Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 28) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 29) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the second 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: Trainer Ron Burke and driver George Brennan were the stars in the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series last weekend at Yonkers. For the weekend, Burke earned a total of 70.5 Grand Circuit training points and Brennan posted 48.5 driving points.
Burke and Brennan kicked things off on March 21 by teaming up to capture a Blue Chip Matchmaker division with Summertime Lea. Brennan also won another Matchmaker split with Angels Delight for trainer Kevin Carr.
Then on March 22 in the George Morton Levy series, the Burke/Brennan duo won a pair of divisions with Bettor’s Edge and Easy Again. Burke added two other Levy winners with Foiled Again and Itrustyou, both piloted by Yannick Gingras.
|Mike Lizzi photo|
|Foiled Again opened up his 2014 campaign with a 1:52.1 score in the first round of the Levy Series.|
Foiled Again, the three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner as the sport’s top older pacing male, began his season and a quest for a third Levy title by throwing down the gauntlet with a wire-to-wire win in the last of this past Saturday’s five $50,000 divisions.
In play early from post position No. 6, career win No. 77 couldn’t have been less stressful for Foiled Again. A Westchester waltz through fractions of :27.4, 57.1, 1:24.4 and 1:52.1 had him 2-3/4 lengths to the good at the wire. Apprentice Hanover caught Hillbilly Hanover in a dead-heat for second.
Start No. 199 for the Dragon Again-In A Safe Place gelding increased his lifetime bankroll to $6,055,968. Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables.
Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders following the opening weekend at Yonkers:
Drivers: 1. George Brennan – 48.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 32; 3. Tim Tetrick – 19; 4. Brian Sears – 17; 5. Daniel Dube – 10.
Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 70.5; 2. PJ Fraley – 21; 3. Rene Allard – 15; 4t. Joe Holloway – 10; 4t. Kevin Carr – 10.
Owners: 1t. Burke Racing -19.3; 1t. Weaver Bruscemi – 19.3; 3. Bamond Racing – 18.5; 4. Joe Pennacchio – 10; and 5. M1 Stable – 5.8.
Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26.