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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    

This Week: Jim Ewart Memorial and Jug Preview, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; Champlain Stakes, Simcoe Stakes and William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Sept. 7) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a trio of divisions in the C$210,321 Champlain Stakes for freshman pacing males and a pair of races in the C$191,476 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. The Saturday (Sept. 8) card is highlighted by two divisions in the C$166,684 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old pacing males, a single split in the C$150,996 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers, two C$30,000 eliminations in the William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Peaceful Way for 2-year-old filly trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Tioga Downs will also be held on Friday (Sept. 7) with a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. On Saturday (Sept. 8), Scioto Downs will host the $225,000 (est.) Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the $125,000 (est.) Jug Preview for 3-year-old colt pacers. 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: Stay Hungry moved one step nearer the Pacing Triple Crown with a win in Saturday's Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway while trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt enjoyed a record-setting night in trotting stakes action for 3-year-olds by capturing the Yonkers Trot with Six Pack and Hudson Filly Trot with Plunge Blue Chip. Plunge Blue Chip won the $129,014 Hudson in 1:53.1, the fastest trotting mile in Yonkers history and equaling Frau Blucher's world record for a 3-year-old female trotter on a half-mile track, set in 2013 at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio. Six Pack won the $500,000 Yonkers Trot in 1:54, the fastest Yonkers Trot ever at Yonkers. Stay Hungry won the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers by a neck over favorite Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Stay Hungry won the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers by a neck over favorite Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian was third. The Messenger Stakes is the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. Stay Hungry won the first, the Cane Pace, on Aug. 4 at the Meadowlands and can complete the sweep of the Crown races with a win in the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 20 at the Delaware County Fair. Stay Hungry, driven by Doug McNair for trainer Tony Alagna, was among four horses racing for the early lead in the Messenger, with Winston, Babes Dig Me, and Jimmy Freight. Stay Hungry, who started from post six, got to the front as the field reached the opening quarter-mile in :27.1 and remained in front from there, but not without a fight. Jimmy Freight, who started from post eight, came after Stay Hungry as the horses made their way around the second turn and headed to the half-mile point. The two raced together to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23 and continued to battle down the stretch and to the wire. Stay Hungry has won four of 10 races this year and 10 of 19 in his career, good for $1.15 million in purses. The colt, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of My Little Dragon, is owned by Brad Grant and the Irwin Samelman Estate. In the Yonkers Trot, Six Pack took the lead from Lindsey's Pride prior to the quarter-mile point and was never threatened the rest of the way. He won by 7-3/4 lengths over Helpisontheway, with Lindsey's Pride finishing third. The Yonkers Trot is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Atlanta won the first, the Hambletonian, but was not eligible to the Yonkers Trot. The third jewel is the Kentucky Futurity, Oct. 7 at Lexington's Red Mile. A son of Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, Six Pack has won six of nine races this year and 10 of 17 lifetime. He has earned $849,840 for owners Svanstedt, Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. In the Hudson, Plunge Blue Chip led from start to finish, but had to hold off Supergirl Riley by a nose at the wire. Lucky Ava finished third. A daughter of Muscle Mass out of Dunk The Donato, Plunge Blue Chip has won four of nine races this year and 13 of 19 in her career. She has earned $732,316. Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Tomas Andersson, and Rick Zeron Stables own the filly. Another 1-5 favorite, Alexis Faith, won the $112,904 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers by a half-length over Solitary in 1:53.4. Jewels Forreal finished third. Alexis Faith is a daughter of American Ideal out of Cannae Cammie. She has won four of 11 races this season and 10 of 20 in her career, with purses totaling $455,198. Alexis Faith was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Casie Coleman. 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 - 798.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 780.5; 3. David Miller - 509.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 370; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 687.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 609; 3. Tony Alagna - 383; 4. Jim Campbell - 256; 5. Erv Miller - 245. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 153; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 148; 4. Brittany Farms - 132.4; 5. Robert Key - 120. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Tioga Downs. Woodbine Mohawk will host finals in the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, as well as eliminations in the Milton, Metro Pace, and She's A Great Lady. Tioga Downs will card the third leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters and pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for Grand Circuit

This Week: Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby, Simcoe Stakes, and Champlain Stakes, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: A busy holiday weekend of Grand Circuit action is led by a pair of Triple Crown events at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 1). The Hilltop oval will host the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters and the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers. These races will be the second legs in the Triple Crown for their respective gaits. Also on the Saturday program will be the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-olds and the $112,904 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk commences on Thursday (Aug. 30) with three divisions in the C$202,476 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 31) program is highlighted by three divisions in the C$209,321 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and a single $153,996 division in the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (Sept. 1) program features the C$651,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters and the C$600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on the program will be a single division in the C$169,183 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the races at Yonkers are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Hambletonian Oaks champion Manchego delivered a stunning 1:51.4 stakes record performance to defeat Hambletonian champion Atlanta in Friday's (Aug. 24) $103,360 Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The superstar fillies were squaring off for the first time in 2018 and went off as co-favorites at odds of 4-5 in a field of 10. Manchego delivered a stunning 1:51.4 stakes record performance to defeat Atlanta in the Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras left strong from post eight, while Atlanta and driver Scott Zeron showed their usual early speed from post three. Driver Trevor Henry decided to mix things up by firing longshot Smoke And Mirrors towards the lead and kept Manchego out going around the first turn, as Zeron took back to settle third. The Jimmy Takter trained Manchego cleared to the top just strides after leading by three-quarters of a length at the opening quarter in :27.3. The Hambletonian Oaks champion continued to trot strong for the next eighth of a mile before Gingras tapped the breaks to grab a comfortable :28.4 second quarter. Atlanta was angled from the three-hole heading into the far turn, while Gingras and Manchego began to ramp up the tempo. Smoke And Mirrors gapped in the two-hole, which allowed Zeron to drop in with Atlanta and power up for the stretch battle. Manchego reached three-quarters in 1:24.1 with a 1-1/2 length lead on Atlanta. In the stretch, Manchego continued her powerful ways and didn't allow Atlanta to get any closer than her wheel. The Takter trainee trotted a :27.3 final quarter to defeat Atlanta by 1-3/4 lengths in a Canadian record equaling 1:51.4. Sorceress Seelster, who sat fourth most of the mile, finished 11 lengths back in third, while Blonde Magic was 12 lengths behind the winner in fourth. Friday's matchup between Manchego and Atlanta was months in the making. Manchego entered the season as the top filly after an undefeated rookie campaign. Atlanta made an immediate impact to start her sophomore season and eventually successfully took on the boys in the Hambletonian, while Manchego beat the fillies in the Oaks. "Everybody was talking about Atlanta and rightfully so, she's a great filly too, but I never lost confidence in mine and all along I thought I had the best filly," said Gingras following the victory. "It's just one matchup; they'll meet up again many times, but my filly was super strong tonight." A daughter of Muscle Hill, Manchego improved to 18 wins and nearly $1.4 million earned in 21 career starts for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. She has now won six of nine this season and remains undefeated in three starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Rick Zeron trainee Atlanta suffered just her second loss in eight starts this season. The Chapter Seven filly's only prior defeat was a second in the first heat of the Hambletonian, which she followed up with an impressive victory in the final. 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 - 748.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 730.5; 3. David Miller - 429.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 315; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 672.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 554; 3. Tony Alagna - 358; 4. Jim Campbell - 226; 5. Erv Miller - 220. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 148; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 143; 3. Fashion Farms - 139; 4. Brittany Farms - 122.4; 5. Robert Key - 120. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Scioto Downs, and Tioga Downs. Woodbine Mohawk will feature eliminations of the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old pacers and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacers; Scioto will host the Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the Jug Preview for 3-year-old pacers; and Tioga Downs will feature a leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Messenger eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation, Casual Breeze and Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 25), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of the sport's pacing Triple Crown. The top four horses in each elimination will return for the $500,000 final on Sept. 1. Also on Saturday, Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature three divisions in the C$276,381 Nassagaweya for 2-year-old pacing colts, three divisions in the C$251,347 Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacing fillies and a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. On Friday (Aug. 24) Woodbine Mohawk will host a single C$136,000 division in the Casual Breeze for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Sunday (Aug. 26), Tioga Downs will card four sets of W.N. Reynolds Memorial events for freshman pacers and trotters of both sexes. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Met's Hall (Andy Miller) won an exciting $350,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-olds at Vernon Downs on Friday (Aug. 17). Met's Hall won by a nose in a personal best time of 1:52. Met's Hall ($27.60) went straight to the lead from the eight hole. He took the first quarter in :26.4. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) followed in the pocket with Manchego (Yannick Gingras) following along in third. Andy Miller slowed the second quarter to a crawl of :30.1 as Met's Hall hit the half in :57. Six Pack would pull the pocket just before the half. The two would then battle nose to nose and wheel to wheel all around the final turn. Neither horse would give an inch as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.2. Manchego, who was the only filly in the race, sat in third watching the other two battle it out around the turn. She then went three-wide at the top of the stretch. In an amazing stretch drive, Met's Hall would dig in and get ready for the late charge from Manchego. In the end Met's Hall would win by a nose in a personal best time of 1:52. Magnificent as she was, Manchego had to settle for second best. The gutsy Six Pack would finish third. Met's Hall is a 3-year-old colt by Cantab Hall. Trained by Julie Miller for owners Stroy Inc. and Andy Miller Stable Inc., it was his second win in six starts this season. He now owns seven career victories. Super Girl Riley (Marcus Miller) shocked the field in the $180,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The big favorite Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) carved out all the early fractions (:28, :57.2, 1:26.3). Basquiat (Yannick Gingras) followed in the pocket before going on a break at the three-quarter pole. Perfect Summer K (David Miller) would then inherit second. Super Girl Riley ($17.20) came first-over from third in the stretch. She ran down Plunge Blue Chip to win in a career best of 1:54.3. Plunge Blue Chip had to settle for second money. Perfect Summer K finished third. Owned by Paymaq Racing, George Golemes, and Harvey Eisman and trained by Erv Miller, the 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass won for the second time in 2018. It was her sixth career victory. 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 - 703.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 693.5; 3. David Miller - 374.5; 4. Jordan Stratton - 288; 5. Corey Callahan - 273.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 660.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 504; 3. Tony Alagna - 271; 4. Erv Miller - 220; 5. Jim Campbell - 216. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 144.9; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 139.9; 3. Fashion Farms - 129; 4. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 5. Robert Key - 115. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway and Woodbine Mohawk Park. Yonkers will feature the Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud. Woodbine Mohawk will offer the Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Zweig Memorial and Zweig Memorial filly trot, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI; Artiscape, Roll With Joe, and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Prix d'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Schedule of events: A busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Aug. 17) at Vernon Downs with the $350,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters and the $178,000 Zweig Filly Trot for 3-year-old filly trotters. There will also be an $80,000 consolation in the open division. Saturday's (Aug. 18) Grand Circuit action will be featured by Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, which will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers. On Sunday (Aug. 19), Grand Circuit racing will be contested at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.) Artiscape for older pacing mares, the $175,000 (est.) Roll With Joe for older pacing males, and a $40,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Also on Sunday, Hippodrome 3R will contest the C$200,000 Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian tracks are available at this link. Last time: On a gorgeous Friday evening (Aug. 10) in which it appeared a presence from above intervened to provide perfect conditions, Lazarus N, the Wonder from Down Under, anointed himself as a true superstar with an impressive 1:48.4 performance in the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino before a legion of admirers in his first pari-mutuel engagement in the U.S. Lazarus N anointed himself as a true superstar with an impressive 1:48.4 performance in the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. He also owns the distinction of being the only horse to pace sub-1:50 miles in two different hemispheres. "One of the reasons I decided to buy this horse with my brothers was because we are devoutly Catholic," said Duncan Taylor, whose Taylor Made Farms owns the 6-year-old stallion. "First of all his name is Lazarus which represents a miracle, and his dam's name is Bethany, which is the location where the resurrection took place. Then Bethany's sire is Christian Cullen. These factors made it appear as if (purchasing the horse) was meant to be a gift from God." Guided by Yannick Gingras and conditioned by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, Lazarus N, a son of Bettor's Delight, left alertly from post position nine to settle into second behind fellow New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend N before the teletimer posted the first quarter-mile split of :26.1. Shortly after the two frontrunners glided around the first turn, Gingras brushed the stallion to the lead and the duo hit the half-mile marker in a measured :54.2. As Lazarus N continued to lead the field of nine to the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, he placed a bit of separation between himself and his rivals. As he rounded the final turn, it seemed the horse would pull away in the stretch to post a facile victory. Halfway down the lane, however, Breeders Crown victor Split The House (Brett Miller) mounted a furious rally which drew him nearly alongside Lazarus N. Proving he already has established a passionate fan base, those in attendance were cheering so loudly for Lazarus N to hit the wire first the words of announcer Steve Cross could scarcely be heard. As the noise of the crowd drowned out all sound, Gingras asked his horse for more. He responded in kind to spurt away from Split The House, as well as a closing McWicked (Brian Sears), to stop the clock in 1:48.4. The stallion paced his last quarter-mile in a stellar :26. "Yannick said this horse only does what you ask of him," Taylor said. "In Thoroughbred racing we would refer to it as not getting to the bottom of them, but in Lazarus' case he is just a very relaxed horse. Jimmy (Takter) keeps telling us how intelligent he is and that characteristic definitely is a part of why he is a special horse. All I know is he is a blessing." After his first U.S. victory, Lazarus N, New Zealand's defending Horse of the Year and that nation's Pacer of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017, now improves his record to 36 wins from 46 starts. The stallion has now earned more than $2.8 million. As the 1-2 favorite, Lazarus N provided his backers with $3 for their support. Split The House paid $7.20 at odds of 19-1 for his second place finish while McWicked offered his supporters $2.20 for 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 - 681.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 668.5; 3. David Miller - 364.5; 4. Jordan Stratton - 288; 5. Corey Callahan - 273.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 655.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 484; 3. Tony Alagna - 266; 4. Jim Campbell - 216; 5. Erv Miller -200. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 143.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 138.6; 3. Fashion Farms - 129; 4. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 5. Robert Key - 110. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Tioga Downs. Yonkers will contest eliminations for the Messengers Stakes and Yonkers Trot, the second legs of the Pacing and Trotting Triple Crown, along with eliminations in the companion Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot. Woodbine Mohawk Park will contest the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacers, along with eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers and the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. Tioga Downs will offer Reynolds Memorial divisions for 2-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand CIrcuit  

This Week: Dan Patch Invitational, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Carl Milstein Memorial, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Fox Stake, the Ralph Wilfong, the Horseman Stakes and the Hoosier Stakes, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Ind.; Crawford Farm Trot, Joie De Vie and Tompkins-Geers Stakes, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Gold Cup and Saucer trials, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI. Schedule of events: An extremely busy week of Grand Circuit action kicks off this Wednesday (Aug. 8) as the Indiana State Fair will host one day of Grand Circuit racing with the feature being the $44,868 Fox Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers. The co-featured event is the $28,032 Ralph Wilfong for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Hoosier Stakes for 2-year-olds will see two divisions each in the $23,492 2-year-old filly pace, the $22,908 2-year-old colt pace, the $21,698 2-year-old colt trot and the $21,126 2-year-old filly trot. The Horseman Stakes for 3-year-olds features two divisions in the $31,704 3-year-old filly pace and single divisions in the $37,333 3-year-old colt trot, the $35,574 3-year-old filly trot, and the $28,120 3-year-old colt pace. Friday night (Aug. 10) at Hoosier Park will feature the $325,000 Dan Patch for older pacing horses. Also on Friday, Tioga Downs will host four sets of Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. There will be two divisions each in the $59,500 2-year-old filly pace, $58,000 2-year-old filly trot, $57,800 2-year-old colt trot and $50,400 2-year-old colt pace. On Saturday (Aug. 11), Northfield Park will host the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers. Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host one of two trials for the Gold Cup and Saucer for older pacers. The second trial will be held on Monday (Aug. 13). The week's action will continue on Sunday (Aug. 12) at Tioga Downs with the $175,000 (est.) Crawford Farm Trot for older open trotters and the $175,000 (est.) Joie De Vie for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Entries for the Red Shores Racetrack & Casino races are available at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack closed out their Championship Meet this past Saturday with several lucrative Grand Circuit races led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Rick Zeron, an admitted crier, had reason to well up Saturday after the 93rd Hambletonian. Not only had the veteran horseman won the trotting classic in his first try, but his son Scott was in the sulky to make it a family affair, and the high point of a 43-year-old career. Atlanta won the Hambletonian final in a time of 1:50.4 for driver Scott Zeron. And he got the job done with a filly, the very determined Atlanta. "This is a dream come true," said Rick Zeron. "That's my specialty, trotters. I live and breathe to train a trotter, especially a filly. It's more satisfying for me to train a filly to get where I am today, to win what I did today, than with a colt. It's a bigger challenge." Atlanta won the $1 million Hambletonian final on Saturday, becoming the 14th filly to capture the famed trotting race for 3-year-olds. It was an emotional victory for the father-son team from Oakville, Ontario. The filly won the Hambletonian the hard way, setting the pace and holding on gamely in the lane. Scott Zeron employed those tactics earlier in the day in the first of two eliminations, and got Atlanta beat after setting a wicked pace. Remarkably, Atlanta regrouped quickly after the punishing mile. "I spoke to my assistant trainer Ernie Henry who has looked after her since she was 18 months old," said Rick Zeron. "He said it took her about seven to 10 minutes longer than usual to get her wind back. After that, she was absolutely perfect. He said we were good to go." That was an understatement. In the final, Atlanta was again on the lead. This time, Zeron did a better job of rationing her speed. Atlanta responded by kicking away from challenger Tactical Landing at the top of the stretch to open a three length advantage. She trotted strongly to the wire, winning by one length over 29-1 shot Met's Hall. "I've said it to a few people close to me," said Scott Zeron. "She's the best horse I ever drove. Everything is so fluid and effortless. The mile (in the elimination) just got away from me. I was mad at myself. That's not how I wanted to head into the final. If she was a champion, she would bounce back and she did." The time was 1:50.4 for the mile. It was the second Hambletonian victory for Scott Zeron. He was at the lines when Marion Marauder won in 2016. The win in the final was worth $500,000 for the ownership team of Rick Zeron, Crawford Farms, Holland Racing, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. 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. Yannick Gingras - 648.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 624; 3. David Miller - 294.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 270; 5. Jordan Stratton - 268. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 625.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 444; 3. Tony Alagna - 246; 4. Jim Campbell - 196; 5. Jim King Jr. - 191. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 136.1; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 131.1; 3. Fashion Farms - 129; 4. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 5. Bill Donovan - 93.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino and Hippodrome 3R. Vernon will kick off the week as host of the Zweig Memorial races for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Tioga Downs will feature the Roll With Joe for open pacers, Artiscape for older pacing mares, and a leg of the Miss Versatilty for trotting mares. Red Shores Racetrack & Casino has the Gold Cup and Saucer final and Hippodrome 3R will contest the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, Sam McKee Memorial, Lady Liberty, Dr. John Steele Memorial, Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, Peter Haughton Memorial, and Jim Doherty Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (Aug. 4) at Meadowlands Racetrack with one of the biggest Grand Circuit cards of the season. The afternoon program is led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $286,650 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters, the $260,100 Sam McKee Memorial for older pacers, the $197,400 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the $154,800 Dr. John Steele Memorial for older trotting mares, the $281,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the $96,600 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $422,350 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $357,450 Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Victimized by brutal trips in his last two starts, Dorsoduro Hanover finally got the journey he needed and pounced on the opportunity to win Saturday's (July 28) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in 1:50.1 at The Meadows. American History, who won an elimination of the 52nd edition of the Adios, raced well first over to finish second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Hitman Hill, the other elimination winner, could not improve position in the Lightning Lane and settled for show. Dorsoduro Hanover won Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in 1:50.1 at The Meadows. Dorsoduro Hanover gave The Meadows-based trainer Ron Burke, perennially the sport's leading conditioner, his first blanket of Adios orchids as the head of his stable, although he was assistant for his father, Mickey, when their horse, May June Character, won the 2007 Adios. A Somebeachsomewhere-Deer Valley Miss gelding who cost $100,000 as a yearling, Dorsoduro Hanover was roughed up from post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace final and again in his Adios elimination but still managed to finish second each time. It seemed likely that he was only a good trip away from a signature victory and Matt Kakaley provided it for him giving him a :28.3 second-panel refresher after a :26.3 opening-quarter burst to the lead. American History took up the chase before the half and pursued the winner gamely but was all out late to preserve his place finish. Once Dorsoduro Hanover crossed the wire, a jubilant Burke and members of his staff sprinted from the paddock to the winner's circle, eschewing the golf cart that customarily provides transport. Burke, however, indicated the wins in 2007 and 2018 were equally important to him. "We have a big crew, and to me, that's what it's about: doing it together," Burke said. "We probably spent about $10 million chasing this, and we finally got one. It's a great feeling to enjoy it with our staff and our core group." In that core group are the owners of Dorsoduro Hanover, who now has earned $575,603 for them: Burke Racing Stable, Silva, Purnell & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi and Wingfield Five. 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 - 569; 2. Yannick Gingras - 568.5; 3. David Miller - 272.5; 4. Jordan Stratton - 268; 5. Corey Callahan - 228.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 595.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 339; 3. Tony Alagna - 216; 4. John Butenschoen - 172; 5. Jim King Jr. - 171. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 133.5; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 128.5; 3. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 4. Fashion Farms - 102; 5. Crawford Farms Racing - 85. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Northfield Park with the Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for free for all pacers; at the Indiana State Fair with the Fox Stakes highlighting 10 stakes; and at Tioga Downs with the Crawford Farm and Joie De Vie for older trotters and Tompkins-Geers races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Hambletonian Oaks and Jim Doherty Memorial eliminations and Reynolds Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (July 27) at The Meadows as the track will feature three divisions in the $60,800 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $40,400 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday (July 28) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final for 3-year-old colt pacers, three divisions in the $121,000 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $56,440 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters, two divisions in the $51,914 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters, two divisions in the $47,634 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $47,634 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer two sets of elimination races this week, with both finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 4). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters as well as two $46,600 W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions for 3-year-old male trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Heading into Saturday night (July 21), in two of the previous five installments of the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. A standard was not established in this edition, but Evenin Of Pleasure did pace the third fastest time (1:49.2) in track history. The winner of the 2017 Gerrity, Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton), was back to defend his crown and was a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend N sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras), who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of :26.2 and :53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three-quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of 5-1/2 lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the 8-year-old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal. 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 - 507; 2. Yannick Gingras - 468.5; 3. Jordan Stratton - 268; 4. David Miller - 237.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 195. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 438.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 319; 3. Tony Alagna - 196; 4. Jim King Jr. - 171; 5. Peter Tritton - 132. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 102.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 102.8; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 85; 5. Marvin Katz - 77.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The track will host ten Grand Circuit events, led by the $1 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, and the $300,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Joe Gerrity Memorial, Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Tompkins-Geers and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will be held this weekend at three different racetracks. Action begins on Friday (July 20) at Meadowlands Racetrack with the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be three $10,000 divisions of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two $10,000 divisions of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old pacing colts and trotting colts and a single $10,000 division of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old pacing fillies. On Saturday (July 21), the Meadowlands card will offer the $68,600 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting fillies and the $61,900 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting colts. Also on Saturday, Saratoga will host their marquee event, the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial for older pacers. Finally, The Meadows on Saturday will offer a pair of $25,000 eliminations for the Devlin Miller Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers. The $400,000 (est.) Adios final the following Saturday afternoon anchors a blockbuster card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: David Miller flashed a wide smile as he guided Courtly Choice to the winner's circle after winning the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. The monkey was off the Hall of Famer's back. After 18 failed efforts, Miller finally owned a victory in the Meadowlands Racetrack's signature event for 3-year-olds. Courtly Choice rallied to win the Pace by 1-1/4 lengths on Saturday night (July 14). "That was sweet," Miller said. "Really sweet." The Pace was an obvious omission on Miller's glittering resume. "The Buckeye" is second on the sport's all-time money list with $222 million in the bank. His best previous Pace finish was a second with Always B Miki in 2014. The sweetness of the moment spread in many directions, including trainer Blake MacIntosh, who also savored the victory in his Pace debut. "I believed in this horse," said MacIntosh, the former assistant to Casie Coleman. "He just had some back luck earlier in the year." And it was a winning gamble for the ownership group that ponied up $61,690 to enter the eliminations. The faith of Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Farms was rewarded with the $333,370 first-place check. Most importantly, it was a moment of redemption for Courtly Choice, who failed to make the finals in the North America Cup and the Max Hempt Memorial. The colt served notice his moment was at hand with a sharp first-up victory in his Pace elimination. And then he finally put it all together for the richest victory of his career. The race seemed primed for a 57-1 upset when a dead-game Dorsoduro Hanover, handled by Matt Kakaley, battled his way to the front at the top of the lane. But Courtly Choice was tracking his every move and angled wide under Miller's urging to score the victory. "The trip worked out good," Miller said. "The couple of horses I thought would leave from the outside left. I was able to get Matt in front of me and nobody else moved. On the last turn, I was real happy with my spot." The time was 1:47.1 on the warm evening. Courtly Choice paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite. 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 - 452; 2. Yannick Gingras - 430; 3. Jordan Stratton - 256; 4. David Miller - 226.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 178. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 428.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 280; 3. Jim King Jr. - 171; 4. Tony Alagna - 142; 5. Peter Tritton - 122. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 100.2; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 100.2; 4. Crawford Farms Racing - 80; 5. Fashion Farms - 72. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadows and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host eight Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for three lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, as well as the Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

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    

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