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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  

For several years, Michael Holmes and his sister Sarah kicked around the idea of starting a Standardbred harness racing stable. After watching one of their father's horses win a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship in 2018, the talk turned to action. Michael, 27, and Sarah, 30, launched Lexington-based Happy Hour Racing last fall, bringing together a group of people from the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries, plus college friends, to purchase five yearlings. All five horses made it to the races this season, with two wins and a total of 15 top-three finishes in 34 starts so far, good for $134,096 in purses. Both of the stable's victories came on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and the group is hoping to visit the winner's circle at Lexington's Red Mile soon. Hit Show, a 2-year-old male trotter, finished second in a division of the Kentucky Sire Stakes on Aug. 31 at Red Mile and is ninth in points in the series. That same day, its 2-year-old female trotter Heaven also finished second in the KYSS and is 11th in points. The Kentucky Sire Stakes championships are Sunday at Red Mile and the consolations are Saturday. The draws for both days are Wednesday. In addition, Happy Hour Racing's 2-year-old female pacer Coconut Beach won on Aug. 30 at Vernon Downs in a division of the New York Sire Stakes and is 13th in the points in the series. The New York Sire Stakes championships and consolations are Saturday and Sunday, respectively. "We're hoping to have a good weekend," Michael Holmes said. "We're excited. We've got 70-plus shareholders and it's been a lot of fun for all of us so far. It's been a blast." Michael and Sarah are no strangers to racing, both Thoroughbred and harness. Their dad, New Zealand native Tony Holmes, and mom Susan have a small commercial Thoroughbred breeding operation, Marula Park Stud in Lexington, and have also bred Standardbreds. Tony was the co-breeder of millionaire trotter Guccio as well as his stakes-winning full brother Lagerfeld. Last year, Tony's Windy Corner, which he also co-bred, won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old female trotters. "It's in mine and Sarah's blood," Michael said. "We were following dad's filly that he raced. Now we're hooked. We talked about (starting a stable) for several years. We saw Windy Corner and we got all excited and decided to start a partnership. The bug kind of hit us a little later but it's been exciting." Michael is in his fifth year working in finance for Thoroughbred breeder WinStar Farm. Sarah has worked with several Thoroughbred operations and is now at the family's Marula Park Stud. Happy Hour Racing owns two horses, Coconut Beach and Generous Pour, on its own and shares ownership on the remaining three -- Oreo Dream Xtreme, Heaven, and Hit Show. Coconut Beach, Heaven, and Hit Show are trained by Erv Miller; Oreo Dream Xtreme and Generous Pour by John Butenschoen. Following the conclusions of the Kentucky and New York sire stakes, Coconut Beach, Heaven, and Hit Show are staked to the Grand Circuit events in Lexington, not to mention the Breeders Crown in Canada. "We were just extremely happy to get to the races," Michael said. "We've at least seen what kind of talent we have. It's been a good start. "It's exciting. With the Thoroughbreds, they race every one or two months and we're getting entries every other week. It's a lot of action. That's what we wanted. We wanted to show people the purse money that's out there (in harness racing) and how frequently they race. We're hoping we can bring the sport some new owners. Some might branch out and buy horses on their own." Michael said Happy Hour Racing has no intentions of expanding in the near future. "We don't have any plans to buy any more horses as of right now, but we're open to doing whatever we have to do to make this work," he said. "Fingers crossed. We've been fortunate so far. I've really enjoyed it and I know Sarah has too."  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

This Week: Jim Ewart Memorial and Charlie Hill, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; Simcoe Stakes, Champlain Stakes, Peaceful Way eliminations and William Wellwood Memorial eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Miss Versatility leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit harness racing action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 5) at Mohawk Park with a pair of C$30,000 eliminations in the Peaceful Way for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Sept. 6) program offers two C$30,000 eliminations in the William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, the C$174,503 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the C$171,057 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 7), there will be two divisions in the C$189,597 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the C$180,876 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and a single division in the C$168,557 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit racing at Tioga Downs will be held on Friday (Sept. 6) with a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. On Saturday (Sept. 7) Scioto Downs will host the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the $220,000 Charlie Hill for older trotters. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway hosted a pair of Triple Crown races on Saturday night (Aug. 31) in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and the $500,000 Messenger Stake. Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) rolled home to capture the Yonkers Trot in a North American and track record 1:53.3 and American Mercury went up the inside to best Bettor's Wish in the Messenger Stake in 1:51.3. Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) rolled home to capture the Yonkers Trot in a North American and track record 1:53.3. Mike Lizzi photo. Trained by Marcus Melander, Gimpanzee ($2.60) made his bid for the lead in the Yonkers Trot first-over prior to the :28 quarter-mile pole. The son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows grabbed the bit and ran off with this event, posting subsequent fractions of :56.4 and 1:25 before cruising home in 1:53.3. Hambletonian victor Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) closed strongly for second after an overland journey, with Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) hitting the wire in third. "Since day one when I brought him here he lays down and turns over like a motorcycle," said Melander. "This is an amazing race to win and I don't think there is a better 3-year-old on a half-mile track." An undefeated Dan Patch Award winner and New York Sire Stakes champion in 2018, Gimpanzee first tasted defeat when he finished fourth and third, respectively, in the Hambletonian eliminations and final. Gimpanzee is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. He is now 16-14-0-1 and has earned more than $1.1 million. After taking control and leading through fractions of :27, :55.3, and 1:23.3, Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) was outlasted by an inside push to the wire by American Mercury (Tyler Buter) in a time of 1:51.3 in the Messenger. U S Captain was a very game third after a first-over trip. "He was super sharp coming into the race," said Buter. "I came off Dexter's helmet there and he kicked off the gas. I think that was the winning move." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice, American Mercury is a son of American Ideal-Tessa Hanover. The 3-year-old gelding is trained by Chris Oakes. He sports a lifetime record of 17-9-3-3 and a bankroll of $508,463. American Mercury paid $16.20 to win. 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 - 806; 2. Yannick Gingras - 611; 3. David Miller - 521; 4. Dexter Dunn - 479; 5. Brian Sears - 394. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 723; 2. Tony Alagna - 371; 3. Marcus Melander - 319; 4. Jim King Jr. - 299; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 293. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 142.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 134.6; 4. Courant Inc. - 132.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 122.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Mohawk and Tioga Downs. Mohawk will host the finals of the Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, as well as the Canadian Trotting Classic, the Elegantimage and eliminations in the Milton, Metro Pace, and She's A Great Lady. Tioga Downs will card another leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters and pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Columbus, OH — Scioto Downs is closing in on the conclusion of its 90-day race meet on Saturday (Sept. 7) and is going out with a bang. Closing night harness racing features the Charlie Hill and Jim Ewart memorial races alongside the Ohio Sire Stakes consolation races. This season Scioto Downs has raced for $15 million in purses, set track records and gained memories for all involved. Part of the main event on Saturday is the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial race. The Charlie Hill will showcase some of the best trotters in the sport, with a field of nine very talented trotters taking the spotlight behind the gate. Scioto had two horses supplement into the race at $10,000 apiece. Wonder girl Atlanta supplemented into the Hill where she drew post seven with familiar hands at the lines, Yannick Gingras. Atlanta is coming off a huge second in the Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park last week, getting beat by Guardian Angel As. These two will have another chance to battle it out down the stretch as Guardian Angel As takes post eight. Ake Svanstedt also supplemented Plunge Blue Chip, who drew post four. $220,000 Charlie Hill Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Bridge To Jesse’s-Trace Tetrick-Roger Welch-20/1 2. I Know My Chip-Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Walter Haynes Jr.-25/1 3. Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-9/2 4. Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-6/1 5. Mission Accepted-Chris Page-Ron Burke-8/1 6. Pinkman-Brett Miller-Per Engblom-10/1 7. Atlanta-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/2 8. Guardian Angel As-Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-8/5 9. Top Flight Angel-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-20/1 The second main event of the evening is the 14th race, the Jim Ewart Memorial. The Ewart showcases the sport’s top pacers as we bring 10 of them together to battle it out for $440,000. With tons of talent between this group there will be plenty to keep your eye on. An Ohio-bred favorite, Lather Up, makes his way back to the Buckeye state. Lather Up supplemented for $20,000 to be a part of history. Last year, he was the 3-year-old Ohio Sire Stakes pacing champion, and has gone on to have a phenomenal 4-year-old season, equaling the all-age world record mile of 1:46 set by Always B Miki. Jimmy Freight for trainer Andrew Harris drew post position one. Jimmy Freight has put up some good miles this season and is hanging in there with the best. This post draw is definitely going to play into his favor as he has the gate speed to leave and stay on the front end where he likes to be. Courtly Choice is coming off a huge upset win in the Canadian Pacing Derby over Lather up and Western Fame and will have a rematch on the five-eighth-mile track. $440,000 Jim Ewart Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Jimmy Freight-Scott Zeron-Andrew Harris-6/1 2. McWicked-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-9/2 3. Donttellmeagain-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-15/1 4. Western Fame-Dan Noble-Dan Noble-8/1 5. This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-6/1 6. Filibuster Hanover-Chris Page-Ron Burke-15/1 7. Courtly Choice-James MacDonald-Blake MacIntosh-5/1 8. Lather Up-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis-9/5 9. Always A Prince-David Miller-Tyler George-20/1 10. Hitman Hill-Aaron Merriman-Chris Oakes-20/1 Each division of the OSS consolations will go for $75,000 which will showcase 2-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers, as well as 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. The older Ohio sired mare and horse/gelding pacers will also get in on the action. Post time for closing night at Scioto Downs will be at 6:30 p.m. by Taylor Johnston, for Scioto Downs

This Week: Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby, Simcoe Stakes, and Champlain Stakes, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: A busy holiday weekend of Grand Circuit action is led by a pair of Triple Crown events at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Aug. 31). The Hilltop oval will host the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters and the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers. These races will be the second legs in the Triple Crown for their respective gaits. Also on the Saturday program will be the $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-olds and the $122,224 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk commences on Thursday (Aug. 29) with two divisions in the C$195,597 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 30) program is highlighted by a single division in the C$128,876 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday (Aug. 31) program features the C$600,000 Maple Leat Trot for older trotters and the C$525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on the program will be a single division in the C$171,503 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers. Complete entries for the races at Yonkers are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: It was a 'non-Bettor's Wish' Saturday night (Aug. 24) during Yonkers Raceway's eliminations for the 64th Messenger Stakes. Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn), the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into the second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, summarily disposed of his five rivals in a non-wagering elimination. A pole-sitting second early in the $40,000 off-the-card elimination, Bettor's Wish took over from American Mercury (Tyler Buter) before a :28 opening quarter-mile. After a pedestrian :58 intermission, Escapetothebeach (Corey Callahan) tried it first-up from fourth. Bettor's Wish led through a 1:26.1 three-quarters, eventually holding off American Mercury by a half-length in 1:53.2. Escapetothebeach backed away but held third, with Branquinho (Jason Bartlett) fourth. That quartet goes into this Saturday night's (Aug. 31) $500,000 finale of the Messenger. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt, has hit the board in 22-of-23 career tries (13 wins, seven seconds, two thirds, $1,131,600). He now has eight wins and three seconds in 11 '19 tries ($859,544). Chris Ryder co-owns (with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners) and trains. "He was just so great, so easy to drive," Dunn said. "I can't wait for next week." The on-the-card, $40,000 elimination saw Aflame Hanover (Callahan, $6) finish what he started. From post position three, he never had an issue (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24, 1:52), beating pocketed pole-sitter U S Captain (Bartlett) by 1-1/2 lengths. Waterway (Joe Bongiorno), paired with the runner-up as the 17-10 wagering choice, was a closing third, while 37-1 rank outsider Reigning Deo (George Brennan) was a ground-saving fourth to advance. For second choice Aflame Hanover, a Russell Hanover gelding co-owned by trainer Linda and Tony Schadel, it was his fourth win in 16 seasonal starts. "He was super," Callahan said. "He did everything I asked. His hobble hanger broke, but that didn't bother him." 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 - 776; 2. Yannick Gingras - 581; 3. David Miller - 486; 4. Dexter Dunn - 419; 5. Brian Sears - 374. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 713; 2. Tony Alagna - 366; 3. Jim King Jr. - 299; 4. Marcus Melander - 279; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 233. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 137.5; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 134.6; 4. Courant Inc. - 122.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 122.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Scioto Downs, and Tioga Downs. Woodbine Mohawk will feature eliminations of the Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-olds (filly pacers, filly trotters and colt trotters) and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacers; Scioto will host the Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the Charlie Hill for older trotters; and Tioga Downs will feature a leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

MILTON, ON - AUG. 27, 2019 - Each year Tammy McNiven enrolls every member of the Twinbrook Farms broodmare band in the Ontario Resident Mare program. The Embro, ON resident enrolls both the mares bred to Ontario sires and those bred to US-based stallions. Those producing Ontario Sired horses are eligible for breeders rewards related to the Ontario Sires Stakes program and both sets of mares are eligible for the breeders rewards connected to the Grand Circuit stakes races hosted by Woodbine Mohawk Park. "It's like a stake payment in a way. That's all it is; I'm staking my bet that we'll have something come back and race in Ontario, for the American-breds anyways. For the Ontario-breds you're silly not to pay it, because that's a lot of money that could go towards a new mare," said McNiven. "That's what we try to do with all our breeder's awards, we usually try to buy a new mare, a new young mare and bring her to Ontario." A total of $1.1 million is distributed to breeders each year in the form of Ontario Bred Rewards. Each top five finish by the two and three-year-old offspring of an Ontario Resident Mare in Ontario Sires Stakes or Grand Circuit stakes action contributes to their breeder's awards. "We're going to get the benefit if - small word, big meaning - if that horse comes back and races in those stakes that are eligible," said McNiven. "And usually, if that happens, my breeder's awards basically pay for the whole next year broodmare band, to enroll. If we get somebody even that finishes about fifth in the Shes A Great Lady or something like that, we might get $3,000, which always helps to go toward your bottom line." Breeders can enroll their mares at any point before September 1 of the current foaling year, but enrollment before the mare foals lowers the cost to $100. After foaling, and before September 1, the fee increases to $300 and third party proof of residency must be provided. "I like to pay mine as soon as possible. I like to pay mine in the fall so then I know they are done for the next year," said McNiven. "If a mare comes up empty or aborts I'm out $100, but I've wasted more money frivolously." In 2018 there were 1,109 broodmares enrolled in the Ontario Resident Mare program. In order to be eligible mares must reside in Ontario for a minimum of 180 consecutive days and mares must be enrolled every year prior to the September 1 deadline. More information about the Ontario Resident Mare program is available on the Ontario Racing website at Ontario Resident Mare Program. Further questions can be directed to program co-ordinator Kathie Wilkinson at ontariomare@ontarioracing.com or 416-477-5529. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

This Week: Messenger eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation, and Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 24), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of the sport's pacing Triple Crown. The top four horses in each elimination will return for the $500,000 final on Aug. 31. Also on Saturday, Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature a single division in the C$228,100 Nassagaweya for 2-year-old pacing colts, two divisions in the C$224,478 Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacing fillies; and a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. On Sunday (Aug. 25), Tioga Downs will card four sets of W.N. Reynolds Memorial events for freshman pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Greenshoe (Brian Sears) rebounded from his defeat in the Hambletonian to win the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday night (Aug. 17) at Vernon Downs. Greenshoe rebounded from his loss in the Hambletonian to win the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial. Fotowon photo. Marseille (Ake Svanstedt) assumed the lead heading to the first quarter in front of Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) who took up position in second, with Sears waiting patiently in third with Greenshoe ($2.30). Mareseille set a modest first quarter of :27.1 before rationing out the speed to the half in :56.3, where Greenshoe made his move first-over heading into the final turn. Turning for home Marseille had a short lead past three-quarters in 1:25.1, but he could not fend off the pressure from Greenshoe who powered past through the stretch to a convincing six length victory. Greenshoe's stablemate, Green Manalishi S (Tim Tetrick) finished second, while Marseille held on for third. Greenshoe is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., Morten Langli, Hans Backe, and Lars Granqvist. For the Father Patrick sired 3-year-old, it was his sixth win in eight starts this season. The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) scored a victory in the co-featured $135,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Starita (Dexter Dunn) jumped to the front out of the gate parking The Ice Dutchess ($5.80) to the first quarter of :27.1. After seizing the lead, The Ice Dutchess controlled the tempo to the half in :56.2. Evident Beauty (David Miller) was the first to make a move on the leader heading to the three-quarter pole (1:25.1), but that challenge was repelled by The Ice Dutchess who was two lengths in front turning for home. The Ice Dutchess faced no other challengers through the stretch and won by a decisive 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4. Evident Beauty held on for second, while Starita had to settle for third. The Ice Dutchess is owned by Coyote Wynd Farms and is trained by Nancy Johansson. The Muscle Hill sired filly now has four wins on the season and nine career victories. 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 - 731; 2. Yannick Gingras - 566; 3. David Miller - 444; 4. Dexter Dunn - 409; 5. Brian Sears - 344. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 673; 2. Tony Alagna - 282; 3. Marcus Melander - 279; 4. Jim King Jr. - 274; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 231. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 182; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 127.1; 3. Courant Inc. - 122.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.6; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway and Woodbine Mohawk Park. Yonkers will feature the Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud. Woodbine Mohawk will offer the Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Zweig Memorial and Zweig Memorial filly trot, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI; Artiscape, Roll With Joe, and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Prix d'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Schedule of events: A busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off on Saturday (Aug. 17) at Vernon Downs with the $330,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters and the $135,000 Zweig Memorial Filly Trot for 3-year-old filly trotters. There will also be a $35,000 consolation in the filly division. Saturday's Grand Circuit action will also be featured by Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, which will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers. On Sunday (Aug. 18), Grand Circuit racing will be contested at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.) Artiscape for older pacing mares, the $175,000 (est.) Roll With Joe for older pacing males, and a $40,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Also on Sunday, Hippodrome 3R will contest the C$200,000 Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian tracks are available at this link. Last time: Just when one thought they had seen it all, a first quarter in :24.4, a favorite who looked hopelessly beaten in the stretch, came a Phoenix out of the ashes as Lather Up showed what the heart of a champion can do even when a victory seemed out of the question. Lather Up and Montrell Teague captured the 26th edition of the $330,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Linscott Photography. With a final time of 1:47.2, Lather Up turned in a stunning performance to capture the 26th edition of the $330,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Aug. 9). After equaling the world record with a 1:46 performance three starts ago, Lather Up continued his record-setting trend with a 1:47.2 final time to equal the overall track record at Harrah's Hoosier Park and Dan Patch Stakes record set by Sweet Lou in 2014. The sparks were flying early as Lather Up surged away from the wings of the gate from post four but was forced to settle for a spot along the rail in third as Filibuster Hanover, with Yannick Gingras in the bike, was a step quicker and grabbed the front from post five. Scott Zeron also gave Jimmy Freight marching orders but with everyone on a mission to the front, eventually settled for a pocket trip. As the field straightened away down the backside, driver Montrell Teague gave Lather Up the green light and he quickly ranged up to grab command just before the half in :53.3. The scorching pace continued as Lather Up led the field through the third station in 1:21.3 but Brian Sears and McWicked were on the attack first-over with Always A Prince and Trace Tetrick in tow. McWicked powered past Lather Up and appeared to be the winner but Lather Up wasn't finished. In a remarkable rally, Lather Up used a :25.2 final quarter and the inside passing lane to quite literally, pace away from the field. Lather Up finished 2-1/2 lengths to the good while McWicked held on gamely for second. Endeavor and Sam Widger came flying late to round out the trifecta. As the heavy 1-5 favorite, Lather Up returned $2.60 to his backers at the betting windows. For Lather Up, he recorded his fourth consecutive victory and eighth win from 11 seasonal starts. The 4-year-old homebred son of I'm Gorgeous-Pocket Comb is owned by Gary and Barbara Iles. It was recently announced that a 50 percent interest of Lather Up was sold to a group headed by Taylor Made Sales and Stallions. Dexter Dunn and Bettor's Wish won the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park. JJ Zamaiko photo. Dexter Dunn hails from Down Under in New Zealand and traveled to the United States less than a year ago. He had never been to MGM Northfield Park, but arrived on Saturday (Aug. 10) full of confidence to drive race favorite Bettor's Wish in the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. He went to the gate on the heels of losing two straight photos in the $682,650 Meadowlands Pace and $285,362 Cane Pace. Bettor's Wish started from post three and went to the lead around the initial turn. He set pedestrian fractions of :28.2 and :57. Dunn urged Bettor's Wish in the third quarter and he responded, posting times of 1:24.1 and 1:50.3. The colt pulled away by 3-1/2 lengths from his closest competitor, Captain Victorious (Yannick Gingras). Bettor's Wish (Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star) is owned by the partnership of trainer Chris Ryder, Bella Racing Ltd, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners. Saturday's victory was the 11th lifetime score for Bettor's Wish. The win makes the Ryder trainee harness racing's newest millionaire, pushing his earnings to $1,096,600. 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 - 721; 2. Yannick Gingras - 536; 3. David Miller - 414; 4. Dexter Dunn - 404; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 309. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 663; 2. Tony Alagna - 282; 3. Jim King Jr. - 274; 4. Marcus Melander - 249; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 221. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 182; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 127.1; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.6; 4. Courant Inc. - 107.5; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Tioga Downs. Yonkers will contest eliminations for the Messengers Stakes and Yonkers Trot, the second legs of the Pacing and Trotting Triple Crown, along with eliminations in the companion Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot. Woodbine Mohawk Park will contest the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacers, along with eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers and the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. Tioga Downs will offer Reynolds Memorial divisions for 2-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs will host the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial trot for 3-year-old colts and its $135,000 filly companion Grand Circuit harness racing stakes on Saturday, August 18.   The Zweig (race 9) has drawn the two Hambletonian elimination winners in Greenshoe and Green Manalishi S, both of whom reside in the Marcus Melander stable.   Green Manalishi S (PP#2 Tim Tetrick) has won half of his six starts this season for owner Anders Strom's Courant, Inc. including a 1:50.3 career best when his prevailed after a long uncovered bid in his Hambo elim. He made his way to the front in the final, eventually succumbing to winner Forbidden Trade.   The enigmatic Greenshoe (PP#6 Brian Sears) came into the Hambletonian as the heavy favorite. He won his elim in 1:50.2 and looked for all intents and purposes to be the final winner despite an eventful trip when he trotted boldly up to Forbidden Trade mid-stretch, but did not go by. Greenshoe has amassed $586,500 in seasonal earnings for Courant, Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli.   The $135,000 Filly Zweig (race 8) is a very strong and competitive field led by NJSS final winner Evident Beauty (Dave Miller). She's won four of seven and is leading money winner in the field at over $200,000 this season for owners Mel Hartman, Little E, LLC and R A W Equine. Nifty Norman trains the filly.   Both of the Zweig races will be housed in a stakes barn where they must be checked in by 8:00pm on Friday evening. Call the Racing Office at (315) 829-6825 for details.   The NYSS for 2-year-old pacing colts supports the feature with a pair of divisions racing for a purse of more than $50,000.   by Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host the Grand Circuit Crawford Farms FFA Trot and Joie De Vie FFA Mare Trot stakes this Sunday with a matinee post time of 1:00pm.   The $148,000 Crawford Farms drew a field of six that includes the venerable 2015 Hambletonian champ Pinkman as well as winner of last week's Vincennes trot on Hambo Day, Mission Accepted.   Eight top trotting mares will contest the $132,000 Joie De Vie led by the prolific 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta who will face the streaking Manchego on Sunday.   Horses for both races are requires to report to the Stakes Barn at Tioga by 8:00 pm on Saturday.   Also scheduled for the Sunday card are the eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic for pacing fillies and colts.   With just nine fillies declared for the race there is no elimination needed and they will all go straight to the $232,700 final on Sunday, August 18.   They are listed by post position here: 1. JK American Beauty 2. Fool Me Again 3. DD Delicious 4. Zero Tolerance 5. St Somewhere 6. Gia's Surreal 7. Brooklyn Lilacs 8. Hurrikane Norakane 9. Topville Angelina   The colt stake attracted thirteen and that pair of $12,500 elimination races will go on Sunday afternoon with the $238,200 final next Sunday.   Questions may be directed to the Racing Office at (607) 699-7688.   The complete list of entries may be found on the web.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs  

This Week: Dan Patch Invitational, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Carl Milstein Memorial, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Fox Stake, the Ralph Wilfong, the Horseman Stakes and the Hoosier Stakes, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Ind.; Crawford Farm Trot, Joie De Vie and Tompkins-Geers Stakes, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Gold Cup and Saucer trials, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off this Wednesday (Aug. 7) as The Indiana State Fair will host one day of Grand Circuit racing with the feature being the $55,150 Fox Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers. The co-featured event is the $33,383 Ralph Wilfong for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Hoosier Stakes for 2-year-olds will see two divisions each in the $24,646 2-year-old filly trot and the $24,150 2-year-old filly pace. Single divisions will be contested in the $21,742 2-year-old colt trot and the $20,862 2-year-old colt pace. The Horseman Stakes for 3-year-olds features single divisions in the $36,345 3-year-old colt trot, the $32,550 3-year-old colt pace, the $29,343 3-year-old filly trot, and the $29,068 3-year-old filly pace. Friday night (Aug. 9) at Hoosier Park will feature the $330,000 Dan Patch Invitational for older pacing horses. Also on Friday, Tioga Downs will host four sets of Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be two divisions each in the $83,100 2-year-old filly trot and the $58,700 2-year-old colt pace, with single divisions in the $64,900 2-year-old filly pace and the $54,000 2-year-old colt trot. On Saturday (Aug. 10), Northfield Park will host the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers. Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host one of two trials for the Gold Cup and Saucer for older pacers. The second trial will be held on Monday (Aug. 12). The week's action will continue on Sunday (Aug. 11) at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.) Crawford Farms Trot for older open trotters and the $175,000 (est.) Joie De Vie for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Entries for the Red Shores Racetrack & Casino races are available at this link. Last time: Hambletonian Day was to be a day to unfurl Swedish flags at The Meadowlands. Why not? Rising star Marcus Melander started the day with a powerhouse four-horse contingent locked and loaded, taking dead aim at the 3-year-old trotting classic. Forbidden Trade rendered a 15-1 upset in the 94th Hambletonian. USTA/Mark Hall photo. But when the dust settled, it was our friendly neighbors to the north celebrating, as Forbidden Trade pulled a 15-1 upset. Canada's champion 2-year-old showed the heart of a warrior to hold off 3-10 favorite Greenshoe by neck in a dramatic fight to the finish in the $1 million final on Saturday (Aug. 3). And it was the first Hambletonian victory for the Canadian trio of owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable, trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure. Coming in, McClure said "the sky was the limit" for his colt. Forbidden Trade backed up that confidence with the race of his life. Forbidden Trade, third in his Hambletonian elimination, was always in contention throughout the mile. McClure and his colt tracked Green Manalishi S, an elimination winner and a member of the Melander brigade, into the stretch. Forbidden Trade took charge, but danger was looming with Greenshoe uncorking a menacing rally. For an instant, it appeared Greenshoe would blow on by. McClure admitted he was headed, but Forbidden Trade was not done. After all, this was the day of the Maple Leaf. "It was two incredible colts fighting it out," McClure said. "I don't think there was a loser in that, but we're really happy to get out on top." It's also been a remarkable comeback for McClure, 28, who suffered a broken pelvis in a qualifier accident in April. He was back in action by May 23, using a hyperbaric chamber to hasten the recovery. "I was really lucky to have a good physical trainer," McClure said. "I probably rushed it back a little faster than I should have. I'm sure most drivers in this business have done this a time or two." Melander didn't get the victory, but his trio of qualifiers for the final raced well. Gimpanzee rallied from far back to get third and Green Manalishi S held on for the fifth and final purse check. Greenshoe never looked comfortable behind the starting gate for the final as driver Brian Sears held him together to prevent a break. That put him further back than expected, a loss of ground that proved costly. The time was 1:51 on a warm sunny afternoon as the threatened showers never materialized to spoil the day. Forbidden Trade paid $33.80 to win. It was the 12th win in 19 career starts for the son of Kadabra-Pure Ivory. He was a $110,000 purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 701; 2. Yannick Gingras - 526; 3. David Miller - 379; 4. Dexter Dunn - 339; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 309. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 613; 2. Tony Alagna - 282; 3. Jim King Jr. - 274; 4. Marcus Melander - 249; 5. Jim Campbell - 206. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 182; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 114.6; 3. Courant Inc. - 107.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.6; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino and Hippodrome 3R. Vernon will host the Zweig Memorial races for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Tioga Downs will feature the Roll With Joefor open pacers, Artiscape for older pacing mares, and a leg of the Miss Versatilty for trotting mares. Red Shores Racetrack & Casino has the Gold Cup and Saucer final; and Hippodrome 3R will contest the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Harness Racing This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Hambletonian Oaks, Jim Doherty Memorial and Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations and Reynolds Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Spirit of Massachusetts and Clara Barton, Plainridge Racecourse, Plainville, Mass. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (July 26) at The Meadows as the track will feature three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday (July 27) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final for 3-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $120,000 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $63,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $53,468 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters, two divisions in the $47,970 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers and a single $40,000 division in the Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer three sets of elimination races this week, with finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 3). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host three $20,000 eliminations in the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters and two $20,000 eliminations in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters as well as a single $81,200 W.N. Reynolds Memorial division for 3-year-old male trotters. Action concludes on Sunday (July 28) at Plainridge with the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts for older trotters and the $100,000 Clara Barton for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The defending Horse of the Year McWicked (McArdle) came to town for the first time on Saturday night (July 20) to compete in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Casie Coleman-trained McWicked earned more than $1.5 million in his award-winning 2018 campaign but recorded only one win in his first five starts in '19 before heading into the season's richest race at the Spa. Hall of Famer Brian Sears was in to drive McWicked and gave the classy 8-year-old pacer a second-over trip. With the race's favorite This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) on the front end and rival None Bettor A (Joe Bongiorno) in the pocket spot, McWicked fanned off his cover after the three-quarter time popped up in 1:23.1. This Is The Plan faced a two-pronged challenge in the stretch and it was McWicked who proved fastest of all, securing the biggest win of his season by stopping the timer in 1:50.4. This Is The Plan was the runner-up while None Bettor A had to settle for third. McWicked, who is owned by S S G Stables of North Boston, N.Y., became the 11th winner of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial since it was started in 2009. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 527; 2. Yannick Gingras - 396; 3. Dexter Dunn - 257; 4. David Miller - 244; 5. Jason Bartlett - 226. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 443; 2. Tony Alagna - 237; 3. Jim King Jr. - 209; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 169; 5. Marcus Melander - 160. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 112; 2. Brad Grant - 95.7; 3. Howard Taylor - 77.1; 4. Jo Ann Looney-King - 75.3; 5. Burke Racing Stable - 74.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The track will host ten Grand Circuit events, led by the $1 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, and the $300,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Joe Gerrity Memorial, Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Nadia Lobell, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Tompkins-Geers and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will be held this weekend at four different racetracks. Action begins on Friday (July 19) at Harrah's Hoosier Park with the $150,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. Meadowlands Racetrack on Friday hosts the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be three $10,000 divisions for 2-year-old trotting colts, two $10,000 divisions for 2-year-old pacing colts and single $10,000 divisions for 2-year-old pacing fillies and trotting fillies. On Saturday (July 20), the Meadowlands card will offer two divisions in the $100,900 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting colts and two divisions in the $93,600 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Also on Saturday, Saratoga will host their marquee event, the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial for older pacers. Finally, The Meadows on Saturday will offer a trio of $25,000 eliminations for the Devlin Miller Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers. The $400,000 Adios final the following Saturday afternoon anchors a blockbuster card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: What a week for trainer Linda Toscano. On Sunday evening (July 7), the trainer gave a gracious acceptance speech at her induction into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., and on Saturday night (July 13), she stood in the winner's circle after Best In Show pulled a 27-1 upset in the $682,650 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. It was the perfect bookend to a seven-day span she'll never forget. "This is another one I never dreamed of," Toscano said after becoming the first female trainer to win the Pace. "This is home for me. This is awesome." Best In Show rallied up the inside to edge Bettor's Wish in the 2019 Meadowlands Pace. Lisa photo. In a thrilling finish, Best In Show slipped through an opening on the rail to defeat his more heralded rivals. He got up by a head over Bettor's Wish, the brave first-over challenger who couldn't have raced much better. Right in the mix was Workin Ona Mystery in third, with the pacesetting Captain Crunch, the North America Cup winner and the 1-2 favorite in the Pace, a close-up fourth in the blanket finish. The time was 1:48 on the warm evening for the track's signature race. Brian Sears, also a Hall of Famer, gave Best In Show a perfect ground-saving drive. Best In Show left alertly before readily yielding to let the favorites duke it out while settling into fourth. "I knew they were racing pretty good," Sears said. "It was all the horses to beat and they were going at it. I was pretty content. I wanted to sneak him around there a little bit. I got a little opening, and he fired for me." And he fired up the toteboard. Best In Show paid $56.20, $14.40 and $6.80. Bettor's Wish returned $4.00 and $2.80. Workin Ona Mystery paid $3.80 to show. The time was 1:48 after clipping through aggressive fractions of :26.2, :52.4 and a blazing 1:19.3 to the three-quarter pole. It was fourth win in 12 lifetime starts for Best In Show, who competed in a non-winners of two races condition as recently as May. "We knew he was a nice colt last year and he got a little colt sore on us," Toscano said. "We shut him down, brought him back and he's done everything right." Best In Show has been rapidly making up for that lost time. The son of Bettor's Delight out of Put On A Show races as a homebred for owners Richard Young and Joanne Young. He turned in a pair of second-place finishes in his previous two starts, an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold and his Pace elimination behind Bettor's Wish. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 481; 2. Yannick Gingras - 344; 3. Dexter Dunn - 230; 4. Jason Bartlett - 226; 5. David Miller - 210. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 393; 2. Jim King Jr. - 209; 3. Tony Alagna - 192; 4. Chris Ryder - 138; 5. Marcus Melander - 125. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 107; 2. Brad Grant - 86.9; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 75.3; 4. Tim Tetrick LLC - 71.8; 5. Howard Taylor - 67.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadows, Plainridge Racecourse and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host eight Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Plainridge will card the Spirit of Massachusetts for older trotters and the Clara Barton for older pacing mares. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for three lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, as well as the Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt trotters. Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager

Plainville, MA --- The Grand Circuit makes a mid-summer stop at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28) for two major harness racing stakes on its calendar this year. The first is the second edition of the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot for for 3-year-old and older trotters and the second is the new $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace for 3-year-old and older fillies and mares. Both races are presented by Plainridge Park Casino and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE). These races will be contested on a special matinee card that will get underway at 2 p.m. and also feature some of the top local trotting and pacing talent and horsemen that compete regularly in New England. Besides offering a great slate of racing on the track, there will also be plenty of activities for those of all ages who attend that day between races and feature a special guest to help cover the event. Bob Neumeier of NBC Sports and Comcast Sports New England will be the host of the live track and simulcast feeds, covering all the action and giving his expert opinions. Neumeier's wealth of knowledge about horse racing will provide everyone with great insight to the days card and in depth analysis after each race. There will be a reception in the Boylston and Newbury Rooms, located on the second level of the grandstand from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for owners, their guests and VIP's of the two main stakes. Then there will be a full buffet provided immidiately after starting at 2:30 p.m. There will be a great giveaway item available for the fans on hand. An insulated cooler bag will be given out at the door while supplies last. This item is sponsored by Plainridge Park, the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts, the HHANE, Lindy Farms, Embroidery Unlimited, the Hambletonian Society & Hawthorne Suites (Franklin, MA) and will feature the logos of all the sponsors. The Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts will be on hand with a mare and foal on display on the grass in the homestretch park for a meet and greet with all who would wish to stop by. Their members will also be able to provide information about the robust Standardbred breeding program in the state of Massachusetts. The HHANE has invited the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association (MHHA) to join the festivities and they are bringing their wildly popular Virtual Race Simulator that allows anyone to climb into the race bike and drive their horse to victory in virtual reality. This simulator has been traveling from track to track all summer and has been a major attraction wherever it shows up. Between races you can relax and handicap the next event to the music of The Berkshire Valley Boys who are a great local band that will provide entertainment throughout the day on the apron. Finally, there will also be Caricature Artists on hand who will be drawing your likeness free of charge. The Spirit of Massachusetts day program promises to be the best ever held at Plainridge Park and one the whole family can enjoy. For more information on live harness racing at Plainridge Park and both of these stakes please log onto www.plainridgeparkcasino.com and www.hhane.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Harness Racing This Week: Meadowlands Pace, Hambletonian Maturity, W.R. Haughton Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Delvin Miller Memorial, Golden Girls, Miss Versatility and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Lawrence B. Sheppard Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit week begins on Friday (July 12) at Meadowlands Racetrack with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters and a pair of $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters. The stakes heavy Saturday (July 13) Grand Circuit card at the Meadowlands features the $682,650 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds, the $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, the $423,000 W.R. Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, two divisions in the $306,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, two divisions in the $250,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $207,700 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $179,550 Golden Girls for older pacing mares, and a $40,000 division of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Saturday Grand Circuit action also includes the $120,250 Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old colt pacers at Yonkers Raceway. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: It appeared Lather Up barely broke a sweat as he paced his way into the history books with a 1:46 mile on Saturday evening (July 6) at The Meadowlands en route to his 20th career victory in the $250,000 Graduate final for 4-year-old pacers. Only Always B Miki, at age five in 2016 at Red Mile, has ever stopped the clock as swiftly. The mile also broke the previous mark of 1:46.4 for a 4-year-old pacer, held jointly by stallion Warrawee Needy in 2013 at The Meadowlands and gelding Dr J Hanover in 2017 at Mohawk. Lather Up paced his way into the history books with a 1:46 mile in the Graduate final. Lisa photo. Steered by Montrell Teague, the son of I'm Gorgeous-Pocket Comb enjoyed the perfect pocket journey behind Indiana champion Always A Prince (Brian Sears). That rival established torrid fractions of :25.3, :52 and 1:19.1 prior to being overhauled by Lather Up. The winner defeated a hard closing This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) by 2-1/4 lengths and Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) to procure his record-setting triumph. After his early efforts, Always A Prince held gamely for fourth. Owned by his breeders, Gary and Barbara Iles, Lather Up is conditioned by Clyde Francis. He entered this contest after a costly break at the half-mile pole in the $500,000 Ben Franklin final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 29 caused him to finish ninth. "I knew we were going to go a crazy mile," said Montrell Teague. "When I popped the pocket and my horse just sprinted I knew we were in a very good position. He throws in a couple bad races here and there but we showed how good he really is tonight. "It's monumental; it's amazing. Wiggles (2015 Horse of the Year and Teague standout Wiggle It Jiggleit) never did anything like that, but hats off to how good Lather Up really is." Lather Up has now amassed more than $1.18 million from 33 lifetime trips to the gate and sports a record of 8-5-0-1 for the season. Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) took the overland route to claim a world record triumph in 1:49.1 in the $250,000 Graduate final for 4-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands on Saturday. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip exploded in the lane to defeat world champion Six Pack (Ã…ke Svenstadt) and Indiana champion Custom Cantab (David Miller) at the wire. The time of 1:49.1 was the fastest ever for a trotting mare, besting the 1:49.2 mark put up in 2017 by Hannelore Hanover at Red Mile. It was also the fastest trotting mile ever at The Meadowlands. Leaving from post position four, Atlanta was unhurried as Manchego (Dexter Dunn) led the field of 10 through a swift opening quarter-mile of :26.2. That mare was overtaken by a first-over Six Pack shortly after that marker. Six Pack posted fractions of :54.1 and 1:22 as the field turned for home. Driven confidently by Gingras, Atlanta commenced her march on the outside from third place at the top of the stretch to best Six Pack by a neck in a cavalry charge to the finish line. "I can't say I was not worried turning for home," said Gingras. "His horse (Svanstedt with Six Pack) kicked clear and I know he's a tremendous horse too but this mare is just unreal. She just kept on digging. "Honestly I thought I was a winner at the eighth pole but his horse (Svanstedt's) just kept on fighting and at that point I wasn't so sure. When I tipped her off cover I really thought I was going to get him a little easier than I did but at the end of the day it was two great horses going at it and we came out on top." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor, the 4-year-old mare is trained by Ron Burke. The 2018 Hambletonian winner now has earned more than $1.48 million in her career and is a perfect six-for-six in her 2019 campaign. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 391; 2. Yannick Gingras - 284; 3. Jason Bartlett - 216; 4. Dexter Dunn - 188; 5. David Miller - 160. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 333; 2. Jim King Jr. - 189; 3. Tony Alagna - 162; 4. Chris Ryder - 108; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 99. Owners: 1. Brad Grant - 81.1; 2. Jo Ann Looney-King - 68.6; 3. Tim Tetrick LLC - 65.1; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 60.4; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 60.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Harrah's Hoosier Park, The Meadows and The Meadowlands. Saratoga will have the Joe Gerrity for older pacers; Hoosier will host the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers; The Meadows will have eliminations for the Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers; and The Meadowlands will host the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and Tompkins-Geers events for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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