Day At The Track

Mohawk Park, Tioga in Grand Circuit spotlight

12:14 AM 13 Sep 2018 NZST
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This Week: Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peaceful Way finals; and Milton Stakes, 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. 14) with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and single $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters, 2-year-old colt pacers and 2-year-old filly pacers.

Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park also begins on Friday with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. A big Saturday card will feature the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$340,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$385,000 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 races are available at this link.

Last time: On Saturday evening (Sept. 8) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Split The House (Aaron Merriman) demonstrated why he is the defending Breeders Crown champion with a 1:49.1 triumph over Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial.

Split The House was a neck winner over Nuclear Dragon in 1:49.1 on a sloppy track.

Filibuster Hanover (Tony Hall) was third, with Western Fame (Tyler Smith) and favored McWicked (David Miller) dead-heating for fourth on the sloppy track.

Merriman and his charge stated their case when leaving with conviction from post position six. Nuclear Dragon, however, snatched the front to lead the field through a sharp :26.2 first quarter-mile.

Noble continued to sulky-sit as Nuclear Dragon paced his splits in :53.2 and 1:20.4. It appeared the 6-year-old gelding was on his way to his first Grand Circuit victory. That is until a resurgent Split The House rallied on the rail to win by a neck and collect his second victory of the season in nine starts and 14th in 39 career efforts.

Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Split The House is trained by Chris Oakes. He has now earned $306,846 in 2018 and $913,179 lifetime.

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 - 843.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 820.5; 3. David Miller - 539.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 402; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 697.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 629; 3. Tony Alagna - 440; 4. Jim Campbell - 256; 5. Erv Miller - 245.

Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 154.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 149.3; 4. Brittany Farms - 147.4; 5. Robert Key - 122.

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; Woodbine Mohawk will feature the finals of the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady for freshman pacers; 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 Circuit


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