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Harness Racing This Week: The 2017 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2018 schedule will be released in January. Last time: Downbytheseaside, directed by Chris Page, went out a winner with a 1:48.3 victory prior to stallion duty in the $308,060 Hap Hansen Progress Pace at Dover Downs on Thursday (Nov. 30). In his 14th victory of the season, the son of Somebeachsomewhere defeated stablemate Fear The Dragon (David Miller) with Mac's Jackpot (Brett Miller) a distant third. Page moved the Brian Brown trainee quickly to the lead after a :26.2 opening panel and from there on it was all Downbytheseaside. The 3-year-old passed the half in :54.2 and reached the three-quarters in 1:21.2 with Fear The Dragon taken to the outside for a very tough first-over journey to try to overcome his rival.Downbytheseaside proved to be strong as a :27.1 final quarter sealed the victory for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the final leaders. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,664.5; 2. David Miller - 1,393; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,093; 4. Scott Zeron - 744; 5. Corey Callahan - 510. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,529.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,331.5; 3. Brian Brown - 557; 4. John Butenschoen - 511; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 471. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 345.2; 2. Determination - 301; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 293.9; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 265; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 245.3. Looking ahead: The 2018 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 30) for the $308,060 final in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon lead a field of eight in the Hap Hansen, the final stake of the 2017 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: For Ron Burke, nights like these are special. And they tend to happen all the time. On the last big stakes night of racing at the Meadowlands in 2017, Burke took two of the four TVG finals and added another winner in a Fall Final Four event (Youaremycandygirl in the Three Diamonds) on Saturday night (Nov. 25). Burke got the ball rolling with Hannelore Hanover in the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot. The 5-year-old daughter of Swan For All went a pocket trip behind Emoticon Hanover and rolled right by that foe to record a two length win in 1:52.3, raising the possibility of winning a Horse of the Year trophy at season's end. Emoticon Hanover completed the exacta. Caprice Hill was third. Winning driver Yannick Gingras, who also drives Horse of the Year contenders Ariana G and Manchego, wasn't saying who he thought should take home the hardware. "I can't answer that question," said Gingras. "All three of them are really special. I just wanted to do my job. Now it's time for the voters to do their job." What The Hill most likely locked up the 3-year-old male trot divisional honors by beating older foes in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot. David Miller put the son of Muscle Hill in a perfect spot, right behind 4-5 favorite Crazy Wow, and when that one weakened in the stretch, went the inside route to the winner's circle. It was three-quarters of a length back to Dayson who finished second. Pinkman was third. The time for the mile was 1:51.4, which equaled What The Hill's lifetime best. "That was my plan (to sit behind Crazy Wow)," said Miller. "He was very strong through the stretch. I'm very proud of him, stepping up to face older and do this." Pure Country sat off blinding fractions set by Darlinonthebeach of :27, :54.1 and 1:21 and flew home after vacating the three-hole on the far turn to take the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace by three-quarters of a length in 1:49. The 4-year-daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was driven by Mark MacDonald and is trained by Jimmy Takter. Bedroomconfessions was second with Darlinonthebeach holding on for third. Miller was seen in the winner's circle again in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace, guiding Mach It So to victory by a half-length over a fast-closing McWicked in 1:49.2. All Bets Off finished third. The 7-year-old gelded son of Mach Three lifted his lifetime earnings to just over $2.4 million for trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Nov. 25. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,664.5; 2. David Miller - 1,383; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,093; 4. Scott Zeron - 744; 5. Corey Callahan - 510. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,529.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,331.5; 3. Brian Brown - 527; 4. John Butenschoen - 511; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 471. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 345.2; 2. Determination - 301; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 293.9; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 255; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 240.3. Looking ahead: The 2017 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2018 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing 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. 22) for a $35,000 elimination in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 11 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 30. On Saturday night (Nov. 25) 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 464,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $420,750 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $411,700 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $381,200 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $350,000 Open Pace, the $350,000 Open Trot, the $175,000 Mare Pace and the $175,000 Mare Trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: World champion Downbytheseaside eclipsed the $2 million mark with a victory in his $210,000 division of the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 16) at Dover Downs. The passing lane was handy for driver Chris Page to collar front-pacing Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) in the final steps for a 1:50.1 victory on a chilly and windy night. Brian Brown trains the Somebeacsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt, who is owned by Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, Country Club Acres and Diamond Creek Racing. In what was his 12th win of the year, Downbytheseaside was placed in third by Page immediately after the pair left the starting gate and was content to allow Filibuster Hanover to establish the early fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:23.1. Page kept the second betting choice in the pocket spot while Rock N Tony ranged up on his outside in second at the three-quarter pole. As Rock N Tony retreated after his overland journey entering the stretch, his stablemate Eddard Hanover, one of three horses trained by Ron Burke in this race, paced into third position with Funknwaffles in hot pursuit. It initially appeared Page would steer Downbytheseaside to the outside to challenge Filibuster Hanover, but the colt's driver opted for the rail route to down his rival by a neck in the shadow of the wire. Eddard Hanover (Tetrick) remained in third. M And L of Delaware, the nom de course for Roz and Doug Paul, who are longtime harness patrons that usually have a propensity for pacers, now have a Matron trotting champion with their partner Bill Wiswell in Bill's Man. Tetrick guided the horse from off the pace to score in a new lifetime best 1:52.2 over Devious Man (Andy Miller) with Top Flight Angel (Daniel Dube) in third in the $201,900 sophomore male trot. Breeders Crown champion What The Hill (David Miller) and Devious Man (Andy Miller) exchanged the lead prior to Bill's Man closing with authority for his fifth win of the season. John Butenschoen conditions the son of Credit Winner-Silver Springs, who now has banked $454,446 this year. David Miller and Agent Q came home first in the $182,700 Matron sophomore filly pace final. The daughter of Western Terror-Teenage Paige scored her 10th triumph of 2017 for Martin Scharf, Bob Muscara and Rochetti Cassar Racing. Aaron Lambert trains the winner of $1,137,620 lifetime. Idyllic Beach (Gingras) was runner-up with Tequila Monday (Brett Miller) in third. Agent Q stopped the clock in 1:51. Determination's Dream Together, handled by Dan Dube, caught Evelyn (Andy Miller) at the wire by a nose to notch a 1:53.2 win for trainer Luc Blais in the $186,600 sophomore filly trot. The Muscle Hill-Danae 3-year-old won for the fourth time this year and this was the 13th occasion from 15 starts that she finished first, second or third. Race favorite Ice Attraction (Ake Svanstedt) finished third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Nov. 18. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,609.5; 2. David Miller - 1,333; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,088; 4. Scott Zeron - 714; 5. Corey Callahan - 510. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,454.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,261.5; 3. Brian Brown - 512; 4. John Butenschoen - 511; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 451. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 331.4; 2. Determination - 291; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 287.6; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 250; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 217.8. Looking ahead: The 2017 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 30. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $300,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del.; and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 16) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $210,000, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $201,900, the purse for the 3-year-old filly trot is $186,600 and the 3-year-old filly pacers will race for $182,700. On Saturday night (Nov. 18) Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations in each of the Fall Four events for pacers and trotters. There will be single $20,000 eliminations in the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers, the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, and the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Springsteen is not only a big hit on Broadway but also in the Matron Stakes after winning the $211,300 colt and gelding pace at Dover Downs on Thursday (Nov. 9). His victory placed him in the Delaware facility's winner's circle with the likes of the sensational Youaremycandygirl, Wolfgang and Plunge Blue Chip, as these four horses captured their respective contests for 2-year-olds. Teamed with driver Simon Allard, Springsteen shot past race favorite Shnitzledosomethin just past the three-quarters and rolled on to a 1:51.1 triumph. The win was only the second this year from 12 starts and is a new lifetime mark. Rene Allard recently became trainer of the Rock N Roll Heaven-American Charm youngster who now has banked $178,756 this season. Bruce Soulsby, Kapildeo Singh, Alan Weisenberg and Allard Racing own the winner. Closing Statement and Brian Sears were second in front of Shnitzledosomethin (Peter Wrenn). Yannick Gingras guided Youaremycandygirl to an easy 1:52.1 score in the $174,700 Matron filly pace. W.J. Donovan owns the American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane lass, who is trained by Ron Burke. The filly collected her sixth consecutive stakes victory and her eighth of the year from 10 races. She has now won $714,545 in purses. Strong Opinion (David Miller) was the runner-up with Aims Whisper (Wrenn) third. The outside post eight was no burden for Plunge Blue Chip in the $173,000 Matron filly trot. Ake Svanstedt, who owns the Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato miss with Blue Chip Bloodstock, hustled away from the starting gate and won for fun in 1:55.4. It was her seventh win from eight races and improved her earnings to $194,833. Perfect Summer K (Andrew McCarthy) had a perfect two-hole trip and was second, with S M S Princess (Tim Tetrick) third at the wire. Wolfgang played winning music for Gingras in a 1:55.3 decision in the $203,900 Matron colt trot. Jimmy Takter conditions the My MVP-Summer Savory freshman for owners Goran Falk, Fair Island Farm, Brixton Medical and Hatfield Stables. The win was his third of the season from eight races. Wolfgang caught Samo Different Day (Takter) in the last steps to bring his earnings to $204,920. I Know My Rights (Tyler Buter) was the show horse. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Nov. 9. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,589.5; 2. David Miller - 1,308; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,048; 4. Scott Zeron - 707; 5. Corey Callahan - 510. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,434.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,244.5; 3. Brian Brown - 492; 4. John Butenschoen - 491; 5. Erv Miller - 438. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 326.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 282.5; 3. Determination - 271; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 250; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 212.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place next week at Meadowlands Racetrack and Dover Downs. The Meadowlands will host the Fall Four finals for 2-year-olds -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid -- and the four TVG finals for older male and female pacers and trotters. Dover Downs will host eliminations in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Carl Erskine Trot, Monument Circle, the USS Indianapolis and the Crossroads of America, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten finals and consolations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: After hosting the Breeders Crown races the past two weekends, the Grand Circuit remains at Hoosier Park as the track will have four stakes races on the Saturday (Nov. 4) card. Leading the way is the $220,000 (est.) Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Also on tap will be the $200,000 (est.) Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, the $115,000 (est.) Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $115,000 (est.) USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, 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 $214,900, the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $198,000, the purse for the 2-year-old colt pace is $150,000 and the 2-year-old filly pacers will race for $140,550. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Hoosier Park was in the Grand Circuit spotlight last weekend as the Indiana oval hosted 12 Breeders Crown finals. Hannelore Hanover became the first female winner of the Breeders Crown Open Trot in 19 years, beating Crazy Wow by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1 in Saturday's (Oct. 28) $526,250 final. Marion Marauder was third. Crazy Wow led the field around the first turn, with Hannelore Hanover staying to his outside in a move for the lead. She got there just prior to the quarter, reached in :26.3, but held the spot only briefly as Marion Marauder trotted by and took the group to the half in :55.3. Marion Marauder remained on top as the field hit three-quarters in 1:25, but Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras were soon to make a move in the stretch to take the lead for good. "I honestly didn't see that one coming," said Gingras about Marion Marauder leaving hard off the gate. "I didn't really want to be in a two-hole, I know he is a nice horse, but I didn't want to be behind him. It's just the way it goes and it worked out." Hannelore Hanover, a 5-year-old mare trained by Ron Burke, became the first female winner of the Open Trot since Moni Maker in 1998. The only other mare to win the Open Trot was CR Kay Suzie in 1996. For the year, Hannelore Hanover has won nine of 16 races and earned $952,879. For her career, the former Indiana Sire Stakes champion has won 35 of 57 races and earned $2.37 million. Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a daughter of Swan For All out of the mare High Sobriety. She was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Beckhams Z Tam out-dueled favorite Downbytheseaside down the stretch to win Saturday's $527,500 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers by a quarter-length in 1:51.1 and touch off an emotional celebration. Miso Fast was third. Beckhams Z Tam, the third Indiana-bred of the night to capture a Breeders Crown, has spent nearly his entire career racing at Hoosier Park. He was driven by Ricky Macomber Jr. and is trained by his wife, Jamie Macomber, who is a former assistant for Ron Burke in her first year with her own stable. The colt is owned by Bill Matz's Z Tam Stables. It was the first Breeders Crown win for all. Jamie Macomber greeted her husband with a hug and kiss as he returned to the winner's circle with Beckhams Z Tam. A large crowd gathered in and around the winner's circle and shouted words of congratulations to the connections. "I never dreamed anything like this," a teary-eyed Jamie Macomber said as she made her way to the trophy presentation. "This is his home track. Turning for home I knew he was the winner. I don't know what to say. My husband did it. It's amazing." All but three of Beckhams Z Tam's career races have come at Hoosier Park. Miso Fast was the early leader in Saturday's final, taking the field to the opening quarter in :26.2. Downbytheseaside claimed the lead prior to the half, reached in :56, and remained on top when he hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. Beckhams Z Tam was fourth at the three-quarters, following the first-over cover of Mac's Jackpot, before surging three wide and making his way to the front. Downbytheseaside remained within striking distance, but was unable to get closer than the final margin. "That horse that was first up, I was a little worried that he wouldn't be able to carry me to around the last turn, and I was more concerned about that half being in :56 flat," Ricky Macomber said. "It was a little slow, but he overcame it." Beckhams Z Tam has won 11 of 19 races this year and earned $500,295. For his career, the son of Always A Virgin out of the mare Sara's Lucky Charm, has won 11 of 25 races and $547,994. Beckhams Z Tam was bred by Lavon Miller. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 28. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,519.5; 2. David Miller - 1,268; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,018; 4. Scott Zeron - 687; 5. Corey Callahan - 505. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,394.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,184.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 486; 4. Brian Brown - 472; 5. Erv Miller - 408. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 321.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 277.5; 3. Determination - 271; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 250; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 207.8. 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. 9) program. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Breeders Crown finals and Pegasus, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: The 12 Breeders Crown championship events at Hoosier Park will be front and center in the Grand Circuit spotlight this week. The six Breeders Crown championship races for female pacers and trotters will be raced on Friday (Oct. 27) while the six championships for male pacers and trotters will be contested on Saturday (Oct. 28). Hoosier will also host the Pegasus for 3-year-old pacers and trotters. The filly events will be held on Friday and the races for colts will be contested on Saturday. Vernon Downs will host the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters on Thursday (Oct. 26). There will be single $10,000 divisions for both colts and fillies on each gait. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Breeders Crown eliminations were in the spotlight this past weekend at Hoosier Park as 22 contests were raced at the Indiana oval. Downbytheseaside got back on the winning track Saturday night (Oct. 21), taking the first of two $25,000 eliminations for the Breeders Crown sophomore pacing male division. Driven by Brian Sears, Downbytheseaside led virtually wire-to-wire, winning in 1:51.1. Downbytheseaside won for the 18th time in his career for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing. Brian Brown conditions the colt. An even-money favorite, Downbytheseaside returned $4 for the victory. Joining him in this week's final will be runner-up Boogie Shuffle, Photobombr Hanover, Miso Fast and Ocean Colony. The second elimination was the wildest race of the night as 28-1 shot Rock N Tony pulled off a major upset that saw both favorites -- Little Brown Jug winner Filibuster Hanover and North America Cup champion Fear The Dragon -- fail to qualify for the final. Rock N Tony scored in 1:50.2 for driver Trace Tetrick. Erv Miller trains Rock N Tony for owners Anthony Lombardi and Rocco Ruffolo. Following Rock N Tony into the final will be Blood Line, Beckhams Z Tam, Mac's Jackpot and the supplemental entry Funknwaffles. In a topsy-turvy season for the older male pacers, the main consistent factor in the division's two $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations was driver David Miller, as the leading active sulky-sitting money leader handled both winners, Dealt A Winner and Mach It So. Dealt A Winner dug deep and maintained a neck margin over Keystone Velocity on the money, stopping the clock in 1:49.3, with Keystone Velocity nosing out Split The House for the deuce. Manhattan Beach (closing well) and All Bets Off were the others who advanced to this week's final. Dealt A Winner is trained by Mark Silva for owner Jeffrey Snyder. Mach It So scored his first victory since the William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands on July 15, and in the process tied the Hoosier track record for older pacing geldings of 1:48.2 in his wire-to-wire score. Though perhaps not a recent winner, Mach It So got his ninth check in 10 starts against top company, and the Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee now has 2017 earnings of $519,903 and a career bankroll of $2,206,647 for Bamond Racing LLC. He returned $11.00. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 21. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,389.5; 2. David Miller - 1,223; 3. Tim Tetrick - 988; 4. Scott Zeron - 667; 5. Corey Callahan - 473. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,254.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,114.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 464; 4. Brian Brown - 442; 5. Erv Miller - 391. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 291.7; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 252.9; 3. Determination - 246; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 230; 5. Jeff Snyder - 188. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park and Meadowlands Racetrack. Hoosier has the Monument Circle, Carl Erskine, Crossroads of America and USS Indianapolis on Nov. 4, while the Meadowlands will race the four Kindergarten Series finals, also on Nov. 4. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Bob Key has been a longtime participant in the Breeders Crown and an ardent supporter of the harness racing Grand Circuit. He knows what it takes to win at the sport's top level and appreciates the opportunities for success. "This is what you're shooting for," said the 84-year-old Key, who has won twice in the Breeders Crown series and sends three horses to this year's event at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. "The Breeders Crown, look at how great it is to win it. I've been lucky to win (two) of them now. And with all the horses I have, it shows how difficult it is. "You're always looking for that champion. It's one of the great dreams to get one of those good ones." Key won his first Breeders Crown in the inaugural year of the event, 1984, as a member of the ownership group of 2-year-old female pacer Amneris. In 2010, he captured his second Crown with homebred 3-year-old male trotter Break The Bank K. In addition to his two victories, Key has finished second in a Breeders Crown final on seven occasions, including twice with homebred female trotter Win Missy B (in 2011 and 2012). This year, Key sends 2-year-old female trotter Looking For Zelda, 3-year-old female pacer Terrortina, and 4-year-old female trotter Flowers N Songs to the Breeders Crown. All three were bred by Key. Looking For Zelda and Terrortina race in eliminations Friday. All eliminations for female trotters and pacers will be contested that night, with the eliminations for male trotters and pacers to follow on Saturday. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Flowers N Songs will advance directly to the final of the Breeders Crown Mare Trot, the only class in which eliminations were not required. "I'm not going in just to go in it," Key said. "With all these horses, I feel if it goes the right way we do have the possibility of winning. I'm not just going in there hoping I'm getting third or fourth. I'm hoping we can win it. "I'm looking forward to it." Looking For Zelda is a daughter of Key's Breeders Crown-winning Break The Bank K out of the mare My Winning Way K. She has won seven of nine races this year and finished second in the remaining two. She heads to her Breeders Crown elimination off a 1:54 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 6. "I'm really pleased with Looking For Zelda, no question about it," Key said about the filly, who has earned $221,675 this season while competing primarily on the Ohio Sire Stakes circuit. "She's one of the special fillies I've had. I've had some lucky ones and good ones, but right now you can't ask for much more. "There are some very good horses in there. I think we're definitely in it. I think we have a good chance of doing well in it. They're 2-year-olds; you never know what's going to happen. You just hope they're going the right way." Looking For Zelda is 5-1 on the morning line, with Tony Hall driving for trainer Norm Parker. Manchego, undefeated in 10 career races, is the 4-5 favorite. The top five finishers from each of the two eliminations for 2-year-old female trotters advance to the $600,000 final on Oct. 27. Basquiat is the 5-2 favorite in the other elim. The 39-year-old Hall, who has won 5,326 races in his career, will be making his Breeders Crown debut. "I know he wants to drive her; it's something special for him," Key said. "He really likes her and he's done a good job with her this year. We're going to stay with him. "I think he's one of the top drivers. The driver is important. They have to have confidence in a horse. He says (Looking For Zelda) is easy to drive and does what he wants. That's all you can ask." Terrortina, a daughter of Western Terror out of the mare Alladorable, has won three of 24 races this year and earned $121,024. She has hit the board a total of 13 times and picked up checks in several stakes including the Jugette, Courageous Lady and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers got a field of 11. The connections of New York Sire Stakes champion Obvious Blue Chip and Lismore Pace winner Tequila Monday accepted byes to the final and the remaining nine fillies will compete in a single elimination. Terrortina is 20-1 on the morning line, with Hall driving for Parker. Blazin Britches is the 3-1 favorite, ahead of Caviart Ally at 7-2, Agent Q at 4-1 and Idyllic Beach at 5-1. The top eight finishers advance to the $500,000 final. "Norm feels good about her and so does Tony Hall," said Key, whose top career wins also include the 1993 Hambletonian with homebred American Winner. "I thought it was worth going in there." Click here for Friday's complete Hoosier Park card. Click here for Saturday's complete Hoosier Park card. Ken Weingartner  

Harness Racing This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Hoosier Park this Friday (Oct. 20) and Saturday (Oct. 21) for Breeders Crown eliminations in 11 divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the mare trot. The Friday card features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the mare pace, single $25,000 eliminations in the 3-year-old filly pace and 3-year-old filly trot, and two $20,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly pace and 2-year-old filly trot. The Saturday card features a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the 3-year-old colt trot, two $25,000 eliminations in the Open Trot, Open Pace, and 3-year-old colt pace, three $20,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old colt pace, and two $20,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old colt trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Twister Bi assumed control from fellow world champion Resolve, then put on a trotting showcase in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The 5-year-old stallion stopped the clock in a world record 2:22.1 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Oct. 14), 5-1/2 lengths in front of the field. Trainer Jerry Riordan said, "I just wanted everyone to see how good he really is." They most certainly did. Defending champion Resolve (Ãke Svanstedt) assumed the lead as the field of 10 very established rivals left the gate with Italian representatives Oasis Bi (Kim Eriksson) and Twister Bi (Christoffer Eriksson) following his lead. Oasis Bi made a menacing move to take command, but it truly was all Twister Bi. Once the stallion was provided his cue, the other nine horses were only trotting for minor awards. As Twister Bi continued to roll home unopposed in any way, 2016 Triple Crown victor Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) advanced to head off Oasis Bi for second as they crossed the wire. A son of the incomparable Varenne, Twister Bi is owned by Pasquale Ciccarelli and now possesses 21 triumphs in 50 career trips to the post after competing with the best Europe has to offer. He is also the latest millionaire on American soil. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 14. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,334.5; 2. David Miller - 1,139; 3. Tim Tetrick - 938; 4. Scott Zeron - 640; 5. Corey Callahan - 465. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,208.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,092.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 458; 4. Brian Brown - 430; 5. Erv Miller - 364. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 285.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 248.9; 3. Determination - 244; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 230; 5. Ken Jacobs - 182. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Hoosier Park with Breeders Crown finals in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters). Hoosier will also host four Pegasus divisions for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. In addition, Vernon Downs will host a leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers International Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio. Schedule of events: This week's marquee event on the Grand Circuit is the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino, which will be held on Saturday (Oct. 14) at Yonkers Raceway. A field of 10 top trotters will head to the gate in the Yonkers International. Also on tap this week will be Circle City and Madison County events at Hoosier Park. The Thursday (Oct. 12) card at Hoosier will feature the $73,600 Madison County for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $68,800 Circle City for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $53,800 Madison County for 2-year-old filly pacers and the $50,000 Circle City for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (Oct. 14) Hoosier Park program will feature $65,000 (est.) Circle City races for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters and $65,000 (est.) Madison County events for 2-year-old male pacers and trotters. Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Blowing into contention at odds of 82-1 in the elimination, Snowstorm Hanover replicated his first heat rally and surged past Devious Man to win the $420,000 final of the Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc., and Menhammer Stuteri Ab., in 1:53.2 on Oct. 8 at Red Mile. "I really wonder now if he just doesn't like the hot weather," Ron Burke said of his aptly-named trotter. "We noticed that he washes out sometimes very badly in the parade, and sometimes when he washes out he's really bad. So, maybe today, the weather was a blessing to him; it seemed cooler." Snowstorm Hanover got away fourth in the final, tracking his stablemate What The Hill while Bill's Man put up a quarter in :29. Yes Mickey, circling out of the pocket, took the field to the half in :56.3 while What The Hill marched first-over into second, carrying with him Snowstorm Hanover. Devious Man, positioned fourth-over around the turn, was flying towards the center of the track heading to three-quarters, timed in 1:24.2, and took over the lead midway in the stretch. Snowstorm Hanover, angling three wide, chased after Devious Man coming into the eighth pole, pursuing the leader and eventually drawing alongside before sticking his nose in front in the final yards to win. Lindy The Great finished third and What The Hill was fourth. Returning $13.60 to win, Snowstorm Hanover, by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, won his eighth race from 32 career starts, earning $649,349 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Phil Collura and Weaver Bruscemi. He is trained by Ron Burke and was driven by Matt Kakaley. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Oct. 7. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,284.5; 2. David Miller - 1,029; 3. Tim Tetrick - 888; 4. Scott Zeron - 615; 5. Corey Callahan - 463. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,108.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 997.5; 3. John Butenschoen - 426; 4. Brian Brown - 400; 5. Erv Miller - 354. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 257.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 223.8; 3. Determination - 209; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 5. Ken Jacobs - 182. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park with 12 Breeders Crown eliminations (if necessary) set to take place on Friday (Oct. 20) and Saturday (Oct. 21). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. Schedule of events: The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 5) with five divisions in the $283,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 6) card features five divisions in the $289,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Oct. 7) The Red Mile will host the $300,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $300,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers and a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 8), The Red Mile will offer the $500,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $300,000 (est.) Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $450,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $275,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, and $75,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: A large and enthusiastic throng turned out Friday night (Sept. 29) for a pair of Grand Circuit stakes at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Pasithea Face S, one of just two mares in the eight-horse $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby, showed her heels to the field in 1:53, a new track record for trotting mares at the four-year-old five-eighths-mile oval. Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the daughter of Muscle Hill from the gate, leading pocketsitter JL Cruze (David Miller) and parked out Hannelore Hanover (Matt Kakaley) to the quarter in :27. Hannelore Hanover, the lukewarm favorite and the other female in the contest, inched past JL Cruze while still on the rim at the half in :54.4. The tempo slackened in the third panel due to strong headwinds down the backstretch, but Pasithea Face S continued to front the classy trotters in 1:24.2. Tetrick, who explained, "I thought it was her race to win if I could get the lead. I put her in a bad spot two weeks ago in the Maple Leaf Trot, but I knew she'd be good if I got her a clean trip tonight," urged the winner through a :28.3 closing quarter-mile to seal the deal. It was the 12th career win for the lightly raced 5-year-old and pushed her lifetime bounty past $560,000. Trotting guru Jimmy Takter trains the Derby champion for Courant Inc. Rockin Ron became the sport's newest millionaire when he brushed home a 1:50.2 winner in the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. Driver Matt Kakaley was content to sit near the back of the nine-horse pack for the first five-eighths of the mile, before taking up fourth-over position down the backside and angling to the outside coming out of the final turn and exploding in the stretch. Luck Be Withyou (Brett Miller) left alertly from the innermost post position to cut early fractions of :26.3 and :54.4 while Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) enjoyed a pocket ride with longshot Boston Red Rocks (Josh Sutton) racing gamely on the outside. Boston Red Rocks actually nudged ahead by a neck at the 1:21.4 third-quarter clocking, just before the cavalry charge from the rear commenced. When Boston Red Rocks began to tire, second-over Dealt A Winner (Aaron Merriman) took his best shot, which resulted in a second place finish. Third-over Missile J (Tim Tetrick) also finished strongly to garner the show dough after Rockin Ron swept past both of them during the :28.3 closing panel. The 5-year-old son of Real Desire now owns 27 victories and the winner's share of the purse sent his earnings skyrocketing to $1,006,107. Ron Burke trains Rockin Ron for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and RTC Stables. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 30. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,109.5; 2. David Miller - 869; 3. Tim Tetrick - 778; 4. Scott Zeron - 500; 5. Corey Callahan - 398. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 973.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 847.5; 3. Brian Brown - 400; 4. John Butenschoen - 316; 5. Linda Toscano - 308. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 230; 2. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 3. Determination - 204; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 196.2; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 161.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Yonkers Raceway, Hoosier Park and Northfield Park. Yonkers will offer the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino for free-for-all trotters; Hoosier will contest Circle City races for 3-year-olds and Madison County events for 2-year-olds; and Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. Paul Ramlow

DAYTON, OH. - A large and enthusiastic throng turned out Friday night (Sept. 29) for a pair of harness racing Grand Circuit stakes at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Pasithea Face S, one of just two mares in the eight horse affair, showed her heels to the field in 1:53, a new track record for trotting mares at the four-year-old five-eighths mile oval. Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the daughter of Muscle Hill from the gate, leading pocketsitter JL Cruze (David Miller) and parked out Hannelore Hanover (Matt Kakaley) to the quarter in :27. Hannelore Hanover, the lukewarm favorite and the other female in the contest, inched past JL Cruze while still on the rim at the half in :54.4. The tempo slackened in the third panel due to strong headwinds down the backstretch, but Pasithea Face S continued to front the classy trotters in 1:24.2. Tetrick, who explained "I thought it was her race to win if I could get the lead. I put her in a bad spot two weeks ago in the Maple Leaf Trot, but I knew she'd be good if I got her a clean trip tonight," urged the winner through a :28.3 closing quarter mile to seal the deal. Pasithea Face S, as the third choice at the windows, returned $9 to her backers. Combined with eventual runnerup Crazy Wow (Chris Page) the exacta yielded a $138.20 payoff; while the trifecta with show finisher JL Cruze paid $571. It was the twelfth career win for the lilghtly raced 5-year-old and pushed her lifetime bounty past $560,000. Trotting guru Jimmy Takter trains the Derby champion for Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida. Rockin Ron became the sport's newest millionaire when he brushed home a 1:50.2 winner in the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. Driver Matt Kakaley was content to sit near the back of the nine-horse pack for the first five-eighths of the mile, before taking up fourth-over position down the backside and angling to the outside coming out of the final turn and exploding in the stretch. Luck Be Withyou (Brett Miller) left alertly from the innermost post position to cut early fractions of :26.3 and :54.4 while Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) enjoyed a pocket ride with longshot Boston Red Rocks (Josh Sutton) racing gamely on the outside. Boston Red Rocks actually nudged ahead by a neck at the 1:21.4 third quarter clocking, just before the cavalry charge from the rear commenced. When Boston Red Rocks began to tire, second-over Dealt A Winner (Aaron Merriman) took his best shot, which resulted in a second place finish. Third-over Missile J (Tim Tetrick) also finished strongly to garner the show dough after Rockin Ron swept past both of them during the :28.3 closing panel. Punters who picked Rockin Ron got a nice $12.60 kickback, while the exacta returned $55 and a $2 trifecta was worth $332. The 5-year-old son of Real Desire now owns 27 victories and the winner's share of the purse sent his earnings skyrocketing to $1,056,107. Ron Burke trains Rockin Ron for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and the RTC Stable. Gregg Keidel

Harness Racing This Week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio; and John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 28) at Red Mile with five divisions in the $366,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 29) card at the Lexington oval will feature five divisions in the $330,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 30), Red Mile will offer the $400,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 1) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night will feature a pair of Grand Circuit stakes in the $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters and the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on Friday, Harrah's Philadelphia will contest four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday card at Harrah's Philadelphia will see the $74,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $68,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair this past week, with the $590,400 Little Brown Jug leading five days of exciting stakes races. Prior to Thursday's (Sept. 21) Little Brown Jug final, trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras decided that, win or lose, they wanted to send Filibuster Hanover to the front at the start of the race. It was a win. Filibuster Hanover, starting from post No. 2 after his second-place finish to Fear The Dragon in the day's earlier first heat, got the lead and never looked back to win the $401,472 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers by a length over Funknwaffles in 1:50 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Miso Fast, another horse from the Burke Stable, finished third and Fear The Dragon was fourth in the 72nd edition of the event, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association. It was the second Little Brown Jug victory for the tandem of Burke and Gingras, who won in 2014 with Limelight Beach. Filibuster Hanover is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Fashion Ecstasy. He is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. He was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and was purchased for $90,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. For the year, Filibuster Hanover has won three of 14 races and earned $518,859. For his career, he has five victories in 27 starts and $633,258. On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter. The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in a track record of 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven Grand Circuit contests on the card. Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport's newest millionaire. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 23. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,007; 2. David Miller - 764; 3. Tim Tetrick - 633; 4. Scott Zeron - 475; 5. Corey Callahan - 363. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 888.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 720; 3. Brian Brown - 375; 4. John Butenschoen - 296; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 262. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 209; 2. Emerald Highlands Farm - 205; 3. Determination - 204; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 175.2; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 151.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured will be the Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap will be the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for the sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow

Lexington, KY - The eagerly anticipated Red Mile Grand Circuit meet kicks off with a ten race harness racing card on the evening of Thursday, September 28, post time is 7:00 p.m.   Freshman trotting colts will kick off the action when 41 of them spread over five divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes sponsored by Hickory Lane Horse Farms heralding their trotting stallion Uncle Peter, whose first crop offering rewrote the record books at the recently concluded Ohio Select Yearling sale.   Among the Bluegrass entrants are Peter Haughton Memorial winner You Know You Do, PASS champ Fashionwoodchopper, NYSS stalwart Fourth Dimension and NJSS final winner U Need Stones.   The top names in the game, both human and equine, will converge on Lexington to compete for more than $5 million in purses during the two week Grand Circuit meet over the famed red clay.   Racing is live at The Red Mile Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m., switches to a 1:00 p.m. post on Sunday then resumes with matinee racing October 5 through 8.   The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale gets underway on Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. and will continue through Saturday evening with more than 600 royally bred yearlings consigned.   The Red Mile Clubhouse will be open for dining each day during the Grand Circuit meet and you may reserve a table by dialing (859) 255-0752.   A more detailed preview of Thursday's races will be released on Tuesday after the program has been made final.   Nick Salvi          

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 22, 2017 - On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the harness racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter. The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven on the Grand Circuit contests on the card. "I am very excited about the driving him here in the Breeders Crown," said pilot Brett Miller. "I've only driven him three times, but since he's been here it's like he knows where he is and that he is home; he also loves the track. He is such a well-mannered horse and that is what makes him what he is. Nine out of 10 of the great horses you drive are intelligent and if they don't have that they generally never become very good; this horse has that and much more." Another track record holder over this Anderson oval in I Know My Chip (Sam Widger), led the extremely talented field of 10 through the first quarter mile in a swift :26.1 with world champion JL Cruze (David Miller) right behind him as Hannelore Hanover was content to track this duo in third until shortly after the tote board flashed the time of :54.3 for the half-mile. As the final turn to the homestretch loomed, Yannick Gingras pulled the 5-year-old mare and she responded with vigor to take the lead. As Hannelore Hanover made her move, Homicide Hunter and Miller simply employed her cover to enter second place at the top of the lane. The mare dug deep in reply to Homicide Hunter's advance, yet the gelding's strides appeared to lengthen as he drew on even terms then trotted past his rival. Meanwhile Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) was making his own bid for the victory with an extremely strong move on the outside, but it was too little too late. Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport's newest millionaire. The Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes Not to be outdone by her more seasoned and mature elderstatesman, Basquiat (Gingras) demolished the track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies just recently set by Oh So Easy when she tripped the teletimer earlier in the evening in 1:53.4 in the $240,000 race. The time was nearly a full second faster than the previous standard. Trained by Jimmy Takter and competing as a homebred for Order By Stable, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Thatsnotmyname was not hindered by drawing post nine in the field of 10 as she trotted comfortably in third for the first quarter mile, which was timed in :27, before advancing to second behind leader Meadow Brook Grace (Trace Tetrick) just before the :56.2 half-mile. The positions of the top two remained unchanged through three-quarters in 1:25 but when Gingras gave his filly her cue to go after the final turn, Basquiat responded in kind. The filly strode past the pacesetter with ease and defeated a hard-closing Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) by a measured length. Hey Blondie (Andrew McCarthy) was third. Basquiat's record now stands at 7-5-2. The Moni Maker Although she did not establish a new track record like her counterparts, Sunshine Delight (Brett Miller) did equal a facility mark with a 1:53.1 victory by two lengths in the $160,000 event. In a race where the lead was inherited by three of the seven contestants in the race, Sunshine Delight (post five) was placed in sixth position for until after the toteboard recorded a time of :57.1 for the half-mile. That is when Miller urged his filly to advance and by the top of the stretch she had a head advantage over Treviso (Charlie Norris, post two). From there on in, it was all Sunshine Delight and daughter of Credit Winner-On The Bright Side set a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. Trained by Staffan Lind, the filly is owned by James Wilhite Jr. and it is her second win of the year from 11 trips to the post. "She has had some very tough posts, like in the Hambletonian Oaks, but she has always tried her best and raced well," Miller said. "She is a very good filly, but she's had some bad luck. It's great to see her finally win one of these tonight." Sunshine Delight was followed home by Future Secured (Gingras), who is a full-sister to Basquiat, and Treviso. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Story By: Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Lexington, KY - With 2017 The Little Brown Jug now history, the focus of the harness racing Grand Circuit shifts to the Bluegrass for a fortnight of top quality harness racing at The Red Mile and the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   Racing begins on Thursday, September 28 with a 7 p.m. post time which continues through Saturday, September 30. The 1:00 p.m. matinee cards start on Sunday, October 1 and return for the Thursday - Sunday schedule October 5-8.   The first draw is on Monday, September 25 with the box closing at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. The condition sheet is available on the web. Electronic entry is encouraged and the Race Office & Judges contact information is available on the condition sheet.   All information pertinent to bringing your stable to The Red Mile (including stall applications which must be filed) may be accessed from this page.   The Clubhouse dining room will be open on all race dates, make your reservations by calling (859) 255-0752.   The Lexington Yearling sale where champions are sold kicks off on the evening of Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. and continues through Saturday.   The city of Lexington offers much in the way of entertainment available during your stay including fine dining and an active nighttime scene.   Come join the fun!   Nick Salvi

Harness Racing This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; Centaur Trotting Classic, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Metro and She's A Great Lady, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 20) at Delaware with the $279,250 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $80,575 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 21) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $590,400 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $120,500 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $105,125 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters and the $52,200 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters. Standardbred events for 2-year-old pacers and 2-year-old filly trotters were contested earlier in the week. The Harrah's Philadelphia card on Wednesday will feature four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 22) with the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic for Open trotters, the $240,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $200,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $160,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $160,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, and the $125,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 23) with the C$816,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers and the C$500,000 She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four major stakes, led by the $486,260 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. Hannelore Hanover got her Maple Leaf Trot redemption with an impressive 1:51.1 victory. The 5-year-old trotting mare and driver Yannick Gingras seized the lead heading to the half and proceeded to trot away to a 4-1/2 length victory for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. "When she's like this, in North America anyway, I'll take on any trotter," said Gingras following Hannelore Hanover's sensational performance. JL Cruze shot out to grab the early lead and posted a snappy opening quarter of :26.2. Hannelore Hanover settled into third in the early going, while Gingras waited to make his move. Hannelore Hanover came with a second quarter rush and secured the lead in time to post a half of :54.3. Odds On Amethyst came first up in the third quarter and got up to the wheel of the leader, but Gingras got a comfortable third quarter of :28.4 to lead at that station in 1:23.2. In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover waved goodbye to her rivals and trotted home strongly in :27.4 for her biggest victory to date. JL Cruze finished second, while Pasithea Face, the other mare in the field, was third. The superfecta was completed by Warrawee Roo. The victory is extra special for Hannelore Hanover's connections after coming up just short in last year's event. "Last year she raced her heart out and was second to Resolve in a great race," said co-owner Baldachino. "For her to come back a year later and actually win it, it's real sweet and very special." A daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is now six for 10 this season with $531,754 earned. The talented trotting mare surpassed $1.9 million in career earnings with her 32nd career win Saturday. Hannelore Hanover's Maple Leaf Trot victory is the first win in the event for driver Gingras and trainer Burke. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Sept. 16. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 885; 2. David Miller - 689; 3. Tim Tetrick - 568; 4. Scott Zeron - 425; 5. Corey Callahan - 301. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 708.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 658; 3. Brian Brown - 315; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 227; 5. John Butenschoen - 224. Owners: 1. Emerald Highlands Farm - 175; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 168.8; 3. Determination - 164; 4. Diamond Creek Racing - 151.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 141.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Hollywood Dayton Raceway will also be hosting a pair of Grand Circuit events, the Dayton Pacing Derby and the Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses and Harrah's Philadelphia will contest John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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