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Harness Racing This Week: Meadowlands Pace, Hambletonian Maturity, W.R. Haughton Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Delvin Miller Memorial, Golden Girls, Miss Versatility and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Lawrence B. Sheppard Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit week begins on Friday (July 13) at Meadowlands Racetrack with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters and a pair of $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters. The stakes heavy Saturday (July 14) Grand Circuit card at The Meadowlands features the $701,830 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds, the $471,100 W.R. Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, the $405,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, two divisions in the $362,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, two divisions in the $257,000 Delvin Miller Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $191,800 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $189,750 Golden Girls for older pacing mares, and a pair of $30,000 divisions of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Saturday Grand Circuit action also includes the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old colt pacers at Yonkers Raceway. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Ariana G bested the boys with a world-record performance to win Saturday's (July 7) $250,000 Graduate Series championship for 4-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands, defeating Moonshiner Hanover by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:50.2. Sortie finished third. The time was the fastest ever by a 4-year-old female trotter on a mile track. Ariana G, a Dan Patch Award winner at ages 2 and 3, also surpassed $2 million in career purses with the triumph. Owned by breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, the mare has won 23 of 30 lifetime races and earned $2.01 million. It was her second victory in four starts this year and came in her second race since returning from illness in June. "She was awesome tonight," winning trainer Jimmy Takter said. "I'm so glad she's where she belongs. She went up to Canada (in June) and her blood work was wrong and she scoped bad and I had to give her a little time to rebound from that. She had a good winter, so I knew she was in top-level form, it's just those things happen when they get sick." Ariana G, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Cantab It All, paid $5.00 to win. Donttellmeagain is known as a little horse among his connections but he came up big to win Saturday's (July 7) $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old pacers by a neck over Miso Fast in a career-best 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Western Joe finished third. It was the 15th career victory in 26 races for Donttellmeagain, who has finished worse than third only twice. Donttellmeagain won for the first time since capturing his seasonal debut in a preliminary round of the Graduate at 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands on May 5. He held his own, though, against older horses in the Ben Franklin Pace, finishing second in his elimination and fourth in the final. Donttellmeagain, a gelded son of Dragon Again out of Donttellmewhattodo, is owned by Paton Racing Stables. He has won two of six starts this season and pushed his lifetime earnings to $426,460. 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 - 442; 2. Yannick Gingras - 340; 3. Jordan Stratton - 256; 4. David Miller - 177.5; 5. Jason Bartlett - 164. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 383.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 203; 3. Jim King Jr. - 171; 4. Tony Alagna - 132; 5. Peter Tritton - 122. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 91.4; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 91.4; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 66.7; 5. Richard Poillucci - 66. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Saratoga Casino Hotel, The Meadows and The Meadowlands. Saratoga will have the Joe Gerrity for older pacers; The Meadows will have eliminations for the Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers; and The Meadowlands will host the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and Tompkins-Geers events for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

This Week: Nadia Lobell, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Graduate Series finals, Meadowlands Pace eliminations, W. N. Reynolds Memorial, and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: This week's Grand Circuit action opens on Friday (July 6) as Hoosier Park will host the $142,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Grand Circuit races will be contested this Friday (July 6) and Saturday (July 7) at the Meadowlands. On Friday the Meadowlands will host two $10,000 divisions in the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt pacers and two $10,000 divisions in the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly pacers. The stakes heavy Saturday card features the $250,000 Graduate Series finals for 4-year-old pacers and trotters; a pair of $50,000 Meadowlands Pace eliminations for 3-year-olds; and the $66,200 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: This past weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Sun Stakes Saturday (June 30) program at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Crystal Fashion won Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, following a battle between Manchego and leader Six Pack before getting room in the stretch to power to a half-length victory over Six Pack in 1:51.4. Lawmaker finished third. Manchego, the lone filly in the race and 3-5 favorite, went off stride coming around the final turn and finished ninth. It was her first loss in 16 career starts. Six Pack was three-wide around the first turn, a head back in third place, as the field reached the first quarter in :26.2. He grabbed the lead soon thereafter and hit the half in :55.4. Manchego, who was on the outside from the start, worked her way first-over to alongside the leader by three-quarters in 1:23.1, but was unable to get in front. Crystal Fashion was third coming around the final turn, but moved to the outside in the stretch after Manchego went off stride. Crystal Fashion, a son of Cantab Hall out of Window Willow owned by Fashion Farms, has won three of six races this year and seven of 18 in his career. The gelding, who is eligible to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian, has earned $471,537. Sent off at odds of 9-2, Crystal Fashion paid $11.40 to win. Springsteen rocked to a 15-1 upset in Saturday's $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, where favorite Lather Up went off stride and suffered his first loss in eight starts this year. Springsteen and driver Simon Allard used a three-wide move at three-quarters and overcame Nutcracker Sweet by a head to win in 1:48.3. Hitman Hill finished third. Stay Hungry led the field to the first quarter in :26 before giving the top spot to Dorsoduro Hanover by the half-mile point, which was reached in :53.1. Lather Up, the North America Cup champion, made a first-over move on the backstretch but was unable to get to the front, leaving Springsteen to make a three-wide move as the group hit three-quarters in 1:20.2. In the stretch, Nutcracker Sweet moved to the inside and got the lead, but was unable to hold off Springsteen. Lather Up, who got roughly gaited going around the first turn, went off stride as he came off the final turn and was seventh-placed-eighth in the field of nine. Springsteen is a son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of American Charm. He has won two of five races this year and five of 19 in his career, good for earnings of $479,423. The colt is owned by Allard Racing, Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg, and Kapildeo Singh. Springsteen paid $32.60 to win. McWicked, perfectly-placed second-over, swung three-wide late on the far turn and had an overwhelming late kick to come up a 1:49.3 winner while taking the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace final. The Ron Burke-trained threesome of Filibuster Hanover, Rockin Ron, and All Bets Off got away 1-2-3 by the :26.2 first panel, with McWicked fourth early. As the outer tier formed early, it looked like McWicked and driver Brian Sears might have to come first-over, but past the three-eighths All Bets Off pulled from third, giving cover which helped McWicked's chances. The middle splits were pedestrian, :55 and 1:22.2, with All Bets Off continuing his grind against pacesetting Filibuster Hanover, and McWicked readying to mount a wide charge. That charge commenced near the top of the stretch, and when McWicked started his kick, the only thing in doubt was the winning margin, which was 1-1/2 lengths over Rockin Ron, who parlayed prime pocket position for place; 99-1 Mac's Jackpot also used an inside trip to get a high finish, coming home third, just nipped for second. In a career of continuing stardom, McWicked, now seven, boosted his earnings to $2,646,362 in only 80 career starts. The Franklin champion is owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, N.Y. Complete recaps of all 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 - 422; 2. Yannick Gingras - 301; 3. Jordan Stratton - 234; 4. Jason Bartlett - 164; 5. David Miller - 155.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 367.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 174; 3. Jim King Jr. - 151; 4. Peter Tritton - 122; 5. Rene Allard - 100. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 87.3; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 87.3; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 66.7; 5. Richard Poillucci - 66. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway. The July 13 Meadowlands program will feature the opening leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters, while the massive July 14 Meadowlands card will offer the Meadowlands Pace final, the William Haughton Memorial, the Hambletonian Maturity, the Stanley Dancer Trot, the Del Miller Memorial, the Mistletoe Shalee, the Golden Girls and a leg of the Miss Versatilty. Yonkers will host the Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old pacing colts, also on July 14. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial finals, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y. Schedule of events: The harness racing Grand Circuit spotlight will once again be on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday night (June 30) as the track will host four lucrative Sun Stakes finals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin for older pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic for older trotters. On Friday (June 29), Tioga Downs will host three divisions in the $75,200 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old male pacers and three divisions in the $70,500 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Friday, Historic Track will card eight Landmark Stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Purses range from $6,125 to $14,350 for the Landmark Stakes. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Manchego, McWicked, and Lather Up were impressive in victories in the Sun Stakes eliminations Saturday (June 23) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Manchego kept her career record perfect after 15 starts, but in taking on the boys in her $25,000 Beal Trot elimination she was extended further than she had ever been before, holding off a game Crystal Fashion by a nose while equaling her career best of 1:52.4. Yannick Gingras kept the filly in mid-pack until traffic settled late on the first turn, then got her in gear before the :26.4 quarter, brushed to the lead, and got relatively soft middle fractions of :56 and 1:24.4. But through the stretch Crystal Fashion, who had ducked inside from second-over an eighth of a mile out, gained steadily, with Gingras chasing after the super filly late to maintain the victory in only her third race of the year. Jimmy Takter trains the winning daughter of Muscle Hill, who now has earnings of $929,688 for the ownership of Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. McWicked made winning look easy despite a first-over journey, winning handily for driver Brian Sears in 1:48.3. Mach It So set the early pace of :26 and :54.2, then had to contend with the winner. McWicked took the lead shortly after the 1:21.2 three-quarters, then finished out in :27.1, by 2-3/4 lengths ahead of Rockin Ron, who split horses late to just get second over longshot Mac's Jackpot, who nipped Mach It So for advancement to next week's championship. Casie Coleman conditions the veteran son of McArdle, who now is at $2,396,362 in career earnings, for S S G Stables. They saved the best for last on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night, as the I'm Gorgeous colt Lather Up made the lead past the quarter, then came home in :53.1 in hand late for driver Montrell Teague to freeze the timer in 1:49 in his $25,000 Hempt elimination. After the :26.2 opener put down by Nutcracker Sweet, Lather Up, three-wide just past the eighth pole, raced up to grab command, got a huge breather with a :55.4 half, and then asserted his divisional dominance with the brilliant last half, winning by 2-1/4 lengths over Nutcracker Sweet, with Wes Delight edging Done Well to move on to the final. But someone will have to go a big mile in the final to defeat Lather Up, trained by Clyde Francis and moving his bankroll to $544,765 for owners Gary and Barbara Iles, who saw their pride and joy remain undefeated in seven seasonal starts. Complete recaps of the weekend races, including the other Pocono stakes eliminations, 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 - 392; 2. Yannick Gingras - 291; 3. Jordan Stratton - 154; 4. Jason Bartlett - 139; 5. David Miller - 130.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 315; 2. Jim King Jr. - 151; 3. Jimmy Takter - 129; 4. Peter Tritton - 122; 5. Rene Allard - 80. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 74.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 74.8; 4. Richard Poillucci - 66; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 60. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Meadowlands Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Yonkers Raceway. The Meadowlands will host the Graduate Series finals for 4-year-old pacers and trotters, Meadowlands Pace eliminations for 3-year-olds, a Reynolds division for 3-year-old filly trotters, and the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. Hoosier Park will card the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers and Yonkers features Lawrence Sheppard eliminations for 2-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial eliminations, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Schedule of events: The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will host four sets of stakes eliminations on Saturday (June 23). There will be three $35,000 eliminations in the Ben Franklin for older pacers; a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters and the Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers; and two $20,000 eliminations in the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $760,000 Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers on Saturday (June 16) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Lather Up captured the Pepsi North America Cup in a time of 1:48.1. Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague powered forward from the beginning and took no prisoners en route to a four length score in 1:48.1. "It's a sensational feeling," said co-owner and breeder Gary Iles. "To come away with a win, it doesn't get any better than this." The win was sweet redemption for trainer Francis and driver Teague after they came up just short in the 2015 edition with Wiggle It Jiggleit. Lather Up fired from post four to the early lead, but was overtaken at the opening quarter (:26.3) by Done Well and driver Tim Tetrick. Teague wasted little time retaking the lead in the second quarter and had his charge showing the way through a :54.1 opening half. "I definitely wanted to retake," said Teague. "(Tetrick) could have went on and taken a bigger fraction for the half but I was trying to go back to the front and back the half down as much as I could." Nutcracker Sweet and driver David Miller were first-up rounding the far turn, supplying cover for a perfectly placed second-over Stay Hungry and driver Doug McNair. Lather Up reached three-quarters in a sizzling 1:21.3 to lead into the lane. Two-hole sitter Done Well and an off-cover Stay Hungry fired their best shot in the stretch, but were no match for the 3-5 mutuel favorite. Lather Up powered home in :26.3 for his biggest victory and sixth win in as many starts this season. Done Well finished second, while Lost In Time and driver Scott Zeron rallied from eighth, placed fourth-over at three-quarters, to grab third. Stay Hungry finished fourth. Owned and bred by Gary and Barbara Iles, Lather Up now holds a career record of 10 wins in 13 starts. The victory increased his seasonal earnings to $458,165 and career earnings to $532,265. 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 - 368; 2. Yannick Gingras - 266; 3. Jordan Stratton - 154; 4. Jason Bartlett - 139; 5. David Miller - 104.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 270; 2. Jim King Jr. - 146; 3. Peter Tritton - 122; 4. Jimmy Takter - 112; 5. Richard Banca - 75. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2. Richard Poillucci - 66; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 65.9; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 65.9; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 60. Looking ahead: Next weekend Grand Circuit action will be taking place at four different tracks. Pocono will have the finals for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers); Northfield Park will host the Cleveland Trotting Classic for older trotters; Tioga Downs will offer Tompkins-Geers stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers; and Historic Track will feature Landmark Stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Woodbine Mohawk Park this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 16) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$415,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$370,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$266,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$250,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Homicide Hunter and driver Aaron Merriman moved to the lead following the halfway point of Saturday's (June 9) Charlie Hill Memorial and never looked back, winning the $200,000 event for older trotters by 4-1/2 lengths over In Secret in 1:50.3 on a track labeled good at Eldorado Scioto Downs. Charmed Life finished third. Homicide Hunter was a 1:50.3 winner in the Charlie Hill Memorial. The winning time equaled the world record for an older gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track and was a stakes and track record. Defending champion Crazy Wow and two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Marion Marauder were scratched sick, reducing the field to seven horses. Race favorite Will Take Charge went off stride at the start and finished sixth. I Know My Chip took the early lead in a :26.3 opening quarter-mile before seeing Smalltownthrowdown get the top spot prior to the half-mile point. Driver Sam Widger moved I Know My Chip back to the lead at the half, reached in :54.2, but faced pressure from Homicide Hunter, who was in front by the time he reached three-quarters in 1:22. Homicide Hunter is a 6-year-old gelding by Mr Cantab out of Evening Prayer. He is owned by Crawford Farms Racing of New York and trained by Chris Oakes. The horse was bred by Patrick Graham. For the year, Homicide Hunter has won two of three races and earned $116,500. For his career, he has won 32 of 65 starts and banked $1.22 million. 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 - 311; 2. Yannick Gingras - 211; 3. Jordan Stratton - 154; 4. Jason Bartlett - 139; 5. David Miller - 82.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 238; 2. Peter Tritton - 122; 3. Jim King Jr. - 121; 4. Jimmy Takter - 85; 5. Richard Banca - 75. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 57.9; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 57.9; 4. Richard Poillucci - 56; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 50. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 23). by Paul Ramlow, publicity director  

This Week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Pepsi North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Graduate Series third leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week began on Tuesday (June 5) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $73,835 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Looking For Zelda rolled home in a stakes record 1:54.1 in her division, while Nixie Volo and Bill's Lady captured the other splits. On Wednesday (June 6) The Meadows will offer two divisions in the $110,260 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old male trotters. Action resumes on Friday (June 8) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 9) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts, two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday as the central Ohio oval features the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Tioga Downs will round out a busy Grand Circuit week on Sunday (June 10) with $75,000 (est.) third leg contests in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The road to the Pepsi North America Cup made a final stop on Saturday (June 2) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. A group of 28 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings competed over three $46,200 divisions with 19 of the 28 competitors eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. Burning Midnight paced home in :27 to hit the wire first in 1:50.4. The first division saw Burning Midnight and driver Trevor Henry pull off a 28-1 stunner in a wild finish that had six horses across the track. Nutcracker Sweet, the 6-5 favorite, cleared early-leader Hidden Delight entering the backstretch and led the field through middle-half fractions of :54.2 and 1 22.1. The speedy Summer Travel left from post 10 and was parked the entire mile, grinding away first-over, while eventual winner Burning Midnight was in that outside flow sitting ninth and fourth-over turning for home. In the stretch, Hidden Delight popped from the two-hole and took the lead, but couldn't hold off rivals on his outside. Simple Kinda Man angled from a buried spot and came flying, but the fastest of them all was Burning Midnight, who paced home in :27 to hit the wire first in 1:50.4. Simple Kinda Man was second, while Grand Teton got third despite a quick mid-stretch break. Hidden Delight settled for fourth. A gelded son of Mach Three, Burning Midnight came into Saturday's contest off a third-place finish in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for his season's debut. The Corey Giles trainee went three-for-eight during his rookie campaign, posting a mark of 1:51.3. The Somebeachsomewhere victory gives Giles his first career Grand Circuit score. Burning Midnight now has $107,292 in career earnings for owners Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero, who will be making the starting fee payment this Saturday to take a shot at the Pepsi North America Cup. Lather Up remained undefeated in 2018 with an easy victory in the second Somebeachsomewhere division. Driven by Montrell Teague, Lather Up got 1-9 favorite respect and called all the shots. The son of I'm Gorgeous posted fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.4, before pacing off on his rivals and winning in 1:50.3. St Lads Neptune delivered a strong final quarter charge to finish second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, while Scouts Report and Stock were six-plus lengths back rounding out the top four. Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is now four-for-four as a 3-year-old and eight-for-11 overall in his career. Saturday's score increased his career earnings to $133,015 for owners Gary and Barbara Iles. The final division was captured by Jimmy Freight. Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Jimmy Freight was fired out to the lead and never looked back. The Richard Moreau trainee posted fractions of :26, :55.2 and 1:22.4, before pacing home in :27.3 to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:50.2. Metro Pace champion Lost In Time was forced to come first-up and struggled on the far turn. The Jimmy Takter trainee lost significant ground on the leader, but kept battling in the lane and fought off rivals to finish second. When You Dance finished third, Chocolate Swirl was fourth. Owned by Adriano Sorella, Jimmy Freight is now three-for-four this season with all three wins by more than three lengths. The son of Sportswriter was not paid into the Pepsi North America Cup. Jimmy Freight now has 10 wins and a career bankroll of $211,524. 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 - 269; 2. Yannick Gingras - 184; 3. Jordan Stratton - 154; 4. Jason Bartlett - 139; 5. Daniel Dube - 75. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 213; 2. Peter Tritton - 122; 3. Jim King Jr. - 119; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5t. Jimmy Takter - 70; 5t. Rene Allard - 70. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2. Richard Poillucci - 54; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 52.9; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 52.9; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 50. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at Mohawk next weekend as the track will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 16). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

This Week: Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; and Graduate Series second leg and Somebeachsomewhere, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will take place on Saturday (June 2) at two venues. Northfield Park will host the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers and Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature three C$60,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts, a pair of C$63,500 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and a single C$95,250 race in the second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters. Complete entries for the Northfield Park race can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The polls have closed and it's officially Trump Nation. The colt by that very same name proved quite the best Saturday night (May 26), winning Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The 28th Rooney saw six 3-year-old colts and two geldings start, but seven ended up chasing in vain. Trump Nation captured the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. From post position four, Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett, $6.80) was forwardly-placed, as was Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller). The latter made the first lead, before the former played leapfrog. Trump Nation seized the day (night?) just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. Trump Nation, who won the second of last week's two elimination races, then rated a :29 next subsection (:56.3 half), which would serve him well. Along came 3-5 favorite Springsteen (Brian Sears), first-up from fifth, and the race was underway in earnest. Kwik Talkin (George Brennan) slipped out to race second-over, but gapped badly. Meanwhile, the leader and his 'prompter' rolled through a :26.4 third quarter (1:23.2), with the people's preference packing it in readily. Trump Nation owned a 1-3/4 length lead in and out of the final turn. Babes Dig Me edged from the pocket, while Minnie Vinnie had room after sitting third. However, Trump Nation was up to the challenge, defeating Minnie Vinnie by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.3 -- a life-best by a good number. Babes Dig Me was clearly third, with 124-1 rank outsider Major Authority (Mark MacDonald) and Decoy (Dave Miller) rounding out the payees. Kwik Talkin, Springsteen and Jimtastic (Eric Goodell) completed the order. For second choice Trump Nation, a statebred son of Betterthancheddar co-owned by Evan Katz and Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his third win in four seasonal starts. "I couldn't have asked for the race to work out any better," Bartlett said. "I was able to back down the half and pick it up when Springsteen came at me. I thought the two outside horses (Babes Dig Me and Decoy) had to leave, and when I saw Brett (Miller, Babes Dig Me), I let him go and retook. "I have to say that (former trainer) Andrew (Harris) really did the right thing with him last season, wanting to race him from off the pace. He deserves a lot of credit." As does the chauffeur, who won his first Rooney Pace in his 11th try. "It took me long enough," Bartlett said. Complete recaps of all the weekend races, including the Camluck Classic at The Raceway at Western Fair District and a trio of $150,000 invitational events at Harrah's Philadelphia, 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 - 209; 2. Yannick Gingras - 149; 3. Jason Bartlett - 139; 4. Jordan Stratton - 134; 5. Daniel Dube - 75. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 158; 2. Peter Tritton - 102; 3. Jim King Jr. - 99; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5. Rene Allard - 70. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 44; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 40.3; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 40.3; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 40. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadows, Scioto Downs, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Tioga Downs. The Meadows will card the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotters of both sexes, Scioto will host the Charlie Hill for open trotters, Mohawk will feature five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, and Tioga Downs will offer the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Camluck Classic, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at three locations this weekend. Action begins on Saturday (May 26) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Camluck Classic for free for all pacers. Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $111,444 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies). Harrah's Philadelphia will host three Invitational events on Sunday (May 27), each with a purse of $150,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Commodore Barry for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older mare pacers. Complete entries for the Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway's foggy Saturday night (May 19) featured eliminations for both the Art Rooney and Lismore Paces. With 10 3-year-old boys entering the Rooney and nine sophomore girls in the Lismore, it was three games of 'musical chairs' to determine next week's finalists. Odds-on favorite Decoy (David Miller, $2.20) made short work of his four foes in the first $40,000 elimination for the Rooney. Unhurried from post position three, he rolled to the lead past the half, then rolled away. The final margin over a 'good' surface was 8-1/2 lengths in 1:54. Minnie Vinnie (Brett Miller) closed for second as the 32-1 rank outsider, with Major Authority (Brian Sears) third and early leader Jimtastic (Jason Bartlett) fourth. Matinee Fashion (George Brennan) eliminated himself with a break down the backside the second time. For Decoy, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by Brixton Medical Inc., R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. Saturday's other 40-large elim for the Rooney saw Trump Nation (Bartlett, $9) hold off both 4-5 choice Springsteen (Sears) and Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller) by a head and a neck, respectively. Pole-sitting Trump Nation took over from early leader -- and subsequent breaker -- Handsoffmychips (Brennan), then finished it off in 1:53.3, his fastest purse mile of the season. Kwik Talkin (Jordan Stratton) wound up fourth. Third choice Trump Nation, a statebred son of Betterthancheddar co-owned by trainer Andrew Harris and Evan Katz, is now two-for-three this season. The evening's lone $20,000 elimination for the Lismore was won by Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube, $5.20, part of entry) in a life-best 1:55.1. Pocketed from post four, Jewels Forreal was able to get out when entrymate Python Blue Chip (Brennan) made a bad, first-over break in the final turn. Pass Line Bluechip (Bartlett) cut the mile but could not last, beaten a head. Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald) was third, with Solitary (Brent Holland), Alexa's Power (Stratton), Believe In Me (Sears), Reign On Me (Brett Miller) and a recovering Python Blue Chip also qualifying for the final. Krushed Apple (David Miller) was outrun. For second choice (part of three-headed entry) Jewels Forreal, a daughter of So Surreal co-owned as Burke Racing by trainer Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her first win in seven 2018 tries. Complete recaps of all 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 - 179; 2. Yannick Gingras - 149; 3. Jordan Stratton - 134; 4. Jason Bartlett - 109; 5. Daniel Dube - 75. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 138; 2. Peter Tritton - 102; 3. Jim King Jr. - 99; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5. Rene Allard - 70. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 44; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 40; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 35.3; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 35.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Northfield Park and Mohawk next weekend. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers and Mohawk will feature the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand CIrcuit  

Harness Racing This Week: Graduate Series Trot first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (May 19) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a pair of $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open trotters. Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway will host two $40,000 eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and a single $20,000 elimination in the Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last Time: The mercurial W.N. Reynolds Memorial found its way to Westchester Saturday night (May 12), with Yonkers Raceway hosting six divisions for 3-year-old pacers of both genders. More than $132,000 was up for grabs in three divisions each for the boys and the girls. The fastest male mile of the $23,066 per race trio was turned in by odds-on Wes Delight (Corey Callahan, $2.70). From post position four, he took over from a 90-1 bombardier and finished the first event from there (:27.3, :56.2, 1:25.1, 1:53.3). Wes Delight defeated Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett) by 2-1/2 lengths, with 129-1 proposition Yupper (Brett Miller) third. For Wes Delight, a son of Bettors Delight co-owned by trainer Mark Harder, Rick Phillips and Deena Frost, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. "A little kid could drive him," Callahan said. "He had the leader stop in front of him (in PA Sire Stakes at the Meadows), so I thought if I could make the front, I'd leave with him. "He does only what's asked of him." The other colt/gelding divisions were won by My Delight (by Betterthancheddar); owner Bay Pond Racing Stable/trainer Homer Hochstetler/driver Brent Holland; 1:55.1/$71 and Mach N Cheese (by Betterthancheddar); owner Save The Day Stable/trainer Rob Harmon/driver Jordan Stratton; 1:54.1/$7.40. Saturday night's trio of Reynolds for the ladies, worth $21,066, $21,066 and $21,566, respectively, were won by Checkered Past (by American Ideal); owner All Star Racing/trainer Peter Foley/driver Mark MacDonald; 1:54.1/$3.40; Presto Blue Chip (by American Ideal); co-owners Howard and Michael Ouriel/trainer Jeff Smith/driver Brett Miller; 1:54.2/$6.50; and Alexa's Power (by Somebeachsomewhere); owner Jeff Snyder/trainer Jim Campbell/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:54.4/$9.30. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 159; 2. Jordan Stratton - 134; 3. Yannick Gingras - 129; 4. Jason Bartlett - 94; 5. Daniel Dube - 65. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 128; 2. Peter Tritton - 102; 3. Jim King Jr. - 79; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5. Rene Allard - 65. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 34; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 30.3; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 30.3; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Mohawk Racetrack (first leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares); The Raceway at Western Fair District (Camluck Classic for open pacers); Yonkers Raceway (Art Rooney and Lismore finals for 3-year-old pacers); and Harrah's Philadelphia (Maxie Lee Memorial for open trotters and Betsy Ross for pacing mares). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (May 12) will host three divisions in the $69,200 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and three divisions in the $63,700 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: She's baaack! And much to the chagrin of the others in the older trotting division, she just might be better than ever. Hannelore Hanover, the defending Dan Patch Horse of the Year, overcame post position 12 in her 2018 debut to win the $182,500 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands Saturday night (May 5). The betting public was unafraid despite the second-tier starting spot, sending the Ron Burke trainee to the gate as the 3-5 choice. With the race at a mile and an eighth, the starting gate looked a bit wobbly as they made their way out of the turn heading to the start. "The gate bounced in everybody's face (in the first tier)," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "So I had to give myself a little room and be a little cautious." At the start, 9-1 chance Will Take Charge was on the go and led at the quarter before yielding the point to 7-2 second choice Crazy Wow, who hit the half in :55.1. Mambo Lindy was making progress racing on the rim while towing Hannelore Hanover closer to the leaders. At the head of the stretch, Mambo Lindy was at Crazy Wow's throat as Hannelore Hanover tipped off cover and started to roll. With a sixteenth to go, Will Take Charge found room after racing in the pocket and was rallying along the inside, but he did not have quite enough to prevent Hannelore Hanover from winning for the 37th time in 59 lifetime starts. "At the top of the stretch, I thought I was going to be an easy winner," said Gingras. "Then I was a little worried, but she kicked in. She's definitely better now than she was at the start of last year. Hopefully, she has as good a year as she had last year. She's just an incredible horse." The 6-year-old daughter of Swan For All finished the 1-1/8 mile distance in 2:06, a neck in front of a stubborn Will Take Charge. Crazy Wow held on for third. The winner, who returned $3.40 to her backers, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. Her lifetime bankroll now stands at $2,558,677. Lindy's Big Bang and driver David Miller inherited the lead just prior to the three-quarter-mile point from an off stride On The Ropes and remained in front from there to win Saturday's (May 5) $133,800 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old trotters by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.1 at Freehold Raceway. Don finished second and Perlucky was third, although both needed to survive inquiries to maintain their spots. Don's inquiry was for possible interference while Perlucky was examined for compliance with the breaking rule after going off stride nearing the finish line. On The Ropes, who was the race's 3-5 favorite, led from the start from post No. 1, with driver Dan Dube posting fractions of :28 for the opening quarter-mile and :58.1 for the half. As the horses made their way up the backstretch heading for the final turn, On The Ropes made a break, leaving Lindy's Big Bang on the lead. Lindy's Big Bang fended off challenges from Don to his outside and Perlucky in the passing lane to earn his second victory in three starts this season. "We got a bit lucky there," winning driver Miller said. "My horse still felt strong when Danny's horse ran; I think we would have given him a run. My horse was good today." Also going off stride in the race was last week's Dexter Cup elimination winner Vic's Winner, who made a break on the final turn while in fourth place. Maxus, who was the field's leading money-winner, was scratched injured. Miller co-owns Lindy's Big Bang with Mel Hartman and David McDuffee. The gelding, a son of Explosive Matter out of Lindy Of My Dreams, is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman. He has won four of 15 career races and earned $117,233. He was bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Lindy's Big Bang paid $13.00 to win. 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 - 149; 2. Yannick Gingras - 129; 3. Jordan Stratton - 119; 4. Jason Bartlett - 84; 5. Daniel Dube - 65. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 126; 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 resumes on May 19 at The Meadowlands with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers. Paul Ramlow

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

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