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This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, DE. and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 15) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $193,750, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $210,150, the purse for the 3-year-old filly pace is $159,350 and the 3-year-old filly trotters will race for $183,900. On Saturday night (Nov. 17) Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be two $20,000 eliminations in the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers. Eliminations were not required in the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters and the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras teamed up for a Grand Circuit double in Thursday evening's (Nov. 8) Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds at Dover Downs, combining with Super Schissel and Blood Money in their respective divisions. Super Schissel made his move from the pocket with five-sixteenths to go en route to an easy 1:56 win in the $158,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, contested as a non-wagering event before the main program. After yielding early control to Lindy's Crazy Hall (David Miller) on approach to the first turn, Yannick Gingras kept Super Schissel close from the pocket through early splits of :28.2 and :58.1. Midway up the backstretch, the son of Uncle Peter and Bavarde angled out and strode to the lead immediately, putting a quarter-length on Lindy's Crazy Hall by three-quarters in 1:27.2 before drawing off handily. Holiday Hangover (Tim Tetrick) rallied belatedly from last to take second, 3-1/2 lengths back, while Union Forces (Scott Zeron) took third over the fading Lindy's Crazy Hall. Super Schissel is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Al Libfeld and Perry Soderberg. Blood Money ($8.00) sustained an uncovered bid out of midfield through the final half-mile of the $213,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding pace and held off a late charge from Sugar Factory to narrowly prevail in 1:51.1. Gingras, wearing the colors of Diamond Creek Racing, floated Blood Money up the pegs to protect a close stalking spot behind dueling leaders Love Me Some Lou (Corey Callahan) and Mangogh (Brett Miller) through a sharp :26.3 quarter, but the pair were relegated to fourth when No Mas Amor (Tim Tetrick) pushed clear with nine-sixteenths to go after losing cover. At the :54.3 half-mile juncture, Gingras angled the Sweet Lou-Blood Diamond colt off the pegs, and he responded immediately to accelerate, press the pace, and take the lead under urging past three-quarters in 1:22.4. No Mas Amor gave way on the far turn, but Sugar Factory (David Miller) loomed off live cover to pose a late threat. Blood Money was driven out off the home turn and all the way to the winning post to keep the lunging Sugar Factory a head at bay. Reigning Deo rallied from last down the grandstand side to take third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,462.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,450; 3. David Miller - 1,182.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 709; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 653.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,344.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,168; 3. Tony Alagna - 721.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Jim Campbell - 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 294.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 283.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 262; 5. Robert Key - 234. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the finals for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid -- along with the TVG finals for older trotters and pacers of both sexes. In addition, Dover Downs will host eliminations for the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 8) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $213,000, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $158,000, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $179,100 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $177,800. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Some of the sport’s brightest stars descended upon Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Nov. 2) and as predicted, the stakes filled card delivered some outstanding harness racing battles. Met’s Hall captured the $256,000 Carl Erskine Trot and sent his seasonal earnings over the million dollar mark with the win. Dean Gillette photo. After finishing second in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot, Met’s Hall was out for redemption and delivered on his promise in the $256,000 Carl Erksine Trot for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Overcoming a poor position, Met’s Hall turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the even money favorite in 1:53.2 with Andy Miller in the bike. With the win, Met’s Hall sent his seasonal earnings over the $1 million mark. Miller sent Met’s Hall away from the gate firing from post nine but he would have to work for position as Yannick Gingras also sent You Know You Do away from the gate aggressively. Met’s Hall grabbed command just before the quarter in :27.2 and looked relaxed on the front while clicking off fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1. Maxus and Peter Wrenn were the first to apply pressure first-over but would have their work cut out for them as Met’s Hall looked strong on the front. As the field turned for home, Miller asked his mount for more and Met’s Hall dug in gamely to hold off Helpisontheway and Tim Tetrick to get the win by nearly two lengths. Hockey Hanover and Matt Kakaley found late racing room to round out the trifecta. Met’s Hall returned $4.00 at the betting windows. “He can leave the gate as quick as any,” Miller noted after the victory. “I wasn’t sure if we would get to the front but when he did, I figured he would be good. He’s just an amazing animal who loves his work; he works through his issues and shows up every week.” Trained by Julie Miller, the 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Met’s Inn recorded his fifth win of the season from 14 starts. Owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, Met’s Hall has now won 10 of 24 starts while amassing $1,278,494 in lifetime purse earnings. The stakes action kicked-off for the evening with the $137,000 Crossroads of America Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies and it was Custom Cantab and Peter Wrenn who went gate-to-wire to score in 1:54.1. Custom Cantab left alertly from post five and held strong to the wire to hold off a hard-charging Seviyorum and Andy Miller. Looking For Zelda and Matt Kakaley utilized a ground saving trip to get up for third place honors. As the heavy betting favorite, Custom Cantab returned $4.20 to her backers at the betting windows. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old trotting filly recorded her 12th win and has finished no worse than third in 16 starts this season. Owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and R B H Ventures, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Custom Model has now won 14 of 28 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $643,936. Not to be outdone, Youaremycandygirl turned in an impressive performance of her own to dominate her rivals with a 9-3/4 length romp in the $113,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies. With regular pilot Yannick Gingras in the bike, Youaremycandygirl seized the early lead and steadily drew away from the field to stop the timer in 1:50.1. With the win, Youaremycandygirl recorded her eighth win from 16 seasonal outings. The millionaire daughter of American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane pushed her lifetime bankroll to $1,365,973 for trainer Ron Burke and owner W.J. Donovan. The stakes action concluded with the $190,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings and after a disqualification of the first-place finisher Lather Up and Montrell Teague, it was Always A Prince and Trace Tetrick who came out victorious. The time of the mile was 1:49.1. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old pacing colt recorded his seventh consecutive victory and 19th win from 22 lifetime starts. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley and trained by Tyler George, Always A Prince was unraced as a 2-year-old but has amassed $492,875 in lifetime purse earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 1,452.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 1,400; 3. David Miller – 1,167.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 704; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 648.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,314.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,128; 3. Tony Alagna – 721.5; 4. Julie Miller – 481; 5. Jim Campbell – 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms – 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 278.5; 3. Diamond Creek Racing – 274.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi – 262; 5. Crawford Farms Racing – 229.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and The Meadowlands. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds, while The Meadowlands will have eliminations for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds — the Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Erv Miller thinks Artie's Ideal has his best harness racing days ahead of him. Miller hopes that includes Thursday when the colt visits Dover Downs for the $213,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. Artie's Ideal was a two-time winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and finished third in the series championship before trying the Grand Circuit for the first time at Lexington's Red Mile. The colt was second to Workin Ona Mystery in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, pacing a :26.1 final quarter-mile, before a seventh-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. After a three-week respite, Artie's Ideal qualified in 1:54.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia on Oct. 30 to prep for the Matron. He won the qualifier by 10-1/2 lengths. "He was a real green colt getting started and he's just been getting better all the way through," said Miller, who trains Artie's Ideal for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. "He had a little setback the second week at Lexington, his blood was a little messed up, but as far as getting more mature he's gotten better every time we went to the gate. "He qualified really well at (Philly) and I look for him to put in a good effort." Artie's Ideal and driver Marcus Miller, Erv's son, will start the Matron from post four. He is 10-1 on the morning line. Metro Pace runner-up Semi Tough, with Matt Kakaley driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 5-2 favorite. "He got the four hole, that's a good spot, and if things work out for him he should be right there," Miller said. Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 2-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:15 p.m. (EST) with a non-betting race, the Matron for colt and gelding trotters, followed by the regular card at 4:30 p.m. Breeders Crown runner-up When Dovescry is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $177,800 filly trot and Breeders Crown finalist Queen Of The Pride is 5-2 in the $179,100 filly pace. Artie's Ideal is a son of American Ideal out of Midnight Art. The colt has earned $114,508 in nine starts and is Midnight Art's third six-figure-earner. The family also includes Grand Circuit winners Good News Lady and Ideal News. Miller said the colt was immature physically to begin the season, but has developed nicely. "I think he's going to be a nice colt," Miller said. "He's easy to drive, an easy trainer. He handles well. You can tell he's got a great attitude. He's so handy and he's a smart little horse. I really look forward to next year with him." Artie's Ideal is eligible to the Governor's Cup later this month at the Meadowlands, but the Matron could be his final start of the year. "We'll go off how he races," Miller said. For Thursday's complete pari-mutuel entries at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

This Week: Carl Erskine Trot, Monument Circle, the USS Indianapolis and the Crossroads of America, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit remains at Hoosier Park this weekend as the track will have four stakes races on the Friday (Nov. 2) card. Leading the way is the $256,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Also on tap will be the $190,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, the $137,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $113,000 USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Nov. 3), 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 $221,540, the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $236,060, the purse for the 2-year-old colt pace is $173,800 and the 2-year-old filly pacers will race for $148,700. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was in the Grand Circuit spotlight last weekend as the Pennsylvania oval hosted 12 Breeders Crown finals. McWicked was a 1:49.3 winner in the Breeders Crown Open Pace. Curtis Salonick photo. Favored McWicked ($3.80) moved to the lead at the five-eighths pole, easily putting away Lazarus N, and then opened up to win by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:49.3 in the $430,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace. Brian Sears drove McWicked for trainer Casie Coleman, as he won his third Breeders Crown trophy on the night. Early leader Filibuster Hanover rallied for second, while Donttellmeagain finished third. Mcwicked has now earned more than $3.7 million in his career after posting his 32nd lifetime win. "He's real easy to drive and he does everything you want. It's great to have the opportunity to drive such nice horses," said Sears. "I always think he's gonna be good," said trainer Casie Coleman, "but to think he is going to do what he did this year...I think he is better now than he was at three. He is a big team effort no doubt. I hope he is going to race next year, but that is not my call. It is up to Mr. James (owner Edward James of the S S G Stables.) I think he will be at stud, but I hope he will race, our team would really like that." Filibuster Hanover took the field to the quarter in :26.1, but Lazarus N was immediately out and winging, taking the field past the half in :55.2. McWicked pulled up the backside and easily disposed of his challenger, rolling past three-quarters in 1:22.2 before Sears took his foot off the gas in the stretch. McWicked is a 7-year-old bay horse by McArdle, out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara. He was bred by Andray Farm of Pennsylvania. Emoticon Hanover (Daniel Dube) won back-to-back Breeders Crown trophies after capturing the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot. Caprice Hill (Brian Sears) was on the lead at the first :27.1 quarter, before being quickly overtaken by Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) just past that marker. Ariana G held the lead to the :56.4 half, trailed by Emoticon Hanover and Broadway Donna. Broadway Donna was up to engage her on the outside just past the half, but Ariana G held that lead to the 1:25.2 three-quarters before Ice Attraction came up on the outside to make a try for the lead. While those two were looking for the finish line, Emoticon Hanover came charging on the outside to pass them both for the win in 1:54.1. The winner is trained by Luc Blais and owned by Determination. "She's nice right now, she's good," said winning driver Daniel Dube. "We went to the passing lane last week, we went to the outside today. She does everything right, she is more relaxed. She is a special mare. I've known Luc (Blais) a long time, but mostly to see him in the paddock. Now we have got to know each other, which is good." Ice Attraction (Ãke Svanstedt) was second after a sweeping last to first bid and Caprice Hill was third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,432.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,370; 3. David Miller - 1,132.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 704; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 618.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,274.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,128; 3. Tony Alagna - 671.5; 4. Julie Miller - 451; 5. Jim Campbell - 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 274.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 273; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 256.5; 5. Marvin Katz - 229.1. 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. 8) program. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

ANDERSON, Ind.--October 26, 2018-- Harrah's Hoosier Park played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 26 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at the seven-eighths mile oval for the fifth time this season. The 14-race card was highlighted by nine divisions of The Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and one division of the Madison County Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The three-year-old trotting fillies kicked off the evening's racing action and it was Pat Matters and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. who tracked down heavily favored Custom Cantab and Peter Wrenn in the final strides of the mile to score in 1:53.3 over a track rated good. Custom Cantab did all the work on the front end while Pat Matters waited patiently in the pocket for her turn to strike. As the field turned for home, Macomber Jr. gave his mount the green light and she utilized a :27.2 final quarter to get the win and establish a new lifetime best in the process. As the publics' second choice, Pat Matters returned $11.40 at the betting windows. Trained by Paul Kelley, the daughter of Explosive Matter-Dibrizzi recorded her fourth seasonal win from 15 lifetime outings and also a new lifetime mark. Pat Matters is owned by Patricia Stable. In the second division of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies, it was the lone Indiana-sired filly in the field, Red Rose Swan, who went gate to wire to capture the $28,600 event in 1:55.4 for driver, trainer LeWayne Miller. Using a :28.4 closing kick, Red Rose Swan was able to hold off a late surge from the heavily favored Hey Blondie and Tim Tetrick to get the win by nearly three lengths. The daughter of Swan For All-Red Rose Kosmos recorded her fourth win of the season and second consecutive victory for owners Last Chance Racing, LeWayne Miller, and C11 Racing. Red Rose Swan returned $8.60 to her backers at the betting windows. In the final split for three-year-old trotting fillies, Live Laugh Love and driver Peter Wrenn worked out a second-over trip and coasted on to the wire five lengths in front of the field, stopping the timer in 1:54.4. Sent off as the publics' third choice, Live Laugh Love returned $10.20 for the victory. Trained by Nifty Norman, the sophomore filly notched her seventh win of the season from 16 outings. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Shes Gone Again is owned by Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. The upset trend continued through two divisions of The Circle City Stakes for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Jewels Forreal and driver Chris Page prevailed in a tight photo over a very game Aldine Hanover and John DeLong to pull the 8-1 upset in 1:53. Aldine Hanover, who was sent off as the post time favorite, went uncontested on the front through the three-quarters before being joined on the outside by Jewels Forreal. Aldine Hanover dug in gamely but Jewels Forreal ultimately came out on top to record her third win of the season. Jewels Forreal returned $19.20 at the betting windows for the upset. Trained by Ron Burke, the daughter of So Surreal-Dandy's Jewel is owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Jewels Forreal has now won six of 27 lifetime starts. Voom Or Bang and John DeLong followed suit in the second division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies and staged a big rally late in the lane to pull the $14.80 upset. Voom Or Bang rallied well in the lane to surge past the heavily favored Wisdom Tree and Sam Widger and held off a late surge from Cult Icon and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. to score in 1:53.3. Trained by Roger Welch, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Vavoom Hanover recorded her sixth win of the season from 17 trips behind the starting gate. Owned by W. DeLong, W. DeLong, Sth Blt, J. DeLong, and J DeLong, Voom Or Bang has now won nine of 29 lifetime starts. Just when it seemed an upset trend was forming, the favorites came out on top in both divisions of the stakes action for the three-year-old trotting colts. After a costly break in stakes action last week, Scirocco Rob rebounded gamely to deliver as the post time favorite with Corey Callahan in the bike. Scirocco Rob made his game winning move down the backside and remained clear to the wire, scoring in 1:55.2 over Got The Groove and John DeLong. Trained by John Butenschoen, the son of Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties recorded his fourth win of the season from 20 outings. Scirocco Rob is owned by the partnership of Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker. The recently crowned New York Sires Stakes Champion, Helpisontheway, continued his winning ways in the second division for three-year-old trotting colts, stopping the timer in 1:55.3. With Tim Tetrick in the bike, Helpisontheway went gate to wire and held off a hard-charging Voss Volo and Corey Callahan to get the win by a head. Trained by Linda Toscano, the son of Chapter Seven-Porque recorded his ninth win of the season from 15 starts and third consecutive victory. Helpisontheway is owned by Camelot Stable Inc., The Bay's Stable LLC, and Little E LLC. Wheels On Fire turned in his own dominant performance to continue his winning ways and deliver as the post-time favorite in the $42,650 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Wheels On Fire went gate to wire en route to a three-length victory in 1:50.3 over GD Western Joe and Chris Page. With the win, Wheels On Fire recorded his sixth consecutive victory this season and second consecutive Hoosier Park score. Trained by Ron Burke, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ab Fab recorded his 11th seasonal win from 17 outings for owner W.J. Donovan. Rockinbeach, with Ricky Macomber Jr. in the bike, worked out a perfect, second-over trip to capture his split of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts in 1:52. Using a :26.4 final quarter, Rockin Beach surged past his rivals late in the lane and held off a fast-closing Shadow Cat and Corey Callahan to get the win by a neck. Trained by Jamie Macomber, Rockin Beach has now won six of 20 starts as a sophomore. The son of Rockin Image-Miss Sandy Beach is owned and was bred by Wilbur Eash. In the lone division of the Madison County Stakes on the program, Magic Joe Lindy and Trace Tetrick staged a big rally late in the lane to capture the $66,400 Madison County Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:53.3. Magic Joe Lindy sat mid-pack for much of the mile and when Tetrick gave him the green light, he found a :26.3 closing quarter to get the victory by nearly two lengths. The son of American Ideal-Lindy's Bandita recorded his third win of the season from eight starts. Trained by Domenico Cecere, Magic Joe Lindy is owned and was bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Stakes action continues at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Saturday, October 27 with a 14-race card highlighted by four divisions of the Madison County Stakes for the two-year-old trotters and pacers. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

This Week: Breeders Crown finals, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The 12 Breeders Crown championship events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will be front and center in the Grand Circuit spotlight this week. The 12 Breeders Crown championship races will be contested on Saturday (Oct. 27). On Friday (Oct. 26) Hoosier Park will host the Circle City for 3-year-old pacers and trotters and the Madison County for 2-year-old male pacers. A total of 10 events will be raced on Friday. The Saturday Hoosier program will feature Madison County races for 2-year-old filly pacers, as well as contests for freshman trotters of both sexes. Also on Friday, The Meadowlands will offer the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be a pair of $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 Pocono as a record 24 contests were raced at the Pennsylvania oval. Atlanta held off a late-closing Lily Stride to win in 1:53.1. From start to finish, Atlanta and driver Scott Zeron led the six-horse field and won the second $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination for 3-year-old trotting fillies on the "sloppy" track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday (Oct. 20), skillfully holding off a late-closing Lily Stride to win in 1:53.1. The field lined up behind Atlanta, with Lily Stride next, followed by Manchego, then Ciao Dolce, Supergirl Riley and Phaetosive. Atlanta cut the fractions in :28.2, :57.4 and 1:26. At three-quarters the only movement behind Atlanta came from Phaetosive. She came to the outside after lagging behind the five others and picked off enough of them to finish fourth and make the final. Manchego rolled in the stretch to get third as Lily Stride was pushed futilely to try to catch Atlanta and finished second. Atlanta is by Chapter Seven out of Hemi Blue Chip. She was bred by Order By Stable. "I wanted to command the lead early," Scott Zeron said in the winner's circle, "And (Atlanta) stole the first fraction. It took her a bit to get back after the two heats in the Hambletonian and she was coming off two heats at the Red Mile, so tonight was good." Rick Zeron trains Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, and he co-owns her with Crawford Farms, Howard Taylor, Brad Grant and Holland Racing Stable. She paid $4.20 to win. Plunge Blue Chip and driver/trainer/co-owner Ake Svanstedt once again dominated a field of 3-year-old trotting fillies, this time in the Breeders Crown's first $25,000 elimination for her division, winning easily in 1:53.3 on a track rated "sloppy." The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato sat fourth off the gate as Top Expectations grabbed the lead with Looking For Zelda in the catbird seat and Courtney Hanover behind her in single file. The first quarter was clocked in :27. Leading the field to a half in :56.2, Svanstedt pulled Plunge Blue Chip into the first-over position to challenge the leader. She tagged alongside of Top Expectations until the 1:25 three-quarters near the final turn when she eased to the front entering the stretch. Plunge Blue Chip drew away to win in 1:53.3 with a lot of trot left. Passing tired foes, Impinktoo slid into second, while Looking For Zelda locked into third and Courtney Hanover checked in fourth. Top Expectations was fifth. Ake Svanstedt owns Plunge Blue Chip along with Blue Chip Bloodstock, also the breeder, Tomas Andersson and Rick Zeron Stables. Plunge Blue Chip paid $3.20 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,335; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,332.5; 3. David Miller - 1,088.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 649; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 581.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,144.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,088; 3. Tony Alagna - 647.5; 4. Julie Miller - 429; 5. Jim Campbell - 427. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 315; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 247.9; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 241.7; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 225.2; 5. Marvin Katz - 219.2. 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. 2; while the Meadowlands will race the four Kindergarten Series finals on Nov. 3. by Rich Fisher, for the Breeders Crown  

This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa; The Pegasus, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Friday (Oct. 19) and Saturday (Oct. 20) for Breeders Crown eliminations in 11 divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the open pace. The Friday card features a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old colt pace and 2-year-old filly trot and two $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly pace and 2-year-old colt trot. The Saturday card has a total of 14 eliminations, with each carrying a purse of $25,000. The 3-year-old colt pace will split three ways, while the 3-year-old filly pace has a lone elimination. There will be two eliminations in the 3-year-old colt and filly trot, mare pace and trot, and open trot. On Friday night at Hoosier Park, there will be nine divisions of The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The $80,100 filly trot will be contested in three divisions, while the $85,500 colt trot, the $73,500 colt pace and the $68,100 filly pace will each have two divisions. The Meadowlands on Friday night will host another leg of The Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions each in the colt pace, colt trot, filly pace and filly trot. Each race has a purse of $10,000. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Brian Sears and Sweden's 30-1 out-the-whole-way Cruzado Dela Noche stalked, then snapped, Norway's Lionel (Goran Antonsen) at the wire Saturday afternoon (Oct. 13), winning the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino. Cruzado Dela Noche was a winner in the Yonkers International Trot. The 1-1/4 mile 40th International began with 10 world-class trotters representing seven countries. It ended in the first turn for 7-5 favorite Ringsostarr Treb (Wim Paal) of Italy and Sweden's Pastore Bob (John Untersteiner) after both made breaks trying to leave. After that merriment, Italy's Arazi Boko (Alessandro Gocciadoro) made the first lead, working around the lone American and lone lass Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) before a :28.2 opening quarter-mile. The U.S. miss then played leapfrog, retaking from Arazi Boko before Canada's Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) -- out early from the cones -- made the lead. It was a :57.1 half with triple-millionaire Marion Marauder doing his thing and Lionel now first-up, having moved from fifth. He took it to Marion Marauder from the 1:27 three-quarters to the 1:55.3 mile. Meanwhile, Cruzado Dela Noche, who from post position No. 6 advanced to be second-over, went three-deep early. It was Lionel putting away Marion Marauder soon after the final turn, needing only to hold off the horse he towed. Despite racing his eyeballs out, Lionel could not stall Cruzado Dela Noche, who prevailed by a head in 2:24.3 at a $62.50 win mutuel. France's Up And Quick (Jason Bartlett) knifed through to grab third -- beaten 1-3/4 lengths -- with Ariana G and Marion Marauder rounding out the payees. For Cruzado Dela Noche, a 6-year-old son of Muscle Massive leased by Anders Strom's Courant Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts. Cruzado Dela Noche, who spent his first two racing seasons in North America before being exported, is Sweden's sixth International Trot winner. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,299.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,267; 3. David Miller - 1,056.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 629; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 550.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,047.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,023; 3. Tony Alagna - 603.5; 4. Jim Campbell - 420; 5. Julie Miller - 409. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 313; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 226.2; 3. Diamond Creek Racing - 211.2; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 209.7; 5. Marvin Katz - 206. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono 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 Park will host Circle City divisions for 3-year-olds and Madison County divisions for 2-year-olds. In addition, The Meadowlands will host another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Yonkers International Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. 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. 13) at Yonkers Raceway. A field of 10 top trotters will head to the gate in the Yonkers International. Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $125,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action this week begins on Wednesday (Oct. 10) at Harrah's Philadelphia with three divisions in the $100,002 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters and three divisions in the $92,002 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Friday (Oct. 12) The Meadowlands will host the fourth leg of The Kindergarten for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be three divisions for the freshman colt trotters, two divisions each for the filly trotters and filly pacers and a single division for the colt pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Setting the world record for 3-year-old trotting colts of 1:50 when winning at the Meadowlands earlier this year, Six Pack lowered his mark with a 1:49.1 performance and swept the 126th Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc. and Menhammer Stuteri Ab, on Sunday (Oct. 7) at Red Mile. Six Pack won the Kentucky Futurity with a world record 1:49.1 performance. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt got off the gate third behind Crystal Fashion leading the field and Met's Hall occupying the pocket. Svanstedt tipped the Muscle Mass colt off the rail past a :27.1 opening quarter, cleared control, and kept the pace hot through a :54.4 half. Six Pack's margin grew moving around the final turn as he passed three-quarters in 1:21.2 ahead of Crystal Fashion and Met's Hall chasing behind. Svanstedt urged his colt through the stretch and darted to the finish while Crystal Fashion narrowed on the leader a touch towards the outside in second. Met's Hall settled for third ahead of You Know You Do fourth. Winning his ninth race from 12 starts this season and his 13th from 20 overall, Six Pack exceeded $1 million in career earnings for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF and Lars Berg. He paid $4.80 to win. Six Pack also won his Futurity elimination after plowing past Met's Hall in the stretch and holding off a late charge from Fiftydallarbill to win in 1:50.2. Unhurried off the gate, Tactical Landing cruised to the lead heading to the half and coasted to a 1:50.2 win in the other elimination for the Kentucky Futurity. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,260; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,165.5; 3. David Miller - 961.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 564; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 438.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 972.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 969; 3. Tony Alagna - 563.5; 4. Jim Campbell - 406; 5. Julie Miller - 355. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 299; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 217.4; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 200.9; 4. Marvin Katz - 196; 5. Robert Key - 182. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with 12 Breeders Crown eliminations (if necessary) set to take place on Friday (Oct. 19) and Saturday (Oct. 20). Hoosier Park will host The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and The Meadowlands has the fifth leg of the Kindergarten for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

LEXINGTON, KY--Turning the final sixteenth into a sprint, When Dovescry soared through the inside and outkicked 4-5 favorite The Ice Dutchess to take the fifth of five divisions of the $324,500 International Stallion Stake (ISS) Two-Year-Old Filly Trot in 1:52.3 on Friday, Oct. 5 at The Red Mile. Simon Allard placed the Rene Allard-trained Muscle Hill filly on the lead early before sitting pocket to Ma Was Right clearing control from post eight. By the quarter in :27.4, Ma Was Right maintained command to the half in :56.1 while The Ice Dutchess, from third, began her bid for the lead, supplying cover for Cloud Nine Fashion moving into the turn. The Ice Dutchess trotted to within a neck of the lead as Ma Was Right tripped three-quarters in 1:25.2 before faltering into the stretch. The Ice Dutchess trotted to the lead in the center of the track while When Dovescry, with plenty of room towards the inside, lifted flight and mounted a bid for the front into the sixteenth pole. When Dovescry accelerated to the lead nearing the line while The Ice Dutchess settled for second ahead of Cloud Nine Fashion in third and Hanna Dreamgirl fourth. Returning $21.00 to win, When Dovescry won her third race in five starts, earning $51,310 for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain. Asiago stayed towards the front and surged past 1-2 favorite Princess Deo to take the first ISS split in 1:55. Soutwhind Storm swept to the lead from post seven with Asiago following suit to her inside. Princess Deo trotted away fourth through a :30.3 opening quarter as Asiago edged off the rail and brushed for the lead heading to the backstretch. Princess Deo tracked that move and advanced first over, strung out by Asiago, before clearing command past a :56.3 half. Princess Deo slowed the tempo rounding the final turn, prompting Asiago to pull out of the pocket by three-quarters in 1:27. Asiago slid to the lead through the stretch as Princess Deo chased in second ahead of Stone In Love rallying off cover into third and Atonement closing for fourth. Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband, Al Libfeld and Black Horse Racing, Asiago, a filly by Muscle Hill, broke her maiden in her seventh start career, earning $78,960. Yannick Gingras drove the $7.80 winner. Special Honor pulled pocket around the final turn and held off a late charge from Fade Into You to win the second ISS division in 1:54.2. The Julie Miller-trained Father Patrick filly led early before Starita cleared control following a :28 opening quarter. On the front, Starita slowed to the half, timed in :57.1. Andy Miller pulled Special Honor out of the pocket heading to three-quarters and drew alongside the pacesetter by the 1:26.3 station. Starita soon gave way as Fade Into You tracked Special Honor into second moving into the stretch. Fade Into You gained on Special Honor approaching the wire but finished a neck shy in second. Golden Tricks, riding the rail, snuck into third with Amanda Blue Chip fourth. Owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Special Honor won her third race from eight starts, earning $149,324. She paid $4.60 to win. Evident Beauty kicked off cover and trotted to a 1:54.4 victory in the third ISS division. Windy Corner trotted to the top heading around the first turn with Susy in second and Matter of Fact third. Past the quarter in :28.2, Susy inherited the lead in the backstretch as Windy Corner went on a gallop. Susy trotted unchallenged to the half in :58.3 as Fate Smiled pulled first over, supplying cover to Evident Beauty. Fate Smiled ranged towards the leader passing three-quarters in 1:27.2 and carried 4-5 favorite Evident Beauty within two lengths of the lead heading into the stretch. David Miller fanned the Richard "Nifty" Norman-trained filly by Trixton three wide and sprinted clear to the line with Global Pageant, from third over, sweeping into second. Fate Smiled held third from Matter Of Fact slipping through the pylons for fourth. Winning her third race in seven starts, Evident Beauty has compiled $178,582 in earnings for owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine Inc. She paid $3.60 to win. Scooting through the cones, 4-5 public choice Whispering Oaks trotted past race-leader Speed Titan to take the fourth ISS split in 1:54.3. Yannick Gingras sent the favorite to the lead as Conway Kellyanne trotted into second and Jezzys Legacy third. Conway Kellyanne pulled to circle to the lead as Jezzys Legacy lost stride past the :28.4 opening quarter. Speed Titan, positioned fourth, moved off the rail and for the lead into the backstretch, taking control to the half in :57. Speed Titan continued on the lead past three-quarters in 1:26. Conway Kellyanne tipped of the rail and belatedly rallied at Speed Titan while Whispering Oaks gained ground towards an opening at the pylons. Whispering Oaks proceeded to the lead heading to the line and outsprinted Conway Kellyanne. Speed Titan faded to third while Fashion Rachel closed from second over for fourth. Whispering Oaks, a Jimmy Takter-trained filly by Father Patrick, won her fourth race in 10 starts, earning $264,844 for owners Brixton Medical Inc., Herb Liverman and R A W Equine Inc. She paid $4.60 to win. The ISS Two-Year-Old Filly Trot had three divisions named for Walner sponsored by the Walner Syndicate and two divisions named for Muscle Hill sponsored by Southwind Farms. Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile on Saturday, Oct. 6 with Lazarus N headlining the program in the $179,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Pace sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds. Five divisions of the $312,000 Captaintreacherous ISS Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms, along with two divisions of the $225,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial sponsored by Diamond Creek Farm and the $145,000 What The Hill Allerage Farms Trot sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural, are also slated on the program. Racing gets underway for the 11-race matinee with first-race post time scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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. 4) with three divisions in the $275,600 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 5) card features five divisions in the $324,500 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters and four divisions in the $245,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 6) The Red Mile will host the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $300,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 7), The Red Mile will offer the $600,000 (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 $500,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, and $85,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Dayton Derbies, a pair of $150,000 Grand Circuit events, brought most of the best older horses in North America to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway on Friday night (Sept. 28) producing an outstanding night of racing. The action resulted in four track records, including new all-age overall standards on both gaits in the two featured events. Donttellmeagain obliterated the all-time fastest mile ever clocked at Dayton Raceway, speeding to a 1:47.4 victory in the Dayton Pacing Derby. Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) obliterated the all-time fastest mile ever clocked at the 5-year-old Dayton Raceway, speeding to a 1:47.4 victory in the Dayton Pacing Derby. The old record was 1:48.4, a full second slower, established by State Treasurer in the 2015 Derby. Western Fame (Brett Miller) gunned directly to the front in the Pacing Derby, speeding to the quarter in :25.2, seating Split The House (Scott Zeron) -- who left with authority from the outermost post position -- in the pocket. Shortly thereafter, Tetrick moved favored Donttellmeagain to the front to stay through subsequent fractional times of :52.3 and an eye-popping 1:20. A final panel in :27.4 resulted in a 1-1/4 length tally over Western Fame and McWicked (Brian Sears), who had a long overland grind the final half-mile. "This horse isn't real big, but he's a real professional," said Tetrick. "I've liked him since he was a baby...and the trainer (Jim King Jr.) does a terrific job with him." The 4-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again is owned by Paton Racing Stables. He now sports 18 wins in 33 lifetime starts, good for $589,911 in earnings. Ariana G (Brian Sears), the only mare in a talented field for the Dayton Trotting Derby, lowered the overall track trotting record to 1:52.1 with an impressive triumph. Sears was patient with Ariana G, allowing first I Know My Chip (Kayne Kauffman) and then eventual show finisher Guardian Angel AS (Matt Kakaley) to mix it up on the front end in :26.4 and then :54.4. Moving to the outer flow in second-over position, Ariana G moved up to fourth at the 1:23.1 three-quarters before besting a fast-closing Warrawee Roo (Daniel Dube) by a half-length in the record time. "I knew they were trotting hard leaving the gate and I was content with my early position and those fractions," Sears related in the winner's circle. "Jimmy Takter (trainer) texted me that she was a versatile sweetheart, and he was definitely right." The 4-year-old winning daughter of Muscle Hill now has captured 26 of her 37 races and banked $2,367,709. She is owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,070.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,045; 3. David Miller - 841.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 494; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 333.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 842.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 799; 3. Tony Alagna - 498.5; 4. Jim Campbell - 376; 5. Julie Miller - 300. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 269; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 192.1; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 179.5; 4. Robert Key - 172; 5. Brittany Farms - 166.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Yonkers Raceway, Harrah's Philadelphia, Northfield Park and The Meadowlands. Yonkers will offer the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino for free-for-all trotters; Harrah's Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers; and The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

LEXINGTON, KY--The three-year-olds take the stage on Sunday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile with filly trotters competing in three divisions of the $206,000 Cantab Hall Bluegrass Stakes, colt trotters contesting in two divisions of the $242,000 Explosive Matter Bluegrass Stakes and colt pacers going in two divisions of the $183,000 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Stakes. Trond Smedshammer's star-filly Phaetosive starts in the third division of the Cantab Hall. Competing for the Purple Haze Stables LLC, the daughter of Explosive Matter has hit the board in all eight of her starts this season, victorious in six, and winning 10 of 15 starts overall. Runner-up to Manchego in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, Phaetosive's resume also includes wins in the $128,500 Del Miller Memorial, $253,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and, her most recent victory, in the $261,800 Elegantimage beating both Manchego and Atlanta in 1:52.2. Smedshammer pilots his training pupil from post two. Supergirl Riley, who upset world-champion Plunge Blue Chip in the $180,000 Zweig Filly Trot at Vernon Downs, fronts the first grouping of the Cantab Hall from post two with Marcus Miller driving. The Erv Miller-trained daughter of Muscle Mass enters off wins in the $50,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) consolation and the $40,000 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) consolation. A winner of four races from 13 starts this year and eight from 22 overall, she has accrued $341,263 in earnings for owners Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman. John Butenschoen trainee Nixie Volo, driven by Corey Callahan, enters the second division of the Cantab Hall off a 1:51.2 victory in the $250,000 KYSS final. The daughter of Yankee Glide, winning four races in 12 starts this year and seven from 20 overall, has collected $286,786 in earnings for owners Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable, 83 Racing and Eddie Gran. Met's Hall, nearing $1 million in career earnings, starts from post seven with Andy Miller driving in the first division of the Explosive Matter. The Julie Miller-trained son of Cantab Hall has hit peak form in recent months with a second-place finish in the $1,000,000 Hambletonian, a 1:52 lifetime-best victory in the $350,000 Zweig Memorial, a three-length score in the $130,271 Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park and, more recently, a second-place effort in the $512,050 Canadian Trotting Classic. Owned by Story Inc. and Andy Miller Stable Inc., the winner of eight races from 19 starts has compiled $904,254 in earnings. Trainer Jimmy Takter sends three trotters in the second division of the Explosive Matter: Wolfgang (from post two), Tactical Landing (post three) and Zephyr Kronos (post eight). Wolfgang, competing for Brixton Medical, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables and Fair Island Farm, has earned $562,790 from seven wins in 18 starts which includes the Goodtimes Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park and a $181,000 division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Andrew McCarthy picks up the drive off Wolfgang's fourth-place finish in the $250,000 KYSS final. Tactical Landing, a colt by Muscle Hill out of Southwind Serena competes from post three with Takter in the bike. Owned by The Tactical Landing Stable, has four wins to his credit from 10 starts, including a lifetime-best 1:51.4 mile in a prelim for the KYSS, and over $250,000 in earnings. His achievements also include a third-place finish in the Hambletonian and a second-place effort in the KYSS final. A colt by European-star Ready Cash, Zephyr Kronos gets Yannick Gingras to drive from post eight. His lone Grand Circuit victory came in the $80,000 Zweig Memorial consolation, timed in 1:52, but also finished third in a division of the Stanely Dancer Memorial and second in a split of the Tompkins-Geers. Off an eighth-place finish in the Canadian Trotting Classic, the winner of five races from 15 starts races has earned just over $100,000 in earnings for owners Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz, Perry Soderberg and Christina Takter. Millioniare-pacer Stay Hungry faces off against stablemate and KYSS champ American History in the opening division of the Somebeachsomewhere. Winning 11 races from 21 starts, Stay Hungry, a Tony Alagna-trained colt by Somebeachsomewhere, enters off an attempt at the Pacing Triple Crown as he won his $102,720 elimination of the Little Brown Jug but, after an inquiry looking at interference and a pylon violation, was placed fourth and scratched from the final. Earning $1,193,959 for owners Brad Grant and Irwin Samelman Estate, Stay Hungry starts from post two with Doug McNair in the bike. Yannick Gingras pilots American History from post three. Nearing $500,000 in career earnings, the winner of 10 races in 20 starts swept the KYSS with a 1:48.1 victory in the final. The colt by American Ideal, with $472,285 in earnings, races for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz and American History Racing. Unraced as a two-year-old, Thinkbig Dreambig fronts the final division of the Somebeachsomewhere off a second-place finish in the KYSS final. The Jimmy Takter-trained son of Bettor's Delight, who won the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in 1:50, has five wins from 14 starts and $404,537 in earnings for owners Brixton Medical Inc., John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk. Yannick Gingras grabs the drive and will start from post two. Hanover Shoe Farms sponsors the Cantab Hall (also sponsored by Brittany Farms), Explosive Matter (also sponsored by the Explosive Matter Syndicate) and Somebeachsomewhere (also sponsored by the Somebeachsomewhere Syndicate) Bluegrass Stakes. The 12-race program is the first of the Grand Circuit meeting's matinee cards, with first-race post Sunday, as well as for the following week, slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY--Freshmen filly pacers and trotters will flock to The Red Mile on Friday, Sept. 28 with the trotters contesting in four divisions of the $373,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes and the pacers in three divisions of the $273,100 Artspeak Bluegrass Stakes. Evident Beauty, second in the $296,450 Peaceful Way at Woodbine Mohawk Park, leads the first division of filly trotters. The Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee, competing for owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine Inc., has one win to her credit--a 1:58 nose victory in a $28,750 division of the Tompkins Geers at Tioga Downs. Earning $99,832 so far this season, the filly by Trixton will have David Miller in the sulky. Jim Doherty Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess fronts the second division off a 1:54.2 victory in the Peaceful Way. A filly by Muscle Hill, the Jimmy Takter pupil has four wins in seven outings and nearly $350,000 in earnings. Yannick Gingras will drive from post two for owner Coyote Wynd Farms. An upset winner in an elimination for the Jim Doherty Memorial, Special Honor, a filly by Father Patrick conditioned by Julie Miller, starts in the third division of filly trots. Owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, she's won two races from six starts and compiled $93,824 in earnings. She enters off a second-place finish in the $236,000 Kentuckiana Stakes from post one at Hoosier Park and will now start from post nine with Andy Miller behind. Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) champ Whispering Oaks and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes winner Windy Corner face off in the final division of filly trots. Whispering Oaks, a Trixton filly trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Brixton Medical Inc, Herb Liverman and R A W Equine, has won three times in nine outings, including a 1:54 upset victory in the $250,000 KYSS Final, and accrued $224,574 in earnings. Yannick Gingras will drive from post two. Windy Corner, a Yankee Glide filly trained by Erv Miller for owners Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, enters off a 1:57.4 win in a $32,833 division of the Keystone Classic at The Meadows. A winner of four races from 10 starts, she has earned $192,805 and will have Marcus Miller piloting from post six. Trainer Brian Brown sends High Reward, who finished third in the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) Championship, from post one in the opening division of the filly pace. The daughter of Yankee Cruiser has one win from seven starts--a 1:53.1 wire-to-wire victory in a preliminary of OHSS at Scioto Downs. David Miller will sit in the bike for owners Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco and L&H Management Services. A trio of star freshmen pacing fillies compete in the second division with Queen Of The Pride (the OHSS champ) starting from post one, Zero Tolerance (second in the $207,000 Kentuckiana at Hoosier Park) from post three and Beautyonthebeach (the KYSS champ) from post eight. A filly by McArdle trained by Kevin Lare, Queen Of The Pride has won five times in nine tries, compiling $262,192 in earnings for owner Frank Chick. She enters off a fourth-place finish in the $454,300 She's A Great Lady at Woodbine Mohawk Park and will have Tony Hall in the bike. Trained by Joe Holloway, Zero Tolerance, a filly by Heston Blue Chip, has finished no worse than second in all eight of her races and won on six of those occasions, including a track-record-equaling mile of 1:51.3 in a division of New York Sires Stakes at Vernon Downs. Owned by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz, she has earned $195,941 and will have David Miller drive. Sweeping the prelims and the final of the KYSS, Gregg McNair-trainee Beautyonthebeach enters on a four-race win streak capped with a 1:51 two-length victory in the $250,000 KYSS final. She has five wins total from her eight outings and $181,343 in earnings. The James Avritt Sr. homebred will have Doug McNair driving. The McNairs come back in the final division of the filly pace with Prescient Beauty, a homebred Art Major filly for James Avritt Sr. A winner of three races in eight starts and an earner of over $130,000, she ships in off runner-up finishes in the elimination and final of the She's A Great Lady. Doug McNair again drives for father and trainer Gregg McNair. The divisions of the Norman Woolworth Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot are sponsored by Arden Homestead Stable, Et Gerry & Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor, Inc., Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr. and Lawrence DeVan & William DeVan Jr. The divisions of the Artspeak Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Pace are sponsored by the Artspeak Syndicate and Winbak Farms. The 10-race program Friday night gets rolling with a first-race post time at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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. 27) at Red Mile with four divisions in the $343,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 28) card at the Lexington oval will feature four divisions in the $373,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters and three divisions in the $273,100 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Sept. 29), Red Mile will offer the $350,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 3-year-old filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Sept. 30) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and male pacers. Also on Thursday, Harrah's Philadelphia will contest three divisions in the $107,410 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $85,000 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Friday card at Harrah's Philadelphia will see three divisions in the $98,800 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and a pair of divisions in the $96,000 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night will feature a pair of Grand Circuit stakes in the $150,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters and the $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Prior to last Thursday's $436,560 Little Brown Jug final, driver David Miller was asked what he expected from his horse, Courtly Choice, in the race. Just an hour earlier, Courtly Choice had been the favorite in his elimination, but went off stride behind the starting gate and needed to rally furiously to advance to the final. Miller, known for his reserved demeanor, responded firmly: "He's going to win." A little less than an hour later, Courtly Choice delivered Miller to the winner's circle. Courtly Choice was a 1:49.4 winner in the Little Brown Jug final. Courtly Choice won the 73rd Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacers at the Delaware County Fair to cap a day harness racing fans -- the 46,126 in attendance as well as those watching elsewhere -- will talk about for years to come. The colt earned the trophy with a sustained first-over grind covering nearly five-eighths of a mile, passing pacesetting favorite Lather Up in the stretch and then holding off Dorsoduro Hanover by a neck in 1:49.4. Lather Up, who earlier in the day won his elimination in gate-to-wire fashion, finished third and Hayden Hanover was fourth. The top four finishers were separated by three-quarters of a length. "The first heat, he raced great but I felt horrible," an emotional Miller said following Courtly Choice's victory. "The only way he was going to make it better was if he won. He puts up a big fight, he's pretty game, and I give him a lot of credit. I have him all over the track a lot of times and he just keeps pushing forward. "The last 20 yards I saw he was getting up and I couldn't have been happier. I was pushing on him pretty hard and he was still digging. I was pretty excited when we hit the wire." Courtly Choice's elimination, the second of the day's two $102,720 first heats, will be remembered for its twists and turns. Courtly Choice, starting from post one at odds of 1-2, went off stride before the race began and was last in the six-horse field for the first half of the race. He fought back, racing three-wide at one point, to finish third behind Stay Hungry and Dorsoduro Hanover, beaten by only a length. But the story of that elimination did not end there. The inquiry light came on and Stay Hungry, who was bidding to become the sport's 11th Pacing Triple Crown winner, was disqualified and placed fourth for interfering with Hayden Hanover entering the second turn. Dorsoduro Hanover was elevated to first place, Courtly Choice to second, and Hayden Hanover to third. All four advanced to the final, but Stay Hungry was later scratched. "He was very revved up and that's usually not his characteristic," Miller said about Courtly Choice's miscue at the start of the elimination. "I got him into the gate just a little too quick. Usually I'm chasing him to keep up with the gate. He just kind of got balled up in there and bent around to the outside and rolled off. He made a huge recovery." Courtly Choice was not staked to the Little Brown Jug but was eligible as the winner of the Meadowlands Pace to enter for a $45,000 payment. "He's deserved it, he's earned it, and he proved today what a champ he is," said trainer Blake MacIntosh, who is part of the horse's ownership group made up of Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe, and Touch Stone Farms. The win was Miller's fifth in the Little Brown Jug, moving him into a tie with Billy Haughton and Mike Lachance for the most in history. Courtly Choice is a son of Art Major out of Lady Ashlee Ann and was bred by Winbak Farm. He has won 10 of 14 races this year and earned $899,353. For his career, the colt has won 12 of 26 starts and $952,704. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 980; 2. Tim Tetrick - 955.5; 3. David Miller - 701.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 454; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 802.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 724; 3. Tony Alagna - 493.5; 4. Jim Campbell - 336; 5. Erv Miller - 267. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 229; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 182.8; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 171.5; 4. Brittany Farms - 153.2; 5. Robert Key - 142. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will 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. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

LEXINGTON, KY--The fortnight of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile begins on Thursday, Sept. 27 with four divisions of the $343,000 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot highlighting the nine-race program. Peter Haughton Memorial winner Don't Let'em tries to rebound off two last-place efforts when he starts from post four in the $86,000 first division, carded as the third race on the program.   The Jimmy Takter-trained colt by Muscle Hill has struggled with his gait in three of his four starts over the Lexington oval and more recently broke stride around the final turn in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) final.   Owned by Brittany Farms, Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman, the winner of four races in eight starts and $238,117 in earnings will have Jimmy Takter sit in the bike. Marcus Melander-trainee Green Manalishi S, runner-up to Don't Let'em in the Peter Haughton Memorial, enters the $85,000 second division off a 1:53.4 lifetime-best victory in the $308,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Finishing no worse than second in all six starts of his career, the Muscle Hill colt has banked over $300,000 in earnings so far for owner Courant Inc and will start from post one with Tim Tetrick driving. Forecast faces his first Grand Circuit test in the $86,000 third division of Bluegrass following his 1:53.4 one-length victory in the $250,000 KYSS final. Owned by William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, the John Butenschoen-trained colt by Muscle Hill has five wins from nine starts this season and $186,650 earned. Corey Callahan will sit behind from post three. Union Forces, pulling a 33-1 upset in an elimination for the William Wellwood Memorial, competes against Forecast from post six for trainer Domenico Cecere and driver Scott Zeron. The colt by Cantab Hall galloped heading to the half in the Wellwood final and finished eighth--his first off-the-board finish in his career. Winning three races from five starts, Union Forces has collected $40,957 in earnings for owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Robert Rudolph, David Anderson and John Fielding. Cecere also sends Kings County, driven by Scott Zeron, from post seven in the $86,000 final division off a fourth-place finish in the Wellwood Memorial. The Muscle Hill colt, owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, contests against Cantab Fashion, a Cantab Hall colt trained by Jim Campbell for owner Fashion Farms LLC, and Prospect Hill, a colt by Muscle Hill trained by Julie Miller for owner Stroy Inc. Cantab Fashion, starting from post three with driver David Miller, enters off a three-race win streak, winning by a combined 22 lengths in his last three outings. His most recent win, a lifetime best, came in a division of the Kindergarten Classic at Tioga Downs timed in 1:54.2. Prospect Hill, a winner of seven races in nine starts, has accrued over $180,000 in earnings and enters off victories in a $30,833 division of the Keystone Classic at The Meadows and a $48,218 division of the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fair. Andy Miller steers the colt from post two. The nine-race card, which also features a $3,000 division of the Billings Amateur Drivers and three late closing events for two-year-old trotting fillies, starts at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; Caesars Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna's Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Metro, She's A Great Lady and Milton finals, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit harness racing action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 19) at Delaware with the $230,700 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $82,200 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $40,918 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters and the $39,318 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Thursday (Sept. 20) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $107,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $111,075 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters, the $48,218 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $40,418 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 21) with the $200,000 Caesars Classic for Open trotters, the $236,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $207,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $172,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $155,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, and the $120,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 22) with the C$890,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers, the C$590,000 She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers and the C$255,000 Milton for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Woodbine Mohawk Park this past Saturday, with the finals of four major stakes, led by the $512,050 Canadian Trotting Classic. It was a hoof-to-hoof heavyweight battle from start to finish, with Crystal Fashion coming out on top in the final strides. Crystal Fashion was a 1:52.1 winner in the Canadian Trotting Classic. Saddled with the daunting post 10, Crystal Fashion, a bay son of Cantab Hall, needed a little racing luck and plenty of grit to get the job done in Canada's richest trotting event of 2018 and the Jim Campbell trainee had plenty of the latter. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice to 3-5 Met's Hall, Crystal Fashion, piloted by Tim Tetrick, was full of trot as the gate took off from the field of 11 sophomore stars. After taking his rivals through an opening quarter in :27.3, Crystal Fashion then found himself sitting in the second spot once Met's Hall, with Andy Miller driving, went from second to first. The see-saw tussle between the leaders continued through a half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:25, with the final round coming as the field straightened for home. Down the stretch, Crystal Fashion, on the outside, and Met's Hall, to his inside, put on a show for the packed house at Woodbine Mohawk Park. At the wire, Crystal Fashion ($7.90 to win) eked out a hard-fought half-length triumph over his rival, in 1:52.1. Fiftydallarbill was third, while Lawmaker was fourth. "It worked out good today," said Tetrick who two races earlier teamed with Green Manalishi S to win the William Wellwood Memorial. "We got out of there good and got on the right foot. He crossed over well, in-hand, and the favorite came and we had to let him go, so I got a dream trip." It was lifetime win No. 13 from 25 starts for the bay gelding, owned by Fashion Farms. In 13 starts this year, Crystal Fashion, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, has nine wins and a trio of seconds. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 910.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 862.5; 3. David Miller - 571.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 409; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 712.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 664; 3. Tony Alagna - 464; 4. Jim Campbell - 296; 5. Erv Miller - 267. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 209; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 158.2; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 151.9; 4. Brittany Farms - 149.9; 5. Brad Grant - 124.3. 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. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peaceful Way finals; and Milton Stakes, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 14) with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and single $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters, 2-year-old colt pacers and 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park also begins on Friday with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. A big Saturday card will feature the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$340,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the Tioga races are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: On Saturday evening (Sept. 8) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Split The House (Aaron Merriman) demonstrated why he is the defending Breeders Crown champion with a 1:49.1 triumph over Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. Split The House was a neck winner over Nuclear Dragon in 1:49.1 on a sloppy track. Filibuster Hanover (Tony Hall) was third, with Western Fame (Tyler Smith) and favored McWicked (David Miller) dead-heating for fourth on the sloppy track. Merriman and his charge stated their case when leaving with conviction from post position six. Nuclear Dragon, however, snatched the front to lead the field through a sharp :26.2 first quarter-mile. Noble continued to sulky-sit as Nuclear Dragon paced his splits in :53.2 and 1:20.4. It appeared the 6-year-old gelding was on his way to his first Grand Circuit victory. That is until a resurgent Split The House rallied on the rail to win by a neck and collect his second victory of the season in nine starts and 14th in 39 career efforts. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Split The House is trained by Chris Oakes. He has now earned $306,846 in 2018 and $913,179 lifetime. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 843.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 820.5; 3. David Miller - 539.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 402; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 697.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 629; 3. Tony Alagna - 440; 4. Jim Campbell - 256; 5. Erv Miller - 245. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 154.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 149.3; 4. Brittany Farms - 147.4; 5. Robert Key - 122. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Woodbine Mohawk will feature the finals of the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady for freshman pacers; Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

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