Day At The Track

Meadowlands and Dover are in Grand Circuit spotlight

04:52 AM 28 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Pet Rock, harness racing
Pet Rock heads TVG Series at Meadowlands
Photo by Mark Hall/USTA

This Week: Meadowlands fall stakes finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del.

Schedule of events: Meadowlands Racetrack will feature eight stakes on the Saturday night (Nov. 30) card led by the $512,000 TVG FFA Series final for older pacers and the $500,000 TVG FFA Series final for older trotters. Also on tap will be the $534,500 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, the $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $253,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $167,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers.

On Sunday night (Dec 1), Dover Downs will feature the $284,160 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old male pacers.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack's new season got underway this past Saturday night, with many of the top free for all trotters and pacers in the sport competing in the TVG FFA Series. The team of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras swept both contests as Wishing Stone captured the trot and Foiled Again the pace.

In the $50,000 final preliminary leg of the TVG FFA Trotting Series, Wishing Stone and Yannick Gingras led at every quarter, hitting the first quarter in :28.3, stalked by Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) and Uncle Peter (David Miller).

That trio stayed in the same order through the :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters. With about an eighth of a mile to go, Market Share was out and moving, but could not overtake the late leaders, Arch Madness, who came off the rail to challenge and the winner in 1:54 by 1-1/4 lengths, Wishing Stone. Arch Madness was second and Market Share was third.

Wishing Stone is trained by Ron Burke for owners Cowboyland Aalborg, TLP Stable, J & T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms.

"Foiled Again will not be passed." Announcer Ken Warkentin summed up the mile as Foiled Again won the $50,000 TVG FFA Pace at the Meadowlands in 1:49.3.

The last chance to gain points for this week's final saw Golden Receiver (Corey Callahan) first on the lead at the opening quarter in :27.1, only to be overtaken by Sweet Lou and David Miller, who held the lead to the :53.4 half.

Just past the half, Yannick Gingras had Foiled Again out and poised to advance on the stubborn Sweet Lou, who was still on the lead at the 1:22 three-quarters.

As the field paced down the stretch, the advancing duo of Warrawee Needy (Tim Tetrick) and Foiled Again wore down Sweet Lou, and the battle was on between those two. Foiled Again inched ahead and would not yield to Warrawee Needy to win by a neck in 1:49.3. Modern Legend (John Campbell) was third and Sweet Lou was fourth.

Foiled Again is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables.

The $35,000 Progress Pace elimination for 3-year-old males was held on Sunday night at Dover Downs and 20-1 Twilight Bonfire got his picture taken.

In a two-colt battle down the lane, Twilight Bonfire finally passed the favorite, Sunshine Beach, in the final strides to win by a head. Dedi's Dragon closed to finish third.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will 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). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past weekend:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,827; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,580; 3. David Miller - 1,143; 4. Brian Sears - 726.5; and 5. Ron Pierce - 692.5.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,751.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,166.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 495.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson - 472.5; and 5. Tony Alagna - 471.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 396.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 367.35; 3. Frank Bellino - 268.5; 4. Brittany Farms - 263.05; and 5. WJ Donovan - 242.75.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadowlands will host W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.

 

by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit

 

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