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

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

LEBANON, OH - Millionaires Atlanta and Shartin N, arguably the finest active female trotter and pacer on the planet, are headed to Miami Valley Raceway for a pair of harness racing $100,000 Grand Circuit races on Monday afternoon, May 6. The closing day features have been carded as races eight and ten on the 14-race program which begins at 2:05 p.m. Atlanta, last year's Hambletonian winner, will be making her initial 2019 start after an impressive 1:52.3 qualifier at The Meadowlands in her first effort for new trainer Ron Burke. Yannick Gingras, who qualified Atlanta without trotting hopples for the first time, will be following the daughter of Chapter Seven-who has earned $1,140,689 in her career-to Ohio for her first seasonal test. The likely odds-on favorite is owned by Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. A quartet of accomplished challengers will go postward, all inside of Atlanta on the starting gate in the Miami Valley Distaff. Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) was a winner of 13 out of 17 starts in 2018, including the Matron Stake at Dover, earning over half a million dollars for trainer Chris Beaver. The three others have each won three races already this season. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) recently won the Open Trot at Yonkers, Churita (Trace Tetrick) is three-for-three at Hoosier Park to open her year, boosting her career earnings to $924,225. Red Rose Swan (LeWayne Miller) already has three wins and four place finishes in seven trips to post this year, including capturing the prestigious Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial Series championship at Miami Valley. Shartin N is the defending champion of the Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial, having captured the 2018 edition in 1:49.3-still the fastest mile by a distaff pacer in the six year history of Miami Valley. Co-owner Tim Tetrick will be in the bike for partners Richard Poillucci and JoAnn Looney-King, the wife of trainer Jim King Jr. The six-year-old New Zealand bred mare won 19 of 24 races last season, including most every marquee event for the division. The reigning Breeders Crown champion and runnerup to McWicked for Horse Of The Year laurels has won four of five times in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers, including the $402,600 final, to kick off her 2019 campaign. Her lifetime bounty has reached $1,393,853. Tim Tetrick and Jim King Main competition is likely to come from Baron Remy (Chris Page), who captured the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship at Scioto Downs as well as the Courageous Lady at Northfield Park in her 2018 sophomore season. Shartin N stablemate Bettor Joy N (Trace Tetrick), who finished second in the Blue Chip finale, will also pose a threat; while $918,093 winning Medusa (Gingras) and Always Giggling (Brett Miller) are also formidable foes. The Noble Memorial pays homage to the memory of one of Ohio's finest-ever horsemen, Chip Noble from nearby Xenia, who passed away shortly before Miami Valley Raceway opened its doors in 2014. Gregg Keidel  

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

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 12) in the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 13) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the fifth and final round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker saw its fourth preliminary round conducted over Friday night's (April 5) 'sloppy' surface. Three $40,000 groupings of Free-For-All mares went at it, down one from a week ago. Shartin N was a 1:54.2 winner on April 5.  Shartin N, the defending series champ (Tim Tetrick, $2.20) was (from post four) the lone leaver, with a highly-predictable result (:28.3, :57.4, 1:26.2, 1:54.2). The margin was a length. Second went to a pole-protecting Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley), while Medusa (Jason Bartlett) sat third and wound up there. Sell A Bit N (Jordan Stratton) and a first-up Freakonomics (Scott Zeron) settled for the smallest envelopes. Second choice Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr.) could not get involved from behind the eight-ball. For Shartin N, a 6-year-old Tintin In America miss co-owned by her driver, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her third win in four seasonal/series starts. Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 6) hosted the next-to-last preliminary get-together of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four $50,000 Free-For All events were carded, one fewer than a week ago. Odds-on Western Fame (Dan Dube, $2.40) restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp (:27.2, :56, 1:23.4, 1:50.4). From post three, the series points leader drilled his foes by 5-1/2 lengths, a personal '19 best and matching Lyons Steel for the fastest Westchester mile of the Levy and season. Gokudo Hanover (George Brennan) was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock The Nite (Mark MacDonald), Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Joe Bongiorno) earning the minor moolah. Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast Stable, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, is now three-for-five this season (three-for-four in Levy). Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 112; 2. George Brennan - 83; 3. Jason Bartlett - 67; 4. Scott Zeron - 56; 5. Matt Kakaley - 46. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 77; 2. Rene Allard - 42; 3. Ron Burke - 39; 4t. Ross Croghan - 34; 4t. Andrew Harris - 34. Owners: 1. D R Van Witzenburg - 30; 2. Robert Cooper Stables - 28.3; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 27.5; 4t. J L Benson Stables - 25; 4t. Richard Poillucci - 25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the finals and consolations of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy on April 20. Paul Ramlow

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

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

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

East Rutherford, NJ - With stakes payments for this season's Grand Circuit events currently being accepted, The Meadowlands advises those harness racing owners who are nominating horses to these races to be aware that the stakes conditions contain language requiring the nominated horse(s) be in the stable of an approved trainer by the date listed in those conditions.   Please contact the Racing Office at 877-782-2537 with questions.   The Articles that address trainer requirements are below;   Disputes: All owners, trainers and drivers of horses nominated to this event must be accepted to participate at the Host Track or the nomination/entry may be denied without refund of previous payments. Any change of trainers made fewer than 30 days or within four starts of the date of this race will be reviewed by the sponsor and if not accepted, may result in refusal of entry. Sponsors reserve the right to amend conditions as deemed necessary without liability.   Rules: A minimum of seven (7) separate interests may be required in any event or the event may be cancelled. All starters are subject to the detention policy of the Host Track. The rules of the Host Track and its state Racing Commission along with the USTA shall govern unless otherwise specified in these conditions. These races are subject to the Stallion Restriction Condition (SRC) see Meadowlands website for details.   Any horse nominated to any Meadowlands stakes/event must be in the care of an approved trainer by April 15, 2019 for any stake/event raced during the month of May and by May 15 for all other 2019 stakes/events.   In addition, any owner who participates in a Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event (with added money greater than $25,000) with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test having occurred on or after January 1, 2019 and under appeal in any jurisdiction will be declared ineligible to participate in any Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event for 12 months following the conviction if such trainer is subsequently found guilty relating to the Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test.   Nominator also agrees that any horse paid into any Meadowlands stake/event may be required to be stabled for up to 14 days at an approved facility within a 150 mile radius of The Meadowlands or the Tioga or Vernon Downs stable area or an approved facility in a state that agrees to cooperate in an out of competition testing protocol by the date set by The Meadowlands for that stake/event for the purpose of out of competition testing.   Failure to comply with these conditions may result in any agreement created by the acceptance of any stakes payment to be declared void at the discretion of The Meadowlands rendering the horse(s) in question ineligible to race in those stakes/events with no liability to The Meadowlands and no assurance of a refund of payments previously made to the stake/event in question.   A nomination to these events is an agreement to the above terms and conditions.   Nick Salvi          

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

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

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

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 8) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $213,000, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $158,000, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $179,100 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $177,800. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Some of the sport’s brightest stars descended upon Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Nov. 2) and as predicted, the stakes filled card delivered some outstanding harness racing battles. Met’s Hall captured the $256,000 Carl Erskine Trot and sent his seasonal earnings over the million dollar mark with the win. Dean Gillette photo. After finishing second in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot, Met’s Hall was out for redemption and delivered on his promise in the $256,000 Carl Erksine Trot for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Overcoming a poor position, Met’s Hall turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the even money favorite in 1:53.2 with Andy Miller in the bike. With the win, Met’s Hall sent his seasonal earnings over the $1 million mark. Miller sent Met’s Hall away from the gate firing from post nine but he would have to work for position as Yannick Gingras also sent You Know You Do away from the gate aggressively. Met’s Hall grabbed command just before the quarter in :27.2 and looked relaxed on the front while clicking off fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1. Maxus and Peter Wrenn were the first to apply pressure first-over but would have their work cut out for them as Met’s Hall looked strong on the front. As the field turned for home, Miller asked his mount for more and Met’s Hall dug in gamely to hold off Helpisontheway and Tim Tetrick to get the win by nearly two lengths. Hockey Hanover and Matt Kakaley found late racing room to round out the trifecta. Met’s Hall returned $4.00 at the betting windows. “He can leave the gate as quick as any,” Miller noted after the victory. “I wasn’t sure if we would get to the front but when he did, I figured he would be good. He’s just an amazing animal who loves his work; he works through his issues and shows up every week.” Trained by Julie Miller, the 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Met’s Inn recorded his fifth win of the season from 14 starts. Owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, Met’s Hall has now won 10 of 24 starts while amassing $1,278,494 in lifetime purse earnings. The stakes action kicked-off for the evening with the $137,000 Crossroads of America Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies and it was Custom Cantab and Peter Wrenn who went gate-to-wire to score in 1:54.1. Custom Cantab left alertly from post five and held strong to the wire to hold off a hard-charging Seviyorum and Andy Miller. Looking For Zelda and Matt Kakaley utilized a ground saving trip to get up for third place honors. As the heavy betting favorite, Custom Cantab returned $4.20 to her backers at the betting windows. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old trotting filly recorded her 12th win and has finished no worse than third in 16 starts this season. Owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and R B H Ventures, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Custom Model has now won 14 of 28 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $643,936. Not to be outdone, Youaremycandygirl turned in an impressive performance of her own to dominate her rivals with a 9-3/4 length romp in the $113,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies. With regular pilot Yannick Gingras in the bike, Youaremycandygirl seized the early lead and steadily drew away from the field to stop the timer in 1:50.1. With the win, Youaremycandygirl recorded her eighth win from 16 seasonal outings. The millionaire daughter of American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane pushed her lifetime bankroll to $1,365,973 for trainer Ron Burke and owner W.J. Donovan. The stakes action concluded with the $190,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings and after a disqualification of the first-place finisher Lather Up and Montrell Teague, it was Always A Prince and Trace Tetrick who came out victorious. The time of the mile was 1:49.1. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old pacing colt recorded his seventh consecutive victory and 19th win from 22 lifetime starts. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley and trained by Tyler George, Always A Prince was unraced as a 2-year-old but has amassed $492,875 in lifetime purse earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 1,452.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 1,400; 3. David Miller – 1,167.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 704; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 648.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,314.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,128; 3. Tony Alagna – 721.5; 4. Julie Miller – 481; 5. Jim Campbell – 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms – 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 278.5; 3. Diamond Creek Racing – 274.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi – 262; 5. Crawford Farms Racing – 229.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and The Meadowlands. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds, while The Meadowlands will have eliminations for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds — the Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Erv Miller thinks Artie's Ideal has his best harness racing days ahead of him. Miller hopes that includes Thursday when the colt visits Dover Downs for the $213,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. Artie's Ideal was a two-time winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and finished third in the series championship before trying the Grand Circuit for the first time at Lexington's Red Mile. The colt was second to Workin Ona Mystery in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, pacing a :26.1 final quarter-mile, before a seventh-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. After a three-week respite, Artie's Ideal qualified in 1:54.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia on Oct. 30 to prep for the Matron. He won the qualifier by 10-1/2 lengths. "He was a real green colt getting started and he's just been getting better all the way through," said Miller, who trains Artie's Ideal for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. "He had a little setback the second week at Lexington, his blood was a little messed up, but as far as getting more mature he's gotten better every time we went to the gate. "He qualified really well at (Philly) and I look for him to put in a good effort." Artie's Ideal and driver Marcus Miller, Erv's son, will start the Matron from post four. He is 10-1 on the morning line. Metro Pace runner-up Semi Tough, with Matt Kakaley driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 5-2 favorite. "He got the four hole, that's a good spot, and if things work out for him he should be right there," Miller said. Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 2-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:15 p.m. (EST) with a non-betting race, the Matron for colt and gelding trotters, followed by the regular card at 4:30 p.m. Breeders Crown runner-up When Dovescry is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $177,800 filly trot and Breeders Crown finalist Queen Of The Pride is 5-2 in the $179,100 filly pace. Artie's Ideal is a son of American Ideal out of Midnight Art. The colt has earned $114,508 in nine starts and is Midnight Art's third six-figure-earner. The family also includes Grand Circuit winners Good News Lady and Ideal News. Miller said the colt was immature physically to begin the season, but has developed nicely. "I think he's going to be a nice colt," Miller said. "He's easy to drive, an easy trainer. He handles well. You can tell he's got a great attitude. He's so handy and he's a smart little horse. I really look forward to next year with him." Artie's Ideal is eligible to the Governor's Cup later this month at the Meadowlands, but the Matron could be his final start of the year. "We'll go off how he races," Miller said. For Thursday's complete pari-mutuel entries at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

This Week: Carl Erskine Trot, Monument Circle, the USS Indianapolis and the Crossroads of America, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit remains at Hoosier Park this weekend as the track will have four stakes races on the Friday (Nov. 2) card. Leading the way is the $256,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Also on tap will be the $190,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, the $137,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $113,000 USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Nov. 3), Meadowlands Racetrack will card the four Kindergarten Series finals for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. The 2-year-old colt trot carries a purse of $221,540, the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $236,060, the purse for the 2-year-old colt pace is $173,800 and the 2-year-old filly pacers will race for $148,700. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was in the Grand Circuit spotlight last weekend as the Pennsylvania oval hosted 12 Breeders Crown finals. McWicked was a 1:49.3 winner in the Breeders Crown Open Pace. Curtis Salonick photo. Favored McWicked ($3.80) moved to the lead at the five-eighths pole, easily putting away Lazarus N, and then opened up to win by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:49.3 in the $430,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace. Brian Sears drove McWicked for trainer Casie Coleman, as he won his third Breeders Crown trophy on the night. Early leader Filibuster Hanover rallied for second, while Donttellmeagain finished third. Mcwicked has now earned more than $3.7 million in his career after posting his 32nd lifetime win. "He's real easy to drive and he does everything you want. It's great to have the opportunity to drive such nice horses," said Sears. "I always think he's gonna be good," said trainer Casie Coleman, "but to think he is going to do what he did this year...I think he is better now than he was at three. He is a big team effort no doubt. I hope he is going to race next year, but that is not my call. It is up to Mr. James (owner Edward James of the S S G Stables.) I think he will be at stud, but I hope he will race, our team would really like that." Filibuster Hanover took the field to the quarter in :26.1, but Lazarus N was immediately out and winging, taking the field past the half in :55.2. McWicked pulled up the backside and easily disposed of his challenger, rolling past three-quarters in 1:22.2 before Sears took his foot off the gas in the stretch. McWicked is a 7-year-old bay horse by McArdle, out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara. He was bred by Andray Farm of Pennsylvania. Emoticon Hanover (Daniel Dube) won back-to-back Breeders Crown trophies after capturing the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot. Caprice Hill (Brian Sears) was on the lead at the first :27.1 quarter, before being quickly overtaken by Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) just past that marker. Ariana G held the lead to the :56.4 half, trailed by Emoticon Hanover and Broadway Donna. Broadway Donna was up to engage her on the outside just past the half, but Ariana G held that lead to the 1:25.2 three-quarters before Ice Attraction came up on the outside to make a try for the lead. While those two were looking for the finish line, Emoticon Hanover came charging on the outside to pass them both for the win in 1:54.1. The winner is trained by Luc Blais and owned by Determination. "She's nice right now, she's good," said winning driver Daniel Dube. "We went to the passing lane last week, we went to the outside today. She does everything right, she is more relaxed. She is a special mare. I've known Luc (Blais) a long time, but mostly to see him in the paddock. Now we have got to know each other, which is good." Ice Attraction (Ãke Svanstedt) was second after a sweeping last to first bid and Caprice Hill was third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,432.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,370; 3. David Miller - 1,132.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 704; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 618.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,274.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,128; 3. Tony Alagna - 671.5; 4. Julie Miller - 451; 5. Jim Campbell - 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 274.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 273; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 256.5; 5. Marvin Katz - 229.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs as the Delaware track will host the Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits on the Thursday (Nov. 8) program. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

ANDERSON, Ind.--October 26, 2018-- Harrah's Hoosier Park played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 26 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at the seven-eighths mile oval for the fifth time this season. The 14-race card was highlighted by nine divisions of The Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and one division of the Madison County Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The three-year-old trotting fillies kicked off the evening's racing action and it was Pat Matters and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. who tracked down heavily favored Custom Cantab and Peter Wrenn in the final strides of the mile to score in 1:53.3 over a track rated good. Custom Cantab did all the work on the front end while Pat Matters waited patiently in the pocket for her turn to strike. As the field turned for home, Macomber Jr. gave his mount the green light and she utilized a :27.2 final quarter to get the win and establish a new lifetime best in the process. As the publics' second choice, Pat Matters returned $11.40 at the betting windows. Trained by Paul Kelley, the daughter of Explosive Matter-Dibrizzi recorded her fourth seasonal win from 15 lifetime outings and also a new lifetime mark. Pat Matters is owned by Patricia Stable. In the second division of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies, it was the lone Indiana-sired filly in the field, Red Rose Swan, who went gate to wire to capture the $28,600 event in 1:55.4 for driver, trainer LeWayne Miller. Using a :28.4 closing kick, Red Rose Swan was able to hold off a late surge from the heavily favored Hey Blondie and Tim Tetrick to get the win by nearly three lengths. The daughter of Swan For All-Red Rose Kosmos recorded her fourth win of the season and second consecutive victory for owners Last Chance Racing, LeWayne Miller, and C11 Racing. Red Rose Swan returned $8.60 to her backers at the betting windows. In the final split for three-year-old trotting fillies, Live Laugh Love and driver Peter Wrenn worked out a second-over trip and coasted on to the wire five lengths in front of the field, stopping the timer in 1:54.4. Sent off as the publics' third choice, Live Laugh Love returned $10.20 for the victory. Trained by Nifty Norman, the sophomore filly notched her seventh win of the season from 16 outings. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Shes Gone Again is owned by Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. The upset trend continued through two divisions of The Circle City Stakes for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Jewels Forreal and driver Chris Page prevailed in a tight photo over a very game Aldine Hanover and John DeLong to pull the 8-1 upset in 1:53. Aldine Hanover, who was sent off as the post time favorite, went uncontested on the front through the three-quarters before being joined on the outside by Jewels Forreal. Aldine Hanover dug in gamely but Jewels Forreal ultimately came out on top to record her third win of the season. Jewels Forreal returned $19.20 at the betting windows for the upset. Trained by Ron Burke, the daughter of So Surreal-Dandy's Jewel is owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Jewels Forreal has now won six of 27 lifetime starts. Voom Or Bang and John DeLong followed suit in the second division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies and staged a big rally late in the lane to pull the $14.80 upset. Voom Or Bang rallied well in the lane to surge past the heavily favored Wisdom Tree and Sam Widger and held off a late surge from Cult Icon and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. to score in 1:53.3. Trained by Roger Welch, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Vavoom Hanover recorded her sixth win of the season from 17 trips behind the starting gate. Owned by W. DeLong, W. DeLong, Sth Blt, J. DeLong, and J DeLong, Voom Or Bang has now won nine of 29 lifetime starts. Just when it seemed an upset trend was forming, the favorites came out on top in both divisions of the stakes action for the three-year-old trotting colts. After a costly break in stakes action last week, Scirocco Rob rebounded gamely to deliver as the post time favorite with Corey Callahan in the bike. Scirocco Rob made his game winning move down the backside and remained clear to the wire, scoring in 1:55.2 over Got The Groove and John DeLong. Trained by John Butenschoen, the son of Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties recorded his fourth win of the season from 20 outings. Scirocco Rob is owned by the partnership of Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker. The recently crowned New York Sires Stakes Champion, Helpisontheway, continued his winning ways in the second division for three-year-old trotting colts, stopping the timer in 1:55.3. With Tim Tetrick in the bike, Helpisontheway went gate to wire and held off a hard-charging Voss Volo and Corey Callahan to get the win by a head. Trained by Linda Toscano, the son of Chapter Seven-Porque recorded his ninth win of the season from 15 starts and third consecutive victory. Helpisontheway is owned by Camelot Stable Inc., The Bay's Stable LLC, and Little E LLC. Wheels On Fire turned in his own dominant performance to continue his winning ways and deliver as the post-time favorite in the $42,650 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Wheels On Fire went gate to wire en route to a three-length victory in 1:50.3 over GD Western Joe and Chris Page. With the win, Wheels On Fire recorded his sixth consecutive victory this season and second consecutive Hoosier Park score. Trained by Ron Burke, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ab Fab recorded his 11th seasonal win from 17 outings for owner W.J. Donovan. Rockinbeach, with Ricky Macomber Jr. in the bike, worked out a perfect, second-over trip to capture his split of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts in 1:52. Using a :26.4 final quarter, Rockin Beach surged past his rivals late in the lane and held off a fast-closing Shadow Cat and Corey Callahan to get the win by a neck. Trained by Jamie Macomber, Rockin Beach has now won six of 20 starts as a sophomore. The son of Rockin Image-Miss Sandy Beach is owned and was bred by Wilbur Eash. In the lone division of the Madison County Stakes on the program, Magic Joe Lindy and Trace Tetrick staged a big rally late in the lane to capture the $66,400 Madison County Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:53.3. Magic Joe Lindy sat mid-pack for much of the mile and when Tetrick gave him the green light, he found a :26.3 closing quarter to get the victory by nearly two lengths. The son of American Ideal-Lindy's Bandita recorded his third win of the season from eight starts. Trained by Domenico Cecere, Magic Joe Lindy is owned and was bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Stakes action continues at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Saturday, October 27 with a 14-race card highlighted by four divisions of the Madison County Stakes for the two-year-old trotters and pacers. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

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