Day At The Track

Final stops for 2015 Grand Circuit season

03:18 AM 26 Nov 2015 NZDT
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Resolve, harness racing
Resolve and Ake Svanstedt winning the TVG Free For All Trot
Lisa Photo

This Week: Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio and Hap Hansen Progress Pace, Dover Downs, Dover, Del.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Northfield Park and Dover Downs for the final two Grand Circuit races of the 2015 season.

On Friday (Nov. 27), Northfield will host the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. This year's Jugette winner, Sassa Hanover, will start from post three and has been named the 2-1 early favorite. Then on Monday (Nov. 30), Dover will feature the $300,000 (est.) final of the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. Wiggle It Jiggleit downed eight rivals for his 21st victory of the season in the $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination this past Monday.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: This past Saturday (Nov. 21), Resolve won the $400,000 TVG Free For All Trotting Championship at Meadowlands Racetrack in 1:51.4 for driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt.

Resolve won the $400,000 TVG Free For All Trotting Championship in 1:51.4 for driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt.

In similar fashion to his win in the final preliminary leg the week before, Resolve moved to the lead shortly after the opening quarter, which was reached in :27 by longshot DW's NY Yank. Once on the lead, Resolve was allowed to relax.

The same could not be said for E L Titan who got caught in some traffic down the backstretch and ended up three wide, trotting toward the half-mile. Tim Tetrick guided E L Titan to the first over position after racing three wide, crossing in front of Obrigado with The Bank in the outer flow. But Resolve was able to back the field down with a :29.3 second quarter, reaching the half-mile in :56.3.

E L Titan, in the final start of his career, was applying pressure, but Svanstedt had plenty of horse in front of him and Resolve began to edge away, trotting past three-quarters in 1:25. The stretch drive was a mere formality as Resolve began to pour it on, winning by three lengths in the end, trotting a final quarter of :26.4 to complete the mile in 1:51.4. Obrigado held the runner-up position while Flanagan Memory rallied from last to be third.

The win was the fourth of the season for Resolve. He finishes his 4-year-old campaign with earnings of $700,938. Resolve is owned by Hans Enggren.

A field of six contested the $400,000 TVG Pacing Championship. Off the wings of the gate, five of the six free for all pacers tried to leave for position. The only horse content to watch the action early was Bettor's Edge. That strategy by Matt Kakaley turned out to be the winning one as Bettor's Edge stormed down the center of the track, from dead last, to score a 19-1 upset in 1:50.

e field turned for home, the free for all pacers spread across the track and all took their shots. Mach It So found room at the pylons, Foiled Again tried to kick off cover, JK Endofanera reached for the wire and Bettor's Edge was rallying down the center of the track.

In the end, Bettor's Edge out-sprinted the talented field to win going away in 1:50. Mach It So rallied up the pylons for the runner-up spot while Foiled Again finished third.

Trainer Ron Burke confirmed that both Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again will head to North Carolina for the winter and will return for the 2016 racing season. The win was the 26th in the career of Bettor's Edge, sending his lifetime earnings to nearly $1.8 million.

The victory in the TVG Pacing Championship was the third stakes win on the night for trainer Burke, who also captured the $144,000 Continentalvictory with Mission Brief and whose Make Or Miss finished in a dead heat for win in the $489,400 Valley Victory.

Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past week's action:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,579; 2. David Miller - 1,299.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,205; 4. Brett Miller - 670; 5. Scott Zeron - 586.5.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,907; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,605; 3. Tony Alagna - 612.5; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 386; 5. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 385.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 441.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 369.35; 3. Bamond Racing - 320; 4. Christina Takter - 252.1; 5. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 220.

Looking ahead: The 2015 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this weekend; the 2016 Grand Circuit schedule will be released early next year.

by Paul Ramlow,forThe Grand Circuit

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