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Trio of tracks to host Grand Circuit stakes on Saturday
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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This Week: Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Graduate Series second leg and Somebeachsomewhere, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will take place on Saturday (June 3) at three venues. Northfield Park will host the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers; the Meadows will feature three divisions in the $118,424 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old male trotters; and Mohawk Racetrack will feature two C$70,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts, a pair of C$67,230 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and a single C$100,845 race in the second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters.

Complete entries for the Northfield Park and Meadows races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link.

Last time: He came. He saw. He slapped silly. Stung early and strong late, world champion Downbytheseaside (David Miller, $2.10) was superb Saturday night (May 27), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. The 27th Rooney featured five colts and three geldings at the start, but only one at the finish.

Mike Lizzi photo
Downbytheseaside scored in 1:52 to capture the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway.

It was 53-1 Summer Side (Tim Tetrick) making the first lead, looping both the eventual winner and second choice Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley). With Downbytheseaside three-wide from post position three, Miso Fast leapfrogged by Summer Side, stringing the 1-20 proposition out past a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and well into the second turn. That turned out to be Donwbytheseaside's only issue as he found a :55 intermission and pokey :29.1 third quarter in 1:24.1.

Eight-holer Stealth Bomber (Brett Miller), who had left and wedged in sixth, tried it first-up but was never close to coming close. Downbytheseaside opened four lengths entering the lane, winning by a wrapped-up 3-1/4 lengths in 1:52. Summer Side, winner of last season’s Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, was a solid second, with 2016’s New York Sire Stakes freshman champion Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) third. The latter raced well, forced wide early after Stealth Bomber stopped. Fourth and fifth went to Henry The Dragon (Montrell Teague) and pole-sitting, 49-1 Mac’s Jackpot (Jason Bartlett), respectively. Miso Fast faded to sixth, ahead of 90-1 Rollin About (Brent Holland) and the rough trip of Stealth Bomber.

For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts. For his career he is 11-for-16, with three seconds, two thirds and has earned $766,016.

Complete recaps of all the weekend races, including the Molson Pace at The Raceway at Western Fair District and a trio of $150,000 invitational events at Harrah’s Philadelphia, are available at the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders through and including the races on May 27.

Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett – 148; 2. Yannick Gingras – 129; 3. Jordan Stratton – 116; 4. Matt Kakaley – 101; 5. Tim Tetrick – 73.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 141; 2. Peter Tritton – 112; 3. Richard Banca – 86; 4. Rene Allard – 79; 5. Noel Daley - 47.

Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable – 93.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 38.3; 3t. Fred Monteleone Stable – 32; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi – 32; 5. Carolyn Atherton – 30.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Scioto Downs, Mohawk, and Tioga Downs. Scioto will host the Charlie Hill for open trotters; Mohawk will feature five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers; and Tioga Downs will offer the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters.

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