Day At The Track

Grand Circuit races this weekend

02:36 AM 17 May 2018 NZST
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The Grand Circuit, Harness Racing
The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Graduate Series Trot first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (May 19) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a pair of $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open trotters.

Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway will host two $40,000 eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and a single $20,000 elimination in the Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last Time: The mercurial W.N. Reynolds Memorial found its way to Westchester Saturday night (May 12), with Yonkers Raceway hosting six divisions for 3-year-old pacers of both genders. More than $132,000 was up for grabs in three divisions each for the boys and the girls.

The fastest male mile of the $23,066 per race trio was turned in by odds-on Wes Delight (Corey Callahan, $2.70). From post position four, he took over from a 90-1 bombardier and finished the first event from there (:27.3, :56.2, 1:25.1, 1:53.3). Wes Delight defeated Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett) by 2-1/2 lengths, with 129-1 proposition Yupper (Brett Miller) third.

For Wes Delight, a son of Bettors Delight co-owned by trainer Mark Harder, Rick Phillips and Deena Frost, it was his second win in three seasonal starts.

"A little kid could drive him," Callahan said. "He had the leader stop in front of him (in PA Sire Stakes at the Meadows), so I thought if I could make the front, I'd leave with him.

"He does only what's asked of him."

The other colt/gelding divisions were won by My Delight (by Betterthancheddar); owner Bay Pond Racing Stable/trainer Homer Hochstetler/driver Brent Holland; 1:55.1/$71 and Mach N Cheese (by Betterthancheddar); owner Save The Day Stable/trainer Rob Harmon/driver Jordan Stratton; 1:54.1/$7.40.

Saturday night's trio of Reynolds for the ladies, worth $21,066, $21,066 and $21,566, respectively, were won by Checkered Past (by American Ideal); owner All Star Racing/trainer Peter Foley/driver Mark MacDonald; 1:54.1/$3.40; Presto Blue Chip (by American Ideal); co-owners Howard and Michael Ouriel/trainer Jeff Smith/driver Brett Miller; 1:54.2/$6.50; and Alexa's Power (by Somebeachsomewhere); owner Jeff Snyder/trainer Jim Campbell/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:54.4/$9.30.

Complete recaps of the weekend 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 - 159; 2. Jordan Stratton - 134; 3. Yannick Gingras - 129; 4. Jason Bartlett - 94; 5. Daniel Dube - 65.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 128; 2. Peter Tritton - 102; 3. Jim King Jr. - 79; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5. Rene Allard - 65.

Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 34; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 30.3; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 30.3; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Mohawk Racetrack (first leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares); The Raceway at Western Fair District (Camluck Classic for open pacers); Yonkers Raceway (Art Rooney and Lismore finals for 3-year-old pacers); and Harrah's Philadelphia (Maxie Lee Memorial for open trotters and Betsy Ross for pacing mares).

Paul Ramlow

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