $150,000 purse. Other big events include the #SendItIn Invitational on Aug. 28, older Ohio Sire Stakes on Sept. 4 and the Jim Ewart Memorial on Sept. 11. Following Scioto’s 2020 season with record handle and a new wagering menu, the Player’s Pick-5 takeout will stay at 14 percent and the Pick-6 will now have a 15 percent takeout. The Superfecta, Super High-5, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 races will all have 100 percent carryovers into the next race of that wager. Follow the new @SciotoRacing Twitter handle for information on all carryovers, as well as news and updates for horsemen and fans. When horsemen and patrons come to the track for the first time, many improvements will be noticed including: – new concrete aisleways in the ship-in barns – updated drivers’ room/lounge – renovated bathrooms on the backside – a more permanent detention area – nine bath stalls installed in the paddock – track resurfacing overseen by Dan Coon – all on-track TVs will show the signal in HD – concrete work on the apron – additional benches and picnic tables, and updated deck in the clubhouse turn – additional self-serve machines in outside patron areas Closing night this year will be Saturday (Sept. 18), the night before Jug Week kicks off. For more information about the 2021 racing season, visit the Scioto Downs website. From Eldorado Scioto Downs

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features two $35,000 divisions on Friday (April 2) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (April 5) card at Yonkers will see three $40,000 divisions in the fourth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Hesa Kingslayer N improved to three-for-three in Monday night's (March 29) third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for free-for-allers at Yonkers Raceway. Hesa Kingslayer N improved to three-for-three in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series. Chris Brokate photo. Driven by Jim Marohn Jr. in his $40,000 section, Hesa Kingslayer N was able to get into the pocket from post four and had a great view of a battle for the lead between Pat Stanley N (Jordan Stratton) and a parked-out None Bettor A (Todd McCarthy). Pat Stanley N gave None Bettor A the cold shoulder through fractions of :27, :56.4, and 1:25 and when None Bettor A began to back up on the final turn, that gave Marohn and Hesa Kingslayer N the escape route to the outside they needed. Once he had clear sailing, Hesa Kingslayer N pounced on Pat Stanley N, going by him in upper stretch on his way to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:53. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) was also on the outside throughout in the second-over position and checked in as the runner-up after going three-high on the final bend, and Pat Stanley N held third. Trainer Mike Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelding by Christian Cullen, with partner Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N is now a 20-time winner in his career and he has earned $189,962. Alexa Skye was expected to face her toughest test of the year in the second of two $35,000 divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday night (March 26) at Yonkers Raceway. However, when two mares were scratched prior to the race, reducing the field to just five, the task was made considerably easier for driver Todd McCarthy. Nevertheless, it took two early moves for the 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to secure the front, but the rest was once again quite easy as Alexa Skye made it three straight conquests in the series, scoring by a comfortable margin in 1:53.4. My Ruebe Star N (Jordan Stratton) left alertly, as did Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter). The pair were directly inside Alexa Skye, the race favorite, and McCarthy settled in third as My Ruebe Star N seated Blue Ivy and marched towards the opening quarter. Alexa Skye moved before the quarter had been passed, secured the lead after the :27.4 quarter, and from there was in control. After a :29.4 second quarter, McCarthy and Alexa Skye had all of the rest time they needed and quickly marched off with a :28 third quarter, gaining some separation from My Ruebe Star N as Buter and Blue Ivy moved to the outside to try to track down the leader. McCarthy felt the urgency of the threat that Blue Ivy, a first leg winner, posed and began to urge Alexa Skye on coming off the final turn. He kept active in the bike, and it certainly woke up the sharp mare as she sprinted off with a :28.1 kicker, keeping Blue Ivy at bay, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closing strongly late for third. Trained and co-owned by Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing, Alexa Skye was a winner for the sixth time in 2021 and is just $250 shy of the $100,000 mark in seasonal earnings. This was her 15th victory overall and she now has banked $209,890 lifetime. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-29-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 50; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 42; 3. George Brennan - 40; 4. Austin Siegelman - 34; 5. Tim Tetrick - 30. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 75; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 30; 2t. Mike Deters - 30; 4t. Noel Daley - 20; 4t. Todd Buter - 20; 4t. Sheena McElhiney - 20. Owners: 1t. Burke Racing Stable - 21.9; 1t. Weaver Bruscemi - 21.9; 3t. Jesmeral Stable - 20; 3t. Renee Bercury - 20; 5. Brad Grant - 15. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata next week. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features two $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 26) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 29) card at Yonkers will see three $40,000 divisions in the third round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Leonidas A and Hesa Kingslayer N repeated in Monday night's (March 22) $40,000 divisions of the second leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. Leonidas A kicked into high gear, pacing a :55 back-half to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. Chris Brokate photo. Driven by Austin Siegelman, Leonidas A landed in the pocket from post one early in the third of four sections, then moved around fellow round one winner San Domino A (Todd McCarthy) for command passing the :28 opening quarter. After that, Leonidas A got away with a soft :57 half, and it was pretty much over once that happened as Leonidas A kicked into high gear, pacing a :55 back-half to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. San Domino A held second over Chief Mate (Scott Zeron), who put in a good try from first-over given the early tempo. Sheena McElhiney trains Leonidas A, a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding, for owner Jesmeral Stable. Leonidas A posted his 27th career win and he has earnings of $271,848. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) rolled to the lead in the last split and he would lead through fractions of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:24, with Hesa Kingslayer N (Jim Marohn Jr.) going first-up from third prior to three-quarters. Hesa Kingslayer N advanced into second on the final turn, then sustained his bid through the stretch, wearing down This Is The Plan on his way to the victory by a half-length in 1:51.4. Stars Align A (Todd McCarthy) was the third-place finisher after a pocket trip. Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) saw his seven-race undefeated streak in the U.S. end in this race as he couldn't get involved from post eight and had to settle for a dead-heat for sixth. Trainer Michael Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen, with Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N now has 19 career triumphs and he has put away $169,962. Having gained enormous respect from her blowout victory in the opening leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, Alexa Skye had a much easier time putting away her rivals on Friday night (March 19), capturing the first of three $35,000 divisions at Yonkers Raceway in a 1:53.4 clocking. Sent off as the prohibitive 1-10 betting favorite, Todd McCarthy wasted little time seizing command on the opening bend from an accommodating My Ruebe Star N and driver Jordan Stratton. McCarthy kept an easy clip, going to the quarter in :28.4 and reaching the half unchallenged in :58.1. From there, the field of six stayed very much in line as Alexa Skye picked up the pace on the backstretch, hitting three-quarters in 1:26 on her own power. McCarthy hardly moved a muscle edging into the homestretch and the powerful 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere finished out her mile with a :27.4 final quarter as the rest of the field battled hard for the place spot. My Ruebe Star N held her ground and won the competition for the second position, while Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closed along the pylons and finished in a dead-heat with Keep Rockin A (Tim Tetrick) for show. Alexa Skye, who picked up her 14th victory overall and has now banked $192,390, is owned in partnership by Pollack Racing and trainer Jeff Cullipher. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-22-21): Drivers: 1. Andrew McCarthy - 42; 2. Todd McCarthy - 38; 3. Austin Siegelman - 32; 4. Tim Tetrick - 23; 5. George Brennan - 20. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 45; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 20; 2t. Noel Daley - 20; 2t. Mike Deters - 20; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 20. Owners: 1. Jesmeral Stable - 20; 2t. Renee Bercury - 15; 2t. Brad Grant - 15; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 12.7; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 12.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next two weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series second leg, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features three $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 19) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 22) card at Yonkers will see four $40,000 divisions in the second round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the second of three $35,000 divisions of opening round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares on Friday night (March 12) at Yonkers Raceway with a blistering 1:51.2 victory. McCarthy took the 4-5 public choice to the lead shortly after the start, putting second choice Seaswift Joy N, driven by his brother Andy, in the pocket. Alexa Skye dictated the pace, cutting the first two fractions in identical :28 quarters and keeping the abbreviated field of five at bay in the process. Alexa Skye picked up the pace noticeably past the half and smoked her third quarter in :27.2, gaining ample separation on the field before marching home impressively with a :28 final kicker. A 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa Skye won for the first time since being purchased by trainer Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing, in February. Alexa Skye picked up her 13th victory overall and has now earned $174,890. It was a chalky beginning to the 2021 MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers on Monday night (March 15) at Yonkers Raceway as favorites delivered in four of the five $40,000 divisions. Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) began the proceedings, prevailing off a second-over trip at 1-5 to run his record in the United States to seven wins from seven starts. Dunn brought Let It Ride N to the outside from fourth after the :56.4 half, and then picked up cover when This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) tipped out of the pocket beyond the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Dunn sent Let It Ride N three-wide on the far turn, and he kicked home strongly to win by a half-length in 1:52.2. This Is The Plan was the runner-up, and Rodeo Rock (Tim Tetrick) closed from sixth to third in the last quarter. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains Let It Ride N, an 8-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven, for owners William Hartt and Enzed Racing Stable. Let It Ride N has won 25 times from 61 lifetime starts and he has now pocketed $395,958. Complete recaps of all the races are available on the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-15-21): Drivers: 1. Austin Siegelman - 22; 2t. Andrew McCarthy - 20; 2t. Todd McCarthy - 20; 4t. Dexter Dunn - 12; 4t. Tyler Buter -12. Trainers: 1. Nifty Norman - 17; 2. Ron Burke - 15; 3t. Todd Buter - 10; 3t. Jeff Cullipher - 10; 3t. Nancy Takter - 10. Owners: 1t. Bd Racing - 10; 1t. Renee Bercury - 10; 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 10; 4t. Enzed Racing Stable - 7; 4t. Eric Prevost - 7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next three weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. This is the opening event of the 2021 Grand Circuit harness racing season. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features three $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 12) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 15) card at Yonkers will see five $40,000 divisions in the opening round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next four weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. For more information and the complete 2021 Grand Circuit schedule, click here. by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

With stalwarts like Kissin In The Sand, Shartin N, and Caviart Ally now retired, the open pacing mares division is search of new faces at the top, and a group of 18 will look to take a step forward in Friday's first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. The first Grand Circuit harness racing event of 2021, the Blue Chip Matchmaker will start with three $35,000 splits, slated as races two, three, and five on Friday's 10-race program in Westchester. New Zealand import My Ruebe Star by Falcon Seelster (Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton) has won three editions of the local Fillies and Mares Open since coming to the United States, and she has the pole position in Friday's first flight. She will meet up with the likes of fellow Kiwi Bettors Heart by Bettors Delight (post five, Dexter Dunn/Nifty Norman), who was victorious in an the Open that took place at Yonkers on December 10 of last year, and Machnhope by Mach Three (post three, Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley), a regular at the top level at tracks across the Northeast. Machnhope prepped for the Blue Chip Matchmaker with a 1:52 win at the Meadowlands last Friday. Friday's opening group also includes Caviart Cherie by Well Said (post two, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita), who raced in the Blue Chip Matchmaker in 2019, Dbldelitebrigade N by Bettors Delight (post four, Jason Bartlett/Tom Fanning), who has picked up checks in her three starts in the Open over the last couple of months, and Alii Nui by Captaintreacherous (post six, Stratton also listed for trainer Erv Miller). Alexa Skye by Somebeachsomewhere (post four, Todd McCarthy/Jeff Cullipher), who has a record of 3-2-0 from five starts this year, tops the second section. Alexa Skye scored in the Open at Yonkers on January 14 and has been second in two subsequent tries over the half-mile oval. Seaswift Joy N by Bettors Delight won three legs and was fifth from post eight in the final in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series in 2019, and she will take another shot in the event this season, starting from post one for Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna. The Stratton/Tritton combo have another entrant in this group with Maczaffair N by Mach Three (post six), and the connections behind Shartin N - owner Rich Poillucci, trainer Jim King Jr., and driver Tim Tetrick - have a new shooter in Keep Rockin A by Rock N Roll Heaven (post three). Keep Rockin A, who will be making her U.S. debut, was Group 1 and Group 2 placed in her native country. Also competing will be Monica Gallagher by Mach Three (post two, Austin Siegelman/Chris Height), who scored in a non-winners $20,000 last five race on March 4 at Yonkers, and Parisian Blue Chip by Bettors Delight (post five, Daniel Dube), a newcomer from Canada for trainer Peter Tritton. Parisian Blue Chip raced several times in the Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2020 and took a mark of 1:50.2. A trio of mares with multiple wins in the Open level at Yonkers during their careers - Snobbytown by Nob Hill High (post two, George Brennan/Ron Burke), Siesta Beach by American Ideal (post three, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita), and Lady Dela Renta A by Well Said (post four, Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton) - meet up with a couple of sharp invaders in Soho Burning Love A by Auckland Reactor N (post one, Tim Tetrick/Jim King Jr.) and Blue Ivy by Captaintreacherous (post five, Tyler Buter/Todd Buter) in the final Matchmaker ensemble. The other mare entered in that race, Kaitlyn N by American Ideal (post six, Kakaley also listed for trainer Paul Blumenfeld), has credentials of her own, having won a round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series in 2019 before coming in sixth from first-up in the final. The Blue Chip Matchmaker Series has five preliminary rounds, occurring March 12th, 19th, and 26th, and April 2nd and 9th, and the final will take place on Monday, April 19. First post for this Friday's program at Yonkers is 7:15 p.m. From Yonkers Raceway

The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown thanks all stakeholders in harness racing for their support during a year filled with unexpected challenges and loss. The Society serviced 133 races in 2020, and thanks to the work of our partners, host tracks, owners and horsemen, only 12 races were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than $800,000 was returned to owners and nominators in staking fees within two weeks of every event cancellation. It was a process - and a year - we never want to repeat. Enclosed are links to the payment forms and updates for the 147 races currently administered by Society with payments due February 15th, 2021 (postmarked by Wednesday, February 17th), as well as the changes we have for 2021. Payment forms are always available at https://www.hambletonian.com/formsinfo or by calling our office for fax and email options. All the forms on the website are pdf fillable. Just type in the form, print as many as you need and return the form with your payments. Along with checks, ACH bill pay and wire transfers, we accept credit cards for stake payments, which are subject to a 3% service fee which will be added to the payment total. 2021 has new races on the schedule: the Phil Langley Memorial for 3YO Colt Trotters and the Thanksgiving Classic Series for all 3YOs both to be raced at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The Madison County, previously an Early Closer for 2YOs, is now a single event - a $100,000 (est.) 2YO Colt Trot on 9/24 along with many other Hoosier Park races. Also in 2021 the Hambletonian Society will service the PA-All Stars (a PA-bred Early Closer for 2 & 3YOs) and the returning Sun Stakes Early Closers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The PHHA added the Delmonica Hanover for 3YO filly trotters, along with the Earl Beal Memorial (3CT), James Lynch Memorial (3FP), and Max Hempt Memorial (3CP.) Note: The Hambletonian Society February 15th payment ad had incorrect dates of June 23rd - 25th for the Star Destroyer at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The correct date for those races is Thursday, November 18th. Please be advised of the Stallion Restriction Condition that applies to the Cane Pace/Shady Daisy, Reynolds and Tompkins-Geers races that we service at the Meadowlands and Tioga Downs. An updated list of the foals for stallions who are on that list and aren't eligible to the above mentioned races can be found on the Meadowlands website here: Stallion Restriction Condition The payment schedule and racing dates for the rest of the races we service are unchanged from 2020. Current racing conditions for the races we service can be found on our website under each specified race page. In all cases only ONE check is ever necessary for each of the four payment periods i.e. February 15, March 15, April 15 or May 15. For convenience, eligibility lists can be emailed to nominators who request them. Eligibility lists are always available on our website. For further information please, or to update your status on our mailing list, feel free to call (609) 371-2211 or email davidjanes@hambletonian.org. ** New races for 2021 Adios/Adioo Volo Arden Downs Breeders Crown Cane Pace/Shady Daisy Caesar's Trotting Classic Carl Erskine Circle City Series 3-Year-Olds Clara Barton Distaff Pace Courageous Lady Filly Pace Currier & Ives Stakes Dan Patch Open Pace Dayton Pace & Trot Derby Dayton Distaff Derby Delmonica Hanover** Dexter Cup/Lady Suffolk Earl Beal Memorial** The Elevation Fox Stakes Hambletonian/Oaks Hambletonian Maturity Hoosier Stake Horseman Stake Hoosier Park Pacing Derby James Lynch Memorial** Jenna's Beach Boy 3CP Kentuckiana Stallion Mgmt T/P Keystone Classics Landmark Early Closer Liberty Bell T/P Madison County 2CT** Matron Stakes Max Hempt Memorial** Messenger Stake/Park MGM Pace Monument Circle Pennsylvania All-Stars** Pegasus Series 3-Year-Old T/P Phil Langley Memorial 3CT** Progress Pace W.N. Reynolds Memorial E.C. John Simpson Memorial E.C. Spirit of Massachusetts Trot Thanksgiving Classic Series** The Star Destroyer Series The U.S.S. Indianapolis Mem. The Crossroads of America Tompkins-Geers Early Closer Ralph Wilfong/The Horseman Yonkers Trot/NY NY Mile From Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands invites harness racing horsepersons to view and consider the impressive slate of Grand Circuit stakes that will be conducted over the New Jersey oval for the upcoming season.   More than $20 million in stakes purses will be offered over the course of 2021 at The Meadowlands, where champions make their mark on the industry.   All pertinent info may be found on the track website.   The USTA Stakes Guide is another valuable source of information.   Questions may be directed to (607) 972-5500.   From The Meadowlands

Following a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic obliterated the stakes schedule at Yonkers Raceway, MGM Resorts has reinstated a full slate of harness racing Grand Circuit races for 2021, anchored by a pair of Triple Crown events occupying a new slot on the calendar. Held in late August/early September the last few years, the $300,000 (GTD) MGM Yonkers Trot and $300,000 (GTD) MGM Grand Messenger Pace Stakes finals for 3-year-olds shift to July 2 on the calendar in 2021. Eliminations for both Triple Crown events will be conducted on June 25, along with filly counterpart races - Park MGM Pace and New York-New York Mile - that culminate with $125,000 (Est.) finals on the first Friday in July. The change in scheduling for the Yonkers Trot and Messenger coincides with a move of major stakes for 3-year-olds at The Downs at Pocono from Fourth of July weekend to the end of August. The races are now the first legs of the Triple Crown on both gaits. "With all the setbacks and difficulty 2020 saw, we're excited to get all of these important stakes races back onto the calendar for 2021," said Alex Dadoyan, Director of Racing at Yonkers Raceway. The popular MGM Borgata and Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series are both back in their usual calendar locations for 2021, though Monday is the new Saturday at Yonkers, and the day when the best pacers on the grounds will compete. The Borgata, for older male pacers, kicks off its first of five $40,000 (GTD) legs on Monday, March 15. The Blue Chip Matchmaker also offers a handful of preliminary legs. Worth $35,000 (GTD) each, the series launches on Friday, March 12. The top eight point-earners in each series will convene on Monday, April 19 for a pair of six-figure added-money finals, with the subsequent eight earners in the series' taking part in the $75,000 (GTD - Borgata) and $60,000 (GTD - Matchmaker) consolations. Stakes season officially begins at Yonkers on Tuesday, March 2 with the M Life Ladies Pacing Series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. The male companion event starts one night later on Wednesday. Both events offer three legs with $15,000 (GTD) purses and culminate with added-money finals and guaranteed consolations on March 23 and 24, respectively. The John Brennan Trotting Series (formerly the SOA Bonus Trot), honoring the memory of the long-time Yonkers Raceway paddock representative, starts on March 31 with the first of three legs for 3-year-olds and up who are Non-winners of 6 races and/or $100,000 lifetime through February 1. An added-money final and $30,000 (GTD) consolation is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21. The Reynolds Pace for 3-year-old colts and fillies also joins the stakes calendar at Yonkers on May 7. Finally, July 9 and 16 offer eliminations and the final of the $100,000 (Est.) MGM Springfield Stakes for 2-year-olds. Nomination blanks for the Borgata, Matchmaker, M Life, Brennan and Springfield series can be found here. Information on the Yonkers Trot and Messenger can be found on the Hambletonian Society's website. Yonkers Raceway offers live racing Monday through Friday with a first-race post-time of 7:15 PM. For more information, click here. Yonkers Raceway Media    

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

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