This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and Hanover Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill.
Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday night (Oct. 11) at Pocono Downs with three sets of Breeders Crown eliminations, with a $25,000 purse for each race. There will be a pair of elims in the 2-year-old filly trot and 2-year-old filly pace, plus a single contest for the 2-year-old colt trotters.
The Saturday card (Oct. 12) at Pocono will feature seven sets of $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations. The 2-year-old colt pacers will split into a trio of eliminations; the 3-year-old filly trotters, 3-year-old colt trotters, 3-year-old colt pacers, and older mare trotters will have two eliminations apiece; and the older mare pacers and older open pacers will each have a single elimination.
Balmoral Park will host a pair of $70,000 (est.) Hanover Stakes on Sunday (Oct. 13) with contests for both the 2-year-old colt trotters and the 2-year-old filly trotters.
Complete entries for the races are available at this link.
Last time: The Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, capped off two exciting weeks of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile.
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Creatine was a 1:53.2 winner in the Kentucky Futurity final.|
Fourteen of the sport's finest 3-year-old male trotters competed in the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity and Diamond Creek Racing's Creatine, who finished second in his first heat elimination, came charging down the lane in the $368,900 second heat final and held off All Laid Out at the wire in a time of 1:53.2 over a sloppy track.
Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance won his fourth (and second straight) Kentucky Futurity title (he piloted My MVP to the crown in 2012) as he was in the bike for trainer Bob Stewart. The win was the seventh in 13 starts this year for Creatine, who lifted his 2013 bankroll to $481,189.
Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband's To Dream On tipped three wide off cover down the lane and won the $205,100 second heat final of the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity in 1:52.1 on Sunday at The Red Mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter was in the bike as the 3-year-old daughter of Credit Winner-Satin Pillows won for just the second time in 13 season's starts and the 1:52.1 clocking was a lifetime best.
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Shebestingin won her Glen Garnsey Memorial split in 1:47, the fastest mile ever by a female pacer.|
A couple of outstanding efforts by sophomore pacers were also in the spotlight last week at The Red Mile. Shebestingin rolled to a world record 1:47 score in the $122,500 opening division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday. It was the fastest mile ever paced by a female. The former all-age world record for pacing mares, 1:47.3, was set by 5-year-old Put On A Show in 2012 at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Owned by Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L&L DeVisser, the daughter of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Tussle is trained by Joe Holloway and was driven to victory by David Miller. Shebestingin won for the ninth time in 15 season's starts, while increasing her 2013 earnings to $438,664.
The defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous won for the 10th time in 11 season's starts when he captured his $215,500 division of the Tattersalls for 3-year-old pacing males in 1:47.2 on Saturday at The Red Mile. Tim Tetrick was in the bike for trainer Tony Algana and owner Captaintreacherous Racing as the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Worldy Treasure lifted his 2013 bankroll to $1,611,773. He is now 18 for 21 lifetime with a career bankroll at $2,530,026.
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 – 1,423; 2. Tim Tetrick – 1,284; 3. David Miller - 872; 4. Brian Sears - 598.5; and 5. Andy Miller – 575.
Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,357.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 937.5; 3. Linda Toscano – 443.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson – 362.5; and 5. Tony Alagna – 359.
Owners: 1. Burke Racing – 298.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 280; 3. Brittany Farms – 225.1; 4. Frank Bellino – 218.5; and 5. WJ Donovan – 185.75.
Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Vernon Downs. Pocono will host all 12 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older horses of both sexes and gaits. Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters.