Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Wednesday (Sept. 18) at Delaware with the $257,750 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $104,388 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $46,744 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 19) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $552,551 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day are two divisions in the $131,500 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $125,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $60,000 Winbak Farm for older pacing horses, the $52,544 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $51,944 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $50,143 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers.
Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Wednesday with the $69,000 American-National for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $63,000 American-National for 2-year-old filly trotters.
The Thursday card at The Red Mile will feature four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters.
Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 21) with the C$284,000 Milton Stake final for older pacing mares.
Rounding out the busy week of Grand Circuit racing, on Saturday Hoosier Park will host the $235,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers and the $200,000 (est.) Pride In Progress for open trotters.
Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of three major stakes, led by the Canadian Trotting Classic for sophomore male trotters.
|New Image Media photo|
|Royalty For Life won the Canadian Trotting Classic in 1:52.2, a mile which equaled the stakes mark.|
Royalty For Life posted a stakes record-tying wire-to-wire performance in the $665,420 Canadian Trotting Classic. With Brian Sears driving, the George Ducharme-trainee equaled the 1:52.2 stakes mark, held by Market Share (2012), Lucky Chucky (2010) and Majestic Son (2006). In the stretch, it became a clear battle for second as Royalty For Life was under wraps, scoring by 2-1/4 lengths. Your So Vain found some late speed to get up for second and the 89-1 longshot All Laid Out rallied for third.
Father Patrick lowered his own track, stakes and Canadian record when he captured the $354,050 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. In an effortless manner, the sport’s top freshman trotting star got under the wire first in 1:53.4 for regular pilot Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter, just one-fifth off the world record, which was set by Muscle Hill in 2008. Father Patrick widened his lead down the stretch en route to a comfortable 5-1/2 length score. Harper Blue Chip came on to finish second with Credit Fashion finishing third.
In gate-to-wire fashion Riveting Rosie didn’t disappoint the betting public at odds of 6-5, scoring in the $362,780 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Riveting Rosie, driven by Paul MacDonell, was the fastest off the gate to take command. The John Bax trainee continued to hold the lead, putting up soft factions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:27.3. Game On Hanover was the first to make a move from fourth past the half, but once Riveting Rosie entered the stretch, she pulled away from the pack to capture the final by two lengths in 1:56.1. Elimination winner Grammas Girl was second as Game On Hanover faded to third.
Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will 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). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders following the past weekend:
Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 989; 2. Tim Tetrick – 930; 3. David Miller - 607; 4. Brian Sears - 518.5; and 5. Andy Miller – 495.
Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,015.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 665.5; 3. Linda Toscano – 416.5; 4. Julie Miller – 259; and 5. Ray Schnittker – 234.
Owners: 1. Burke Racing – 226.45; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 208.75; 3. Brittany Farms – 170.4; 4. Frank Bellino – 148.5; and 5. WJ Donovan – 128.25.
Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week in one location, Lexington’s historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, as well as eliminations in the Allerage for open pacers and trotters.