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Little Brown Jug leads heavy Grand Circuit schedule
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; Centaur Trotting Classic, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Jenna’s Beach Boy, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Moni Maker and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Metro and She’s A Great Lady, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks into full gear on Wednesday (Sept. 20) at Delaware with the $279,250 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $80,575 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 21) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $590,400 Little Brown Jug, the third leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day is the $120,500 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $105,125 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters and the $52,200 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters. Standardbred events for 2-year-old pacers and 2-year-old filly trotters were contested earlier in the week.

The Harrah’s Philadelphia card on Wednesday will feature four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters.

Grand Circuit racing at Hoosier Park will be held on Friday (Sept. 22) with the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic for Open trotters, the $240,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $200,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for Open pacers, the $160,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $160,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy for 3-year-old colt pacers, and the $125,000 Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers.

Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 23) with the C$816,000 Metro final for 2-year-old open pacers and the C$500,000 She’s A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers.

Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link.

Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four major stakes, led by the $486,260 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. Hannelore Hanover got her Maple Leaf Trot redemption with an impressive 1:51.1 victory.

 
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Hannelore Hanover got her Maple Leaf Trot redemption with an impressive 1:51.1 victory.

The 5-year-old trotting mare and driver Yannick Gingras seized the lead heading to the half and proceeded to trot away to a 4-1/2 length victory for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables.

“When she’s like this, in North America anyway, I’ll take on any trotter,” said Gingras following Hannelore Hanover’s sensational performance.

JL Cruze shot out to grab the early lead and posted a snappy opening quarter of :26.2. Hannelore Hanover settled into third in the early going, while Gingras waited to make his move.

Hannelore Hanover came with a second quarter rush and secured the lead in time to post a half of :54.3. Odds On Amethyst came first up in the third quarter and got up to the wheel of the leader, but Gingras got a comfortable third quarter of :28.4 to lead at that station in 1:23.2.

In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover waved goodbye to her rivals and trotted home strongly in :27.4 for her biggest victory to date. JL Cruze finished second, while Pasithea Face, the other mare in the field, was third. The superfecta was completed by Warrawee Roo.

The victory is extra special for Hannelore Hanover’s connections after coming up just short in last year’s event.

“Last year she raced her heart out and was second to Resolve in a great race,” said co-owner Baldachino. “For her to come back a year later and actually win it, it’s real sweet and very special.”

A daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is now six for 10 this season with $531,754 earned. The talented trotting mare surpassed $1.9 million in career earnings with her 32nd career win Saturday.

Hannelore Hanover’s Maple Leaf Trot victory is the first win in the event for driver Gingras and trainer Burke.

Complete recaps of all the races 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 Sept. 16.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 885; 2. David Miller – 689; 3. Tim Tetrick – 568; 4. Scott Zeron – 425; 5. Corey Callahan – 301.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 708.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 658; 3. Brian Brown – 315; 4. Ake Svanstedt – 227; 5. John Butenschoen – 224.

Owners: 1. Emerald Highlands Farm – 175; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 168.8; 3. Determination – 164; 4. Diamond Creek Racing – 151.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi – 141.7.

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.


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