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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

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway brought the curtain down on its fifth and most successful season on Monday (May 7). The highlights of the final harness racing card of 2018 were a pair of Grand Circuit events that both established national season's marks over a five-eighths mile track. Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman) copped the extremely competitive $81,600 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares, wearing down Churita (Trace Tetrick) in 1:52.4 despite a grueling first-over trip. The 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall, who has now won exactly half of her lifetime starts (48 wins in 96 tries), allowed Churita to lead the talented field past the :26.3 quarter but was out and rolling before the :55.1 halfway point. Up to the leader's wheel at the 1:24 three-quarters and around the final turn, Barn Girl dug deep in the stretch to establish the new national season's standard. "She is a very gritty mare," exclaimed Merriman in the winner's circle. An elated trainer Bill Bercury and his wife-owner Renee were ecstatic. "She never disappoints," explained Bill. "I get butterflies before every race," beam Renee, "but she always comes through!" The 1:52.4 clocking was also a new lifetime mark for Barn Girl, whose best previous win was in 1:53. The super sharp Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) captured the $102,200 Sam "Chip" Noble Memorial Pace in a blistering 1:49.3, a stakes record, a track record and a national season's mark for the division (older mares). The 5-year-old New Zealand-bred lass has captured 9 of 11 races in 2018, including three legs and the final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers. Despite starting from the two-hole, Tetrick allowed the dust to settle in front of him before making the popular "quarter move" from fifth to first just after the initial timing station. The Jim King Jr. trained winner glided effortlessly along after reaching the front, widening the margin on the field from one length at the half to three lengths at the three-quarters. With just mild urging Tetrick guided Shartin N through the wire with longshot Medusa (Tony Hall) rallying for second and Blue Moon Stride (Corey Callahan) garnering the show dough. A total of seven $15,000 divisions of Buckeye Stallion Series first leg action was also featured on Miami Valley's closing card. Winning 3-year-old filly trotters were Infrontandforgetit (Kayne Kauffman, 1:57.3), Bugs MVP (Aaron Merriman, 1:58.3) and Momentsoffire (Tyler Smith, 1:57.4). Sophomore filly pacers who reached the winners enclosure were Osborne's Ellie (Tyler Smith, 1:54), Crosswind Butercup (Kyle Ater, 1:55.4), Velocity Gretchen (Mark Evers, 1:53.4) and Our Miss Reese (Sandy Beatty, 1:54.2). Leading driver and trainer awards for the 2018 meet were won by Dan Noble and Dan Ater, respectively. Gregg Keidel  

This Week: Lady Suffolk and Dexter Cup, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.; Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Pace first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Chip Noble Memorial and Miami Valley Distaff, Miami Valley Raceway, Lebanon, Ohio. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features the $133,800 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters and the $66,400 Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Saturday (May 5). Meadowlands Racetrack offers the $182,500 Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters and two $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers, also on Saturday. Miami Valley Raceway will feature the $102,200 Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares and the $81,600 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares on Monday (May 7). Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Joie De Vie Farm and Winbak Farm's Vic's Winner took advantage of a pocket trip to nip On The Ropes by a neck in 1:57 in the $44,600 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday (April 28) at Freehold Raceway. The Dexter Cup is the season's first stakes race on the road to the Hambletonian, which is harness racing's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. A total of 11 horses entered the Dexter Cup, one shy of the number necessary to divide the group into two elimination divisions. Therefore, three horses -- Don, Maxus and Perlucky -- received byes based on career earnings and advanced directly to the May 5 final at Freehold. Vic's Winner was among the eight horses that competed Saturday for the remaining five spots in the Dexter Cup final. Trained by Hermann Heitmann and driven by George Brennan, the son of Credit Winner-Victors Vicky took the lead at the opening quarter in :29.1 before yielding to On The Ropes (Ake Svanstedt) at the :58.2 half-mile marker. On The Ropes was still on top at the 1:28 three-quarter pole with Vic's Winner now out and taking aim at the leader. Vic's Winner was just a nose back at the top of the stretch, then got up in the final strides for the neck triumph. Favored Lindy's Big Bang (David Miller) wound up third, 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner. Fourth-place finisher Credicone (Trond Smedshammer) and fifth-place finisher Thrust Control (Tim Tetrick) also qualified for the May 5 final. Vic's Winner was winless in his first two career starts, but capped his 2017 campaign with back-to-back victories with Heitmann, who trained for Joie De Vie in the late 1990s and returned in August. This year, Vic's Winner also has a second in a division of the Bobby Weiss Series and a first-place finish in a conditioned race. He has earned $45,860 lifetime. 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 - 129; 2. Jordan Stratton - 119; 3t. Jason Bartlett - 84; 3t. Yannick Gingras - 84; 5. Daniel Dube - 65. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 102; 2. Ron Burke - 76; 3. Richard Banca - 75; 4. Jim King Jr. - 69; 5. Rene Allard - 65. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci -34; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30; 4t. Brittany Farms - 25; 4t. Diamond Creek Racing - 25; 4t. Friendship Stables - 25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing next week will feature W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests at Yonkers Raceway for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.   Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director  

Harness Racing This Week: Dexter Cup elimination, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features a $44,600 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old open trotters. A total of 11 horses dropped into the box for the Dexter, with Don, Maxus and Perlucky earning byes into next week's final. The remaining eight horses will contest the single elimination, with the top five advancing to the final. Complete entries for the race can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Keystone Velocity won his second consecutive George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship, moving to the lead as the field reached the quarter-mile point and retaining the top spot every step of the way from there to defeat Bit Of A Legend N by one length in 1:52 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (April 21). Somewhere In L A finished third and Mach It So was fourth in the $532,000 event for older male pacers. Western Fame, who started from post one, led the field around the first turn, followed by Dr J Hanover and Keystone Velocity. Dan Dube then put Keystone Velocity in gear and brushed to the front and recorded fractions of :26.4, :56.2, and 1:23.4 on his way to the win. Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old stallion, joins Foiled Again as the only back-to-back winners of the Levy. Foiled Again accomplished the feat in 2009 and 2010. "He's a very nice horse," Dube said. "For sure he's better with cover, from behind, but you can do whatever you want with him. When I went to the front and got a breather, it was good." Keystone Velocity, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, has won two of six races this year and earned $320,000. For his career, the son of Western Hanover out of Venus Killean has won 29 of 116 starts and earned $1.64 million. Rene Allard trains Keystone Velocity for owners Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., and VIP Internet Stable.. An equipment change helped keep Shartin N going straight and propelled her straight to victory in Saturday's $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. The mare posted a 4-1/2 length victory over Sell A Bit N in 1:52.2. Motu Moonbeam N was third. Shartin N was fourth in the early portion of the race, trailing leader Sell A Bit N, Medusa and Lakeisha Hall. Driver Tim Tetrick moved Shartin N to the front just past the halfway point and never looked back. The fractions for the mile were :27.2, :57, and 1:24. Trainer Jim King Jr. made several changes to Shartin N prior to Saturday's race, the most significant, he said, being the addition of a Murphy blind. "It took right up to tonight to get it done," King said. "We worked on her a lot at home and made some changes. We came up here and warmed her up a couple trips and made some more changes. We put our heads together and came up with a plan and here we are. We did so many different things. The biggest thing was adding the Murphy blind to her to get her to go straight and stop her from being so fussy. I warmed her up a hard trip before we raced to take some of the sting out of her." Added Tetrick, "With the Murphy blind it straightened her up and (King) did a great job. He had her on 'go' tonight." Shartin N is a 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America out of Bagdarin. She is owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. The mare has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $292,875. 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 at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 129; 2. Jordan Stratton - 119; 3t. Jason Bartlett - 84; 3t. Yannick Gingras - 84; 5. Daniel Dube - 65. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 102; 2. Ron Burke - 76; 3. Richard Banca - 75; 4. Jim King Jr. - 69; 5. Rene Allard - 65. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 34; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30; 4t. Brittany Farms - 25; 4t. Diamond Creek Racing - 25; 4t. Friendship Stables - 25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Miami Valley Raceway. Freehold has the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters and the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (May 5); Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers on Saturday (May 5); and Miami Valley Raceway features the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and older pacing mares on Monday (May 7). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features the $532,000 final and the $100,000 consolation of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers, as well as the $373,000 final and $75,000 consolation in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. All four races will take place on Saturday (April 21). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (April 14) concluded the preliminaries, with the fifth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A trio of windy, $50,000 events featured many of the best Free-For-Allers in their final shot to be social climbers. Pole-sitting Long Live Rock (Dan Dube, $16), victimized by a series of bad fortune trips through the series, took matters into his own hooves here. He stuffed his rivals in behind in post position order, then finished his rounds (:27.3, :57.2, 1:25.3, 1:53.3). Long Live Rock, repelling an early pocket pull by Bettor Memories, owned a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. He held off a first-up Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) by a half-length. Missile J (Tim Tetrick) rallied, losing the place photo as the 6-5 favorite. For fourth choice Long Live Rock, a 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by Rene Allard, it was his third win in nine seasonal starts (1-for-5 in series). Driver and trainer doubled their pleasure as Keystone Velocity (Dube, $4.50), the defending series champ, prevailed in the second division. Winning the draw, he sat pocketed to Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) and that one's handiwork of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24.2. Keystone Velocity engaged the leader early in the final turn, then went by. He defeated Christen Me N (Tetrick) by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.1, with Mach It So (David Miller) third. Evenin Of Pleasure faded to fourth. For Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned as Allard Racing by trainer Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and VIP Internet Stables, it was his first win in five seasonal/series starts. A down-the-road Killer Martini (Yannick Gingras, $16.40) was quite good in getting off the series schneid in the final division. From post two, he didn't give much else a shot (:27.1, :56.2, 1:24.2, season's-best 1:52.4). Opening 3-1/2 lengths in and out of the final turn, Killer Martini defeated a from-last Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) by 3-3/4 lengths. Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller), as the 4-5 choice, was a conservatively-raced third. Killer Martini, a 6-year-old Camluck gelding owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, is now 3-for-12 this season (1-for-4 in series). 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 at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 109; 2. Jordan Stratton - 89; 3. Yannick Gingras - 79; 4. Jason Bartlett - 77; 5. Daniel Dube - 43. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 72; 2. Richard Banca - 68; 3. Ron Burke - 66; 4. Jim King Jr. - 49; 5. Rene Allard - 43. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 62; 2t. Brittany Farms - 25; 2t. Diamond Creek Racing - 25; 4t. Bamond Racing - 24; 4t. Richard Poillucci - 24. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, with $40,000 (est.) Dexter Cup eliminations (if necessary) for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (April 28). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 13) in the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 14) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fifth and final round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 7) hosted a formful fourth of five preliminary rounds in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A trio of $50,000 events comprised the Free-For-All foray, which was guaranteed a different look as series (3-for-3) leader Dr J Hanover 'stole' a week off. It was nary more than a qualifier for money for people's puny pari-mutuel preference Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.30). From post position No. 2, he worked around pole-sitting Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum), then waltzed though a flat :28 opening quarter-mile and :57.2 intermission. Long Live Rock (Dan Dube) tried it first-up from third, but even that didn't sufficiently up the tempo (1:25.3 three-quarters). Bit Of A Legend N opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in a season's-best 1:53.2. Chumlee A saved second, with Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett) third. For 2016 series champ Bit Of A Legend N, a 9-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Vonknoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his second win in four seasonal/series starts (career earnings more than $1.97 million). Pole-sitting favorite Somewhere In L A (Bartlett, $4.40) retook from 96-1 rank outsider Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) right at a :26.4 opening quarter-mile, then held that one at bay (:56.3, 1:25, 1:53). Christen Me N (Stratton) was a ground-saving third. Second and third choices Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) and Missile J (Tim Tetrick) were non-factors from first- and second-over, respectively. For Somewhere In L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his fourth win in six seasonal starts (2-for-4 in series). Odds-on Mach It So (David Miller, $3.80) rebounded from a failed retake a week ago. From the pole, he played early leapfrog with defending Levy champ Keystone Velocity (Dube) before finishing his appointed rounds (:27, :56.4, 1:24.3, season's-best 1:53.1). Mach It So held off the pocket pursuer by a length, with Bettor Memories (Tetrick) third. Mach It So, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is 2-for-4 this season/series. 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 at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 87; 2. Jordan Stratton - 74; 3. Jason Bartlett - 72; 4. Yannick Gingras - 57; 5. George Brennan - 34. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 64; 2. Richard Banca - 63; 3. Peter Tritton - 57; 4. Jim King Jr. - 39; 5. Scott Di Domenico - 34. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 47; 2. Bamond Racing - 22; 3t. Brittany Farms - 20; 3t. Friendship Stables - 20; 3t. Gestion J Y Blais Inc. - 20. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the finals and consolations of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy on April 21. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 6) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 7) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway deferred to the ladies on Friday (March 30), offering the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Four $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares. If Tim Tetrick has asked series leader Shartin N at any point during the first three weeks, he did it in private, as the femme fatale made it look simple again. Chilly early from post four she watched pole-sitting Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) take over from Scandalicious (Yannick Gingras). The intervals were soft enough (:28, :57.4) when Shartin N moved from third. She used a :27.2 third quarter (1:25.1) to dispose of Lady Shadow, taking a 1-1/2 length lead in and out of the final turn. Shartin N finished it off by a length in 1:53.3, remaining the Matchmaker's lone unbeaten mare. Safe From Terror (Jordan Stratton) lost her tow when the winner cleared, but continued well to be second. Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) was third. For Shartin N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Tintin In America co-owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her seventh win, fourth consecutive, in eight 2018 tries. Yonkers Raceway used the last day of March, Saturday (March 31), to feature the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four $50,000 events comprised the free-for-all foray. Odds-on from post four, Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller) did what he did in the first two legs. He made an immediate -- and 'cheap' -- lead, then again made his rivals pay (:28.3, :58, 1:26; 1:53.3). Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) fought the good fight with a two-move second, but missed by a half-length. Another Daily Copy (Jason Bartlett) was a pylon-pocket third. For Dr J Hanover, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, Steven Wienick and Irwin Samelman and trained by Tony Alagna, it was his third win in four seasonal starts (3-for-3 in series). 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 at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 73; 2. Jordan Stratton - 62; 3. Jason Bartlett - 58; 4. Yannick Gingras - 47; 5. Brett Miller - 30. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 54; 2. Richard Banca - 51; 3. Peter Tritton - 47; 4. Jim King Jr. - 37; 5. Tony Alagna - 30. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 37; 2. Brittany Farms - 20; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 17.5; 4. Richard Poillucci - 17; 5t. Burke Racing Stable - 15; 5t. Diamond Creek Racing - 15; 5t. Friendship Stables - 15; 5t. Gestion J Y Blais Inc. - 15; 5t. Weaver Bruscemi - 15. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy next weekend. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 21. Paul Ramlow

Harness racing this Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 30) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 31) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the third round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway this past Saturday night (March 24) offered the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A quartet of $50,000 events again brought together many of the marquee Free-For-Allers. The result was three, down-the-road winners, including two series repeaters. The encore performers were faves Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller, $4.10) and Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras, $2.30) in the bookend divisions. Dr J Hanover won the draw for the second consecutive start and put his rivals to sleep for the second consecutive start. A cheapy (:27.4, :57.3) half served him well after another first-leg winner, Always At My Place (George Brennan), offered a hard, first-up challenge. That one was disposed after a :27 third quarter (1:24.3), while Dr J Hanover swelled up to two lengths entering the lane. The final margin was 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52.4. Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) lost touch in the pocket, crossed the line second but was set down to fourth for cutting some cones. That placed Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) second and Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) third. For Dr J Hanover, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, Steven Wienick and Irwin Samelman and trained by Tony Alagna, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. Rockin Ron, from post position two, wanted no part of an early pocket. He took over from pole-sitting Luciano N (Brent Holland), then -- with another pedestrian early portion -- held that rival at bay (:26.3, :57, 1:24.4, 1:53.2). The margin was three-quarters of a length. Mach It So (Tim Tetrick), after last week's win, turned in a solid, two-move effort for third from behind the eight-ball. For Rockin Ron, a 6-year-old Real Desire gelding co-owned as Burke Racing by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC Stables and J&T Silva Stables, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. 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 this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 48; 2. Jason Bartlett - 44; 3. Jordan Stratton - 42; 4. Yannick Gingras - 37; 5. Brent Holland - 26. Trainers: 1. Richard Banca - 39; 2. Ron Burke - 37; 3. Peter Tritton - 32; 4t. Paul Blumenfeld - 22; 4t. Jim King Jr. - 22. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 27; 2t. Friendship Stables - 15; 2t. Gestion J Y Blais Inc. - 15; 4t. Bamond Racing - 12; 4t. Richard Poillucci - 12. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next two weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 21. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. This is the opening event of the 2018 Grand Circuit season. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 16) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 17) card at Yonkers will see five $50,000 divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. The Matchmaker and Levy both feature five preliminary rounds followed by added-money finals April 21. A horse receives 25 points each time he or she races in the preliminary rounds. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth. The opening round of the Matchmaker will include Australian-bred defending champion Mackenzie and New Zealand-bred Sell A Bit. Mackenzie and Sell A Bit are trained by Peter Tritton. Sell A Bit was the runner-up in the 2016 Matchmaker championship, but failed to advance to last year's final. Sell A Bit heads to this season's event with three wins in her past four starts, all in the open handicap for fillies and mares. Mackenzie, who won four of her last five races of 2017, is making her seasonal debut. The Matchmaker fields also include multiple-award-winners L A Delight and Lady Shadow, 2017 championship runner-up Medusa, millionaires Call Me Queen Be and Regil Elektra, and near-millionaire Safe From Terror, whose brother Foiled Again won two Levy titles. Saturday's Levy action will feature Bit Of A Legend, who is making his seasonal debut in the fifth division. He made history by going unbeaten in the 2016 Levy. He finished fourth in last year's championship, but counted the Molson, Gerrity, and Quillen among his victories. Peter Tritton is his conditioner. There is no shortage of other big names or familiar faces in the Levy, with defending champion and Dan Patch Award-winner Keystone Velocity leading the group. Others ready for the opening round include stakes-winners such as All Bets Off, Dr J Hanover, Evenin Of Pleasure, Great Vintage, Mach It So, Missile J, Rockin Ron, Somewhere In L A (a half-brother to L A Delight), and Western Fame. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. 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. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 21. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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  

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